For years, there has been a call to ditch the conferences for the sake of the playoffs. This would let us seed all 16 playoff teams from 1-16, instead of 1-8 by their conference. Bobby Marks laid out above how the format would look for this season. The goal would be to get the best 16 teams in the playoffs, with time zones and playoff travel distance be damned. I'm with it but I'm not sure that it would have a huge impact on the playoffs. The East currently has two sub-.500 teams in the postseason (Nets, Magic) to the West's one (Grizzlies). Let's have a look-see:
1 Milwaukee vs 16 Orlando: The re-seeding wouldn't change their first-round matchup at all. Milwaukee in 4.
8 Miami vs 9 OKC: Oooooooh what a beauty of a first-round series we'd get here! The Heat had 41 wins and two All-Stars (Jimmy/Bam) albeit in a weaker conference. OKC had 40 wins and CP3 as it's sole All-Star in a tougher West. Miami was 27-5 at home and would have homecourt so I'll give them the nod. This would be a doozy though. Miami in 7.
4 LA Clippers vs 13 Dallas: Like Milwaukee, this doesn't change the Clippers first-round matchup. They're looking at Luka and crew regardless. LA won both regular-season matchups and has too much star power for Dallas. Clippers in 5.
5 Boston vs 12 Philadelphia: Yet another untouched matchup as we were already slated to get Boston-Philly in the first round. Either way, I'm here for it and ready to laugh at whoever loses this series. I'd love to pick Philly because they lineup well against Boston but they'll be on the road here. Boston in 6.
6 Denver vs 11 Indiana: This would be a solid series to watch in terms of two varying styles of play. Having said that, Denver in 5.
3 Toronto vs 14 Memphis: This would be a cute little series for the Grizzlies to get their feet wet. Raptors in 4.
7 Utah vs 10 Houston: Does this Jazz team include Donovan Mitchell, or has he already issued the "it's him or me" demand to management to get Gobert outta there? Either way, the Rockets aren't afraid. Houston in 5.
2 LA Lakers vs 15 Brooklyn: LeBron would call for iso on Kyrie every single time down the court. And then tag him in an IG post of them hugging afterward. Lakers in 4.
1 Milwaukee vs 8 Miami: Again, this projects to be our second-round matchup as is in the East. The Heat won both regular-season meetings. This is not the regular season. Milwaukee in 5.
4 LA Clippers vs 5 Boston: Oof. What tough draw for Boston. This would be a good Finals matchup but we get it in the second-round here which is unfortunate for the Celtics. Clippers in 6.
3 Toronto vs 6 Denver: Another great series we likely wouldn't get. If anything, this is where I'm seeing the appeal to shaking up the postseason format. Toronto in 6.
2 LA Lakers vs 10 Houston: "Westbrook drives the lane and throws down a THUNDEROUS slam! He gives a mean look to the Lakers bench as he goes back up the court. McGee inbounds the ball and the Lakers are content to dribble it out here, up 21." Lakers in 5.
1 Milwaukee vs 4 LA Clippers: Christ, what a Final Four matchup. I'm not even sure who this is more unfair to. The Bucks spent all regular season kicking ass only to face the team that punted on the regular season but also has KAWHI LEONARD and PAUL GEORGE. This Milwaukee team is better than the one that lost to Kawhi's Raptors last conference finals. Sadly, this Clippers team might be better than that Raptors team too. Clippers in 6.
2 LA Lakers vs 3 Toronto: I gotta say that the big winners here are the Lakers. In the current format, they'd be looking at facing (higher seeds) Grizzlies-Jazz-Clippers-Bucks to win it all. Now, they only get one of Clippers-Bucks and not until the Finals. The Raptors would put up a good fight but the Lakers star power would overcome. Lakers in 6.
2 LA Lakers vs 4 LA Clippers: Maybe the system works after all. The LA teams and Bucks are the three best teams in the league and one of them is missing out on the Finals by virtue of the Finals being a two-team competition. The downside of mathematics that the nerds won't tell you about. I've had the Lakers cutting down the nets all year and have no reason to change up yet. LA has the size advantage and two of the best three players. Paul George is no slouch but I do think there's a little gap between him and AD as the third and fourth-best players in this series. Lakers in 7.
Is seeding postseason teams 1-16 regardless of the conference a good idea?