Change is coming to the NBA playoff picture, as the league announced it has changed the way the playoffs will be seeded.
From now on, the playoff teams will be seeded 1-8 without regard to division championships, a change in format from how the NBA has conducted business in the past. The division winners were guaranteed a top-four seed in the past regardless of record, but now that has changed.
[MORE BULLS: NBA preseason primer: Offseason winners]
The only way division winners will affect the playoff picture is as a second tiebreaker for seeding. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head play with two teams with identical regular-season records, which could determine home-court advantage if said two teams meet in a series.
The Bulls, playing in a division with the juggernaut Cleveland Cavaliers, could benefit from the new format if they finish with a better regular-season record than the other division winners (which was the case in recent years, as well). Of course, there will be questions about scheduling imbalances as teams play divisional opponents more frequently than in-conference foes, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the competition committee took another step in trying to make the playoff system more equitable and efficient.