Previously, I wrote an article outlining how changing the playoff format to the top 16 teams regardless of conference could result in better, more competitive playoff games.
Though this was a good idea, it would be difficult to execute due to logistical problems involving distance between teams and timing.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the NBA has been exiled to a closed “bubble” environment in Orlando, Florida, making now the perfect time to try this new playoff format.
Firstly, one of the biggest issues before with changing the playoff format to the top 16 teams regardless of conference was the possible long distance travel.
Now with essentially the top 22 teams in the league residing in the same place, travel distance won’t be an issue at all.
Additionally, a big issue with this new playoff format was the amount of time that the league had to get the playoff rounds completed.
With long distances between eastern conference and western conference teams, it will take longer to travel.
With more time needed to travel and needing to give players more time to recover, it would prolong the series.
This factor could interfere the NBA’s scheduling and broadcasting availability. Now with all teams that would compete being in the bubble, this wouldn’t be an issue.
Lastly, the COVID-19 outbreak halted the NBA season, distrusting teams’ momentum, rhythm, etc.
A new playoff format that incorporates the top 16 teams regardless of conference seems fair given the hindrances that teams had to endure due to this pandemic.
Furthermore, with all teams in one location, now is the perfect time to try this new playoff format.
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP