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Play in game for eighth playoff spot on hold

Feb 15, 2010, 1:52 PM EDT

The idea sounds like something a few of the drunk guys at the very top of Cowboy Stadium Sunday night  — have the lower eight teams in each conference play a NCAA-style one-and-done tournament to see who gets the honor of being wiped out in the first round of the playoffs by the top seed.

But it was a serious proposal put forward by a general manager and discussed by the competition committee Friday. It was the focus of a “healthy debate.”

The tournament was proposed by Denver Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien in response to an invitation from commissioner David Stern, who had solicited ideas from committee members about how to spice up the final weeks of the regular season. Under the plan, the top seven teams in each conference would be seeded for the playoffs as they are now. Teams finishing 8-15 in each conference would play a three-day, single-elimination tournament with the winner being awarded the eighth seed.

In addition to providing more drama, the tournament would theoretically reduce the temptation for teams that are out of playoff contention to rest players and lose games in an effort to secure a chance at a better draft position.

The idea is on hold for now, at least until the new CBA is worked out.

I don’t see how this proposal helps tanking any more than the lottery already does — if I’m tanking the regular season I can tank this tournament, too.

This is about as smart an idea as expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams — aren’t there already enough NBA teams in the playoffs? Aside a little extra revenue for the owners, who really benefits? If the Bucks finish the season a game back of the Bulls, why do they deserve another shot?

  1. Tom - Feb 15, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I actually think this could be pretty good for the league. I don’t care really care about tanking; if a team is tanking they’re probably pretty awful to start with. But it could add some more excitement if there aren’t any interesting playoff races. I’m sorry if I’m not exactly enthralled by the Milwaukee, Chicago “Who can make it to .500″ race that’s going on in the East right now.
    But single-elimination tournaments are always fun, and it’s not like the winner is going to advance past the 1st round anyway. Just some nice fun for awful franchises like the Warriors and Timberwolves.

  2. James - Feb 16, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    What if the best teams in the tournament also get the best draft picks?

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