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A Modest Proposal
Ian Thomsen
December 01, 2003
Reseed the PLAYOFFS
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December 01, 2003

A Modest Proposal

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Reseed the PLAYOFFS

How to avoid another lackluster Finals between the mighty West and the puny East? Reseed the playoffs after the first round without regard to conference. If that format had been in place last season, home court advantage for the second round would have gone to the Spurs, Mavericks, Kings and Lakers, increasing the likelihood of an all-West Final Four at the expense of the weaker Eastern teams—the Pistons, Nets, Hornets and Celtics.

The NBA realignment committee considered seeding proposals last month but couldn't decide on a fair way to rank the teams. One option would be to use regular-season records, but, says a committee member, "the West plays a much more difficult schedule than the East." Our suggestion: a BCS-style computer program to help reseed the Elite Eight, with the final decisions to be made by a special committee immediately following the first round.

After the traditional intraconference matchups in the first round, reseeding would help the playoffs build toward a Finals confrontation of the best teams. It would also force Eastern franchises to spend to improve their teams rather than just hope for a hot streak that would carry them to the Finals. "If there is reseeding, then teams can get bumped in the first or second round," says Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. "Suddenly there is a definite economic incentive to upgrade."
—I.T.

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