Before 2004, NBA conferences were divided up into two divisions each, which gave less creedance to the arbitrary feat of “winning your division,” instead opting for the “best record determines the best team” approach. Crazy concept, right?
Well, current NBA commissioner Adam Silver is out to right the wrongs of his predecessors, and eliminate the division system altogether. In fact, he seems to favor a system that doesn’t even consider conference ranking.
The Silver man, chanting down babylon — one injustice at a time. We love it.
[Express News] Conducting an in-game interview with Spurs broadcasters Bill Land and Sean Elliott during the telecast of Friday’s Spurs-Suns game at AT&T Center, Silver said the league needs to consider changes to the format that puts the top eight teams in each conference in the playoffs. …
“I don’t know that there will be movement,” Silver said about changing the format. “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.”
He’s totally right to push for the change, because teams like the Atlanta Hawks and Charolette Bobcats — let alone the New York Knicks — shouldn’t be rewarded for how they’ve played this year. The way we see it, if you lose more than you win, you’re a loser. It’s how they determine who wins a game, why shouldn’t overall record have some objective value as well?
Of course, in a rearranged format, there’s no guarantee that a sub .500 team would be left out of the lower seeds — but it dramatically changes the likelihood of a scenario like this year’s playoff picture from happening, which is a travesty by any measure (the West will have a few teams well over .500 miss the playoffs). Then there’s the actual playoffs, which would include first, second, and third round match-ups between Eastern and Western Conference teams.
That’s not an issue — just a weird thing to think about (Lakers-Celtics Conference Finals, anyone?).
Here’s a list of the six worst teams to make the NBA in the modern era (sorry 1948 Sheboygan Red Skins), just to remind us how unfair the current system is.