Sil­ver: NBA may change for­mat for play­offs

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY BRIAN MA­HONEY THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A di­vi­sion ti­tle might soon mean a ban­ner but no as­sur­ance of a play­off spot in the NBA.

Com­mis­sioner Adam Sil­ver said Wed­nes­day the league is lean­ing to­ward not guar­an­tee­ing a post-sea­son berth to a team that wins its di­vi­sion, forc­ing clubs to fin­ish in the top eight of their con­fer­ence if they want a shot at the ti­tle.

“First of all, it’s never hap­pened be­fore that a di­vi­sion win­ner did not fin­ish within the top eight, and our bas­ket­ball an­a­lyt­ics folks cal­cu­late that there’s less than a five per cent chance that it would hap­pen,” he said.

“Where we are lean­ing right now is that we would not guar­an­tee a spot for a di­vi­sion win­ner in part be­cause it’s so un­likely to hap­pen, and No. 2 if it does hap­pen it would be po­ten­tially con­fus­ing to fans. No. 3, you would be dis­plac­ing a team that did have a top-eight record.”

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