NBA Playoffs: May Madness?

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NBA Playoffs:  May Madness?

With the NCAA Tournament now over, and all the bracket pool losers wishing they had another chance to fill that sheet out, I suggest (as brought to my attention by the all know The Sports Guy - Bill Simmons) a new option for office pool brackets that can begin in May.

Let’s call it, "May Madness." (WOW how original).

There is an obvious discrepancy in the NBA right now. We see the West has 9-10 teams that are legitimate playoff teams. The 10th seed in the West is currently the Portland Trail Blazers; who, might I add, are on the brink of greatness with what they have going on up there in the far North-West but I digress, would be a seven seed (as of today, April 11, 2008) in the East.

The West may exclude a team with 50 wins, while the east can reasonably have two; maybe even three teams under .500 make the playoffs.

So, as this idea has been tossed around, I would like to break this down a little more and offer up a visual so you can really see how this would look.

Not only does re-seeding make sense (there are arguments against it that make sense as well that I will get into), but it can also be so much fun. We seed these teams No. 1 through No. 16 and have four "regions," and we will call them regions for the sake of this article, however, I think each region will be named after one of the four top seeds, who would be the 1 seed in each bracket.

That team would obviously have home court through the "Sweet 16" and the "Elite 8." In the final four and the finals, the No. 1 seed with the better regular season record will get the home court.

So as of right now, the four regions would be: Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and LA (Lakers), with them being the top four seeds in that respective order.  I have created a chart to show you the first round match-ups based on win percentage as of today's date.

For the No.16 seed, I picked Toronto over Portland (they are tied) as to keep the East/West break out more evened out. Here we have nine teams from the West and seven from the East.

1

Boston

vs.

16

Tor

2

Det

vs.

15

Phil

3

NO

vs.

14

Wash

4

LA

vs.

13

Clev

5

SA

vs.

12

GS

6

Hou

vs.

11

Den

7

UT

vs.

10

Orl

8

Phx

vs.

9

Dal


So now that you see the first round match ups, let’s unveil those brackets that we love so much! The top seeds in each “region” are bolded.

1

Boston

vs.

16

Tor

 

2

Det

vs.

15

Phil

8

Phx

vs.

9

Dal

 

7

UT

vs.

10

Orl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

LA

vs.

13

Clev

 

3

NO

vs.

14

Wash

5

SA

vs.

12

GS

 

6

Hou

vs.

11

Den


This looks fun right? Now we can fill out the winners for the basketball playoffs in a bracket style format, and maybe even place some "friendly" wagers on it.

Now let’s hear some of the objections.

Some who object to this may point out the travel is an issue. It’s not exactly fun to travel from say Portland to Miami if that were ever a match up in the playoffs. That of course makes sense, but I think we can work around it for the sake of competition.

I mean come-on, in baseball we send the Red Sox to Japan, then to California, and then back to the East coast. I think these players can travel from Portland to Miami. If anything, give them an extra day off.

The NBA Playoffs already take two months, what are a few extra days.

As for what would be the 2008 May Madness Bracket, I don't see travel as much of an issue in round one, and assuming the top seeds win out, the final four would not have any traveling issues.

Another objection I have heard is that the only reason this is an issue now is because the West is so far superior to the East. To that, I say maybe this is why it’s more of an issue now and has raised our interest in the subject, but even if say the 2012 standings show that the east is better, so be it.

Don't we want the best teams to get a chance? We argue every year to have a bracket for college football in order to let the best settle it on the field.

Right now we have teams going through a tough western conference that will get close to or more then 50 wins and are left out.

If Boston is getting rewarded for having the top seed overall, while many of their games are against the weak eastern teams, (Calm down Boston fans, I know you have a great record against the west as well) teams like Denver and Golden State need to be rewarded for their record in the tough western conference.

Finally, after having a terrible off season in 2007, the NBA really had an amazing 2007/08 season, to the surprise of many. There have been no distractions with the Tim Donaghy case, no arrests, no fights, just a great season all around.

The young stars like Chris Paul, Chris Bosh and Deron Williams, just to name a few, seem to have the NBA headed in the right direction again. Maybe for the first time since No. 23 retired!

So, why not add to this momentum and unveil this fun new way of seeding the playoffs. Think about how many casual fans, or the non fan at all that the NCAA Brackets attract. I'm sure the NBA can do the same.

Coming right off the heels of the NCAA Tournaments, office workers are still in bracket mode and would love this additional summer bracket madness.

In his tenure as NBA Commissioner, David Stern has done some good things, (create a dress code to help the NBA solve its image problem) and some bad things, (new micro fiber basketballs in 2006/07 which was then changed back to the normal leather ball).

Creating a re-seeded bracket type playoff, in my opinion would be a great thing for the NBA and another round of applause for David Stern.

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