Adam Silver hints at possible change to NBA playoffs that would eliminate conference championships

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  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed a potential change to the NBA playoffs during his annual All-Star Saturday news conference.
  • Silver discussed the possibility of shifting to a system where eight teams from each conference still made the postseason, but were seeded as a single group regardless of conference affiliation.
  • The change would allow the two best teams to meet in the Finals even if they came from the same conference.
  • Such a change would require a vote from 20 of the league’s 30 owners.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver hinted at a possible change to the NBA postseason during his annual All-Star Saturday news conference.

The potential change comes after years of imbalance between the Eastern and Western Conference, which has occasionally resulted in the two teams with the best record meeting before the NBA Finals. Some have argued for a change that would take the top 16 teams into the playoffs regardless of conference.

The solution Silver hinted at was a compromise of sorts – the playoffs would still consist of eight teams from each conference. The teams would be reseeded 1-16 at the start of the postseason, allowing for inter-conference matchups before the Finals.

“You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in the Finals,” Silver said. “You could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else. So we’re going to continue to look at that. It’s still my hope that we’re going to figure out ways.”

Such a change would require 20 of the league’s 30 owners to vote in favour of the measure, and is still likely a few years away from coming to fruition. Another hurdle will have to do with travel – with teams from different sides of the country possibly playing in the early rounds, extra days of travel would likely have to be added to the schedule as well.

While there is still no plans for a vote on the matter, Silver’s comments are the most clear indication that a plan may be in the works to change the NBA postseason in the near future.

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