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As of this writing, six of the eight playoff qualifying teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference would not even qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Phoenix Suns, the ninth ranked team in the Western Conference, would qualify in the East with ten wins to spare.

There have been numerous opinions thrown out on how to fix this seemingly annual occurrence, with everything from full blown realignment to nixing divisions to just taking the top 16 teams from the entire league into the playoffs.

Is it even a problem there is so much disparity between the conferences? Is this a self correcting problem with time?

Sound off with your ideas about how the NBA can increase competitiveness and the fun of the regular and post-season -- or that it should just stay as-is!

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Member Comments
# 1 Majingir @ 04/15/14 11:32 AM
This question is ALWAYS brought up in every single sports league anytime something like this happens..

The location of the teams isn't why some are good and others are bad, it's the management on the teams themselves. You have some markets that just care about making money, and others that care about winning(and need to win as well). It just seems like more of the markets that want to win are in the west.
 
# 2 ProfessaPackMan @ 04/15/14 11:45 AM
The current format is fine and there's no need to scrap divisions either.

Not a fan of having the best 16 teams in the league make the playoffs instead of the top 8 in each conference. You pretty much control your own destiny for 7 straight months. Not much more you can ask for in this particular case.
 
# 3 da ThRONe @ 04/15/14 11:58 AM
There's like a 95%+ chance none of the teams seeded 5th or lower in either conference make the conference finals. So in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter.

When more than half the league makes the playoffs it's hard to feel sorry for a team that doesn't make it.
 
# 4 eaterofworlds888 @ 04/15/14 12:19 PM
I've always kind of been against the conferences because you will never see a some certain matchups in the finals. For example there will never be a championship series between the Spurs and the Mavericks because they are both Western teams. It's also makes for problems such as the current playoff layout being made up of a bunch ot mediocre to crappy teams in the east and some really good teams that didn't make it in the West, like the Suns.
 
# 5 VDusen04 @ 04/15/14 12:25 PM
Without delving too deeply down this path, might the Eastern Conference talent disparity be a little more evenly spread had three of its biggest stars not joined one single club? I mean, having Brandon Jennings & Josh Smith team up with Rodney Stuckey just isn't fair.
 
# 6 Sheen_O_Mack @ 04/15/14 12:25 PM
They should lower the amount of teams that make the playoffs from 8 from each conference to 6. When half the league makes the playoffs it makes making the playoffs less of an accomplishment. Look at baseball, or to a slightly lesser extent football, making the playoffs is a big deal, but there arises another problem with basketball, parity. We already know the 3-4 teams that have a shot to win it all. IMO the sport would be more entertaining if every team that made the playoffs had a shot to win it all.
 
# 7 rudeworld @ 04/15/14 12:40 PM
Leave it the way it is.... some seasons the west is the weaker season. My team the Knicks sucked all season and still had a chance to make it..... the way it is now it kind of gives more teams a reason to be playing hard for all 82 games, if it was the top 16 some of these teams in the EAST would of rolled out the bench and looked to next season and the fans would have no reasons to tune in and watch..... leave it how it is..
 
# 8 schnaidt1 @ 04/15/14 01:07 PM
ill just say what everyone is thinking. move memphis to the east. ..and expand by bringing back the super sonics. that leaves room to eventually bring 1 more expansion team for 32 teams like nfl.... then only half the teams make it to playoffs
 
# 9 Majingir @ 04/15/14 01:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by schnaidt1
ill just say what everyone is thinking. move memphis to the east. ..and expand by bringing back the super sonics. that leaves room to eventually bring 1 more expansion team for 32 teams like nfl.... then only half the teams make it to playoffs
Have Seattle and KC as the expansion teams. Those are two cities which really should get both NBA and NHL teams. KC has an arena already set up to hold NBA/NHL games!

Quote:
New divisions:
4 teams per division or something
1:
Celtics
Knicks
Nets
76ers

2:
Magic
Heat
Wizards
Bobcats

3:
Raptors
Pistons
Cavs
Pacers

4:
KC
Hawks
Grizzlies
Pelicans

5:
Bulls
Bucks
Wolves
Nuggets

6:
Thunder
Mavs
Spurs
Rockets

7:
Kings
Warriors
Clippers
Lakers

8:
Blazers
Sonics
Jazz
Suns
Nuggets are only team in this whole thing who don't benefit.
 
# 10 dodgerblue @ 04/15/14 08:03 PM
It's cyclical and happens in every sport. The pendulum will swing towards the east eventually.
 
# 11 LingeringRegime @ 04/15/14 08:17 PM
I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning (something I rarely do) and Greenburg had a good idea.

The team that just barely misses the playoffs (like PHX this year) they would be awarded the 1st pick in the draft.

This is a great idea imo. You kill two birds with one stone. Eliminate tanking and the team that just misses gets a lot better for the next season. Teams that tank aren't rewarded.
 
# 12 Majingir @ 04/15/14 10:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LingeringRegime
I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning (something I rarely do) and Greenburg had a good idea.

The team that just barely misses the playoffs (like PHX this year) they would be awarded the 1st pick in the draft.

This is a great idea imo. You kill two birds with one stone. Eliminate tanking and the team that just misses gets a lot better for the next season. Teams that tank aren't rewarded.
But then the teams who do bad but don't tank,are basically stuck in that bottom hole with no way to fix themselves. It'll just help out the teams already somewhat good and then you'll have half the league being real great,and others with no hope of being good for quite some time and those are usually the ones with markets that NEED to see good basketball or else people won't show up.

I said it before, they should just have a rule like no team can have the same draft overall 2 times in a specific timespan(maybe every 10 years?). So we can't see a certain team land the 1st overall pick two times in a 3-4 year timespan or something like that.
 
# 13 Cubfan @ 04/16/14 05:42 AM
Go from 16 to 8 teams if your not .500 or better your not good enough to make the playoffs. My biggest issue with the playoff is the amount of time it takes to play each series. To many off days between games. Teams have played back to back games all season long no reason it cant happen in the playoffs. The nba finals should be finishing up right now not just about to start.
 
# 14 NowAndLaterCARZ @ 04/16/14 07:51 AM
I think the current format works, but if i were to change it i would align it like the nfl. have an nfc and afc (nbc national basketball conferenc and abc american basketball conference). basically the major cities and states with two teams or more would split. Lakers in one and clippers in other, knicks in one nets in other, orlando in one heat in other, spurs in one rockets in other, warriors in one kings in other etc... just an idea
 
# 15 maltliquor23 @ 04/16/14 08:34 AM
While we continue to scream frustration about the western conference strength vs east weakness. Only one team will make the playoffs with a losing record (Hawks). However, Every team making the playoffs this year has a winning record in their conference with the Nets 26 and 25 being the worst. The strong west beat up on the east. It happens every year . But I have no pity for a team in a strong conference not making the playoffs. It happens on an almost annual basis that a team should make the playoffs in one conference but not the other. Or several teams would be seeded higher IF they played in the other conference. And it happens in every sport and its cyclical. When the door swings the other way will we talk about how strong the east is, or how the west teams should be supplanted in the seeding they earned in their conference?
 
# 16 2KGAWDD @ 04/16/14 09:01 AM
you could make the argument the west has been the deeper conference for the last 20 years . I believe everything should remain the same except once you get to the playoffs seed it 1-16 no conferences and i also believe theres no need for the first round of the playoffs to be 7 games
 
# 17 Eaglerock562 @ 04/16/14 01:35 PM
I don't think there needs to be any changes made to the current playoff format. As strong as we all say the Western Conference is let's remember that since 1999 what Western Conference teams have championships, Spurs (4), Lakers (5), Mavericks (1) and then out of the Eastern Conference you have Boston (1), Detroit (1), Heat (3) and that include the Eastern Conference winning 4 out of the last 7 years. So the Western Conference might be the stronger of the two, but the last two years the NBA champions have come out of the East.
 
# 18 SteelersFreak @ 04/16/14 03:04 PM
Definitely not in favor of it. It sucks, and its really bad this year, but the thing thats important to remember is this is an abnormally bad year. The West is stronger than its been in a while and the East is weaker than its been in a while. Teams in the East have faced a lot of injuries, the Hawks would certainly have a better record if they hadn't have gotten wrecked with injuries all year. Most years it works out just fine and there's no problems. No need to overreact.
 
# 19 Jukeman @ 04/17/14 12:01 PM
Its not as bad as people are making it out to be...

Ok, one sub .500 team in the East made it to the playoff & one .500+ team in the West is not. Do we really need to change things because of that?

PHX arent in the post season because they are 28-24 in the West. People want to say Phx would be 3rd in the East but yet they are 20-10 in the East. For FWIW the 7th seed in the East is 30-22 in the East.. Washington the 5th seed (who PHX have a better OVR record than) are 33-19 in the East. That's 4th best in the East. Funny thing is PHX and ATL have to same respective conference record.

Bottom line is win in your conference and in your division..That's how American sports has always worked.
 

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