NBA Rumors: Team Executives Were Concerned About ‘Group of Death’ In Olympics-Style Playoff Format
Adam Silver, NBA
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019-20 NBA season looking like it will finally resume, commissioner Adam Silver and the rest of the league office has been devising plans to bring it back in a way that maintains competitive balance and gives borderline playoff teams a legitimate shot to get into the postseason.

Entering Thursday, the Board of Governors was expected to vote on a 22-team plan. It calls for each to play eight games to finish out the regular season, and includes a possibility for a play-in tournament if the ninth seed is four games or fewer out of the playoff picture.

It has been a tricky balancing act for league, but they did recently send out a survey to all the general managers to gather feedback on possible competitive formats to implement for the season resuming.

One of them was a group stage format similar to the World Cup and Olympics that would have several teams together, replacing the first round of the playoffs. However, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer the possible change raised some issues among team executives:

One concern raised by team executives is the possibility of a “group of death”—a term used by soccer fans to describe groups that are far stronger than others, making it unfair for the top contenders.

The NBA is working on approaches to fairly balance the groupings, such as limiting each group to only three Western Conference teams, according to multiple front office sources.

Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers would have been sorted into a top tier that would then be divided into different groupings so as to avoid the best teams from playing each other early. Nevertheless, the Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks reportedly were against this format.

The change would have been drastic when compared to the existing playoff format, but there were some who believed Silver had long sought to innovate. After all, he has developed a reputation for being forward-thinking.

But Silver is also a commissioner who listens to his game’s top players and its teams. And while non-playoff teams may take issue with the expected return-to-play plan, Silver is expected to receive overall support from teams.

You May Also Like

Recap: Talen Horton-Tucker Hits Go-Ahead 3-Pointer To Help Lakers Outlast Knicks In Overtime

In what was a defensive battle between two tough teams, the Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the New York Knicks, 101-99…

Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris React To NBA Guest Policy

The NBA clarified its policy on allowing guests into the Walt Disney World bubble, explaining accommodations for…

Frank Vogel Explains Decision To Sit Montrezl Harrell, Damian Jones In Second Half Against Suns

The Los Angeles Lakers saw their modest two-game winning streak snapped after they lost to the Phoenix Suns…

2021 NBA Las Vegas Summer League Schedule: Lakers To Play Suns, Knicks, Clippers & Pistons

The NBA has announced the schedule for the Las Vegas Summer League and the Los Angeles Lakers will be playing four games…