The NBA playoffs begin this past weekend and you can't help but notice the imbalance in the standings. You have one conference dominating in their win totals and missing the playoffs while the other has records under .500 yet still get in as the eighth seed. For quite some time now, the Western Conference has managed to a league of its own when it comes to competition, while the East suffers with the teams you yawn about.
Keep in mind that playoff balance was discussed during the leagues Board of Governors meeting and CommissionerAdam Silver said there was a "robust discussion" regarding the imbalance between the two conferences, but that seeding the teams with the 16 best records, regardless of conference, likely would be left for future deliberation. In other words, the playoffs the way they currently are won't be changing any time soon. Guess you can blame the bottom half of Eastern Conference GM's for that.
Earlier this year it was suggested that a new playoff system be created where there would still be 16 teams, but instead of two conferences having their own seeded playoffs, instead there could be combined bracket, almost like the NCAA tournament. In the new system the top six teams would be division winners in order of best to worst record, while seeds 7-16 would be the remaining 10 best records in the NBA. Here's what this new plan would look like if applied today.
In this system, you have the teams that won the division guaranteed one of six seeds, and just about anybody can be upset, unless your Milwaukee or Boston (odds are obviously not in their favor for upsetting anyone.) In this new proposed system, you have 9 teams from the West and 7 teams from the East. I know you're used to 8 and 8 but I believe Oklahoma City deserves to be in the playoffs more than Brooklyn does, and this new system supports that.
There would be no series that would be considered easy for any team in this new system and think about the match ups that you would see just in the first round! LeBron James vs Anthony Davis? Rockets vs Thunder? Chris Paul vs Derrick Rose?
There has been an issue with balance in the NBA for years now. This would solve that balance issue. The teams that get in have to play their best every series, and the teams that miss the playoffs build their roster through the draft and free agency so they can eventually get in. What do you think?