If I ran the NBA!
Well, peepz, I told yall, i f i go bored enough and Sat down I'd do a complete Overhaul of the NBA to include Playoffs Formats, Game Schedules, and most importantly Conference Rescheduling.
This years playoffs were probably the most unwatchable, Ive ever seen in my 20 + yrs of watching Basketball (including archived games Ive watched)..After Golden State and Dallas, the only "WATCHABLE" games left were San Antonio vs. Phoenix, and we only stomached those because they were riddled with controversy...The current format is to lengthy, has far to many teams (16 thats a little over half the league) and requires nearly 2 months to finish it. By the way, it serves as the longest running regular season of the big 3 ..
My first change would be to shorten the season. 82 games stretched across 6 months is torture. Id shrink 82 to 52 and 6 months to 4 . This allows for each team to play each other at leas once in the season, and allow for games against rivals and conference/divisional foes..My breakdown is as follows:
25 Games Against Everyone in the NBA not in your division (annual flip flop of home scheduling)
10 against divisional rivalries
10 additional games against the remaining teams of the conference
05 Games against an additional Opposing conference foe
02 Star Laced Rival Games..Ie Lebron vs. Carmelo or Kobe vs Shaq.
By limiting how much you can see the star from a another team it keeps the fan wanting more..Ie, if youre not scheduled to see Lebron in 08, you know he's gonna come to your city in 09 so that would increase ticket sales that night..
My Second Change to the Current Format would be to Re-organize the NBA's current Conferences..Did you know, the NBA is the only one of the Big-3 who divides the Conference by East and West. Its really limiting. Baseball and Football know this, thus they made conferences not based on location, but by expansion. My new conference plans for the NBA would look like this:
National Basketball Conference
American Basketball Conference
At First Glance, I realize the ABC Southern conference is bad, but in its defense, its no more worse then the Atlantic Division is now of the current format. This schedule would allow for better quality games and more exposure of the NBA's talent. Rather then have all your best talent on one side of the Basketball Globe, it would be spread out equally and it would pave the way for better playoff matchups.
Playoff format, now this is where it gets tricky..Instead of the old 16 teams duke it out format, we take from Baseball's structure. Each Divisional winner gets in, and one wildcard team.
The highest seeded Team would face the wildcard,((unless wildcard is in its division then it would face the lowest divisional winner) and the 2 divisional winners would pair off.
Example: Using my structure the teams highlighted in Yellow all won there Divisions and the Red teams are the wildcards it would look something like this:
Round 1 NBC
2Chicago Vs 4Houston
1Dallas Vs. 3Utah
Best OF 5 Series
Round 1 ABC
1Phoenix Vs. 3Orlando
4San Antonio Vs. 2Detroit
Best of 5 Series
Round 2 Conference Championships
1Phoenix Vs. 2Detroit
1Dallas Vs. 2Chicago
Best of Seven
Dallas Vs. Phoenix
Best Of Seven
The entire Playoff Process would not last longer then 6 weeks total. If you'll notice, the teams with the best records in the NBA this season ended up in the Finals playing the best teams possible along the way. Now with everything in life, there will be problems with this, IE the younger talent not making it to the playoffs. This in my opinion would make front office guys do a better job evaluating talent, and place a stronger emphasis on free agent signing and drafting. Before its asked, I actually like the NBA Draft process, its a lottery, so even though dogging it gets you more balls, its not guarenteed you'll win.