Remember that whole thing about the NBA just ditching the current playoff format and just having the top 16 teams in the playoffs?
Let's see how that would look right now ... as of April 6th.
1-WARRIORS (63-14) vs 16-BUCKS (38-39)
2-HAWKS (57-19) vs 15-SUNS (39-38)
3-ROCKETS (53-24) vs 14-PELICANS (41-35)
4-GRIZZLIES (52-25) vs 13-THUNDER (42-35)
5-CLIPPERS (52-26) vs 12-WIZARDS (44-33)
6-SPURS (51-26) vs 11-RAPTORS (45-32)
7-TRAIL BLAZERS (50-27) vs 10-MAVERICKS (46-31)
8-CAVALIERS (50-27) vs 9-BULLS (46-31)
Here are the main differences.
First off, the Pelicans and Suns would be in the playoffs, while the Nets and Celtics (currently sitting 7th and 8th in the East) would not. That's a great trade-off. The Pelicans are a very talented team with a budding super star on their roster. Phoenix is an exciting team to watch. The Nets and Celtics have each tried to purge their rosters to shave money and get young talent. With the shoddy Eastern Conference, you can do that and still make the playoffs!
Next, well look at these matchups. Cleveland is in an 8-9 series instead of being a No. 2 seed in the current format. That means they'd get the Bulls in the first round instead of the Nets. Again, a much better series. Six of the eight home field advantages would be to Western teams because they are better. On the flip side, the Warriors would face the Bucks ... and much weaker team than the Thunder they are currently trending to play. Right now, the Bucks would face the Bulls in the first round. Think about that! The Bulls would get the Bucks in the first round, while the NBA's best team ... Golden State ... would have to face the Oklahoma City Thunder?
One interesting thing to look at is the travel. Here is where the series look as far as distance:
New Orleans to Houston
Cleveland to Chicago
Memphis to Oklahoma City
Milwaukee to Oakland
Toronto to San Antonio
Dallas to Portland
Atlanta to Phoenix
Washington to Los Angeles
Sure, DC to LA is quite a ride ... but that happens in NBA Finals. And look at Dallas-Portland? That would be a normal Western Conference series. Imagine a Memphis-Portland series? Or Minnesota-Los Angeles?