NBA changes playoff format mid-season

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    For years I have questioned the wisdom of having the first round be best-of-five and later rounds best-of-seven. Theoretically, a seven-game series will produce the better team whereas an underdog can sometimes pull off a shocking surprise in a shorter series. So I was somewhat happy to see David Stern announce that the NBA would change the first round to best-of-seven.

    But this year????

    When was the last time you can remember a major sports league changing the rules more than halfway through the current season? I have two explanations for the extremely odd timing:

    1. The NBA is desperate for cash.
    2. This move is aimed directly at the Lakers, who will likely get the 8th seed in the West and scare the living you-know-what out of the Mavericks.

    Again, I think the change is long overdue; I just think it's wrong to change something so major midway through the season.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    1,461
    Likes Received:
    0
    The timing is unusual. It's like a lightbulb went off in David Sterns head in the middle of a season and he realized he can make more money. I don't see the harm in making it now, although some team will probably blow a 3-2 series lead in the opening round this year and say they might have been NBA champs if it wasn't for the mid-season format change.

    I don't like the idea though and would prefer all the series be 3 of 5 except the finals. The best of 5 gives a series an edge, and if a #1 seed loses to an #8 seed then it really doesn't deserve to be champions anyway.
     
  3. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    2,376
    Likes Received:
    3
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,070
    Likes Received:
    926
    Location:
    Michigan
    I like the shorter series, too. Part of the charm and excitement of the NCAA tournament's "one loss and you're gone" is that upsets happen quite frequently. In a 7 game series that rarely happens. While it may help identify the best team, it is a lot less interesting, and the NBA needs to be adding excitement, not reducing it.

    I'm not advocating a single game elimination tournament, but Carl's idea of creating more 5 games series is quite good.
     
  5. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2001
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    102
    What's the big deal? It would only be an issue if they changed the format after the playoffs started.

    I don't prescribe to the notion that the change was made for the Lakers. I think it was made to simply to generate more money.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    But if the Lakers were in the #8 slot, a 7 game series with the #1 seed is much more appealing than a 5 game series.

    The rule change sort of smells stinkily.
     
  8. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Real Name:
    Carl III
    Even with the old rule the playoffs were too long. I always feel like the end of the regular season is like a halfway point rather than starting the final stretch. What is the current setup, 29 teams with 16 making the playoffs? If I were running the show I'd cut it down to seven playoff squads from each conference with the #1 seed getting a first round bye then meeting up with the winner of 4/5 in the second round. Round one would be best of 3, rounds 2 and 3 best of five with the finals being best of seven. Sure that would cut down on the number of games but I'd be willing to bet that the ratings on individual games would go up.
     
  9. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    9,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, that's what I was thinking - basketball's playoffs are too long as it is. I say just drop the first round. With an ~80 game schedule, you've got time to see which teams really deserve to be in the playoffs; it's not like football where every team needs to make the postseason because the season is too short to really tell.
     
  10. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    The change does not go into effect until next season. End of conspiracy theories.
     
  11. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kirk,

    Where did you hear that? All the stories I've seen say it starts this year.
     
  12. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    "What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?"

    "Money"
     
  13. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not a conspiracy theorist who thinks this move was made strictly for the Lakers to win another Championship (what about when they are bad again, will they then move it back to 5 games in the first round). I do think this move was all about money. By increasing the first round of the playoffs it means more games and more commercials for the league to make profits. Having a longer first round may also tire out teams a bit more causing them to lose a game or two they shouldn't in the later rounds, making these series longer as well (and hence more money for the NBA).

    The players take for the playoffs is also supposed to increase. I am guessing they have been lobbying for an increase for awhile, so as a compromise, the league agreed to pay them more but they would have to play more games as well.

     
  14. Thomas H G

    Thomas H G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,709
    Likes Received:
    173
    Show me the moneeeeeeeey!
     
  16. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm with Patrick. I mean I had already been thinking that the Lakers were really putting themselves in a tough spot. While 2.5 or 4 games sounds like nothing, with only 34 games left that gets to be a lot tougher. Sure if you are talking about a team playing .400 ball while you go .600 then it works out, but the Lakers are now in a race to the finish in which they not only have to win a lot more than they did in the first half, but the other teams must start losing. Passing the other losing teams to get to .500 and 9th was nothing. Climbing further will be tough.

    And the Rockets aren't exactly toast just yet, not with Franchise and Mobley on that team. And if Yao gets his 2nd wind...

    So anyway, it looks a lot like the Lakers could get stuck in a 5 game series with Dallas or Sactown without the home court. We all know that would have been elimination last year (they lost in 5 to the Kings only to win in 7).

    So in the "give them some help" arena I see the change to 7 games as an advantage to the Lakers in avoiding a quick strike elimination before they can recover fully.

    And then on the ratings side it looks even worse. Does Stern really want LA/Dallas or LA/Sac to go only 5 games at best? Hell know, it's their best matchup.

    Of course the NBA has had similar situations before, but it just seems odd that so many people would already be thinking about the 5 game series and how it made for several bad situations, only to suddenly see that changed MID SEASON!!

    It doesn't help that people were already bitching about how long the first rounds go because of the NBA's insistence to not compete with itself by playing 2 games at the same time. I sure as hell they scrap that with this 7 game first round shit, otherwise the Yanks will be in the playoffs at the same time as the Lakers. [​IMG]
     
  17. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    My mistake, starts this season indeed.
     

Share This Page