Adam Silver and the NBA continue to take bold, swift steps in their efforts to reform playoff seeding. The most recent proposed step, according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press, is to no longer guarantee playoff spots to division winners.
This isn’t as big of a deal as the last measure, which simplified the seeding process by basing it solely on conference record, but it’s nonetheless another weakening of the NBA’s nonsensical divisions. A scenario in which a division winner would make the playoffs ahead of a non-division winner is hard to imagine – perhaps not as hard in the Eastern conference – so this is mainly symbolic. What would be best at this point is to simply abolish divisions altogether, and it appears as if this is the direction in which the NBA is going.
While there may be more important matters to address than playoff seeding, this is at least one topic which the NBA can take care with little headache or backlash from the players. In fact, taking these small steps to ensure that the best teams get into the playoffs could even endear the players to the league just a little bit more. If anything, making sure the best teams are the ones that play in the postseason is a win for everyone involved – the players, the teams, and the fans.