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The Return of Real NBA Rivalries

By 03.09.09
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You know how the NBA playoff first round seeding system seems to be an issue every year because teams with better records can get lower seeds than division winners with worse records? It’s good to know that that League office is at least considering different avenues – today the NBA Development League announced a brand-new way of attacking playoff seeds where the top three seeds will get to choose who they play in the first round.

From the D-League’s web site:

For the first time, eight teams will qualify for the 2009 NBA D-League postseason, including the winners of the three divisions along with the five teams with the best regular season records, regardless of division.

New for the 2009 postseason, the three division winners will have the unique opportunity to select their first round opponent from the teams ranked five through eight. The top-seeded division winner will select its opponent first, with the second and third ranked division winners following in that order. The fourth seeded team will play the remaining team.

We’re actually feeling this in the Dime office and we’re interested in how it would play out in the L. We can picture all the drama going into scrutinizing first-round matchups and the media would go crazy trying to predict who the top seeds would select. Plus it could do wonders for rivalries – in a league that’s starved for real rivalries these days – as teams would look to match up with the weakest playoff squads. Remember a few years back when the eighth-seeded Warriors knocked off the top-seeded Mavs?

All cool to think about, but could it actually work?


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