The bosses of the league are considering an option in which instead of the usual first round of the playoffs a group tournament will be held.
The top 20 league teams will take part in this group stage. They will be divided into five brackets according to their result in the current regular season. After the draw, the clubs will be divided into several groups in which all teams will play each other twice. The two best teams from each group will go to the next round, where the games will continue in the usual format with knockout game series of up to 4 wins.
Why this solution is profitable?
Due to the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the season was suspended and became impossible to play all the missed games. Therefore, the group stage of the playoffs becomes a great alternative to the rest of the regular season.
Also, it will help with the finanсial situation. The NBA will create maximum interest and maximize income in a crisis to try to get back at least part of the financial losses.
Now about the shortcomings
The first problem is that this format of the games is beneficial only for top teams and middle-class teams because they will get grouped according to the results of previous games. Those who failed to score enough points will “rest” for the summer.
Another problem that any group stage has is sowing, which does not take into account the strength of the teams. If you take the net formed as a result of the regular season, the Toronto, Utah, Indiana, Orlando, Sacramento groups and even with the restriction of “no more than three Western teams on the bullet” can come out of your hand, combinations like Lakers, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, New Orleans and Clippers, Miami, Houston, Brooklyn, and Portland.
It will happen
The league, which had already considered such a format, could not put it to the vote systematically. Now, finally, it can be embodied under the label “experiment”: who among you does not want Harden and Giannis to play for a ticket to the finals or LeBron and Kawai to fight for the championship trophy? We would like to see if Giannis has enough savvy to play against different models of defenses and not be a whipping boy. What about you?
The group stage of the playoffs is a terrific and extremely difficult test, and we have no idea how you can not want to watch it. So, Adam Silver, we want to see it!
What do you think about a group tournament? Is it the right solution? Tell us in the comments.
Also, you can read about for the First Time in NBA History, a woman can become a head coach.