Sunday, April 16, 2006

nba playoff seeding - how to win by losing

With two games left in the season, Memphis and the Clippers are battling it out for the 5th seed in the West. Denver has their division locked up ensuring the 3rd seed. The 5th seed plays the 4th and the 3rd seed plays the 6th seed. The interesting piece here however is between the 3rd and 6th seed where the team with the better record gets home court advantage, even if they are the lower seed.

So now both the Grizzlies and Clippers both have clinched home court advantage over the Nuggets so basically the team that loses more of the their last two games gets home court advantage against the Nuggets. The team that wins more earns the 5 seed and gets to play the Mavs while starting on the road.

Something doesn’t seem quite right there. Normally the goal of the whole season is to win as many games as possible in order to gain home court advantage for the playoffs. How much fun is it going to be to see these teams trying to lose games? Or more to the point, lying about trying to win games while “resting” their players.

And home court isn’t just about having a better chance to win with your fans behind you, its an opportunity for teams to make more money. Sounds like the NBA needs to restructure their playoff format so teams cant win by losing.

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