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mightybosstone
07-26-2017, 10:56 PM
So with the Seattle expansion conversation in the other thread, it started to get me thinking about how the league could somehow use expansion to its advantage to improve some of its issues right now: primarily conference imbalance and mediocre postseason series.

My solution? Let's get rid of the conferences altogether and rework the divisions so that there's eight divisions. Each division leader is a lock to make the playoffs, and the remaining eight teams make it in solely by record. Assuming the two expansion teams are Seattle and Las Vegas, this is how eight new conferences might look (moving roughly from West-East across the U.S.).

Division 1
Golden State
LA Clippers
LA Lakers
Las Vegas

Division 2 (moved a California team here to help keep Seattle/Las Vegas apart)
Phoenix
Portland
Sacramento
Seattle

Division 3 (Memphis has to fly a little further, but they make more sense than Minnesota)
Denver
Memphis
Oklahoma City
Utah

Division 4
Dallas
Houston
New Orleans
San Antonio

Division 5
Chicago
Indiana
Milwaukee
Minnesota

Division 6 (Washington gets screwed here, but it's less far their division games now)
Cleveland
Detroit
Toronto
Washington

Division 7
Atlanta
Charlotte
Miami
Orlando

Division 8
Boston
Brooklyn
New York
Philadelphia

Unless we implement a rule where the eight division leaders are guaranteed the top 8 spots (or maybe top 10?), which I'm not really in favor of, the seedings for the playoffs would look like this based on last year's records.

Golden State (1) vs. Chicago (16)
LA Clippers (8) vs. Washington Wizards (9)

Boston (4) vs. Milwaukee (13)
Cleveland (5) vs. Memphis (12)

Houston (3) vs. Indiana (14)
Utah (6) vs. Atlanta (11)

San Antonio (2) vs. Portland (15)
Toronto (7) vs. OKC (10)

To me, this is a way more fun, way more competitive postseason. Cleveland no longer gets a cakewalk to the Finals, and they have to actually face the Warriors in the semifinals. Plus, it gives a team like Cleveland way more motivation to give a damn in the regular season. You wouldn't be able to just coast and expect to play in the title game very year.

In addition to this, I think the first round should be no more than five games, and I'd even be supportive of making the first round three games and the second round five games. Shorter series will make them more entertaining, and there will be a far greater chance for an upset.

And if we want to go REALLY extreme here, we could throw in a revised version of Bill Simmons' "entertaining as Hell tournament" and allow the bottom 18 teams to fight for the chance to crack the last two seeds in the NBA playoffs. In this version, the bottom four teams would first face off for the last two spots in the tournament, and then they would be seeded and face off in a 16-team single-elimination tournament with the last two left standing getting the 15th and 16th seeds based on record. We could cut the regular season down to 70-72 games (which would upset nobody) to allow for this.

You can't tell me that the NBA isn't automatically a better, more balance, entertaining product with this. God I hope Adam Silver reads PSD...

Raps08-09 Champ
07-26-2017, 11:50 PM
Keep the same structure. Implement the hardcap to spread the talent around.

Scoots
07-27-2017, 12:48 AM
Are you going to balance the schedule too?

mrblisterdundee
07-27-2017, 01:33 AM
How about four geographic divisions?

West Division: Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas
Midwest Division: Minnesota, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma, Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis
Southeast Division: Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Charlotte
Northeast Division: Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington

The top two teams from each division are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The other eight spots go to the remaining teams league-wide with the best records. The seeding of all 16 teams in the playoffs is based on records, irrespective of division.

jaydubb
07-27-2017, 02:12 AM
How about 29 teams in the west and only 1 team in the east?

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Ahriman
07-27-2017, 04:46 AM
How about four geographic divisions?

West Division: Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas
Midwest Division: Minnesota, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma, Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis
Southeast Division: Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Charlotte
Northeast Division: Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington

The top two teams from each division are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The other eight spots go to the remaining teams league-wide with the best records. The seeding of all 16 teams in the playoffs is based on records, irrespective of division.

This could actually be interesting. The issue with the other proposed solution of 8 divisions is that you'll automatically get at least one division that blow so hard the winner won't sniff the .500 win mark.
Allowing it a pass to one of the top 8 playoff seeding seem like a throwback of the old divisions when they were guaranteed a top 4 seed regardless of their record vs the rest, which the league got rid off not long ago because of that reason.

MILLERHIGHLIFE
07-27-2017, 07:41 AM
Hard cap and nonguaranteed contracts only. Maybe signing bonuses like NFL. But if a guy signs a big deal and doesn't pan out he gets waived and only gets the signing bonus. NBA players got it made getting bought out to go play with friends or injured and sit home and collect a check. Also have free agency before the draft.

AllBall
07-27-2017, 11:45 AM
This is still the best idea:

This proposal will fix conference imbalance and the NBA schedule - SBNation.com (https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/11/26/7280545/nba-schedule-reform-regions-map-playoffs)

Adam, just do it already! :mad:

Scoots
07-27-2017, 12:20 PM
1. Must balance the schedule to get any of this accepted and short of adding 10 teams and having each team play every opponent twice ... because the NBA isn't adding or subtracting games from the schedule any time soon.

2. I think belief that the hard cap will solve talent issues is a simplistic view of the way sports works. The best teams will still end up with the most talent, because the owners are willing to support their GMs, the GMs acquire (draft, UDFA, big name free agency, and small name free agency) the best talent that fits, and the coaches get the most out of the talent. Whatever set of rules you setup where money is limited the cream still rises to the top.

3. Make the playoff results change draft order. That way the teams that do the best in the playoffs don't even get the "advantage" of their regular season record.

mightybosstone
07-27-2017, 01:04 PM
1. Must balance the schedule to get any of this accepted and short of adding 10 teams and having each team play every opponent twice ... because the NBA isn't adding or subtracting games from the schedule any time soon.
I think the league would just need to balance the schedule to the best of its ability, but there's no way to make it 100 percent fair to every team. I think every team would still play every other team at least once, and they would probably play their divisional opponents 3-4 times. But look at the MLB and NFL. They don't completely balance their schedules. And even if we made it so that every team played every other team the exact same number of times at home and on the road, it still wouldn't be completely balanced because of back-to-backs, challenging stretches of game, travel time, etc.


2. I think belief that the hard cap will solve talent issues is a simplistic view of the way sports works. The best teams will still end up with the most talent, because the owners are willing to support their GMs, the GMs acquire (draft, UDFA, big name free agency, and small name free agency) the best talent that fits, and the coaches get the most out of the talent. Whatever set of rules you setup where money is limited the cream still rises to the top.
I agree with this. Plus, look at the discounts that players are willing to sign for to play for contenders. And I like the soft cap/hard cap of the NBA in that is still discourages owners from overpaying their rosters, but it gives them an opportunity to pay a little more if it means they can build the best team possible. An owner who is willing to pay a few million bucks in luxury tax penalties every year should be willing to do so, but no one is going to pay $100 million+ in penalties every year to build a contender.


3. Make the playoff results change draft order. That way the teams that do the best in the playoffs don't even get the "advantage" of their regular season record.
I'm torn on this. Because a team that has one of the best records in the league could feasibly just have one crappy playoff series and underachieve, and still somehow end up with a top 20 pick.

Vee-Rex
07-27-2017, 01:47 PM
How about four geographic divisions?

West Division: Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas
Midwest Division: Minnesota, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma, Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis
Southeast Division: Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Charlotte
Northeast Division: Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington

The top two teams from each division are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The other eight spots go to the remaining teams league-wide with the best records. The seeding of all 16 teams in the playoffs is based on records, irrespective of division.

That's a really fun idea.

Same with the OP.

mightybosstone
07-27-2017, 02:00 PM
How about four geographic divisions?

West Division: Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas
Midwest Division: Minnesota, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma, Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis
Southeast Division: Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Charlotte
Northeast Division: Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington

The top two teams from each division are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The other eight spots go to the remaining teams league-wide with the best records. The seeding of all 16 teams in the playoffs is based on records, irrespective of division.
I'd be mostly fine with this as well. Same basic concept for the most part.


This could actually be interesting. The issue with the other proposed solution of 8 divisions is that you'll automatically get at least one division that blow so hard the winner won't sniff the .500 win mark.
Allowing it a pass to one of the top 8 playoff seeding seem like a throwback of the old divisions when they were guaranteed a top 4 seed regardless of their record vs the rest, which the league got rid off not long ago because of that reason.
I'm not as worried about the issue of a non-playoff team cracking the postseason as you are. Even if there's a team that wins 35-37 games and sneaks in as the 16th seed because of a bad division, they're not going to be getting in over a substantially better basketball. And with the divisions I created, based on last year, every division had a team make the postseason.

However I do like the idea of each of the top teams in this four-division model getting the top four seeds. It adds more interest to the division rivalries and is similar to what we have in the NFL and MLB.

Scoots
07-27-2017, 10:55 PM
This is still the best idea:

This proposal will fix conference imbalance and the NBA schedule - SBNation.com (https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/11/26/7280545/nba-schedule-reform-regions-map-playoffs)

Adam, just do it already! :mad:

I'm fine with that. I'm tired of the pacific teams travelling 40% more than mid-west teams and that would help some too.

Scoots
07-27-2017, 10:57 PM
I'm torn on this. Because a team that has one of the best records in the league could feasibly just have one crappy playoff series and underachieve, and still somehow end up with a top 20 pick.

At the same time, right now an 8th seed could make the final 4 get a top 20 pick.

mightybosstone
07-27-2017, 11:11 PM
At the same time, right now an 8th seed could make the final 4 get a top 20 pick.

Right, but it's far less likely. In the history of the league, how many seeds 6 or lower have cracked the final four? Maybe a handful?

Scoots
07-27-2017, 11:22 PM
Right, but it's far less likely. In the history of the league, how many seeds 6 or lower have cracked the final four? Maybe a handful?

Maybe ... it still bugs me :)

Ahriman
07-28-2017, 05:35 AM
I'm not as worried about the issue of a non-playoff team cracking the postseason as you are. Even if there's a team that wins 35-37 games and sneaks in as the 16th seed because of a bad division, they're not going to be getting in over a substantially better basketball. And with the divisions I created, based on last year, every division had a team make the postseason.

However I do like the idea of each of the top teams in this four-division model getting the top four seeds. It adds more interest to the division rivalries and is similar to what we have in the NFL and MLB.

I realize I misread your post as I thought each division winner was guarantee a Top 8 playoff spot. In that case this looks actually like a fun idea, it would help bring back division rivalries

TylerSL
07-28-2017, 02:53 PM
So with the Seattle expansion conversation in the other thread, it started to get me thinking about how the league could somehow use expansion to its advantage to improve some of its issues right now: primarily conference imbalance and mediocre postseason series.

My solution? Let's get rid of the conferences altogether and rework the divisions so that there's eight divisions. Each division leader is a lock to make the playoffs, and the remaining eight teams make it in solely by record. Assuming the two expansion teams are Seattle and Las Vegas, this is how eight new conferences might look (moving roughly from West-East across the U.S.).

Division 1
Golden State
LA Clippers
LA Lakers
Las Vegas

Division 2 (moved a California team here to help keep Seattle/Las Vegas apart)
Phoenix
Portland
Sacramento
Seattle

Division 3 (Memphis has to fly a little further, but they make more sense than Minnesota)
Denver
Memphis
Oklahoma City
Utah

Division 4
Dallas
Houston
New Orleans
San Antonio

Division 5
Chicago
Indiana
Milwaukee
Minnesota

Division 6 (Washington gets screwed here, but it's less far their division games now)
Cleveland
Detroit
Toronto
Washington

Division 7
Atlanta
Charlotte
Miami
Orlando

Division 8
Boston
Brooklyn
New York
Philadelphia

Unless we implement a rule where the eight division leaders are guaranteed the top 8 spots (or maybe top 10?), which I'm not really in favor of, the seedings for the playoffs would look like this based on last year's records.

Golden State (1) vs. Chicago (16)
LA Clippers (8) vs. Washington Wizards (9)

Boston (4) vs. Milwaukee (13)
Cleveland (5) vs. Memphis (12)

Houston (3) vs. Indiana (14)
Utah (6) vs. Atlanta (11)

San Antonio (2) vs. Portland (15)
Toronto (7) vs. OKC (10)

To me, this is a way more fun, way more competitive postseason. Cleveland no longer gets a cakewalk to the Finals, and they have to actually face the Warriors in the semifinals. Plus, it gives a team like Cleveland way more motivation to give a damn in the regular season. You wouldn't be able to just coast and expect to play in the title game very year.

In addition to this, I think the first round should be no more than five games, and I'd even be supportive of making the first round three games and the second round five games. Shorter series will make them more entertaining, and there will be a far greater chance for an upset.

And if we want to go REALLY extreme here, we could throw in a revised version of Bill Simmons' "entertaining as Hell tournament" and allow the bottom 18 teams to fight for the chance to crack the last two seeds in the NBA playoffs. In this version, the bottom four teams would first face off for the last two spots in the tournament, and then they would be seeded and face off in a 16-team single-elimination tournament with the last two left standing getting the 15th and 16th seeds based on record. We could cut the regular season down to 70-72 games (which would upset nobody) to allow for this.

You can't tell me that the NBA isn't automatically a better, more balance, entertaining product with this. God I hope Adam Silver reads PSD...

This is a pretty good idea, however I would not get rid of the East-West system, rather I would reshuffle the Conferences. The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans are more East than West and the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder are all in the Western Conference but are really in the middle of the country. There is room to reshuffle it. Assuming the league expands by two teams, giving us 32 total, and those teams are Las Vegas and Seattle they would go to the West. What I would do is move the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, and Houston Rockets to the Eastern Conference and the Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks to the West. New Orleans and Memphis would do better in the East and Houston is a championship level team, so it would help parity.

I agree with you that there would be a total of eight divisions, four in each conference. Winning the division should guarantee a playoff spot, but playoff seeding should be based solely on record. For example, say the Wizards, who didn't win their division, have a better record than the Hawks, who did, the Wizards would be the higher playoff seed. Here is how I would set the divisions and this would have been the playoff seeding last year

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics 53-29
New York Knicks 31-51
Philadelphia 76ers 28-54
Brooklyn Nets 20-62

South East Division
Atlanta Hawks 43-39
Miami Heat 41-41
New Orleans Pelicans 34-48
Orlando Magic 29-53

Central Division
Houston Rockets 55-27
Memphis Grizzlies 43-39
Indiana Pacers 42-40
Charlotte Hornets 36-46

Northern Division
Cleveland Cavaliers 51-31
Toronto Raptors 51-31
Washington Wizards 49-33
Detroit Pistons 37-45

#1 Houston Rockets vs #8 Indiana Pacers
#2 Boston Celtics vs #7 Memphis Grizzlies
#3 Cleveland Cavaliers vs #6 Atlanta Hawks
#4 Toronto Raptors vs #5 Washington Wizards

Western Conference
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors 67-15
Los Angeles Clippers 51-31
Sacramento Kings 32-50
Los Angeles Lakers 26-56

North West Division
Utah Jazz 51-31
Portland Trail Blazers 41-41
Seattle SuperSonics
Las Vegas

South West Division
San Antonio Spurs 61-21
Oklahoma City Thunder 47-35
Dallas Mavericks 33-49
Phoenix Suns 24-58

Centra Divisionl
Milwaukee Bucks 42-40
Chicago Bulls 41-41
Denver Nuggets 40-42
Minnesota Timberwolves 31-51

#1 Golden State Warriors vs #8 Chicago Bulls
#2 San Antonio Spurs vs #7 Portland Trail Blazers
#3 Utah Jazz vs #6 Milwaukee Bucks
#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs #5 Oklahoma City Thunder

Yes, the West would still be stronger than the East, but not by as much and it would make more sense geographically. The only division that would really have to travel far is the Eastern Central Division and that's just because the teams are spread out. If this was the East-West divide, the East would have had 3 of the top 5 teams via win percentage and Memphis and New Orleans would have had better records there also.

I have just never believed that the league should get rid of the the Conferences because I don't think it should take such unprecedented action just because franchises have done a bad job at team building, as the East has done over the last several years. This would geographically fix some of the imbalances and make the East a little more competitive with the West at the same time.

As for the season and postseason, I would reduce the regular season to 70 games. 35 at home, 35 on the road, 18 games against division opponents (face them 6 times each), 17 against opposite conference, 35 games against the rest. Postseason would remain best of 7 in all series. While winning division guarantees postseason berth, seeding is based on overall record.

Saddletramp
07-28-2017, 03:52 PM
^^^^Houston won't be moved. Minnesota will be first then Memphis, then New Orleans then OKC. The Texas teams won't get split up.

And why did you put Charlotte in with Indy, Houston and Memphis and then New Orleans in with Orlando, Atlanta and Miami?

I didn't read past that.


ETA: What the hell are the Suns doing? And they won't put two new franchises together. Chicago and Milwaukee in with Denver? Huh?


Seems like every few months expansion gets brought up and weird realignments like this happens. No offense, but this is the worst one I've seen.