NBA Rumors: New Playoff Structure Means Division Winners Could Miss NBA Playoffs

NBA rumors from the league office address a new playoff structure. These rumors could affect the 2016 NBA Playoffs, and state that a division winner is not guaranteed a spot in the postseason. Breaking that down further, it means that a team could win its division, but still not make it to the NBA playoffs. A report from ESPN on Wednesday (July 22) states that this information has come straight from NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Silver spoke at length about the potential changes.

“First of all, it’s never happened before that a division winner did not finish within the top eight, and our basketball analytics folks calculate that there’s less than a 5 percent chance that it would happen.”

“Where we are leaning right now is that we would not guarantee a spot for a division winner in part because it’s so unlikely to happen, and No. 2 if it does happen it would be potentially confusing to fans. No. 3, you would be displacing a team that did have a top-eight record.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the idea of shifting the playoff seeding was already being discussed among the NBA Board of Governors. The idea was to not let division winners get a top four seed any longer, and to instead seed them along with the rest of the team. During the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers got a No. 4 seed for winning the Northwest Division, but were seeded ahead of two teams with better records. That didn’t sit well with those teams or NBA analysts.

These NBA rumors would have shifted the 2015 NBA Playoffs a bit. In the final regular season standings, the 55-27 Memphis Grizzlies would have been the No. 4 seed, the 55-27 San Antonio Spurs would have been the No. 5 seed, and the 51-31 Portland Trail Blazers would have been the No. 6 seed. In the first-round match-ups, the Blazers would have then played the LA Clippers, while the Spurs and Grizzlies would have faced off. Those match-ups could have shifted the entire Western Conference Playoffs.

The way Adam Silver is speaking out about the possible changes, it seems like these NBA rumors are going to turn into postseason facts very soon. It means that big changes could be coming for the 2016 NBA Playoffs, and that the possibility now exists that a division winner (in either conference) could potentially miss the postseason.

[Image Source: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Beyond Sport]

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