NBA Changes Playoff Format to Favor Winners over Divisional Winners

The NBA board of governors approved a significant change to playoff seeding for the upcoming season.

Effective immediately, the league will seed playoff teams based purely on conference, rather than divisional, standing. In other words, overall won-loss record, and not a team’s placement atop a division, will determine one’s path in the playoffs. In the past, divisional winners received an automatic top-four seeding, bumping teams with better records into lower spots.

Winning a division now works as a tiebreaker, behind head-to-head record, in determining playoff seeding.

The NBA notes in a press release:

As part of the modifications, the eight playoff teams in each conference will be seeded in order of their regular-season record. Most recently, every division winner was guaranteed a top four seed in its respective conference regardless of its record but did not receive home-court advantage if its playoff opponent had a better record.

The Board also approved changes to tiebreak criteria for playoff seeding and home-court advantage. Head-to-head results have become the first criterion to break ties for playoff seeding and home-court advantage between two teams with identical regular-season records; the second criterion is whether a team won its division. Under the old tiebreak system, a division winner was awarded the higher seed and received home-court advantage in a series if the two teams met in the playoffs.

The board of governors voted unanimously to institute the changes.

Comment count on this article reflects comments made on and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.