Mind of Michael: NBA playoff thoughts - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Mind of Michael: NBA playoff thoughts

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The Lookout Sports Editor Michael Leek

Michael Leek

By Michael Leek
Sports Editor

There are different types of formats that different sports use for their playoffs. I think some formats are better than others, but it all depends on what sport they are applied to.

The NBA has the worst playoff format, though, and it does need to be changed. My first gripe with the NBA’s playoff format was adding the play-in games.

I know other sports and lower levels of basketball do play-in games, but it does not work well with the NBA. The teams play 82 games throughout the whole season, and the first eight seeds in each conference earn their right to play in the playoffs. Now you’re telling me the 10 seed, which might be five games behind, can bump the seven seed right out of their earned spot in the playoffs.

The length of the NBA season may need to be changed as well, but that is an entirely different conversation.

Once the play-in games are done the playoffs will begin, but every series is a seven-game series. This almost always guarantees that the better team or higher seed will win. Particularly the one, two and three seeds. However, in recent history, we have seen a few seven-seeds win their first-round matchups.

The seven-game series are too long for the first round, and it feels like the playoffs start off to a slow drag.

A solution to this would be to implement a similar format to what the MLB has for its postseason. Start off the first or second rounds with lower amounts of games. For the NBA maybe it could start with a best-of-three in the first round, up it to a best-of-five for the next round, and then a seven-game series for the conference championship and finals.

That solution could help keep earlier rounds of the playoffs exciting, and we may even see more underdogs get further into the playoffs.

The NFL’s playoff format is perfect for football and the one-game elimination works perfectly for collegiate basketball and football as well.

Most sports have a sound playoff format, but the NBA’s just does not work for me. There are other solutions to solve this problem, because I am not the only basketball fan who feels this way. The NBA can look to other sports with a similar competitive factor and try to implement things from their playoff formats.



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