Gregg Popovich: NBA should stop giving division winners a top-four seed ‘immediately’


Doc Rivers has already said and resaid this.

But the Clippers coach (somewhat deservedly) has a reputation for griping too much.

So, in case you need a different perspective.

Arash Markazi of ESPN:

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the NBA needs to change the way it seeds playoff teams after this season and do away with guaranteeing division winners a top-four seed.

“That should be changed immediately,” Popovich said Saturday, before his team lost to the Clippers in Game 7 of the opening round. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Unfortunately for Popovich and his Spurs, it’s too late to change it “immediately.” Despite finishing with the NBA’s sixth-best record, they lost to the fourth-best Clippers in the first round of a 16-team playoff.

Yup, that’s ridiculous and unnecessary – and maybe it will get fixed.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has advocated going all-in (status quo) or all-out (removing divisions completely). If the Hack-a-Shaq discussion is any indicator, Silver values the input of the game’s greats (though that rule could go the other direction). Rivers is a championship-winning coach, and Popovich has won multiple. Together, they form a strong coalition.

They were most adversely affected by the rule this year, but perhaps they can rally other coaches to their side.

Personally, I don’t see a problem with keeping divisions and just not rewarding division winners with a top-four seed. I’m not sure how many people actually about a division title, but would any of them care less without a top-four seed attached?

If forced to choose between Silver’s all-in and all-out plans, I’m all-out on divisions. Maybe, with the urging of Popovich and Rivers, the NBA will be too soon enough.