The NBA will now seed playoff teams solely by their record, throwing out the top-four protection for teams who win their divisions.
The expected change was unanimously approved Tuesday by the league’s Board of Governors. Teams in each conference will now be seeded from one to eight by their won-loss record.
Previously, division winners were guaranteed no worse than the No. 4 seed, a rule that became heavily criticized last season when Portland ended up No. 4 in the powerful Western Conference despite the sixth-best record in the conference.
The league also changed the tiebreaker procedures, making head-to-head results the first tiebreaker for seeding and home-court advantage, and whether a team won its division second. A division winner previously got the home-court advantage if it met a team with the same record in the playoffs.
Bobby Marks tweeted that he believes the change will soon be followed by the demise of divisions themselves.
Good first step by NBA, next line of business is to do away with divisions, would not be surprised if that happens for 16-17— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) September 8, 2015
The Nets won the Atlantic division in 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2005-06.
- NBA changes playoff format, no reward for division winners - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
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