BlackOutBuzz wrote: Hornet Mania wrote:
It sounds like MJ was a big influence on the league deciding against a group stage or other major playoff overhaul.https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29269506/adam-silver-pondering-older-coaches-bench-nba-returns
"Once the playoffs start, and this was a point made by Michael Jordan, whose team is not one of the 22 teams [that will play in Orlando], but he is clearly the most respected voice in the room when it comes to basketball. He felt it was very important that after we established the 16 teams, we not get gimmicky. Because there were a lot of proposals on the table to do unique tournaments and do pool play like you see in international competition. And we took many of those proposals very seriously.
"But, ultimately, I agreed with Michael. There's so much chaos in the world right now, even before the racial unrest we are experiencing right now, that let's come as close to normal as we can. And that is top eight in the West, top eight in the East, playing four rounds of seven games. So that is what we intend to do, and our goal is to crown the champion."
I think he was right about that. There will be less asterisk talk if the format sticks as close to normal as possible.
I actually think this would've been a good time to try something new... for once there was real momentum and willingness to test the waters. Maybe next season with the expedited schedule.
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I think you're right that now would be the easiest time to pass a major overhaul to the format, reports made it sound like teams were willing to agree to practically any proposal as soon as it was officially up for a vote.
The asterisk talk is more for fans, and in that sense I think MJ is correct that the average viewer will see the traditional format as more clearly legitimate than a potentially one-time emergency Corona-induced format. I think there is also something to be said for giving competitors a chance to know the format changes well in advance of the switch rather than dropping it on them out of the blue after three months off. Teams would probably have handled things like load management differently if they knew about the tier-based group draw and intra-conference brackets in January.
The format is kinda shot no matter what though at this point, no crowds, travel doesn't matter, homecourt advantage doesn't exist, etc. It's hard to predict how people will react to everything, and even harder to know what will happen if a major infection breaks out in the 'bubble'. I basically agree with MJ that the conservative choice is to limit the shocks to the system this year if only to avoid being labeled a gimmick playoff. I have no doubt the ideas that were tabled will eventually resurface though, Silver is very clearly in favor of change in all sorts of areas.