When it comes to the NBA playoffs, it’s been apparent over the last few years that the Western Conference has been significantly better than the East. In the past, teams with losing records have been able to make the playoffs in the East because of the lower standards of competition. This creates a bit of a problem though as there are teams in the West with better records than those Eastern Conference teams, although they don’t make the playoffs. NBA commissioner Adam Silver understands this conundrum better than anyone and is reportedly thinking of new ways to fix it.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Silver is looking at adding a midseason tournament to the schedule and is also thinking about a play-in tournament that would guarantee that the best 16 teams in the league make the playoffs. In such a scenario, the eight teams per conference model would be shattered. If a midseason tournament were to occur, it would be reminiscent of the European soccer model found in leagues like the Premier League.
“It’s incumbent on me to constantly be looking at other organizations and seeing what it is we can do better and learn from them,” Silver said. “In the case of European soccer, I think there is something we can learn from them.”
Neither of these concepts are close to becoming a reality but Silver is, in fact, looking into them closely. It may take a few years for them to come to fruition, but it would certainly be interesting to see what midseason tournament would eventually look like.