You know those Group Stages we love so much during the World Cup? The NBA could be adopting that concept for their post season as they ramp up a plan to play @ Disney.
And I am all for it!
The way I see it is this, a champion is a champion, I don’t think we should diminish the accomplishments of a true test team just because the playoffs vary slightly from what we’ve seen in the past. You still have A) Play games. B) Win games C) You have to do it against the best of the best. Sound like a champion to me. So I’m not taking anything away. But, I do think that if you’re going to present the product differently, you might as well try some new things in the way things are structured. We are so accustomed to entertainment chaos at this point, what’s the difference? And you might stumble upon something that’s better than the way it was done. So, I’m all for it.
Here's the potential plan as detailed by Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer:
The 16 current playoff teams would qualify for the group stage, plus the four teams with the next-best records (Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, and Spurs). The remaining 10 teams would be done for the season. The survey sent to each general manager noted that “tiers” would first be created using the regular-season standings to ensure competitive balance between the groups.
Groups could then be randomly drawn, with one team from each tier going into each group. The NBA is working on approaches to fairly balance the groupings, such as limiting each group to only three Western Conference teams, according to multiple front office sources. Drawings for the group stage could be televised, league sources say.
Based on the current standings, the tiers would be:
- Tier 1: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers
- Tier 2: Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
- Tier 3: Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, 76ers
- Tier 4: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Nets, Magic
- Tier 5: Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs