The NBA continues to work towards putting a plan in place to continue the 2019-20 season. We have heard of several formats for the league to resume play, including going straight into a traditional 16-team playoff, having each team play a few more regular season games before going into the postseason, and having a play-in tournament.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor says the league has one more potential solution to finish out the year, which is similar to soccer’s World Cup format. Under this proposal, the Sacramento Kings would be one of 20 teams participating in a tournament to crown an NBA champion.
Under this format, the 16 teams currently in a playoff position, plus the four teams that are Nos. 16 through 20 in the standings would be separated into five tiers. O’Connor says this is an example of how the squads will be divided:
- Tier 1: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers
- Tier 2: Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
- Tier 3: Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, Sixers
- Tier 4: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Nets, Magic
- Tier 5: Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs
The league would then randomly draw groups that consist of one team from each tier, and have each club play the other teams in their group twice, for a total of eight games. For example, the Kings could end up in a group with the Bucks, Celtics, Thunder and Mavs. The top two teams from each group would then move on to the final eight, and go back to a traditional best-of-seven series.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe says several of the teams currently in playoff positions have pushed back against the idea due to concerns about the growing chances of an upset by a lower seed that may not have qualified for the postseason under normal circumstances.
I love this idea for the Kings. Sacramento, which is 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot, would still have the opportunity to continue its season. Playing a minimum of eight games makes it worth being quarantined in Orlando worth it for the players.
Some of the top teams in the league are rightfully hesitant, but there has to be some flexibility and fairness to the squads that are on the bubble, considering the unforeseen circumstances the entire world is dealing with.
Either way, we will get an answer.
What do you think of the World Cup style format?
On to some more links:
Mavs owner Mark Cuban has his own idea on how the league can continue. Cuban would like to have all 30 teams play five to seven games before proceeding with a 20-team playoff. (ESPN)
Chris Webber should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame. Kyle Ramos of Kings.com quoted former teammate and current coach with the Kings, Bobby Jackson, on why C-Webb should be inducted sooner than later.
Buddy Hield is the reigning NBA 3-point champion. The Kings guard joined Yahoo! Sports for its latest edition of Poppin’ Off.
What could each King land in a potential trade? The Sacramento Bee’s Richard Ivanowski came up with a hypothetical trade for each player on the roster.