Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Restructure the NBA Playoffs?

What would happen if we experiment and let 16 best teams in, kicking everyone else out the door and and making them take a massive, contemplative shit aided by generous use of fiber?

This year is just weird when you consider that a 48-win team like Golden State isn't making the playoffs, and meanwhile teams mired in mediocrity like the Cavs, the Bullets (FUCK "the Wizards" I do what I want), the Raptors, the Sixers and... wait for it... the 37-44 Atlanta are bringing up the rear.

The Cavs? 4th place in their conference? At 45-36?

But then, would a restructuring actually help out a season like this one?

Here are the standings right now:

1 Lakers (57-25)
2 N'Awlins (56-25)
3 Spurs (55-26, who could actually drop to sixth if they lose to Utah tonight)
4 Jazz (54-27)
5 Rockets (54-27)
6 Shaq (54-27)
7 Mavericks (50-31)
8 Nuggets (49-31)
9 Warriors (48-33, left out of the playoffs, in the cold with no pants on)

1 Celtics (65-16 holy shit Kevin Garnett is awesome)
2 Pistons (58-23)
3 Magic (51-30)
4 LeBron James' Shoulders (45-36)
5 Bullets (43-28)
6 Raptors (41-40)
7 Sixers (40-41)
8 Hawks (37-44)

Taking every team's record into account, we shuffle it like so:

1 Celtics (65-16)
2 Pistons (58-23)
3 Lakers (57-25)
4 N'Awlins (56-25)
5 Spurs (55-26)
6 Jazz (54-27)
7 Rockets (54-27)
8 Shaq (54-27)
9 Magic (51-30)
10 Mavericks (50-31)
11 Nuggets (49-31)
12 Warriors (48-33)
13 LeBron James' Shoulders (45-36)
14 Bullets (43-28)
15 Raptors (41-40)
16 Portland (41-40)

The brackets would actually look like:

1 Celtics
16 Portland

8 Shaq
9 Magic

5 Spurs
12 Warriors

4 N'Awlins
13 LeBron James' Shoulders

6 Jazz
11 Nuggets

3 Lakers
14 Bullets

7 Rockets
10 Mavericks

2 Pistons
15 Raptors

* Pro: We end up throwing two sub-.500 teams (as of April 16th) out the window -- The Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks -- and letting in the Warriors, who deserve to be here.

* Con: We end up throwing a compelling 1-8 Western Conference matchup in a Lakers-Nuggets series out the window and are left with a 1-16 matchup of... Portland and Boston. Gee -- wonder who's winning that one.

* Pro: We get a 8-9 matchup between Orlando and Phoenix -- Shaq's old home versus Shaq's new home; Dwight Howard versus Shaq. That would be fun as all hell to watch.

* Con: Phoenix and Boston would meet up in the second round if they won; assuming Phoenix can't pull off an upset (would it be an upset?), we'd be robbed of that much-anticipated Phoenix-San Antonio rivalry in the third round. I want to see Shaq and Duncan go head-to-head again, with Amare lurking for a baseline dunk.

* Pro: We'd be almost guaranteed to see an awesome finals.

* Con: Cinderella team? What's that? Ain't no way the freaking Raptors are going all the way. Then again, this is contingent on the structure being a multi-game series instead of a single-elimination series. I'm not keen on a single-elim NBA playoffs just yet.

* Pro: The teams that hit the draft lottery are the ones that SHOULD hit the draft lottery, in terms of balance: That'd be the WORST 14 teams in the league, not the ones that simply did not make the playoffs on account of a territorial division.

* Con: Won't it be a little exciting to see Portland and Golden State snatch up lottery picks, especially when Golden State is a playoff-quality team and Portland has Greg Oden waiting in the wings?

Any other thoughts on the pros and cons of a playoff restructuring?


Adam said...

(Sorry about the deleted post. I noticed an embarrassing grammatical error, and Blogger offers no "edit post" option.)

I would like to see the NBA could drop the first round of the playoffs, so only good teams get in.

One of the reasons why I have little interest in basketball (and hockey, to a lesser extent) is because the playoffs make the regular season meaningless.

Congratulations, your team made the playoffs. But so did half the league. Expect to be eliminated easily in the first round.

Yes, I'm aware that there are three times in which an eighth place team has defeated a first place team to make it to the second round, but it doesn't happen often enough to make the first round useful. The seventh and eighth place teams have no business participating in the NBA Playoffs.

If only eight teams made the playoffs instead of 16, getting in would be a struggle. Having a decent regular season record would be no guarantee of making the playoffs--most seasons anyway, as you point out. Making the playoffs would be an accomplishment, which would make the regular season interesting, and every team in the playoffs would have a good chance of winning the finals.

It won't happen, of course. There's more money to be made in four rounds of playoffs than three. But let me dream.

Matthew said...

Great idea guys.

However, like I told the chupinator, there is too much money involved. Fantasy sports has made us nutty. We cannot have a brackets for every sport. This would be too much like a video game.

Parody is good for sports and TV...Now we have more to talk about. I wan to see the impossible happen like Golden State beating the Mavs last year. $hit like that.Life is not even so the playoffs can't be either.

If you want to see it that bad then get NBA 2K8 create a playoffs and play all night long. Other wise. Vote for another Lakers vs. Celtics finals. Nah, I really want to see Suns vs. Celtics, sorry Lebron......... You still have no help for the playoffs.......most likely it will be Spurs vs Celtics or Pistons.

Holla >

MrCHUPON said...

Good points Thrax. Pipes, did you start that blog? :) I'm wondering what would happen if they limited the playoff race to 12 teams, with two in each conference getting a 'bye.

Matthew said...

Nah bruh, I just commented on the site you sent me this morning.

I think 1st place should get a by for sure. or a 3-5 game series. 7 games is too many for the 1st round. that is really gonn ahurt the West this year.