NBA Will Now Seed Playoff Teams by Overall Record and Not Division Titles
One of the biggest complaints from NBA fans was how unfair it is to reward a division winner with a top four seed, despite that team having a subpar record. Not anymore. The NBA Board of Governors finally did something about it and decided last night to do away with division winners automatically receiving the top four seeds in the playoffs. Beginning this season, teams in each conference will be seeded based on overall record.
Last year, the Portland Trailblazers finished the regular season with a 51-31 record and the Northwest Division winners were the 4th seed in the Western Conference. Under the new system, the Blazers would have been 6th since both Memphis and San Antonio had a 55-27 record.
I like this new system a lot. Teams will be rewarded for their play over the 82-game season, and divisions will not matter as much as they used to. Many of the game's oldest rivalries are not nearly as heated as they used to be. That was the original goal of the new division structure; to place teams with close proximity to each other in the same division so they could play each other more every season. Now, fans will get what they want. The best teams in each league record-wise will be seeded accordingly in the postseason. Division titles will only be used as a secondary tiebreak. It's a big win for NBA commissioner Adam Silver.