Barry Laminack: Adam Silver's re-seeding playoff plan is a good idea

Adam Silver floated a solid plan this week. NBA.com

Not to be outdone by Major League Baseball's changes in regards to pace a play (for more on that read these articles by my buddies John Granato and Patrick Creighton), Adam Silver came out a few days ago and discussed the possibility of the NBA looking at a 16 team seeded playoffs bracket - eliminating the Eastern Conference and Western Conference championship brackets.

I'm all for the change.

For years now the Western Conference has dominated the NBA in both record and quality of teams; and while this year it seems there's more parity in the NBA, that hasn't always been the case.  When it comes to deciding who the best team in the NBA is, I don't want to see the fourth best team in the NBA (but the best team in the East) playing the best team from the West in the finals. I want to see the two best teams in the NBA play, and if they both happen to be from the same conference, who cares? That's the whole point of crowning a champion right, to have the two best teams square off in a championship deciding series?

The one big sticking point that Silver mentioned against seeding the playoffs is the travel issues. And while I agree travel will be a nightmare if say the Celtics and Blazers where playing in a 2-2-1-1-1 series, the NBA and its players will get no sympathy from me.

Plenty of people travel for their jobs.

Hell, I once drove over six hours to do a five-minute set for a crowd of 20 (I’m a comedian) and then drove another six hours back home when the show was over. So forgive me if I don’t feel sorry for a bunch of millionaires who have to fly six hours on a chartered plane that they can sleep and eat on.

As a fun exercise, I thought I'd look at last year's and this year's playoffs if the conferences were eliminated and it was seeded.

NOTE - My seeding are based off of winning percentage. To keep it simple (and because I'm lazy) for tie breakers if the 2 teams were in the same conference I used the existing tie break rules (and final seedings). If the two teams were in different conferences, I seeded the team with the higher average point differential (aka +/- ratio) ahead of the team with the lower differential.


(.xxx, +x.x) = (winning percent, average point differential)


Here is what  last year's playoffs would have looked like had they been seeded:

1) Golden State Warriors (.817, +11.6) vs 16) Miami Heat (.500, +1.1)

2) San Antonio Spurs (.744, +7.2) vs 15) Chicago Bulls (.500, +0.4)

3) Houston Rockets (.671, +5.8) vs 14) Indiana Pacers (.512, -0.2)

4) Boston Celtics (.646, +2.7) vs 13) Milwaukee Bucks (.512, -0.2)

5) LA Clippers (.622, +4.3) vs 12) Atlanta Hawks (.524, -0.9)

6) Utah Jazz (.622, +3.9) vs 11) Memphis Grizzlies (.524, +0.5)

7) Cleveland Cavaliers (.622, +3.2) vs 10) Oklahoma City Thunder (.573, +0.8)

8) Toronto Raptors (.622, +4.2) vs 9) Washington Wizards (.598, +1.8)

(Portland out)

THIS YEAR (2017-2018)

And for even MORE fun (ok, again, maybe just for me) here is what this year's playoff bracket would look like if they playoffs started today:

1) Houston Rockets (.772, +8.7)  vs 16) LA Clippers (.536, +0.9)

2) Golden State Warriors (.759 +8.1) vs 15) New Orleans Pelicans (.544, +0.2)

3) Toronto Raptors (.719, +8.5) vs 14) Philadelphia 76ers (.545, +2.0)

4) Boston Celtics (.678, +3.5) vs 13) Portland Trail Blazers (.552, +1.1)

5) Cleveland Cavaliers (.607, +0.2) vs 12) Denver Nuggets (.552, +1.0)

6) San Antonio Spurs (.593, +3.1) vs 11) Oklahoma City Thunder (.559, +3.4)

7) Minnesota Timberwolves (.590, +2.9) vs 10) Milwaukee Bucks (.561, 0.0)

8) Washington Wizards (.579, +1.9) vs 9) Indiana Pacers (.569, +1.3)

(Miami, Utah out)

Based on my seeding projections, if you planned on bitching at me on Twitter about the East getting screwed, you would be wrong. Last year the East would have had nine teams in the bracket, the west seven. Portland would have been eliminated. However, this year the West would have 9 and the East only seven, with both Miami and Utah not making it.

The other thing the NBA will have to consider if moving to a seeded playoff system is will it be a bracket similar to the NCAA or will the highest remaining seed always play the lowest remaining seed.

My vote is for the later.

I'll leave it up to you guys and gals to fill out your brackets from here, but when I did mine I had the following championship series:

2016-2017: Golden State vs Boston

2017-2018: Houston vs Golden State

Barry Laminack  can be heard Mon-Fri from 1p-4p on “The Usual Suspects” on ESPN 97.5 FM. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, and catch up with his comedy schedule on his website.

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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