One professional basketball league in the United States will seed playoff teams 1-8 regardless of conference. That will be the WNBA, starting this season, and that’s just one of several playoff format changes the league will introduce this season.
Other changes: · The number of playoff rounds will increase to four from three, and the top two seeds receive byes to the semifinals; · Teams will be reseeded after each round; · The first and second rounds are single elimination, NCAA tournament style. In the first round, the No. 5 seed plays at home the No. 8 seed, and the No. 6 seed at home plays the No. 7 seed. In the second round, the No. 3 seed will play host to the lowest-seeded winner from the first-round, and the No. 4 seed will play host to the other first-round winner.
Other changes: · The No. 1 seed will have home-court advantage against the lowest-seeded winner from the second round, and the No. 2 seed will have home-court advantage against the other second-round winner in the semifinals; · Series format of the semifinals and finals is 2-2-1.
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.