The NBA is looking at a 16-team playoff format for when the 2019-20 season resumes. At least that’s what’s being reported at this point. This format would seed all eight playoff teams from each conference 1-16 in an NCAA Tournament style bracket. While this may seem like a solid plan, there has already been backlash from players, including Damian Lillard.
Now, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is suggesting that the NBA decide the final two spots in the playoffs using a tournament. Cuban also believes that all 30 NBA teams should be involved if/when basketball returns. He says 5-7 regular-season games could take place before a play-in tournament to decide the last two playoff spots. There would be either 3- or 5-game series between seeds 17-20.
This really only helps out teams in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies are currently holding the No. 8 seed in the West. Behind them are four teams — the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings. It was shaping up to be a solid finish to the regular season until the coronavirus pandemic hit. So this play-in tournament makes it fair for all teams involved in the playoff chase.