Basketball Wiretap

NBA Not Prepared To Move Away From Two-Conference Playoff Format

Jul 12, 2017 8:09 PM

The NBA is unlikely to strongly reconsider a change to their two-conference format for the playoffs. 

With the Western Conference significantly stronger than the Eastern Conference, many have called for the NBA to seed the playoffs 1-16.

"We considered it fairly thoroughly about two years ago through a committee process and at the Board of Governors meeting, and ultimately we concluded that given all the focus on sports science, health of our players, impact of travel, it didn’t make sense, at least at this time, to move to a balanced schedule, because again, we play an imbalanced schedule," said Adam Silver. "Teams in the East obviously play each other more than teams in the West, and the notion is if you’re going to see 1 through 16, the only fair way to do it is then have a balanced schedule throughout the season.

"So ultimately I don’t recall the precise calculations, but it resulted in significantly more travel for our teams, especially for those teams on the coast. The conclusion was that at least given the state of travel, the state of science on travel, we’re better off staying in the conference system the way we have it, and of course same implications for the playoffs; the notion, again, of having teams crisscrossing the country in the first round didn’t seem to make sense to our teams.

"I will say that even since two years ago when we looked at making the change and decided not to make it, there’s only one team that had a top-16 record that didn’t make the playoffs, and that was the Bulls two years ago. So I think when you look at the actual numbers, it’s not as out of kilter as you might think it would be. But will we look at it again? I assume we will. I think for the league, I think many of us felt a 1 through 16 playoff made more sense. And maybe there’s also the potential — it’s in some ways a separate issue, should you reseed after every round as some leagues do? I think those are the things we’ll continue to look at, but it’s not at the top of the agenda right now."

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA Playoffs

Mavs Wouldn't Rebuild If They Were In Eastern Conference

Jul 9, 2017 11:03 PM

Mark Cuban is attempting to rebuild the Dallas Mavericks as they navigate a difficult Western Conference. 

Cuban is in favor of a change to the playoff format where conferences are eliminated.

"We're rebuilding. Right?" Cuban said during the ESPN broadcast of the Mavs' win Sunday over the Phoenix Suns in the Las Vegas Summer League. "There's no question about it. If we were in the East, we would not be rebuilding. We'd be handling things completely different. I think I'm going to kidnap Adam Silver and not let him out until he moves us to the Eastern Conference.

"Given where we are, given where the Warriors are and what's happening in the Western Conference, it kind of sealed what we have to do."

Dallas won just 33 games last season and plan to start rookie Dennis Smith Jr. at point guard next season.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Mark Cuban: Eastern Teams Know They Can Get By Doing Less

Jul 7, 2017 9:56 AM

Robert Sarver proposed seeding teams 1-16 for the playoffs by record regardless of conference three seasons ago. Mark Cuban pitched a temporary realignment plan.

"The commissioner's office was not interested," Sarver emailed ESPN this week. "The Eastern teams don't like it."

The league has argued that schedule imbalance and over-long travel make a 1-16 system problematic.

"It needs to be addressed," Cuban emailed ESPN on Thursday. "Seven of the 10 smallest markets are in the West. I really believe Eastern teams know they can get by doing less, and [in some cases] make the playoffs. Because they are larger markets, they will sell tickets and advertising, and get viewers. They get the best of both worlds."

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA CBA, NBA Playoffs