NBA May No Longer Guarantee Playoff Spots For Division Winners, Adam Silver Says
NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement said that the NBA is leaning towards a change that would not guarantee division winners a playoff spot.
As of Wednesday, Silver said that a decision has not yet been reached if the change would follow through, but it is very likely that teams will qualify for the postseason only if they are hold one of the top eight records in their conference.
Currently, all division winners have been guaranteed no worse than a number four seeding, but it is expected to be changed before next season to equalize win/loss record disparities.
Last season, it was Portland who was able to secure their spot within the Western Conference by beating out all other teams in the Northwest Division. If the rule had not been in place, the Trail Blazers would have been seeded sixth by win-loss record and played the higher ranked third seed, Los Angeles Clippers (who happened to beat the then 6th seed San Antonio Spurs 4-3.)
Silver made this announcement before he was part of a panel at the “Beyond Sport United” program. He reminds viewers of the fairness of the change as he says that no team had won its division without a top eight record, and officials estimate that there is little to no shot of it actually happening.
Silver was the Deputy Commissioner of the NBA in 2006, and replaced David Stern as commissioner of the NBA in 2014.