An inside look at the proposed 1-16 playoff seeding for the 2018 NBA Playoffs


Throughout the years of the NBA Playoffs, we’ve grown accustomed to the 1 through 8 seeding in each conference. However, with the recent balance of power shifting West, individuals have grown weary of the current format. Instead, they’d like to see the “best” two teams meet in The Finals as opposed to earlier in the conference.

The Proposal

During this 2017-2018 NBA season, the “powers that be” took a closer look at changing the playoff format. The proposed idea would keep the top eight in each conference, but re-seed them 1 through 16. With private jets available and some finessing of the schedule, it wouldn’t be as difficult for an East team to match-up against a West team.

Taking a look at the playoff teams this year, the decision was made to re-seed them 1 through 16 as per the proposal. It became a little difficult for the likes of the Thunder, Pelicans, Jazz, and Pacers who all sported identical records. Due to multiple teams being tied, the NBA tie-breaker rules were used to determine to correct pecking order. Overall record when facing the other tied teams were taken into consideration. Thus, the results were the Thunder (6-3), Pelicans (5-4), Jazz (5-5) and Pacers (1-5). Other identical records like Spurs-Wolves and Heat-Bucks were pretty simple to look at the head to head regular season match-ups.

It was pretty cool to see that Cleveland still faced the Pacers in the first round. Also, a potential second round match-up with OKC and Houston was still possible. Every first round match-up on paper looked extremely intriguing, with 4 of the 8 series pinning East teams against the West.

The Execution

An NBA 2K simulation was executed to virtually determine the outcome of the proposed playoff format. The results were mindblowing, to say the least.

In the real world, there is some credence to a majority of the match-ups. However, not many folks would buy into the Wizards upsetting the Rockets in the first round.

Not surprising, is the fact that Stephen Curry finished as the Finals MVP. With a stat line of 31.6 PPG, 6.9 RGP, 8.8 APG, and 3 SPG it appears that he was a force to be reckoned with. We know the Warriors are remaining patient with his return from injury. If he makes a comeback and pulls that off, it would be one of the greatest Finals performances of all time.

Overall, the concept of 1 through 16 seeding seems plausible. We’ll continue to keep eyes on the situation and see if it actually comes to fruition.


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