Everything is on the table for a return to play for the NBA, but changing the format of the playoffs isn’t something that favors the Philadelphia 76ers.
The NBA is trying to figure out how it’s going to return to game action after the coronavirus outbreak halted the season back in March of 2020. Playing games in Walt Disney World has been one thing that has been discussed. According to Bryan Windhorst of ESPN, the NBA has everything on the table, which includes changing the format of the playoffs and that wouldn’t benefit a team like the Philadelphia 76ers.
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 25, 2020
There was a lot of information that has to be broken down from the video of Windhorst above. The first being that there probably won’t be a return to regular season play but the league would go straight into the playoffs.
If the NBA wants to change the format of the playoffs, then the league will need 20 owners to sign off on it and Windhorst didn’t make that seem like a real possibility. If change were to occur, it would take the top-16 and at least for this postseason, it would still be eight teams from each conference.
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However, unlike years past, the team from separate conferences would be playing eachother versus the conference opponents. That means under a 16-team playoff format, the standings would look be seat like the following.
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Toronto Raptors
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Boston Celtics
- Denver Nuggets
- Utah Jazz
- Miami Heat
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- Indiana Pacers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic
In this format the Sixers would still have to take on the Boston Celtics (like they would be in the current playoff format), which should be in favor of the 76ers seeing as how Philly won three out four games against Boston this season. However, beyond the first round, the Sixers might end up having the face not only elite Eastern Conference teams in later rounds but possibly elite Western Conference teams as well.
In other words, it would be harder for the 76ers to make a deep playoff run. Considering that Philly doesn’t have the most well-balanced roster to begin with having an easier path to the NBA finals would be better.
Like Windhorst said in the video above, it seems unlikely that this idea becomes reality, but if it does, it won’t benefit the Philadelphia 76ers.