Last week, ESPN reported that the NBA would consider changing the current playoff format by re-seeding the teams 1-16 (still the 8 from each conference). Now, Zach Lowe is reporting there may be another change on the arisen.
While there is no immediate plan to make this change – if they ever do – there have been real discussions about creating a play-in tournament for the final playoff spots. The potential change would create the following according to Lowe:
[T]wo four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game nabbing the seventh spot, sources say. Meanwhile, the ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.
Which would be awesome! And is yet another reason the NBA is the most progressive league going and is gaining ground on the NFL by the minute.
This idea would be an entertaining spectacle that would lead into the playoffs. One of the few issues the NBA has is that late in the season the teams fighting for the final seeds are facing teams that have either checked out, or are not willing to put their top stars on the court with their playoff seeds already wrapped up.
If this rule was hypothetically in place this year – using the current standings – we would be in for a real treat:
Then for dessert, it would be the new-look Pistons led by Blake Griffin taking on Kemba Walker’s squad to face the loser of the 76ers and Heat matchup to lock up the final playoff spot. Likewise for a meeting between Rookie of the Year leading Donovan Mitchell taking on the most underrated team in the NBA, the Clippers.
While this may be years away from becoming a reality, if/when it happens, the NBA should be saying …