NBA: What would happen if the Playoffs were seeded 1-16?
With the East and West conference being unbalanced in talent, it is quite possible that the NBA switches to a 1-16 entire league seeding next season. It has been the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the past three years. If it happens to be for four consecutive seasons, this is a bad look for the league and I am sure they want a change.
At times, there are teams that are seed 5 through 8 in the West that might be better than teams 3 through 4 in the East. However, if this were to happen, there would be many questions about travel and why bother with having conferences at all, right?.
There is a point to that, but you still need divisions to balance everything out. It would just look weird without divisions and conferences. What would the match-ups be in the first round if this went into effect this season?
(16) Los Angeles Clippers (30-26) vs (1) Houston Rockets (44-13): The only thing that would spark interest in this series would be the locker-room incident that took place back in January at the Staples Center but other than that, the Houston Rockets are a much better team than the Clippers. Houston is 28-1 this season when Clint Capela, Chris Paul, and James Harden all start in the same game.
The Rockets would sweep the Clippers.
(9) Indiana Pacers (33-25) vs (8) Washington (33-24): Victor Oladipo is having a great season for the Pacers and they are surprisingly having a good season. They seem to be just fine without Paul George. The Wizards have Bradley Beal and John Wall, which might be one of the best backcourt's in the NBA.
Washington should win this series in five games, but I get the impression Indiana would take them to six or seven.
(13) Portland Trail Blazers (32-26) vs (4) Boston Celtics (40-19): The Trail Blazers could very well be a bracket buster. This would be a great matchup for them. Portland would take Boston to six or seven games because of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Both benches aren't deep, but the bench that gives their team the most support would most likely win the series.
Celtics would win this series in seven games.
(12) Denver Nuggets (32-26) vs (5) Cleveland Cavaliers (34-22): Cleveland doesn't have a great defense and Denver's shooters would win them a game or two in the series. It wouldn't be surprising if it went seven because teams aren't used to the high altitude in Denver. At the end of the day, the Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James and the Denver Nuggets don't.
The Cavaliers would win this series in six games.
(15) New Orleans Pelicans (31-26) vs (2) Golden State Warriors (44-14): These two teams met in the Playoffs in 2015. Anthony Davis was younger, but he played great despite the Pelicans getting swept in that series. Davis maybe would carry the Pelicans to one win in the series, but the Warriors would be just too much for the Pelicans and this series would be a sweep.
(10) Milwaukee Bucks (32-25) vs (7) Minnesota Timberwolves (36-25): There would be so many stars on the court in this series. Giannis Antetokounmpo might be the best player on the court, but don't sleep on Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins. Both of these teams are young and raw, and they are also still a couple of years away from being serious championship contenders. This would be a back-and-forth series. The team that takes care of the ball would win this series. Minnesota would win this series in seven games.
(14) Philadelphia 76ers (30-25) vs (3) Toronto Raptors (41-16): It could be possible that the Philadelphia 76ers would bust people's brackets here, but I don't' see it for a couple of reasons.
1.) The 76ers are young and their key players get injured. 2.) The Raptors have one of the best second units in the NBA and the 76ers wouldn't match it. The 76ers would win one game at home, but the Raptors would win this series in five games.
(11) Oklahoma City Thunder (33-26) vs (6) San Antonio Spurs (35-24): The Spurs have had a very methodical system all season long, but that would be tough to use against the Thunder. The Oklahoma City Thunder play a fast up-tempo game and the San Antonio Spurs like to dictate the pace of the game.
In a series like this, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, or Carmelo Anthony would take over. Other than LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs really don't have anyone to take over because of Kawhi Leonard being sidelined still.
The Thunder would win this series in six games.