Welcome back to the Broulis Beat Report and I am going to be talking about the NBA as a whole in this column.
First, the playoffs are a disaster. Just over half the league qualifies for the playoffs. That should never be the case. It’s very rare to see an 8th seeded team beat the number one seeded team. The last time that happened? Golden State defeated the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in 2007.
The NBA needs to reduce the number of teams from eight per conference, to six. If they did that, the first-round of the current setup would be eliminated and I know more people than not would love that. The 3rd seed would play the 6th seed and the 4th seed would play the 5th seed. The top two seeds get a bye-week. The first-round would be a five-game series and after that, the conference finals and NBA Finals would all be 7-game series. This would also eliminate the playoffs stretching out so long.
I’m 99 percent sure that the NBA will never change the current format. So, this is what I would do next. The first-round of the playoffs only need to be five games. After that, the second-round also only needs to be a five-game series. I would listen to arguments about keeping the second a seven-game series, but I think a five-game series would produce more urgency and better play on the court. This would also allow the series winning team to be a little fresher for the next round. The conference finals and NBA finals are perfectly fine at seven games.
The fact that the NBA season drags for so long is hurting the league. There is no reason to begin in late October and end in the middle of June.
With the season lasting so long, teams can afford to have a bad month and still be in contention. The biggest deal is too many players are getting “rest days”. The other problem for the NBA in regards to this dragging season? How about the ratings being down in February? Only the most die-hard of fans are watching the NBA during that month. You might say the same thing for the month of November as well.
In the NBA’s eyes, they prefer quantity over quality. If the NBA cared about quality, the playoffs and regular season wouldn’t be the way they are now.
Something else that needs changed, is how close the camera men are to the court behind the hoop. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies guard, recently ran into a camera man after a layup. They need to be moved back. How far, I don’t know, but this needs to happen.
How about the fans being too close to the court? The fans in the NBA are too close to the action. Now you have famous actors, actresses and musicians sitting there. The music artist Drake, the super fan of the Toronto Raptors, is part of the reason I think these seats need moved back, eliminated or reserved only for players family members or team staff members. I’ve read where fans are talking trash to players during play on the court. While that’s not the worst thing in the world, there is no reason for that.
Move the camera men and seats.
What needs to change the most in the NBA, is the amount of legit title contenders throughout the league.
Currently in the East, I have Milwaukee and Toronto as teams I would put money on, if I were a betting man, which I’m not. Miami, Boston, Philadelphia and Brooklyn are playoff worthy, not title contenders. If I had to pick from those, I’d take Philadelphia is the best team out of that bunch.
In the West, I consider the Lakers, Clippers and Mavericks as title contenders. For the Los Angeles Lakers, I’ve said that they are only a major injury to Davis or James away from falling out of that list. There is something about Denver that I just don’t consider them serious and Houston doesn’t care to play any defense.
Out of 30 teams, I only listed five of them as serious contenders. Everyone else is a schedule filler to me. It’s not like that in the NFL, MLB or the NHL. When mid-market teams are doing well, the league is thriving. Add in a few major markets and it works.
The NBA will never make these changes, but we’re all allowed to do a little wishful thinking.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis