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Adam Silver Says Change to Playoff Seeding Structure Likely Coming Soon

NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave his annual address prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and while there are no plans to seed the playoffs 1 through 16, there will likely be a tweak to the playoff structure. That tweak will come in the form of eliminating the rule that division winners automatically get a top four seed, according to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

“We are very focused on the divisional seeding process, and I think we are going to take a very close look at whether we should seed at least 1 through 8 by conference as opposed to giving the division winner that higher seed,” Silver said. “We may change that fairly quickly. … That is a vestige of a division system that may not make sense anymore.”

This season, the Portland Trail Blazers won the Northwest Division and got the No. 4 seed despite having a worse record than both the fifth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies and sixth-seeded San Antonio Spurs. If the current rule wasn’t in place, the Blazers would’ve played the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, while the Grizzlies and Spurs would’ve duked it out.

As for the 1 through 16 proposal, that idea has been discussed and rejected because of travel issues.

Silver touched on a bunch of other topics in his address.

  • Silver has spoken with representatives from the NBPA in advance of another possible labor war in 2017, and more conversations will be had with the NBPA and executive director Michele Roberts.
  • Most general managers are against changing the current intentional fouling rules, although there will likely be more discussions with owners.
  • There won’t be draft lottery reform anytime soon, as Silver wants to see how teams react to the salary cap hikes in the coming years.
  • Silver defended the NBA’s concussion protocol after the Warriors came under some scrutiny for their handling of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson‘s recent head injuries.
  • Silver expressed confidence in the Bucks getting their new stadium built, while also saying the Warriors are in need of a new arena, with a move across The Bay to San Francisco a strong possibility.

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