Mock NBA Playoffs

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/NBAonTNT

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/NBAonTNT

The 2015 NBA Playoffs are set and the first round has some intriguing matchups. Instead of making my picks for the real playoffs (which I will have up Saturday) I decided to take the 16 teams in this year’s NBA Playoffs and try to come up with a new and improved way the NBA could make their playoff’s even more interested than they already are.

A little sneak preview for the real NBA Playoffs: obviously Spurs – Clippers is going to be one of the best series in the first round, but watch out for sneaky-entertaining series out of Rockets-Mavs and Hawks-Nets.

Sure everyone wants to kill the NBA for not getting “the best” 16 teams into their postseason. Well I am already over that. With the current divisions and conference set up, there is no way to fairly and effectively get the best 16 teams in the playoffs regardless of conference. That’s why I bypassed that all together. Below is an NBA Bracket with the teams currently in this year’s NBA Playoffs, but I re-seeded the 16 teams based on record.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 4.48.21 PM

(Sorry if it’s blurry, click to enlarge)

So as you can see, this idea changes things a little bit. The best team in the league actually gets the worst team to make the playoffs, regardless of conference. As I was making this I couldn’t help but notice the seed pairings mimic another great tournament that uses a bracket. You know what they say: if you can’t beat them, join them!

Don’t these matchups just seem a little more intriguing than the ones we have in the real playoffs? I think all of the first round series in my 2015 mock NBA Playoffs would be very entertaining, except Golden State – Brooklyn (sorry Nets fans, if you want some cheering up click here).

Before I make some predictions using this fake bracket, the one problem I ran into was what to do with division winners. Currently the incentive for teams to win their division is that their guaranteed no lower than a four seed, but not necessarily home court advantage in the first round. I couldn’t find a way to give the six division winners a bonus. Ensuring them a top (insert number here) seed kind of defeats the purpose of re-ordering and re-seeding the playoffs.

In this new and improved bracket, I would take 7-seed Cleveland to come out of the bottom half, defeating Dallas, Atlanta, and San Antonio (wait, did I just say that?). But how great of a Final Four game would Cleveland vs. San Antonio be?

I would pick Golden State to come out of the top half of this bracket, beating Brooklyn, Chicago and Memphis who would edge by the Clippers in the Elite 8. C’mon, doesn’t it just sound right talking about basketball and another Elite 8 or Final Four?

I thought this was a fun idea to mix up the NBA Playoffs, even thought it appears the same teams would advance in either bracket. I am interested to hear what you think about this new bracket, how else the NBA could adjust their playoff system, and who you think will win their first round matchup in the actual NBA Playoffs. Leave comments below, or tweet them @JosephZocco.

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