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Is It Time For a New Playoff and Draft Lottery System?

NBA basketball is the least watched of the four major North American sports. The NBA has become dull and boring and a long drawn out regular season is only adding to the misery.

Tanking has come up on numerous occasions this NBA season. Teams that come to mind are the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks. Teams are now seemingly losing on purpose to gain a better position in the stakes for the number one overall pick. For fans this is ruining the game. In today’s NBA there are too many uncompetitive games; blowouts left, right and centre.


The 76ers have had a horrible season and have traded pieces to intentionally lose.
The 76ers have had a horrible season and have traded pieces to intentionally lose. Image courtesy of


It seems a new system is due.

Many ideas have been thrown out there, yet only recently while watching ESPN’s ‘Outside The Lines’ one happened to make a lot of sense.

In regards to the playoffs, Sacramento Kings owner – Vivek Ranadive – suggested that there be only 7 guaranteed playoff spots, in turn the remaining 8 teams in each conference play a sudden death, NCAA style, tournament and the winner earns the final playoff spot. He stated that the NBA is now entertainment, which it is, and that this system would be a great marketing tool, a playoffs before the playoffs. This would be very interesting.

It would be amazing to see, especially in the western conference as 10th place is really only ever 3 games behind the 7th seed. It would be very exciting to see. Just remember how great is it to see an upset? This can create for a more exciting NBA playoffs. Too many times is the first round a walkover and uncompetitive.

For the NBA to gain more attention they need to create competitive playoffs from the first round.
For the NBA to gain more attention they need to create competitive playoffs from the first round. Image thanks to

Chris Broussard had a brilliant idea, or it seems that way, for the East. This idea regarded the NBA Draft Lottery. The playoffs would be the same, the generic 8 spots, but the remaining 14 teams that miss out on the playoffs would have a tournament of their own. Sudden death and the winner takes home the #1 pick, runner-up takes home the #2 pick and so on. Seems fool proof right? Not the case. With the west being such a dominant conference it gives a team like Memphis or Dallas the chance to get the number one pick, but it would leave teams that are worse to start with in an even worse position.

Rather than changing the whole format an better way to make the NBA postseason and post all-star break more exciting and generate more for the league is to have inter-conference playoffs, how about a system where the 1st seed in the East plays the 1st seed and the West, 2 plays 2 and so forth, and start the post season off with a bang. It gives lower seeds a greater chance of making it further and gives more competitive series the whole way through.

It is time for a new playoff and NBA draft lottery format, especially reverting to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the NBA Finals. Teams are purposely blowing up to secure a high lottery position, even though only 4 out of 20 times has the worst team secured the number 1 pick. The game is becoming boring and lopsided. The NBA needs more innovative minds to make the game more intersecting as it is a form of entertainment.

Ned O'Bryan View All

Ned was born in Melbourne, Australia and that is where he currently resides. He follows the New York Knicks and Ned has been a fan since 2006. Ned joined the site in February, 2014. He is a staff writer covering the Knicks. Follow him on Twitter; @Ned7821

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