As it stands now, each NBA playoff team has an idea of who it will play in the next round.
Some teams are still battling in the first round, but the second round matchups are set up in a firm tournament format. The top seed plays the winner of the matchup between the fourth and fifth seeded teams, while the second seed plays either the third or sixth seed.
Therefore, if the six seed upsets the three seed, then it is automatic that they play the one seed. But, what often happens in the NFL playoffs, is that the divisional round (second round) does not always play out according to seeds.
Upsets happen and the matchups do not always work out as they appear they will. Sometimes, the last game of the weekend will provide suspense for all the teams involved as to who will face each other in the next round.
The NHL also re-seeds teams after each round of the postseason, ensuring that the top team always faces the easiest road to a title.
Would the NBA be better off with this copy of the NFL format, in which the lower seed always plays the higher seed in the next round? In short, should the NBA re-seed it’s teams in each round of the playoffs?
Under that format this season, the Miami Heat could play the Atlanta Hawks instead of the winner between the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. And, the Oklahoma City Thunder could face the Golden St. Warriors in the second round. Of course, the Hawks, Thunder and Warriors would all need to finish off their respective series’ for that to be a possibility.
The suspense element is the key, but momentum also has to be considered. If the Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers, then it would be interesting to see the Heat playing a team on a roll and one that wasn’t supposed to be still playing in the second round.
Overall, there is not much difficulty in putting this format into action for the NBA playoffs. Teams are already waiting around plenty of time in between series.
It would be a nice change for future NBA playoffs.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com