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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    NBA Format Changes

    The NBA is supposedly in discussions to reduce the number of games from 82 to 78, implement a mid season tournament and post season play-in, and reseed the playoffs for the conference finals.

    Personally I like most of these changes, but I don't love the idea of reseeding before the conference finals because it no longer makes any sense at all to have conferences. Not that I'm totally against that, but why go through the trouble of having East/West conferences when they don't mean anything? They already let the top vote getters for the all star game draft their own teams, if they start reseeding playoffs as well then conferences are nothing.

    If this really is the way the league is going, which it was reported by Woj so it's true, then I believe the NBA should eliminate both the East/West conferences as well as the divisions. Why play the first two rounds of the playoffs under the current format when their won't technically be a conference winner?

    Knowing that the league is going in this direction, here is what I believe would be the best way to go for a revamped NBA format. The season should be split between three formats; regular season, group stage, and postseason. All 30 teams would participate in both the regular season and group stage, and 16 teams would make the playoffs. Regular season results would determine where teams play in the group stage, and group stage results would determine who makes the playoffs. All 30 teams would get a chance to make the playoffs in the group stage.

    The regular season would be 58 games total. Every team would play a double round robin with the other 29 teams, one home game and one road game against each team. The group stage would be 20 games total with five groups (6 teams per group) playing a quadruple round robin against the other teams in their group (2 home games/2 road games against each of the other five teams in the group.) That's 78 games before playoffs (58 regular season games+20 group stage games).

    I would divide the groups as such (number indicates teams place in standings in regular season)

    Group 1
    #1, #10, #11, #20, #21, #30

    Group 2
    #2, #9, #12, #19, #22, #29

    Group 3
    #3, #8, #13, #18, #23, #28

    Group 4
    #4, #7, #14, #17, #24, #27

    Group 5
    #5, #6, #15, #16, #25, #26

    The top 3 teams in each group would advance to the playoffs (3x5=15) and the final playoff spot would be determined by a gauntlet between the five fourth place teams. The five teams fighting for the last spot would be seeded by regular season record and play best of one gauntlet with the 5 seed @ 4 seed in round one, round one winner @ 3 seed, round two winner @ 2 seed, and round three winner @ 1 seed. The last team remaining would get the final playoff spot and the playoffs would be reseeded based on combined regular season and group stage record

    Playoff format would all be best of seven, with no reseeding after any round (regular season and group stage determined seeding). Bracket would look like
    1 vs 16
    8 vs 9
    5 vs 12
    4 vs 13
    6 vs 11
    3 vs 14
    7 vs 10
    2 vs 15

    This format, while maybe a bit tough to comprehend, gives all 30 teams a chance to make the playoffs, provides parity in the schedule (all teams play the same schedule in the regular season), and parity in the group stage (perfect balance of the teams). While it doesn't provide a mid season tournament, I'm not sure the league needs one. The NBA has a tough enough time getting teams to care about the regular season let alone a meaningless mid-season tournament.

    In my scenario the regular season would be hugely important because it would determine what group you get in, and the group stage is a play-in stage for the playoffs. Group stage games would have a lot more value than the regular season, but you have to do well in the regular season to get in a favorable group. I believe the group stage is long enough to avoid outright flukes (20 games) but top teams could theoretically choke in the group stage and miss the playoffs. Seasons won't feel as much like a forgone conclusion.

    If the league is really going the route this article claims they are, I believe my format is the best way to go. Thoughts?
    Last edited by TylerSL; 11-26-2019 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    So dumb..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    You can negate conference for playoffs but you cant negate conference in general... I rather enjoy the rivalries of teams in conference

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Personally the format changes I don't necessarily agree with but at the same time I don't really mind it either. The only problem I have though is that like you I also enjoy rivalries in conferences.

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