NBA may potentially have play-in games determine the final playoff seeds
What's the story?
Zach Lowe of ESPN is reporting on a discussion the NBA is having regarding the final playoff teams for each conference. The talk is that they would add play-in games to determine who the seventh and eighth seeds would be for both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
In case you didn't know...
The NBA Playoff format has been at 16 teams since the 1983-84 season when it increased from 12 playoff teams. Since then, the format of the seeding has been tweaked, as well as the maximum number of games in a series for the first round, but it's remained at 16 teams for over 30 years.
The heart of the matter
According to Lowe's report, seeds seven through ten in each conference would play in a three-game round where seeds seven and eight face off and the winner makes the playoffs, the loser of that game would take on the winner of the nine and ten seed game for the eighth and final seed of the conference they're in.
In order for this to take shape, it would need approval from the NBA Competition Committee, become a part of the player's union's collective bargaining agreement, and also 23 of the 30 NBA teams.
During NBA All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner mentioned how they may seed teams 1-16 regardless of conference, and Cleveland Cavaliers' superstar LeBron James would say, "It's cool to mess around with the All-Star Game, we proved you can do that, but let's not get too crazy about the playoffs."
The next time the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement is not up for renewal until the 2023-24 season with the option to opt out the season prior, so this change isn't going to happen for a while, if ever.
As for the NBA, the season gets back into the swing of things Thursday night with six games on the schedule.
While I'm not a fan of just seeding the top 16 teams for the playoffs, I don't completely hate this idea of having a little play-in series before the regular playoffs start. It has worked for the NCAA Basketball Tournament, so it could be something neat for the NBA.
With that said, I still don't think this is the answer to the problems the NBA is trying to solve.