The NBA is discussing a major schedule overhaul with the hopes that it’ll go into effect for the 2021-2022 season. Here’s the breakdown:
- Reduce the regular season to 78 games, which opens some time for the next two events.
- There will be an in-season tournament, similar to the Champions League or domestic cups in European soccer. Each team would play four to five games within their division within the first month of the season. Those games would count towards regular season standing, but would also act as an initial pool play round for the in season tournament. The six division winners and two wild cards would make the single elimination tournament that would be played sometime in December. My guess would be that the tournament games would be mixed within the regular season schedule i.e. the tournament games would be played on Saturdays while regular season games would still continue during the week.
- The 7 and 8 seeds in each conference will be determined by a ladder-style play-in tournament. The 7 seed will play the 8 seed and the 9 seed will play the 10 seed in a one game playoff. The winner of the 7 vs 8 game will get the 7 seed. The loser will play the winner of the 9 vs 10 game to determine the 8 seed.
- The Conference Finals will be reseeded. The Conference finalist with best record will face the finalist with the worst record, regardless of Conference. This would be done with the hopes that the two best teams play each other in the Finals, even if they’re in the same conference. Think 2018 when the Warriors and Rockets were clearly the two best teams in the league, and they squared off in the Conference Finals to earn the right to sweep the Cavaliers in the Finals.
The in-season tournament and the play-in games would be hugely beneficial for a Charlotte Hornets team that has struggled to find meaningful games to play in. This team is not going to be contending for an NBA title any time soon, so the in-season tournament gives them a more attainable goal while they build to be competitive in the future. The in-season tournament title obviously won’t carry the same weight as the Larry O’Brien trophy, but these guys are competitors, and they’re going to take pride in winning any competition.
The postseason play-in games would’ve been perfect for Hornets teams in recent years that finished just outside the playoffs after strong runs of play in the final weeks of the season. The round of play-in games would give more teams something to play for and would help a Hornets team that likes to finish strong sneak into the playoffs. It adds intrigue to the final stretch of the season, as 6 through 8 seeds will fight to avoid the play-in games while teams just outside the playoff fringes will be battling to reach that 10 seed.
What are your thoughts on the NBA’s proposed schedule changes?
This poll is closed
I hope they implement all of them
I like some parts of it better than others
None of these ideas are good