Nick Friedell: Adam Silver says the league will continue “examining” the schedule, including the possibility of re-seeding teams 1-16 in the postseason, regardless of conference.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Mark Medina: Silver sounded open about changing playoffs w/out conference affiliation. But he said that requires more changes to reg. season schedule
There are plenty of cracks in the NBA’s economic model, and they will likely get deeper in the years to come. As Mark Cuban pointed out when talking about why the conference system should be changed, there’s less incentive for teams in the East to get better because the bar for making the playoffs and winning a series or two is much lower. Stern always said the balance of power between the conferences was cyclical, but the last two generations of players have not been able to change the underlying dynamic, and there’s no guarantee the next one does either. As long as the owners in the East keep making money off their teams, they have no reason to change the way they are run.
Silver, though, did leave the door open for the possibility of one day rebalancing the two conferences or having a 16-seed tournament. “Ultimately [two years ago] we concluded that given all the focus on sports science, health of our players and impact of travel, it didn’t make sense, at least at this time, to move to a rebalanced schedule because we played an imbalanced schedule,” Silver said at the board of governors news conference Wednesday.
There are some who believe the NBA should eliminate conference affiliation in the postseason and seed playoff teams based on record. Silver believes there are challenges to that concept. “I know that from a fan standpoint, there is real appeal to this notion of seed your teams 1 through 16 going into the playoffs and possibly two Western Conference teams could meet in the Finals or two Eastern Conference teams, and where we ended up was that — again, it relates directly to the resting issue and injury data, is that we would be dramatically increasing travel because if we’re going to seed 1 through 16 we would need to have more of a balanced schedule throughout the year,” Silver said. “That would result in more travel. You could have a Boston-Golden State first-round matchup in the playoffs. It’s something we continue to look at.
The NBA made it official: division winners will no longer be guaranteed a top-four seed in the playoffs. In fact, they won’t be guaranteed playoff spots at all, opening the very real possibility of the Atlantic Division winner missing the postseason. (They should hang a banner anyway). The next obvious move is to eliminate divisions entirely, which could happen as soon as next year.
The next step is to remove conference and/or seed the playoffs 1-16. That’s a tougher nut to crack because it requires a three-fourths majority and those East teams aren’t about to vote away their cakewalk paths to postseason play, but we can now have a real conversation about it. When brainstorming ideas, the league would be smart to consider Tom’s five regions approach.
Bobby Marks: Good first step by NBA, next line of business is to do away with divisions, would not be surprised if that happens for 16-17. Can’t get rid of divisions yet because of how the schedule works, ex: East 16 games vs Div., 24 for Central/Southeast, unbalance schedule. Don’t ever seeing conferences going away until the earliest 2022, Huge consequences on teams that traded away future picks.
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
October 23, 2017 | 8:00 am EDT Update
Free-agent guard Briante Weber has agreed to a two-way contract with the Houston Rockets, league sources told ESPN.
Using a hard screen on the sideline set by Towns on Paul George to get free, Wiggins crossed midcourt and let fly on a running jumper as the buzzer sounding. As Paul Pierce once said, Wiggins didn’t call bank; he called game as the Wolves stunned the Thunder, 115-113. “Everyone was scrambling. Taj [Gibson] made a good pass, he was patient and found me, and KAT had a great screen to get me open,” Wiggins said. “And I let it go and it felt great.”
This season, with eight new players added to the Cavs’ mix — including former All-Stars Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose — a weakness has become a strength. “It’s two games in, but me having the full confidence in my teammates, I think we got the best bench in the league,” shooting guard JR Smith told ESPN after Cleveland’s bench outscored the Milwaukee Bucks 45-23 in a 116-97 win on Friday. “I mean, you can go around from 6 through 12 or whatever and mark it up against anybody else’s bench, and by far, we got the best bench. And we have more experience too.”