NBA

NBA Commish-in-Waiting Says Divisions Could Be Disbanded

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Deputy NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA Commissioner David Stern addresses the media after the Board of Governors meetings during a press conference on October 23, 2013 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2013

Adam Silver knows how to drum up some drama.

While making an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, the NBA's commissioner-in-waiting, who will replace David Stern once he retires on Feb. 1 of next year, did just that, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt:

The Deputy Commissioner's comments bring perspective to a season in which the Eastern Conference has been absolutely horrid. "Historically bad" might actually be the words I'm looking for.

When Dec. 1 rolled around, the East reached new levels of terrible. Only two teams—the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers—were above .500 then, the first time that had happened since 1972, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (via Bleacher Report's Howard Beck).

Not much has changed since. Over a week later, only three teams—Miami, Indiana and the Atlanta Hawks—are sitting above .500. Talk of a 50-loss playoff team (you're reading that correctly) has even started to gain momentum.

This is why some of the Eastern Conference teams should fear the Competition Committee's next pow wow—especially those in the Atlantic Division, where the 10-12 Boston Celtics lead the pack.

Eliminating divisions prevents inferior competition from not only securing home-court advantage through the first round of the playoffs, but also ensures postseason seedings have no layers to them.

Case in point: Boston actually has the sixth-highest winning percentage (.455) in the East right now, yet it would finish as the No. 4 seed. Catch my drift?

Not much would change in the Western Conference. They have 10 teams currently with a .500 record or better, exactly four times that of the East. The best teams tend to win their division and make the playoffs. Unjust shafts are reserved for the ultra-terrible Eastern Conference. 

Dissolving divisions would certainly increase league-wide parity, but it wouldn't solve existing imbalance entirely. The NBA would have to disband the conferences for that to happen.

It also does little to help the Portland Trail Blazers' latest request:

Maybe the Competition Committee can tackle switching conferences at the clambake after this one.

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