The massive disparity between NBA conferences this season likely will end up leaving some Western teams out in the cold come playoff time.
Entering Friday, 10 of the top 16 spots in the overall league standings were owned by Western Conference teams. Under the league’s current playoff format, two of those squads (the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder) would be left out of postseason play if the season ended today.
In the eyes of commissioner Adam Silver, this is a problem.
“Ultimately, we want to see your best teams in the playoffs,” Silver told CSN Bay Area on Wednesday, via ESPN.com. “And there is an imbalance and a certain unfairness.”
In fact, Silver said he would be willing to discuss a drastic revamping of his league’s playoff system — one that would award one bid to each of the six division winners and de facto “at-large” bid to the remaining teams with the 10 best records, regardless of conference.
“I think that’s the kind of proposal we need to look at. There are travel issues, of course, but in this day and age every team, of course, has their own plane, travels charter,” Silver said. “… It’s something I’m going to look at closely with the competition committee. A lot of owners have strong feelings on it, but I think it is an area where we need to make a change.”
Silver also has expressed openness to conference realignment as a way of leveling the playing field between East and West.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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