Time is a construct. We can manipulate it to increase the stakes of the regular season and get more playoff games.
I love this (I’m a sucker for a crackpot idea) but then what if you had an NBA SUPERFINALS between the two champions of each year?
If one NBA team wins both, have the top international club team face them.
Great idea. I'd go a slightly different route. Change the league to a first half/second half.
At the end of the first half the east and west winners don't face each other.
Do the same again at the end of the second half.
The winners of each first half second half bracket go to the actual end of the actual NBA finals bracket, I.e. a semi finals. If the winners of the conference bracket wins their conference each half then they get a bye to the finals as the reward to keep them competing
I love this so much. I definitely think some sort of drastically different system would be better than the current one, I polluted some message board before with my idea four mini-seasons followed by a playoff featuring just four teams. Thinking that way there'd still be the ultimate prize each year that they could bill as "The Finals" but that the rest of the steps along the way would be more interesting. And there'd be some prestige and randomness both involved in even making the playoff.
Imagine if tennis had one long season instead of a bunch of tournaments. Does anyone think that'd be better?
I try not to spend too much mental energy on these things because I know they'll never happen and when I get into it I start wasting lots of time defending weird, imaginary systems so I just stop myself. But seeing someone else finally throw a real update to the system one out there warmed my heart.
Look: I’m an old man and a bore but I think I got about 2 months of hardcore full-paying attention playoffs in me every year. I like having basketball around when I’m not all-in, but I also think that if it was all exciting all the time, I would burn out. That’s just me! I’m the weirdo on this board, I imagine! But that’s where I am.
An interesting concept. My initial concern would be whether between the winter and spring seasons weaker teams could effectively retool otherwise the spring season is just a repeat and could lose viewership?
You've been Getting CONCACAFed too often and are proposing an Apertura and a Clausura. Bless you, Ziller.
I think this is similar to how some countries’ soccer leagues are run. Mexico and some Central/South American leagues, I believe. It actually seems really cool. I’m an NBA nut, but I find the regular season so interminable now. Maybe because I’m a Sixers fan. Hahah.
Tom, nice job of thinking outside the box. Might it be possible in your scheme (if I understand it correctly) to use the revenue from the additional 26 or so postseason games to shorten the regular season(s)? There’d need to be some sort of revenue sharing to compensate the teams that don’t get into the postseason, but the league should be able to come up with a reasonable formula for doing that.
Didn't baseball used to do this? I like - then my team can miss the playoffs 2x a year. Twice the pain.
Just look at the lower levels of Minor League Baseball. They have a first-half and a second-half. Essentially, the winners of the first half automatically qualify for the playoffs, and then the standings "reset". The winner of the second half then gets in as well.
There could be a way to finagle this with division winners and then wild-cards for the best non-auto qualifiers.
So January 12th or so last year was the half-way point for most teams. The division winners were:
Boston, Milwaukee, Miami, Memphis, Denver, Sacramento
So at that point, we reset. Are you coming together in the second half of the season? Make a run for your division and get in!
Finish second in your division both times? There's a non-zero chance you'll be relegated to the play-in!
Here's another idea you could incorporate to really lean into the importance of playing well in a shorter regular season. After 41 games, we have high confidence that the 1 seed is the better team than the 8 seed. Let's say we're 95% confident that the 1 seed is the better team. We should give them a 3-game series format that they'll win 95% of the time: something like 3 home games and they advance if they win any of them. Calculate the confidence based on the regular season record, point differential, whatever metrics you want.
With this idea, you have an incentive to play well during the regular season. Every game you win makes your playoffs easier. It rewards the teams that try and eliminates playoff-padding early round games to focus on the more consequential later rounds. Imagine you're a veteran team with past playoff success. Would you risk coasting through the regular season if you knew you'd face an asymmetrical disadvantage as the 6th seed? If not, you play harder during the regular season which is great for fans; if you take the risk then it amps up the drama in the first round.
I love how this would make more of the season games count in a way to get normies/non-sickos to care before Christmas like they currently do. Especially since right now the only part that seems to matter to some folks is that time period between Christmas and All Star break (though the play-in tournament has certainly helped make the end of the season already seem to matter in a way it never did before).
Why stop at two? Make it three. Summer League is its own series. Then First and Second Semester. And then a Spring Break where we all go down to the bubble.
This isn't a top-of-the-list issue, but honestly, when I see ads for UFC 238, it emphasizes how utterly routine and unimportant each event actually is.
I'm not trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this, and maybe I just need to think about it a bit more. I do think it devalues a championship, and possibly even regular season games, just by virtue of there always being more of them in a couple of months. And under this format, if your team has a slow start to a season, you may as well tank it in the second month instead of the fourth. That will result in a lot more teams playing for nothing, and disincentivize playing your best players full-time once a season is determined to be lost.
This is an incredible idea!
I don’t think it’s ‘so crazy it’ll never happen’ either
It makes everything about the league more exciting
ESPECIALLY the playoffs