NBA Playoffs Round: Play World Cup soccer-style basketball?

A pretty interesting idea came up. That’s when the season comes back, NBA is Playoffs round will bring a bit of World Cup group stage style in football.

The Playoffs round, with no more East and West

The NBA season after the global pandemic COVID-19 will face many difficulties. In it, the story of completing the Regular Season and choosing the teams to play in the Playoffs is one of the top challenges.

Currently, there are some ideas that should abandon the Regular Season altogether, then select the 16 best performing NBA teams to go directly to the Playoffs.

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NBA plans to replace the World Cup Playoffs like football
NBA plans to replace the World Cup Playoffs like football

However, If the organizers host the Playoffs round of the NBA tournament in the style of a football World Cup, that will affect the teams on the edge of the Top-8 of each region, the teams are preparing to have a sprint to play in the postseason such as Portland Trail Blazers of Damian Lillard or New Orleans Pelicans of Zion Williamson, etc.

In a statement sent to the technical director of the NBA teams, the tournament organizers proposed a new form of competition. Accordingly, the style of the group stage as the World Cup of football has appeared.

The NBA has adopted the intention of redefining the Playoffs

More specifically, The Ringer’s journalist Kevin O’Conner shared that the NBA will select the 20 teams with the best performance (4 more than the 16 teams of the traditional Playoffs round).

The tables are journalist Kevin O'Conner as an example of the NBA's World Cup format
The tables are journalist Kevin O’Conner as an example of the NBA is World Cup format

After that, these 20 teams will be divided into 5 groups arranged according to the winning or losing results of the teams. This is equivalent to dividing the seed group with the example given by O’Conner as follows:

Group 1: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers

Group 2: Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat

Group 3: Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, Sixers

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Group 4: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Nets, Magic

Group 5: Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs

From there, the NBA will draw a division table. Each board consists of 5 teams from 5 groups.

The group stage will compete with the round-robin format to find the two best performing teams to enter the next round. From this point forward, the teams will split into pairs again and the NBA will return to the series of 7 matches.

In the immediate future, this competition format has received some feedback from the teams. According to ESPN journalist Zach Lowe, many of the teams in the Playoffs are not interested in this because they are afraid of losing in the group stage to the weaker teams.

In addition, journalist Kevin O’Conner also received the same reaction from some Eastern teams. The reason is that the 9th team in the East such as the Washington Wizards has worse than the 10-11-12 team in the West such as New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, or San Antonio Spurs. If you choose 20 teams with the best performance of the NBA tournament, the East will have only 8 teams compared to 12 teams in the West.