NBA Could Change East vs West Playoff Format


First it was the NBA All-Star Game that ditched the traditional East vs. West format. Now, it could be the NBA Playfs that undergo a change.

At a press conference during the NBA All-Star weekend, NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the possibility eliminating conference affiliation and ranking all playf teams 1-16 once the post-season begins, which would allow two teams from same conference competing for the NBA title.

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The top eight teams from each conference would still make the playfs but the seeding would not be based on which conference the teams are from. 

“You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in the Finals,” Silver said, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “You could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else. So we’re going to continue to look at that. It’s still my hope that we’re going to figure out ways.”

“Maybe ultimately you have to add even more days to the season to spread it out a little bit more to deal with the travel,” Silver said. “Maybe air travel will get better. All things we’ll keep looking at.”

As Silver noted, the main obstacle is travel. For instance, if the season ended today the #3 Boston Celtics would take on the #13 seed Portland Trail Blazers in a cross-country first round matchup.

At this point, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says the idea is just conceptual and there are no plans for a vote but it is the furthest Silver has gone in considering a change to the post-season format.