NBA Playoffs 2011: How Would Seeding Look If NBA Playoffs Were Like BCS Bowls?
The 2011 NBA Playoff seeds are set, but what would they look like if the league based them more on power rankings and votes like BCS Bowl Games?
By now, everyone knows about the pairings for all of the eight first round matchups in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. They are based on records from the regular season. But what if they were not?
What if the NBA was more like college sports, where the seedings are based solely on votes and projected outcomes in the postseason? Would the seeds and matchups be different than they look right now?
Some things would remain the same, especially in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls would still be the No. 1 seed, and the Indiana Pacers would still face them in the first round as the No. 8 seed in the conference.
But what about the rest? Would things play out a bit differently if we went on votes and rankings and late season play?
Long answer short, yes, they would look at least slightly different, primarily toward the bottom. The Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic would still occupy the No. 2, 3 and 4 seed, but then we would see some alight alterations.
They way that the Atlanta Hawks have been playing, they would be replaced as the No. 5 seed by the New York Knicks. The two would simply switch spots, with the Philadelphia 76ers remaining as the No. 7 seed.
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The Western Conference would look even more different, especially if you based them at all on the NBA Power Rankings of SI.com writer Britt Robson, who would move the Los Angeles Lakers to the No. 1 overall seed.
"As much as people talk about the championship window closing in Boston and San Antonio, the pending retirement of coach Phil Jackson and the state of L.A.'s core -- aside from Bynum, the top six players are either at or past their peak -- creates urgency for these Lakers, too," writes Robson. "As if any more motivation is necessary, Michael Jordan sent Jackson out as a winner the first time he retired; but only Kobe's crew can truly send the Zen Master out with a flourish."
Even though they have faltered slightly down the stretch, they would still get the top seed based on past performance, sort of like how Wimbledon does things in tennis, or like how Notre Dame generally goes to better bowl games than they should.
So what about the No. 2 seed in the west? It would still go to the San Antonio Spurs, but they would slightly edge out the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs have been there all season, although if this were the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, things may go in favor of the Thunder, as the committee would want to lower the Spurs due to the elbow injury of the always durable Manu Ginobili.
That would make the Denver Nuggets the No. 5 seed, based upon how they have played since they traded away Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Or should I say, for the New York Knicks?
The Nuggets are now a far more complete team, and they would solidify the fourth spot. That would leave them to play the Dallas mavericks, who barely edge the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 6.
Finally, due to the injury of Davis West, the New Orleans Hornets would be forced to the No. 8 seed by the Memphis Grizzlies, who move up even without Rudy Gay, as they have illustrated that they can beat top teams without him, as the even defeated the Spurs twice without Gay.
So, if the NBA Playoffs were re-seeded based upon voting and rankings, would the net outcome remain the same when you all make your predictions?
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