LOOK: NBA playoff match-ups if league adopts straight seeding format
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The NBA Players Association (NBPA) is conducting a survey to its players regarding their prefered playoff format when the league resumes potentially this July.
The NBA is already in exploratory talks with the Disney company regarding the games resuming in just one host venue — the ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
The NBPA’s Michele Roberts is conducting team-by-team conference calls with players, detailing talks with NBA on formats for resumption of play in Orlando, financial implications of those options and gathering feedback, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 25, 2020
Should the league indeed resume, there are talks of adopting a new playoff format, such as the straight seeding if the league is do take the top 16 teams into the post-season.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted in his Get Up! program that such situation would allow the league the perfect time to test new formats.
“I really think there’s a good chance this is only going to be a 16-team playoff.
If that is the case, it opens up the possibility for something that Adam Silver has long wanted, which is to seed 1 through 16 in the postseason and go that route. There’s no excuse with travel or anything like that. It would have to pass an owner vote, and that means a bunch of Eastern Conference owners would have to agree to it. But if there’s a way to make this interesting and spice this up and potentially test out this theory, you’re never going to get a better opportunity if that’s the direction they go.”
In a straight seeding format, which is ideal since there is no travel (home and away) to begin with, match-ups would be:
- Milwaukee Bucks vs. 16. Orlando Magic
- Miami Heat vs. 9. Oklahoma City Thunder
- Los Angeles Clippers vs. 13. Dallas Mavericks
- Boston Celtics vs. 12. Philadelphia 76ers
- Los Angeles Lakers vs. 15. Brooklyn Nets
- Utah Jazz vs. 10. Houston Rockets
- Toronto Raptors vs. 14. Memphis Grizzlies
- Denver Nuggets vs. 11. Indiana Pacers
This potential format would have four inter-conference match-ups.
There are also interesting scenarios. For instance, the Lakers and Clippers wouldn’t meet until the finals if they both go all the way.
The Celtics and Sixers also meet right away in what could be a grueling first round series.
It is worth noting that the format takes the top 16 teams into the playoffs, regardless of conference, giving justice to those who really deserve to be in the post-season.
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