One of the scenarios under consideration by the NBA to resume play involves a playoff seeding format in which conferences would be set aside and teams would be seeded 1-16 on a league-wide basis based on current win-loss records.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey clearly is a big backer of such a format, a position he admits stems entirely from self-interest and how it impacts his team.
Reacting to a tweet from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer in how the “conference-less” seeding would is laid out, Morey stated such a setup would be a “HUGE advantage” for the Rockets compared to other potential proposals.
It’s not difficult to see why Morey favors a conference-less playoff bracket over a traditional intra-conference seeding format. Seeded 10th, the Rockets would face the seventh-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round, whereas a typical playoff format would have Houston (No. 6 in the West) battling the arguably more formidable Denver Nuggets (No. 3).
After the first round, though, things get much more difficult for the Rockets in either scenario. In the conference-less format, the expected second-round matchup would pit the team against the Los Angeles Lakers.
In a Western Conference-only seeding, Houston would square off against the Los Angeles Clippers. Both scenarios of course operate under the assumption that all teams involved would make it out of the first round.
That said, it’s intriguing that Morey seemingly favors a showdown with the LeBron James-led Lakers over the Kawhi Leonard-fronted Clippers.
All that aside, things remain unsettled and no concrete decisions of course have been made regarding if, when and how — not to mention where — the NBA could resume play. After all, myriad reported proposals — and associated potential pitfalls and logistical logjams — are believed to be under consideration.
However, if the NBA and NBPA can agree to head right into the postseason, it’s clear where Morey stands on what format he and the Rockets would support.
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