San Antonio Spurs News

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will not change playoff format yet

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 08: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attends a press conference during the 2017 Global Games - China on October 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 08: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attends a press conference during the 2017 Global Games - China on October 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images) /
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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who wanted to look at a change in playoff seeding, said it will not happen yet.

Since assuming the position, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has expressed a desire to change the playoff seeding. The Western Conference usually features more teams with winning records at season’s end than the East, who had teams below .500 make the playoffs in recent seasons.

A potential system change would see the NBA have the top 16 records make the playoffs. That means no more conferences and a drastic change to the schedule. Would the league actually go through with this?

For now, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net, Silver does not think it will happen. He said they are “not ready to make a change yet.”

The reason? Silver noted the conferences spreading teams across the country. It puts a heavier travel burden on teams and potentially impacts the playoffs. That does not make the idea sound appealing, but the commissioner said they are “serious” about it.

“We’re serious about looking at it. We’re far from a place where there’s a solution,” Silver said. “Of course it makes sense to seed teams 1-16 in the league but we have two conferences that are geographically apart.”

“To move from a balanced schedule it would require a lot more travel on behalf of the teams,” he said.

“You can also end up in the first round with Portland playing Miami,” he said. “To crisscross the country it adds enormous fatigue to the players and it would cut down on the quality of the competition and also potentially lead to more injuries.”

The logistics obviously need to be sorted since Silver’s not close to a solution. That’s if this happens anyway. A competitive balance of the East and West can develop before Silver’s possible solution comes to fruition. Of course, that depends on player development from the NBA Draft, trades and free agency, all of which can shift the league.

As of Mar. 16, the West has two more teams with winning records than the East. Each playoff team in the latter owns a record of at least .500, too, all of which sit at least three games above. The top two records of both conferences are also within range of each other.

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Will this playoff change transpire? Down the line seems possible, but for now, look for things to stay the same.

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