Addressing the East/West Imbalance
The incoming commissioner says this issue will need to be addressed.
As it stands now, 4 sub .500 teams in the east will not make the lottery and 4 +.500 in the west will, giving the west an opportunity to get even stronger.
Here's my solution. The 16 teams with the best records make the playoffs. Some tweaking would have to be done as to tie breaker rules but that's a minor issue. Based on the standings as they exist today, Golden State, Minnesota, New Orleans and the Lakers, the 4 teams below the top 8 in the west, make the Eastern Conference playoffs. The likelihood of defeating the top seeds in the East is small but fair. Based on today's standings 12/15/2013, the matchups are as follows:
Indiana vs Boston
Miami vs Lakers
Atlanta vs New Orleans
Golden State vs Minnesota
This is so logical that I'm sure the league will refuse to do it.
If you are going to abolish the conferences then you will also need to balance the schedules, otherwise you are just giving free passes to Miami and Indiana to get the top 2 seeds in the playoffs. If there was something inherently unfair in the current system then I would say intervene, but much like Duncan's early season shooting woes, what we are witnessing is just a slump and eventually the performance of the conferences will revert to their mean in the coming seasons.
The problem with balanced schedules is that East Coast and West Coast road teams will have more odd tip off times for their home TV audiences. A 7:30 tip in Atlanta is 4:30 in Portland. A 7:30 tip in Sacramento is 10:30 in Indianapolis. It is not fair to the fans in those cities who want to enjoy their team's road games to force them to watch more bad tip off times to fix something that isn't really a problem.
In fact, I don't see this as a problem at all. The Western Conference playoff race is going to be fun to watch...especially from our perch on the top of the pile. Embrace the extra competition because as I said, it won't be like this forever.
No need to abolish the conferences. The Canadian Football League has been doing something like this for decades with no disruption. There's an Eastern and a Western Conference playing an unbalanced schedule. When, all the teams in, say, the West have better records than the bottom teams in the East. The West teams "cross over" to play in the Eastern playoffs.
I bet the put they Spurs in the East. :lol
Or at least the Pelicants....
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