NBA reportedly considering radical change to playoff system


One of the best parts about Major League Baseball’s playoffs is that only a third of the league’s teams make it.

There’s a real sense of accomplishment when only two wild-card teams and three division winners make the AL or NL playoff bracket.

Compare that with the NBA playoffs.

Just like MLB, the NBA features 30 teams. Unlike MLB, over half of the basketball league’s teams qualify for the playoffs.

Sixteen NBA teams make the postseason every year, with eight coming from each conference.

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Making the playoffs is certainly commendable, but the accomplishment is diminished when a team has a better than 50 percent chance of making it.

To improve the NBA playoffs, which have devolved into de facto warm-ups for the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers the last three years, it would make sense to decrease the number of teams vying in the postseason.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, however, the NBA is considering going the complete opposite direction and increasing the number of teams in the playoffs.

The radical idea allegedly being floated around would allow the top-10 teams in each conference to make the postseason.

Do you like the proposed changes?

That’s a whopping two-thirds of the league.

According to Lowe, the NBA wants to leave the top six seeds virtually unchanged.

The big differences would affect the 7 through 10 seeds.

Using a play-in formula similar to MLB’s wild-card games, the 7 seed would host the 8 seed and the 9 seed would host the 10 seed.

The winner of the 7-vs.-8 matchup would slot in as the “real” 7 seed.

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The winner of the 9-vs.-10 matchup would then face the loser of the 7-vs.-8 matchup to determine the “real” 8 seed.

It seems like an overly complicated cash grab to generate extra playoff ticket revenue, when ultimately the bottom four seeds would just be playing for the right to be cannon fodder for the currently top-heavy NBA.

If the proposed changes were applied this year, it would mean in the Western Conference, the Portland Trailblazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz would compete in the play-in tournament for the right to face the Warriors or the Houston Rockets.

Regardless of who would make it to the seventh and eighth spots, any of those four teams would almost certainly get slaughtered by the Warriors and Rockets in a seven-game series.

The NBA will no longer have any grounds to stand on when it accuses the NFL of oversaturating the market with regular season games if it decides to oversaturate the postseason under this plan.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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