The NBA is an ever-evolving product, and the format that the season takes place in is something the league has constantly been looking at over the last few seasons. Ideas like having a mid-season knockout tournament, shortening the regular season, and other things of that nature have been floated out in the recent past but the one thing that has been executed is the play-in tournament.
Instead of having just the Top 8 seeds fight it out in direct best-of-7 series, the 9th and 10th seeds have now been allowed to get into the playoffs by directly battling each other and then the 7th or 8th seeds in a single game to try and make their way into the playoffs. The format has enjoyed success in terms of ratings for the games as well as keeping up to 12 teams in both conferences competitive till the end of the season.
The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has always defended the play-in tournament, has suggested that the play-in is here to stay and he recently added to that, explaining that the league is considering tweaking the format of the play-in as well. This has prompted quite a bit of speculation from fans, and Unbiased NBA Takes on Twitter has come up with an interesting bracket for how to involve more teams in the tournament.
This format is quite crazy, considering that every team in each conference barring the worst one could have a shot of making it to the playoffs. Having the 14th seed in the playoffs is truly a bizarre thought, but stranger things have happened in the history of the game. It's unlikely to be this all-encompassing but fans seem to be split on how they would feel about a format like this.
"What’s the point of the regular season if this happens?"
"When Presti tries all he can to tank for another year but SGA and Dort drag them to the playoffs."
"Lol why? Honestly they are doing teams a favor by letting the 9th and 10th spot compete. At that point if you can’t even make number 10 you don’t need to be a play-in/playoff team."
"14th should never have a shot. It would encourage tanking for a pick then turning up for the playoffs."
"This would low-key be wild as hell fr."
"Now the Kings can finally have a chance of making the playoffs."
"This would be cool if they disbanded conferences."
"All of this to get kicked out from the round by the 1st and 2nd seeds."
This is a very exaggerated idea and even if the tournament is expanded, it's unlikely to have so many teams as a part of it. Additionally, the games and the series in the first round would get way less competitive too, if the lesser seeds started making it in. In any case, the future remains both uncertain and exciting, and what happens next remains to be seen.