NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he will take a “fresh look” at including the 16 best teams, regardless of conference, in the playoffs.
Silver made the comments while attending Friday’s game in San Antonio between the Spurs and the Phoenix Suns.
The NBA has faced criticism for its playoff format, especially considering the disparity between the Western and Eastern conferences. The Eastern Conference is guaranteed to have at least one playoff team with a record below .500. In the Western Conference, one team with at least 47 wins (12 games above .500) will not make the playoffs.
“I don’t know that there will be movement,” Silver told Spurs broadcasters Bill Land and Sean Elliott during the game. “My initial thought is we will take a fresh look at it. When these conferences were designed it was in the day of commercial (air) travel. It was very different moving teams around the country.
“In this day and age when every team is flying charter it changes everything. It’s one of the reasons we moved back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for this year’s Finals.”
Changing the format to the top 16 teams instead of the top eight from each conference would include more teams from the West than in the East and could possibly eliminate an East vs. West matchup in the NBA Finals. The seedings would also be significantly changed. Heading into Saturday, the top three teams and seven of nine are in the West.
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