NBA commissioner Adam Silver does not believe it’s time to rebalance the Western and Eastern Conference or make any changes to the league’s playoff format.
The imbalance of the NBA’s two conferences and how it affects playoff seedings was just one of many issues Silver addressed at Wednesday’s board of governor’s new conference.
“Ultimately [two years ago] we concluded that given all the focus on sports science, health of our players and impact of travel, it didn’t make sense, at least at this time, to move to a rebalanced schedule because we played an imbalanced schedule,” Silver said via ESPN.
“Ultimately I don’t recall the precise calculations, but it resulted in significantly more travel for our teams, especially for those teams on the coast. So the conclusion was at least, given the state of science on travel, we are better off staying in the conference system the way we have it and of course same implications for the playoffs.”
Silver went on to say that the 16-seed playoff format was a popular idea when it was proposed.
“Will we look at it again? I assume we will,” Silver said. “I think for the league, many of us felt that a 1-through-16 playoff made more sense and maybe there’s also the potential, in some ways a separate issue, should you reseed after every round as some leagues do? I think those are things we will continue to look at, but it is not at the top of the agenda right now.”
The Boston Celtics, who were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season, would’ve finished fourth in the Western Conference. The Eastern Conference also lost three of its iconic stars, Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Paul Millsap, to Western Conference teams this offseason.