When George Karl was asked Saturday if the NBA should get rid of divisions and just have conference standings for the playoffs, he replied “I’m even crazier than that.” The Nuggets coach would implement a top-16, where the top eight teams from the East and the top eight teams from the West would enter a pool seeded according to records. So the team with the best record would play the team with the worst record (16th best). For example, if the playoffs were to start today, Lakers/Spurs and Thunder/Celtics would be first round matchups.
According to Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post (h/t Slam):
“I think you should put all top-16 and do it that way, and then reseed for the next round,” he said.
So basically, here’s Karl’s idea: The top eight teams from the Western Conference and the top eight teams from the Eastern Conference are put into a playoff pool. At this point, conference affiliation no longer matters. Instead, it’s all about record.
The team with the best record plays the team with the 16th-best record and so on.
And then, like he said, they reseed hockey-style for the next round. And so, the NBA’s “Final Four” could be four teams from the same conference — but, as proven by this system, perhaps the four best teams in basketball.
“I think it would get fans excited, man. It would be crazy,” Karl said. “And we travel with private jets now, so I think you can schedule it to where you’d get two days of rest between games. I think it would be really fun and interesting to see the matchups.”