Playoffs Rumors

Obstacle No. 2: Almost every schedule-related change implemented by the league office in recent years has been motivated by a push to prioritize player health and to chip away at the various factors — too much travel, too many back-to-back games, too many unholy stretches of four games in five nights — that make the current 82-game regular-season schedule the dreaded grind that it is. Adding an estimated 40,000 miles of cumulative playoff travel to the roughly 90,000 miles last season’s 16 playoff clubs logged would work against all those measures.
And perhaps the biggest obstacle: N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver cannot unilaterally change the league’s playoff format or seeding procedures, even if he wanted to. League rules dictate that a two-thirds vote of N.B.A. owners would be required to approve such an overhaul. That’s 20 owners out of 30. So even if 15 out of 15 owners in the West were prepared to vote in favor of conference-free playoff seeding, where would Silver find five in the East willing to co-sign?
Storyline: Playoff Seeding
The NBA estimates an increase of about 40,000 miles of travel in the postseason if it scrapped its current conference format and took the top 16 teams. Calls to change the system were renewed this week when LeBron James left Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers, which could create another strong Western Conference team after Houston and Golden State had the league’s top two records last season. They met in a thrilling West final before the Warriors swept the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.