Have we ever seen...
such a disparity in the Eastern and Western Conferenc? The 8th seeded Grizzles would be a 3 seed in the East. Atlanta Hawks 7 games below .500 and still a playoff team. I know the Western Conference has been stronger top to bottom than the East for a long time but I can't remember if there was ever such a disparity in playoff records for teams in both conferences.
Hopefully with Stern gone the NBA will start making smart moves faster. A smarter move would be not punishing teams or rewarding them for being in a particular geographic location. On the east coast? Here's a free ride to the playoffs, enjoy!
The East coast has won the last 2 Championships and The Celtics were pretty good before them, The only Western Conference teams that have had title runs are the Lakers and Spurs, the Mavs have one too against the year one Heatles
Recently the East has been very weak at the bottom, the West has a great deal of talent and I think the new Commish should try to correct the playoff format...
I would really like them to Dismantle Conference Exclusive Playoffs...meaning the top 16 teams get seeded accordingly and we get the best possible matchups in the Post Season...The Hawks would be out and teams like T'Wolves and Suns would take the place of the bottom feeder 7th and 8th seeds...
See the commish changing anything anytime soon although I believe that your record regardless of what conference you are in should determine whether or not you go to the playoffs and that should be a no brainer going forth.
But what happens if we get back to the bottom of East having almost equal records to bottom of West. Then what? We go back to the days of old when both conferences get 8 playoff bids?
It's hard to make the case for changing how things have always been based off one bad season in the Eastern Conference. But we'll see what happens.
I have no sympathy for teams like the Suns and Timberwolves, even though they're great to watch and pretty good teams. But before you neg me, think about it this way.
The Suns and Twolves finished 9th and 10th respectively in a 15 team conference. The NBA generously gives teams a greater-than 50% chance of making the playoffs. No other league in the world offers such an incentive for mediocre teams.
As far as "9th-best" teams go...the Suns are pretty good. But they still finished in 9th place in a 15 team conference.
To suggest any overhaul of the league structure to ensure fairness to the 9th placed team in the Western Conference is too dramatic.
P.S. Did I use the term 9th place enough in this post?
Your point that there is more than enough opportunity to make the playoffs (16 playoff spots for 29 teams) is valid, but after that I have to disagree. As I write this, the Wolves are losing to the Utah Jazz, a team that should by tank theory be losing this game. Basically, the Wolves are a mediocre basketball team that's losing to a bottom feeder on Rick Adelman's last game as a head coach. It's embarrassing. But do you know what's more embarrassing? The Atlanta Hawks making the playoffs over a team like Phoenix. That's embarrassing.
Each team plays 52 games against their respective conference. Nothing personal against the likes of Atlanta, Charlotte, and Washington (6-8 seeds), but they played 52 games against the East. How many wins would Atlanta have if they switched conferences? 30? Less? Phoenix probably would have been fighting for a top 2 seed in the East. Denver might have made the playoffs in the East. The Pelicans might've too.
If you switched one team from the East with one team from the West without making any other changes, the team that moved from West to East would win more games, guaranteed.
***Minnesota has come back to tie Utah with 27 seconds to go
Poor argument, so you're saying teams like Atlanta deserved to be in over those other 2 teams?
I agree that it would fairer to have the 16 best teams in the playoffs, but did you guys think about what would be best for the league? Imagine if this system were in place in the recent years. Every year the west would have 10 teams on the playoffs and the east would have only 6. This could bring a decrease of interest in the east coast teams. Going to playoffs is very important for the smaller teams fanbase, this bring excitement and encourage the team to get better for next year. The most important part of the conference and division system is to increase the interest for basketball in the whole country. Smaller teams like charlotte would be harder to maintain and would probably move. So I believe that this system is the best for the NBA, but i agree it isn`t the fairest.
I think the main issue with western conference teams playing eastern conference teams in the first 3 rounds is the increase of travel that would occur. This would result in tired players which may mean longer rest periods between games dragging on the playoffs, which seem to take a long time as it is. From east to west you're crossing a bunch of time zones and you'd need to give players time to adjust. I don't think the benefit of changing the whole system just so one or two teams can make the playoffs from time to time. And if players want to make the playoffs so badly, beat the system. Go to a team that plays in the east.