If the NBA returns this season, it could be in an unconventional way.
There have been discussions of multiple formats, from a World-Cup type to a 1-16 playoff format.
I’m sure that Laker fans only care about the team ending this six-year playoff drought, but how will the road to the Finals look for the Lakers with these formats?
It has been discussed a potential 1-16 playoff format, regardless of the conference. This will mean that teams will reseed, and the playoff picture would be completely different. It’s important to remember that this will likely be played in one location, potentially at Disney World in Orlando Florida, and without fans.
In the first round, Los Angeles would face Brooklyn probably without Kevin Durant. If the Lakers advance they would face either Utah of Houston. And in a hypothetical Conference Final, we have various options. We could see the return of LeBron facing Toronto, or maybe a difficult series against Denver.
For a potential NBA Finals, it can go in many different ways. From a Lakers-Celtics rivalry to the LA battle of Clippers and Lakers. There could also be a Bucks-Lakers series. Regardless, it would be a tough matchup and a great series.
Finally, there has been a proposal to play the playoffs with 20-22 teams. How would this work? It can potentially look like the World Cup, where there is a group stage where the best team (or teams) move to the next stage.
After that, we would probably see the best teams from each group face the worst seeded teams, in a more conventional format.
This format would clearly make everything that happened in the regular season almost irrelevant, but there is still no clarity regarding the format, so we will have to wait for the owners to approve it.
What is clear is that the return of the NBA is getting closer, and it’s only a matter of time until we have clarity on everything.
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