The WNBA shook up its postseason format last week in an effort to create more interest and excitement. Its postseason will no longer be divided into Eastern and Western Conference brackets. Instead, the top eight teams will qualify and be seeded based upon their winning percentage. There will also be byes for the top teams during the early rounds.
It’s hard to imagine the NBA rewarding its top qualifiers byes, simply because of the loss of playoff revenue in those markets. The idea of eliminating conference affiliation in the playoffs has been bandied about in recent years, particularly because of the Western Conference’s overall strength.
This season, things appear to have evened out, with more teams owning winning records in the East than the West. But there’s still some merit to adopting a playoff structure similar to the one that the WNBA has embraced. The top eight teams in each conference could qualify, or simply the top 16 teams by record, and then seeded 1-16 regardless of conference affiliation.
That would certainly add a little more intrigue to their early rounds and eliminate the same teams facing each other so often in the postseason. How about a Mavs-Bulls first-round playoff series? Or a Clippers-Celtics opening-round matchup? Or a Cavs-Rockets first-round duel?
The other obvious reason to making such a radical change would be to increase the possibility of the two best teams, regardless of conference affiliation, making the Finals. The Spurs certainly didn’t acquit themselves last week by getting blown by both the Warriors and Cavaliers but prior to those games, San Antonio and Golden State were considered the league’s premier teams. Under the current format, those teams can only meet in the conference finals.
This leads us to our question of the day: Would you like see the league shake up its playoff format and erase conference affiliations when it comes to seedings and matchups?
Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.