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NBA Discussing Changes to Playoff Format

April 11th, 2014 at 9:46 AM
By Matt Agne

Every single post-season there are complaints about how the NBA conducts its playoffs. However, the scrutiny this season has the NBA thinking of changing its format.

The NBA’s playoff always have incredible matchups. Sometimes it's the games assumed to be poor matchups that produce the best results. However, with the large disparity between conferences the NBA is discussing making changes.

Quite frankly, the Eastern Conference is far too weak as compared to the Western Conference and winning teams from the West are going home and watching teams with well under .500 records from the East get it. That may become something of the past.

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hasn't been shy about making changes to the league since taking over for David SternMike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports that Silver now thinks it may be time to discuss making changes the format of the NBA playoffs.

Conducting an in-game interview with Spurs broadcasters Bill Land and Sean Elliott during the telecast of Friday's Spurs-Suns game at AT&T Center, Silver said the league needs to consider changes to the format that puts the top eight teams in each conference in the playoffs.

“I don't know that there will be movement,” Silver said about changing the format. “My initial thought is we will take a fresh look at it. When these conferences were designed it was in the day of commercial (air) travel. It was very different moving teams around the country.

“In this day and age when every team is flying charter it changes everything. It's one of the reasons we moved back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for this year's Finals.”

What does this mean moving forward? Well there could be changes to divisions and conferences but those changes are less likely than changes to the actual format for each series. It could also mean taking the teams with the best records into the playoffs as compared to the eight best teams from each conference.

If there's one fact in life It’s that change in inevitable. However, changing the NBA playoff format won't happen without some major obstacles.

This change would cause a lop-sided split in conference entries. That's something teams are likely going to be resistant towards. It would also drastically change playoff seeding.

There's also another issue. Traditionally the East and West don't play one another until they meet in the Finals. If the format was changed to seeding by the best 16 records that takes away how special it is to watch the best teams from each conference play for a championship.

That fact alone might be enough to prevent drastic changes. That being said, there's nothing wrong with Silver taking a look at potential changes that could benefit the product. Hopefully that doesn't mean changing the game we all love.

Tags: Adam Silver, Basketball, David Stern, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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