NBA Considering "Dramatic" Schedule Changes For 2021-22 Season

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#1
Per Woj and Lowe:

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id...eding-conference-finalists-postseason-play-in

The whole article has a decent amount of detail, but the three basic proposals (which appear to be independent) are these:

1) Re-seeding Playoff Semis By Record: For this proposal, it sounds as if the playoffs would continue as normal (or, see #3 below) until there are four teams remaining, at which point the Conference Finals series would be eliminated and the teams would be re-seeded by regular-season record. Effectively, this would allow two teams from the same conference to meet in the finals, but would still have two from each conference in the final four teams.

2) A Mid-Season "Tournament": This one is weird. There would be a slate of within-division regular-season games (how many, we don't know) that would be played presumably in November/December. Based on the results of these "special" regular-season games, six division winners and two more teams (essentially wild cards) would enter into an eight-team single-elimination tournament to be held around Christmastime (as non-regular-season games). Note that as a result, at least partially, of this in-season tournament, that could add 3 games to some teams' schedules, the regular season slate of games would apparently be reduced to 78 games from the current 82.

3) Ten Teams To Make Playoffs Per Conference: For this proposal, only the top six teams in each conference would get an automatic playoff series. The 7th spot would be awarded in a single-game playoff between the 7th and 8th place teams. The loser of the 7/8 game would play the winner of a 9/10 game in another single game playoff for the 8th spot.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#2
I'm more or less on board with the first and third proposals - in fact as far as the first proposal goes, I'd be in favor of not only immediate reseeding rather than waiting for the semifinal rounds, but also of taking the top 16 records from the entire league without respect to conference.

2) A Mid-Season "Tournament": This one is weird. There would be a slate of within-division regular-season games (how many, we don't know) that would be played presumably in November/December. Based on the results of these "special" regular-season games, six division winners and two more teams (essentially wild cards) would enter into an eight-team single-elimination tournament to be held around Christmastime (as non-regular-season games). Note that as a result, at least partially, of this in-season tournament, that could add 3 games to some teams' schedules, the regular season slate of games would apparently be reduced to 78 games from the current 82.
This one, though, I don't think I can really get behind. The nice thing is that it makes divisions mean something, considering divisions are practically meaningless at this point. But outside of that, would anybody really get behind a non-championship tournament? Especially when it happens in the middle of a season? I can't imagine teams hanging XmasChampionship banners any more than they would hang Summer League banners. Would anybody care at all? I don't see it.
 
#3
I'm more or less on board with the first and third proposals - in fact as far as the first proposal goes, I'd be in favor of not only immediate reseeding rather than waiting for the semifinal rounds, but also of taking the top 16 records from the entire league without respect to conference.



This one, though, I don't think I can really get behind. The nice thing is that it makes divisions mean something, considering divisions are practically meaningless at this point. But outside of that, would anybody really get behind a non-championship tournament? Especially when it happens in the middle of a season? I can't imagine teams hanging XmasChampionship banners any more than they would hang Summer League banners. Would anybody care at all? I don't see it.
They seem to be looking at many of the major soccer leagues as a blueprint for this. At least with soccer there is precedent and tradition behind the in season tournaments that make it worthwhile for the fans and players, not to mention the monetary bonuses. That will be the key; $. If there is enough financial incentive for the players and teams, then it will be competitive and compelling. But yeah, ultimately it could end up a slight upgrade over a summer league banner.

Im on the fence about the whole in season tournament, could be interesting. Could be terrible. I’m all for the reseeding, and I’m with you on 1-16, not just final 4. I think if they went to a 1-16 seeded playoffs they would have to try and play a more balanced schedule between the two conferences.

We will see what the NBAPA thinks about all of this. I feel like the PA wants a shorter regular season but that would mean decreased revenue and lower salaries. We shall see. One thing is sure, Silver is much more open to major changes it seems than Stern was.
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#4
I'm all for the NBA experimenting and trying some new ideas. The days where the 8th seed faces the number 1 seed in the Playoffs should be over with in my opinion. I don't see the point in a Mid-season tournament though. This isn't Soccer where there are tournaments after tournaments which don't really have much merit unless you are talking about the Champions League or the World Cup. That said, I like the 7th and 8th seeds doing a single elimination for a Playoff spot, that would be fun to watch. I'll be anxiously waiting for more details on this as the dates approach.
 
#8
In which stars might use for load management and skip altogether
Which is how a lot of those soccer tournaments work. It seems like a strange thing to emulate without some kind of carrot to offer. Hell even taking the Christmas game off the table is nuts as that would make the perfect nightcap after two marquee games.
 
#11
I'm more or less on board with the first and third proposals - in fact as far as the first proposal goes, I'd be in favor of not only immediate reseeding rather than waiting for the semifinal rounds, but also of taking the top 16 records from the entire league without respect to conference.
That would favour teams from a weaker conference (right now east) because they play more games against weaker opponents, so that inflates their record. A better idea, IMO, is to organize play-in tournament between 7-10 seeds from each conference, than seed all teams based on record, regardless of conference. What I mean is:

7. west - 10. east
8. west - 9. east
9. west - 8. east
10. west - 7. east

Winners play in PO.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#13
Not schedule related, but I think at some point the league is going to have to address the whole "load management" situation. Fans should not have to pay premium prices for tickets to games when the premiere stars take a night off.
Agreed. Should be mandated that "load management" should be, if at all possible, only in front of the home crowd. That will help the situation I think. You want to skip games? It will be your own fans that lose out if you do.
 
#15
Agreed. Should be mandated that "load management" should be, if at all possible, only in front of the home crowd. That will help the situation I think. You want to skip games? It will be your own fans that lose out if you do.
As an international fan, would still **** me off if I travelled all the way to city X to watch the team I support and they rested the stars. Not to mention that a lot of the smaller market cities are not exactly tourist destinations - no offense.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#16
As an international fan, would still **** me off if I travelled all the way to city X to watch the team I support and they rested the stars. Not to mention that a lot of the smaller market cities are not exactly tourist destinations - no offense.
Oh, I agree. There is no "good" solution. But if, in general, your fans see your franchise player 41 times a year at home don't penalize the fans that might only see that player once or twice a year.
 
#17
Not schedule related, but I think at some point the league is going to have to address the whole "load management" situation. Fans should not have to pay premium prices for tickets to games when the premiere stars take a night off.
Isn't it better when a star player misses a few games due to load management than when he misses half of the season because of an injury? I agree that resting players at home is a good compromise. However, when a team plays 4th time in 5 days even on the road, it is reasonable to load manage too.
 
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VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#19
Isn't it better when a star player misses a few games due to load management than when he misses half of the season because of an injury? I agree that resting players at home is a good compromise. However, when a team plays 4th time in 5 days even on the road, it is reasonable to load manage too.
What about if your star player doesn't have to sit out for "load management" at all? It's not load management or injury. And, for the record, they did away with the 4 games in 5 days scheduling IIRC.
 
#21
Not schedule related, but I think at some point the league is going to have to address the whole "load management" situation. Fans should not have to pay premium prices for tickets to games when the premiere stars take a night off.
I have gotten burned so many times going to see the Kings, particularly in the DMC era, in Portland.

And we won't start with what happened in game 82 last year, thank god I skipped that and watched at home because I may be posting from jail had I paid to watch that display.
 
#22
as for #2 it correlates with national cups in european sports. not only in football (soccer) but other sport as well.

i don't see what is going to mean to US fans and teams at all.


for me personally, nat. cup is just a surveillance trophy, nothing more. and i believe in most of a europe, except england.
english FA cup is the oldest competition in the world and since englanders are pretty traditional it means much to them.
first season was held in 1871/72 and back then winner was a english champion. competition was a knockout system from beginning till the finals.
16 years later they switched to a league system but they kept the cup. so, you're not champion if you win, but you're the best team in the knockout conditions.
shortly after, they formed second league, before the WW1 third league too, so that competition became important for clubs from lower ranks if they want to try their luck vs major ones and their form is sharpened for that tournament. or maybe major league clubs who never won a title in a league or didn't won it for decades... draw can be completely random.

rest of europe simply followed english footsteps. first cup, after a couple of years league, but you keep the cup and that's a surveillance trophy.
except in england. maybe this one is the best illustration...


you know, their rivalries can date back 120 years, but that's whole another story


i dont see this concept alive in US...


maybe silver & co want another all star break, so that players of 22 other teams get some rest... there was a lot of talk about star players skipping some games and NBA officials are not happy about it, so one more extended weekend can help a bit... idk
 
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#23
as for #2 it correlates with national cups in european sports. not only in football (soccer) but other sport as well.

i don't see what is going to mean to US fans and teams at all.


for me personally, nat. cup is just a surveillance trophy, nothing more. and i believe in most of a europe, except england.
english FA cup is the oldest competition in the world and since englanders are pretty traditional it means much to them.
first season was held in 1871/72 and back then winner was a english champion. competition was a knockout system from beginning till the finals.
16 years later they switched to a league system but they kept the cup. so, you're not champion if you win, but you're the best team in the knockout conditions.
shortly after, they formed second league, before the WW1 third league too, so that competition became important for clubs from lower ranks if they want to try their luck vs major ones and their form is sharpened for that tournament. or maybe major league clubs who never won a title in a league or didn't won it for decades... draw can be completely random.

rest of europe simply followed english footsteps. first cup, after a couple of years league, but you keep the cup and that's a surveillance trophy.
except in england. maybe this one is the best illustration...


you know, their rivalries can date back 120 years, but that's whole another story


i dont see this concept alive in US...


maybe silver & co want another all star break, so that players of 22 other teams get some rest... there was a lot of talk about star players skipping some games and NBA officials are not happy about it, so one more extended weekend can help a bit... idk
Hmm, with the declining domestic market, and the NBA seemingly punting on the idea of ever regaining an MJ-level domestic audience, I wonder if this tournament is designed to either allow for a “down” period after extensive pre-season international travel (like for us and Pacers this year) or that some of these tournament games would be moved overseas. That way, an overseas audience gets to see “real” games and domestic fans don’t care about losing home games on the schedule. It would also be a “down” time (again) to allow for rest and recuperation from overseas travel.