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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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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