Rumor: NBA playoffs-only scenario becoming increasingly likely
The NBA is strongly gearing toward a return, aiming to resume play within the next few months after coming to a halt on March 11.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Monday’s edition of “Get Up,” a playoffs-only scenario has become increasingly likely during the league’s latest talks about a proposed return initiative:
“I really think there’s a good chance that this is only gonna be a 16-team playoff,” said Windhorst. “If that is the case, it opens up the possibility for something that Adam Silver has long wanted, which is to seed from 1 through 16 in the postseason and go that route.”
ESPN’s Bobby Marks delineated how the first round of action would look under a 1-16 seeding format, which would feature the 16 teams currently in the playoff picture:
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) May 25, 2020
While seeding like this would deprive viewers of matchups like the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies, it could also make for some fun cross-conference matchups like the Miami Heat versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets facing off against the Indiana Pacers.
Silver and the league will never find a better time to put this experiment to the test without risking complaints about traveling implications.
All 16 teams would play in a bubble environment and the only transportation would be a short ride to the arena. NBA teams would stay, practice, and play at Disney World facilities, allowing for the convenience of scheduling without being limited by travel.
The league could also be able to gauge the TV ratings that come out of this new format, which surely would play a part in pitching this idea for a permanent change in the future.