NBA In-Season Tournament: Next Steps Ahead for Adam Silver

NBA In-Season Tournament: Next Steps Ahead for Adam Silver

In international basketball competitions outside North America, the point differential tiebreaker is standard. This isn’t the case for the NBA, which stirred up some confusion for players. Teams leveraged running up the score in late games. “I’m not ready necessarily to move away from it, but if ultimately there’s going to be a sense, particularly from our American fans, that somehow it is an indication of poor sportsmanship, that’s not a good idea for us to be doing it,” Silver said. Silver is reluctant to make any changes but has been aware of the implications it may pose for the fans. The NBA league office has discussed the addition of a live standings graphic for fans to access real-time details instead of monitoring on a game-by-game basis. The tiebreaker adds more excitement to tournament allowing for more opportunities for fan engagement.

Will the Pools Look Different Next Year?

During the inception of the In-season tournament, the NBA created five-team pools based on standings from the previous season. This concept created some confusion across the league. The group draw placed non-divisional teams in the same pool. Fans also have mixed reviews on the naming of the groups, making it difficult to follow during pool play. Sources say league insiders proposed to have the groups be division teams compete in, which ultimately can solve the naming issue. However, if the league takes this approach, it may compromise the tournament from a competitive perspective.

The Orlando Magic was one of the five teams within each pool eliminated before the final night of group play. An easy fix to this problem can be shifting to five six-team groups, which allows for an extra group game and provides pathways for wild card teams’ chances to advance. However, on the flip side, this will cause more complications around the league schedule because of the added groups throughout the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The league office has been adamant on restructuring the group draw. “Certainly from a competitive standpoint, it’s more optimal and in some cases more fair to have everybody playing,” Wasch said. Looking ahead, if the league adds another franchise within the next couple years, they can adopt the FIBA World Cup format providing eight four-team groups.

Published by: TGQ Inc.

Written by: Hussein Abdullahi

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