While the idea has definitely been floated, don’t expect the NBA to switch to a 1-16 playoff format anytime soon.
At least, that seemed to be the message from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, during an appearance on the Denver Nuggets radio network Thursday night.
“We’re not ready to make a change yet,” Silver said.
The commissioner cited geography for the main reason to keep the format as is — with the top eight teams from both the Eastern and Western conferences qualifying for the postseason.
“We’re serious about looking at it. We’re far from a place where there’s a solution,” Silver said. “Of course it makes sense to seed teams 1-16 in the league but we have two conferences that are geographically apart.”
Silver also mentioned that a new schedule would need to be created for the purpose of balance. As it stands, teams from each conference only play each other twice.
“To move from a balanced schedule it would require a lot more travel on behalf of the teams,” he said.
That type of travel, Silver added, could also be a hindrance in the postseason.
“You can also end up in the first round with Portland playing Miami,” he said. “To crisscross the country it adds enormous fatigue to the players and it would cut down on the quality of the competition and also potentially lead to more injuries.”