Monday, April 19, 2010

New NBA Playoffs Structure

Read this article on Bleacher Report

So, I've always had a problem with the way the NBA playoffs are structured. Most of the time, the first round is basically not worth watching, since every round is a 7 game series and the higher seeded team wins a huge majority of the time. Also, the overall competitive intensity of these games is low because one team is just overmatched. Here is my proposal to make the NBA playoffs more exciting. This diagram is the structure of the playoffs in the Austrailian football league. It may seem a little complicated at first, but here's how it works:

This would be the structure for 1 conference:

Round 1: All matchups are a best of 3 series with the higher seed having home court advantage
  • 1st Qualifying Final (QF): 1st seed vs. 4th seed
  • 2nd Qualifying Final: 2nd seed vs. 3rd seed
  • 1st Elimination Final (EF): 5th vs. 8th
  • 2nd Elimination Final: 6th vs. 7th
Round 2: Matchups are a best of 5 series, higher seed gets home court advantage
  • 1st Conference Quarter-final (CQF): Loser of 1st QF vs. winner of 1st EF
  • 2nd Conference Quarter-final: Loser of 2nd QF vs. winner of 2nd EF
Round 3: Matchups are a best of 5 series, higher seed gets home court advantage

  • 1st Conference Semi-Final (SF): Winner of 1st QF vs. winner of 2nd CQF
  • 2nd Conference Semi-Final: Winner of 2nd QF vs. winner of 1st CQF
 Round 4: Matchups are a best of 7 series, higher seed gets home court advantage
  • Conference Finals: Winners of 2 SFs
Round 5: Best of 7 series, team with better regular season record gets home court advantage.
  • NBA Finals: 2 conference champions
Here's why this would work: First off, you start out with matchups with teams that are closer in terms of seeding, which SHOULD translate into more exciting competitive games. 2nd, you get many more different mathups between different teams, so it will create more variety. 3rd, teams in the top 4 seeds of each conference will have a second chance even if they lose their first round series. This way, if a good team just has trouble with a specific matchup, they are not out of the playoffs entirely, they get another chance. 4th, this system would have just as many games, and the games would be more exciting, so it makes sense from a business perspective. The current playoff system isn't really exciting until the conference finals, this system would create much more urgency in the early rounds for everyone. Come on David Stern, if you are reading this, make it happen.


  1. interesting..could work but not the way it is set-up. First of all you can't have the beginning seedings like that...1 can't play should just be a regular 1v8/2v7/3v6/4v5..b/c otherwise it is more beneficial to be the five seed than the one seed..but change that and i'd watch it.

  2. you missed the whole point . . . to make the beginning more exciting. The higher seeds play each other early because they get a 2nd chance if they lose. 5th-8th seeds are out if they lose.

  3. nevermind you're right, i didn't look at it close enough

  4. looking at it more closely the only drawback i see is getting the 1v2 game earlier than the finals..but that 's not that big of a deal. Send this to stern.

  5. look more closely, 1 vs. 2 would still occur in the finals if the 2 wins the first series against the 3, and then wins in the semis. The only way the 1 would meet in the 2 in the semis is if the 2 loses to the 3 in the first round, and then the 2 wins in the 2nd round. The higher seeds get a bye to the semis if they win the first round.

  6. that's what i'm saying, if one wins and two loses then wins, its one v two in the prelim finals...and if one loses and wins and two wins, its one v two in the prelim finals...but like i said its not a big deal because that will rarely happen.