Blogtable: Thoughts on playoff seeding?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Thoughts on new playoff seeding? | 2015-16 All-Bench Team | First woman coach or president?

VIDEO: Is the playoff seeding tweak a good thing?

> It looks like playoff teams will be seeded 1-8 next season based on won-loss record alone, with no lift in the seedings for a division title. Is this a good thing, a bad thing, or much ado about nothing?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comIt’s a good thing, because geography already plays enough of a role in the pursuit of an NBA title in the assignment of East vs. West affiliation. No need to have arbitrary division groupings trump actual W-L records. For those teams to whom a division title still matters, they can hang the banners in their rafters or at their practice facilities and keep dreaming of bigger prizes. But the rest of us don’t have to dwell on what often is a big-fish, small-pond achievement.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comIt’s a good thing.  The regular season is all about compiling the best record for playoff seeding and home-court advantage, and simply seeding 1-8 is the most fair, sensible system.  Portland getting the No. 4 seed based on winning a weakened Northwest Division last season warped the Western Conference bracket and resulted in a 55-win defending champion San Antonio team getting bounced in the first round.  In addition, the Rockets were given home-court advantage over the Clippers in the second round based on winning the Southwest title, despite losing the first two tiebreakers.  Ranking 1-8 makes everything clean and rational.

Shaun Powell, NBA.comIt’s due. Nobody cares about division standings — seriously, who remembers who won the Atlantic two years ago? — and this way, teams will be properly seeded based on record, as they should. Long time coming.

John Schuhmann, Basically a good thing, with a dash of much ado about nothing. All divisions aren’t created equal and schedules within the conference are even enough that division affiliation shouldn’t play a part in how teams are seeded in the playoffs. At the same time, the outrage over seeding has been a bit overblown. You still have to win 12 games to get to The Finals and the best team in the conference will almost always get there, no matter how the teams are seeded.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comIt’s a good thing. Division titles? Plenty of folks who love the game are not sure what divisions these teams play in. They know come playoff time the top 8 from each side of the conference divide are making it into the field of teams vying for a championship, and ultimately that’s all that really matters. There was a time and place for the divisional format and its importance. That time has passed. And we all know the next step is taking the top 16 regardless of conference, but that’s a question for another day.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comIt’s the right thing. Divisions play into regional rivalries, but they shouldn’t be subsidized by a higher seeding. The Spurs will tell you that this is important – their championship hopes would have been elevated by this rule last season.

Lang Whitaker,’s All-Ball Blog: I think it’s much ado about nothing. But at the same time it does make me wonder, why do we still have divisions if there’s no incentive to winning your division? So a team that wins their division can have a banner-raising ceremony? And what happens down the road if a division is particularly terrible, so much so that a team wins their division and still doesn’t qualify for the playoffs? I suppose in some ways this reflects the way the world works today, as we are a flatter planet and less local than ever.



  1. Trello11 says:

    I find it fair each team in their conference plays each other 3 or 4 times during the season and 2 times vs the opposite conference which they represent. so even if a team is a division champion they will not fall too far from seedlings and they would use the division champions as a tie breaker if their is a tie in the wins/loss column of the conference standings. So it won’t matter how they went against the team they are tied with during the season on a h2h basis. Ppl need to relax its the right thing to do look how it ended up looking for the raptors division champs and they got swept by the 5th seed the Wizards.

  2. george@calgary says:

    the only way is gonna be fair is the NBA gotta make sure all teams play against eachother equally that way the standings for the play offs will make sense.its not fair for some teams to play other teams four times while some other teams play the same team one or just two games

  3. harriethehawk says:

    The Hawks would still make the playoffs if it changed to the best 16 teams in league. Bring it in!

  4. diego vazquez says:

    If u really want to see the best teams and the best basketball in the world the NBA should really consider top 16 seeds in the NBA. No disrecpect to the Eastern Conference but its amazing how teams like Boston made instead of OKC. Milwakee made it over Pheonix. Again No Disrecpect but if u were to put OKC in the playoffs instead of Boston im pretty sure the Cavs would have a tougher playoff opponent. The next step for the NBA should be to put the Top 16 teams in the WORLD and ENJOY the best basketball in the world with the best teams playing in the BEST TOURNAMENT in the world THE NBA PLAYOFFS.

  5. diego vazquez says:

    Its a great change just because the simple fact matters that obviously the team with a better record should always get home court advantage. Its not that division titles dont matter, there a great achievement but one whom achieve more wins means there the higher seed. Also the NBA should start looking into the top 16 teams with the best records.

  6. dustydreamnz says:

    It’s a good thing. Conferences are more important than divisions.

  7. sports fan says:

    They should then do away with divisions. Top 8 in the west & top 8 in the east.

  8. ImJusSayin says:

    They should really fix the problem and just make it the best 16 teams in the playoffs. How fair is it that a team in the west has a hard played road to the finals every step, while the East practically has first round warm ups with teams that can’t even win half its games. Its a nice start. I would suggest a reshuffling of the deck and have 2 nationwide conferences like baseball where even time zones played out more evenly on the games played to get the seeding.

  9. Gerald Fishel says:

    I think the division winners should be guaranteed a playoff spot, but once the teams are decided, the seeding should go by best overall record.

    There is still value in being the best among the teams that you play the most that can be related to 7 game playoff series. Winning your division and then missing the playoffs would be BS.

    • Raptor4Life says:

      I agree that division winners deserve a playoff spot – otherwise, why bother having “divisions” at all ?
      The divisions were established to promote regional/geographical rivalries which is good for both the teams and, just as importantly if not more so, the fans. What is good for the fans is good for the league, the fans still are an important component of team/league revenues – if there were no fans, there would not be such enormous television contracts given to the league because advertisers would put their dollars elsewhere (NFL, Nascar, etc.). It is not just game ticket sales and replica jersey sales that the fans bring to the revenue stream.
      But winning your division should only guarantee you the 8th spot – the team’s win/loss record *HAS* to factor final seeding placement to increase “fairness” and improve on the current system.

      • Dieter says:

        You could look at it at so much different ways, and all come with good and bad points:
        – Best 16 in the league go to the playoffs
        – Best 8 of each conference
        – Add a division in the West and in the East and have 2 teams per division qualify for the Playoffs
        – 16 best teams, but only let the best team of the state go to the Playoffs (in this case we wouldn’t have seen Dallas, San Antonio, Clippers in the playoffs last year)
        – Only teams with a +50% record can qualify for the playoffs
        But yes, if divisions exist, than use them, not seeing any team in the playoffs from one division would look bad for the NBA.

      • Trello11 says:

        It is almost mathematically impossible for a division winner not make the playoffs and if it ever did happen it will be the end of divisions as we know it