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Report: NBA Summer league could add NCAA Tournament style format

Mar 11, 2013, 5:03 PM EDT

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One of my favorite parts of the NBA calendar is the Summer League in Las Vegas. And not because it’s in Las Vegas (my in-laws live there, which sucks the fun right out of that city).

No, it’s getting a chance to see young players up close, see guys playing with jobs (domestic and overseas) on the line, it’s the less formal atmosphere of the entire thing, plus the fact you get to see Scott Skiles in cargo shorts.

Still, by the second week things can feel a bit stale. Especially for those of you watching at home on NBA TV. So it looks like they are going to break out a new format to add some energy to Summer League this year, reports Ric Bucher of (via Sulia).

NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is adopting an NCAA-tournament elimination style format that will crown a definitive champion. Every team will be guaranteed a minimum of five games, per usual, but only three will have a scheduled opponent. The teams with the top three-game results will be then given a one-game bye and the remaining teams will square off, the winners advancing to play the top-seeded teams. After all that, the top eight teams will then pair off, the winners advancing to play in the semifinals; the semifinal winners will then play one game for the Summer League championship. Teams reaching the finals will play a total of eight games. If teams choose to use the summer strictly for player development, they’ll certainly have that chance; but teams looking to test prospective future head coaches or see how players respond to the pressure of elimination running their system will get that. It also will provide some compelling basketball for broadcast at a time of the year when hoops TV is a little barren.

That sounds worth a shot to me. Put something on the line the second week and see how guys respond. Not every team is going to go for this, but if it can add a little energy to the second week in Las Vegas and give us something else to talk about besides the oppressive heat and blackjack losses, all the better.

  1. ultichiva - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Yes!!!! Finally ….
    NBA JaM TE (tournament edition)

  2. yousername1512 - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Comma splice alert in pgph. #2.

  3. stoudemelo - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    I live in Vegas and have a real job. Getting to a game is difficult enough with the schedule being the way it is ill never be able to catch the match ups I want if the schedule is always changing.

  4. money2long - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    businesses stay in business the more they continue to find ways to evolve their product. the nba is no different. i am curious to see how this works. the more competition, the better in my opinion.

  5. texxxasmade - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Am I the only one here that sees the REAL reason behind this? Ummm tournament + Vegas = betting…all this revolves around finding a new thing to place bets on for Vegas.
    So if teams REALLY care and want to win the tournament (which I doubt), they will be playing their best players and not the guys trying to make the team right? So that would eliminate the whole purpose of the SL, which is to look at lesser known prospects.

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