NBA Finals and where to from here?
It’s time the NBA changed the way it did things and yes I’m talking about the current Finals system. We have previously looked at the current AFL season and the flaws in it, today we take aim at the current NBA finals.
The current system has the two conferences split between the East and the West and then the three divisions within each conference. This system as it stands works great there is a real fairness too the system as each team plays everyone within the 82 game season and play within their division and conference to get their positions sorted.
The issue is with the finals and if this year is anything to go by the next couple years may just end up the same with two sides sweeping their way through with little resistance.
With the rise of the so called super teams and the dominance of 2 teams in the east and mediocre teams making the finals with sub .500 records it’s time for the NBA to make a change in how we run the finals.
We can already predict how this upcoming season will go.
The East – Cavs v Celtics in the conference finals with the Heat, Bucks, Wizards, Raptors all who may not all reach the .500 to fill out the rest. Most likely other than the Celtics and Cavs the rest will struggle against the best and even the average from the West.
The West – Warriors need we say more…. Spurs, Rockets, Thunder then it’s a raffle from the Jazz, Grizzlies, Blazers, T-Wolves and Pelicans. Depending on how the rest of the trade period goes you might get a surprise team come through but still going to be unlikely that they will push the top couple sides.
So where to from here, two options that the NBA could follow and both have merit.
Option one – Allow only the highest ranked overall teams to make the playoffs if it means ten teams from the West make it so be it but at least we will have the best 16 teams playing against each other. Rank the 16 teams from top to bottom and have them play off through the same round by round system we have now that way we may just get the Finals series fans deserve. It may be a little bit of extra travel on some teams come finals but the NBA already have measures in for teams travelling with extra days between road trips etc.
The downside to this is the abolishment of Conference championships but let’s face it how many teams to you hear say 7 time conference champions….. none.
Option two – Reduce the amount of teams to make the playoffs to six per conference. The the top two teams in each conference get the first round off while the next four play off in the Elimination best of five series. The Winners then play the top two from the conference in the semi’s to see who plays off in the conference finals. This method would eliminate some of the mediocre teams before the finals started, it would add incentive for teams to not rest players and drop games to try to secure a top two ranking.
Now the NBA are very unlikely to make any changes at all and even less likely to make a change to the finals system. Maybe these are just ramblings of a disgruntled old Bulls fan, but change is inevitable nothing is set in stone anymore. As players and teams change as the game evolves so too must our thinking. We have seen changes before from the first round being a five game series to a seven so there is a precedent to follow that change is ok.