SHANGHAI -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledges that the league will "continue to look at" the possibility of reseeding teams 1-16 in the playoffs, regardless of conference affiliation.
In the wake of changes to the All-Star Game earlier in the week, in which players will be selected by captains and will be selected in a pool of the 12 best East All-Stars and the 12 best West All-Stars, regardless of conference loyalties, Silver says the league will consider the playoff idea.
"Reformatting the playoffs is something we'll continue to look at," Silver said before a preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Mercedes Benz Arena. "I think though it would require revisiting the regular-season schedule as well. As I've said before, we don't play a balanced schedule now, as I'm sure you know. And for those that don't, that means that teams in the East play each other more than they play teams in the West. And our feeling is, if we were going to seed 1-16, we would need to play a balanced schedule to make it fair for everyone if we were going to seed 1-16 in the playoffs. It may be that as we continue to experiment with the number of days over which we can schedule 82 games that it will create more of an opportunity for a balanced schedule."
Silver also reiterated that the league is not tied to an 82-game schedule forever. The league is starting the season a week earlier this year to carve out more rest for players in the schedule.
"Let me add to that I said the other day [to USA Today] that there's no magic in an 82-game season," Silver said. "It's not a change you're going to see in the short term, but I think when we step back and look holistically at our schedule and how playoffs are seeded we should look at the entire format. Counter-balancing seeding playoff teams 1-16 is also the desire to create more rest for our players and when possible reduce the amount of travel.
"In adding the extra week to the regular season this year, we will be able to eliminate completely four games in five nights. I think it's the first time in the history of the league we were able to do that. Plus we have back to backs at an all-time low. If we took the existing format, the existing schedule and then we seeded playoffs 1-16, we'd be adding additional travel; you would have teams criss-crossing the country in the first round."
Warriors guard Stephen Curry echoed the feelings of many players earlier in the week when he said he'd enjoy playing in a postseason that included the 16 best teams in the league, regardless of their conference.