February 09, 2003

Uh, about those playoff rules...we've changed them.: David Stern announced that the NBA has decided to expand its first round of playoffs from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven series starting this season. Doesn't it seem odd for a league to change the format for determining its champion in the middle of the season?

posted by herc to basketball at 01:51 PM - 15 comments

My god, they're going to make a boring format go even longer? And decide this in the middle of the season? Geniuses all of them.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:11 PM on February 09, 2003

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

posted by Discman at 05:25 PM on February 09, 2003

It's only odd if you don't consider the fact that the Lakers are going to open the first round of the playoffs on the road. After all, there can't be a game 6 between the Lakers-Kings if it can only go five.

posted by Bruin7089 at 05:34 PM on February 09, 2003

It's a great move - why do you think it's dumb? 5 games was too short. As for boring - are you insane? The NBA playoffs are always more exciting than any other sports'.

posted by djacobs at 07:51 PM on February 09, 2003

No, he's not insane, just a soccer elitist that likes to piss in threads that aren't soccer related, right ; ) I think it's fine. It is a bit sketchy to announce in the middle of the season, but I always thought the five game series were pretty crappy, especially in a year with so many good teams (in the West anyways).

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:09 PM on February 09, 2003

It's basically just greedy -- they all want the money from the extra games. I'm not sure the playoffs aren't too long already; you can almost always count on each team to get blown out in at least one game of each series, because it's basically impossible to maintain that much-vaunted "playoff intensity" the whole way through. Take out those blowouts and you basically have a 5-game series anyway -- just with a smaller take at the gate. In other words, the fans lose out, in the long run, from longer series. We're the ones that have to pay to watch the crappy play that results, while the owners and players get pretty much the same take no matter how poor the games are (in the playoffs, at least).

posted by ajax at 12:11 AM on February 10, 2003

I don't mind the change, but doing it at mid-season is bogus. It's not far removed from changing a foul rule during the season.

posted by rcade at 07:36 AM on February 10, 2003

I don't mind the change so much, but the problem with the NBA playoffs is the absolutly absurd tv scheduling. The games are spread out too much, it seems like at times they are only have 2 games a week after the first round.

posted by corpse at 08:15 AM on February 10, 2003

I agree that it was done simply for $, and that it kind of sucks to do it in the middle of the season. But consider this...it could make for more compelling stretch runs. Now home court becomes a little more important than it already was, and a team seeded third or fourth might want to work a little bit harder to move up to second seed so they play against a lower seed in the first round. Of course then you run the risk of having injured or gassed-out veterans when the playoffs start, but going to a uniform seven-game was really pretty inevitable.

posted by vito90 at 08:50 AM on February 10, 2003

It's the right decision at the wrong time. It never made sense to me, the casual observer, that the first series was five games and every other one was seven. Call me a stickler for a sense of order, but having seven all around makes sense. But why the hell they did this now is beyond me. It stinks to high heaven of Laker influence on the league's part. Suddenly, their biggest draw, most well known team and top two players have a better chance of advancing in the playoffs.

posted by 86 at 10:12 AM on February 10, 2003

The NBA playoffs are always more exciting than any other sports'.
Two words: March. Madness.

posted by tieguy at 11:05 AM on February 10, 2003

The NBA playoffs are always more exciting than any other sports. Four words: Sudden. Death. Overtime. Hockey.

posted by grum@work at 11:15 AM on February 10, 2003

Any word on whether this extends the playoff season? I always thought basketball in June was just wrong.

posted by jeremias at 01:37 PM on February 10, 2003

I agree with the sentiments that it seems odd to extend the first round in the middle of the season.

As a Mavs fan, I'm already scared of LA sneaking in as the 8th seed. I can't decide if this makes things better or worse for the Mavs. I never thought I would say this, but go Rockets/Jazz/Suns/Timberwolves!

posted by jmevius at 01:47 PM on February 10, 2003

The NBA playoffs are always more exciting than any other sports. One word: Bowling. I have to agree with Bruin; it seems like a desperate attempt to keep the Lakers in the mix as much as possible. What other reason would the NBA have to not wait until next season? Of course, it could also be the Jordan factor. If the Wizards make the playoffs, it is likely that they will not advance beyond the first round. A longer series means more Jordan. And, well, maybe that's not a bad thing. By the way, did anyone see the Jordan Extravaganza, er, I mean the All-Star game this weekend?

posted by jacknose at 03:38 PM on February 11, 2003

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