NBA Playoff Format Overhaul Will Mean Additional 40,000 Miles Of Travel
on Jul 06, 2018 09:10 AM EDT
Despite receiving numerous calls, the NBA is highly unlikely to change its playoff format to a 1-16 seeding citing travel issues.
The idea of changing the system was rekindled when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers, hence creating a stronger Western Conference. Both the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors finished above .700 and met in the West Finals last season. The only squad in the Eastern Conference who wound up with the same record was the Toronto Raptors.
Commissioner Adam Silver said that there will be an increase of at least 40,000 miles of travel in the playoffs if the league decides to change its playoff format. The league highlighted that the current playoff format has an average of 90,000 miles of travel. Two years ago, the WNBA changed its postseason format from by conference to the top 8 teams.
"I think ,as I've said in the past, the obstacle is travel, and it's not tradition in my mind ... We are just concerned about the overall travel that we would have in the top 16 teams," Silver said.
Nonetheless, Silver added that he is not closing the doors on the possible change of the format, as he is considering on adding more days to the season. Pundits believe that a 1-to-16 format would result in the same number of games in the regular season against East and West teams.
It will also lead into an additional 150,000 miles of travel according to the estimates of the league. During the 2017-18 season alone, the league traveled a total of 1.4 million miles.
Cuban Responds To Increase Of Playoff Travel
Passionate Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban responded to the league's travel issues, stating that playoff schedules can always be adjusted if needed. The Mavericks, which competes in a tough West side, should at least win 47 or 48 games to be eligible for the playoffs.
"So? Our smartest NBA move of the last decade was to extend the calendar days of the schedule to minimize B2Bs and 4 in 5s," Cuban wrote on Twitter.
In addition, a change in the format would greatly benefit the Mavericks' chances of punching a playoff ticket. Experts say that a 1-16 playoff format would increase the level of competition in the league while giving fans the best Finals imaginable. The Warriors and the Rockets went to distance last season as both teams figured a seven-game series before the former swept the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.