Now that Golden State is no longer mathematically able to make it into the playoffs I thought I’d finally weigh in with what I think would make for the best playoff structure. Personally I still like East vs. West. I don’t like the people that say seed 1-16 and let things fall how they will. As I’ve said in a previous podcast I think that the way to fix the playoff system is to take the top 6 from each conference. So here would be the seedings as of right now.
1. LA Lakers
2. New Orleans
3. San Antonio
So the best in each Conference still get to go. But that is only 12 teams while the playoffs is for 16. Well I think that the final four seeds should go to the teams with the best records that aren’t in the initial list.
3. Golden State
So the only difference would be that Golden State and Portland get in this year while Atlanta and Philadelhpia don’t. Also Philly and Portland would be neck and neck for the final playoff spot. Just a little more incentive for teams on the fringe.
This would also help with parity among the conferences because when a conference is weaker than the other they will get more lottery picks that year. (Portland is in the draft again after get a number one pick. What happens if they do what Orlando did and get it again, or at least a high draft pick?) Under my new system they are in the playoffs or if Philly would make it then they would get the last pick of the lottery draft.
One more thing to deal with though, how to decide who plays each other? Right now it is purely by conference so the 1 seed plays the 8 seed. If we get rid of 7 and 8 in each conference where do they go? I figure that the best way to do this is alternate based upon year. One year the East 1 seed plays the team with the worst record that made the playoffs and the next year the West 1 seed plays them. The second worst record plays the 1 seed for the other conference. It works for the 2 seed as well with the remaining two teams.
Unless this is fixed soon it may get worse. What happens when the Clippers are healthy? Sacramento is a strong team too. Portland is getting better. And though San Antonio is getting old I have a feeling that they’re a smart enough team to move some people to stay relevant. Phoenix and Dallas are nearing the end of their runs, but Dallas could easily stay relevant for a couple more years with some savvy moves as well. I don’t see the East having the same problem. But within a couple of years things will have evened out as the extra lottery picks begin to become veterans in the East and West eventually starts having to move all of the veterans for younger players.
Please NBA, even if you don’t do this, please do something.