SBD/April 21, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Silver: Too Early To Say Whether NBA Playoff Seeding Format Will Be Tweaked

Western Conference teams have been stronger than Eastern ones for years
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "has made it clear" that the notion of potentially changing the current playoff seeding format "is the least important of the issues he wants to address," according to Gary Washburn of the BOSTON GLOBE. This comes after "widespread criticism" about the current system, "especially after the disparity between the conferences this season." The Western Conference "has been stronger than the East for several years now, and there have been thoughts about putting the best 16 teams in the postseason, regardless of conference affiliation." But Silver said, "Our desire is to continue regional rivalries in an unbalanced schedule for certain teams to play some teams more often than others." Washburn asks, "Should the league return to a more balanced schedule where the Celtics and the Lakers would meet four times a season and Western Conference teams would have more of an opportunity to notch wins by playing more Eastern teams?" Silver "doesn’t appear eager to make any changes." He added, "The league is doing so well right now, I just want to be very deliberate and cautious about any major changes like that" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/20). Silver: "What's come up is whether we should be reseeding the playoff teams, whether we should have a different process for selecting those teams that do make the playoffs. The sense of the room was that certainly no one was advocating a particular change at this time. It was more of a suggestion that this seems like a good time, when you have a transition of leadership, to take a fresh look at virtually everything. And I would add that to the list of those issues" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/18).
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