We’ve all heard it before somewhere or another. The NBA playoff format is in need of some adjustment. Whether you agree or disagree, there’s popular media belief that the 8th seeds in each conference should disappear. Some people would rather see a complete 1 through 16 seeding to include those “best of the West” teams that normally don’t make it. The talent and competitiveness between the conferences has been lopsided in recent years (one can make an argument against that notion for this season). With all that said, we decided to give the people what they want. Thus, a college style NBA playoff bracket was birthed! The 2017 NBA playoffs are here!
We took the top 16 teams in the league (based on finishing W-L record) and re-created the playoffs using the bracket format. Each match-up was still a best-of-7 series with the winner advancing to the next round. All match-ups were simulated with NBA2K17 on the Xbox One platform. Wondering who was Finals MVP? None other than Kawhi Leonard of course. In the simulation he averaged 23 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.7 steals.
With players getting adequate rest during the playoffs (no back-to-backs) this system would work regardless of the early cross conference match-ups. For those seasons where a 50-win Western Conference team does not get in, this would alleviate that issue. The eventual NBA champion would still require 16 victories to achieve this great feat. The pool of teams would be considered the best of the best, where only the strong survive. Perhaps this would eliminate the theory that the top heavy teams (Cavaliers and Warriors) would have a cake walk through the respective conferences. Either way, this is the perfect visual of what COULD happen. With the league looking for innovative ways to entice fans and enhance competition every summer, who knows what’s to come. We all have to wait and see. But until then, let the speculation continue!