I am not as interested in the NBA right now.
Maybe I just don’t want to hear anything current?
Although… the NBA could have given enough incentives to the teams that dominated their safe zone facility otherwise known as The Bubble.
Let me explain.
In the PBA, before they did final four, semifinal-style post-elimination rounds, the league employed a not-so-complicated double round-robin semifinal format. I have no idea on the rationale of the setup but if I am going to guess, the PBA did this to have more games.
In some ways, I think it is also a good tactic to prevent a blatant form of game-fixing.
Come to think about it, the PBA did well in the ratings when they employed this playoff format.
Also back then, the teams were only eight.
The five remaining teams would battle the other teams twice – carrying over their elimination round win-loss records.
The top two placers would clinch the finals berth as the next two teams would play for third-place honors.
And to tie this factoid with the current NBA setup, if a team wins five of their eight games, then that team would automatically earn a playoff for the finals berth… regardless of overall standing.
The Phoenix Suns aced The Seeding Games and unfortunately, they sported a bad pre-NBA outbreak record. My NBA Bubble MVP Devin Booker (or it's a tossup between him and eventual MVP Damian Lillard) unleashed hell on the other squads by channeling his inner Kobe Bryant. He finished the season with averages of 26.6 points and 6.5 assists plus an insane 45-35-90 shooting percentage mark but in The Bubble, he upped his average to 30 points. Deandre Ayton, Dario Saric, Ricky Rubio, and Mikal Bridges also contributed with rookie Cameron Johnson as well as journeyman Cameron Payne also came up with noteworthy plays.
And yet, no dice.
I know the Suns do not deserve a playoff spot given their pre-outbreak record. With that said, March is like… a few ages ago. The Restart’s duration is basically a normal season’s preseason.
As ridiculous our current setup is, it’s not as ridiculous as playing in a generic court with a digital crowd.
I thought the Phoenix Suns could have an incentive. If I am going to translate this in the current scheme of things, they did whatever they can to prevent elimination and yet, they were fighting a useless battle right from the get-go. The NBA is sending bad signals here – given that the most important thing we need to have right now is hope.
It is also an awesome sight to check out. We need success stories and what better way to point this out than having a case of overachieving underdogs. Inasmuch as I want to see the Portland Trail Blazers trying to eke out a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, I would have also wanted the Blazers taking on the Suns.
If there is any consolation, this just means the playoff race is unpredictable. The Suns managed to score wins against tough competition because they didn’t have to contend with a home-and-away format. There is a good chance for playoff rookies to thrive in an abnormal scenario.
Most importantly, the playoff would punish the teams that coast in what is perceived as “easy” competition.
For the PBA, I think they need conferences employing the 5-of-8 semifinal format. If there is one way to break the current SMC-dominated picture, it is this format. If the fans are trolling the league that the games are rigged, then they should use a system where every win counts… at the start and at the same time gives teams meaning to flourish in defeat.
If a team wants to help their sister team, then here’s a good rationale. If they want to strategize and choose an opponent they could have an easier time dealing, then this could be a good way to deal with things.
Also, the games would end in a fixed schedule… and at least this gives the league enough games for revenue… not unless they are content to see a best-of-5 series between the worst fanbases.