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Report: ‘Strong concern’ against NBA proposal to re-seed final four playoff teams

NBA commissioner Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the announcement of the The NBA-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) at the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar, on July 30 2019. - The NBA-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) unveiled host cities Tuesday for its inaugural season, with Kigali, Rwanda, as the named host city for the first semi-final and championship games. Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Rabat, Morocco and a Tunisian city, Tunis or Monastir, were announced as the sites for BAL regular-season games. The BAL, featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, is set to begin play in March 2020. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)

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The NBA has some big ideas for overhauling its schedule – shortening the regular season to 78 games, putting four teams into a play-in tournament for the final two postseason spots in each conference, re-seeding the final four teams of the playoffs regardless of conference and, most controversially, implementing an in-season tournament.

Teams are skeptical of an in-season tournament. The league has plenty of ideas for generating enthusiasm – $1 million-per-player payout to the winner, counting tournament games extra in the standings and giving the winner an extra draft pick. It’s just unclear whether any will connect.

And that’s not the only major proposal meeting resistance.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Re-seeding the final four teams is the best of all these ideas.

It wasn’t the silver bullet some people made it out to be. With imbalanced schedules, a better team could still have a worse record than a worse team.

But the reform would generally either leave the same teams in the NBA Finals we get now or put higher-quality teams into the NBA Finals.

There are drawbacks. A big one: Teams wouldn’t develop the same rivalries in the conference playoffs. Still, two rounds of conference playoffs leave plenty of opportunities. And the semifinals would sometimes be intra-conference.

Eastern Conference teams might fear a more difficult road to the Finals. But the conferences are usually near equal at the top. The East and West have split the last eight NBA championships.

Of all the proposals to oppose, this probably shouldn’t be the one.