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Sunday, April 22, 2018

What’s Up with the NBA Seeding?

OK, I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time, but it’s still worth mentioning now that Houston and Utah is 3-2 Rockets, with each game being won on home court. The other series this affected was Miami/Chicago, but we all know how that turned out. I have asked several knowledgeable people, and still have yet to receive a legitimate answer. Why is Utah considered the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, while the Rockets are seeded 5th?

Houston still has home court advantage in the series because they finished with a better regular season record than the Jazz. Makes perfect sense. So then why isn’t Houston the 4th seed? Reason why I mention all this is because when I picked the playoffs on ballhype, I gave Utah the nod based on home court. I literally thought it would be the closest and hardest fought series, coming down to who held home court advantage in Game 7. Seems like I’m right on point there — only problem is that Utah, despite being the 4th seed, does not have home court advantage.

I like what the NBA did this year, allowing teams with better records from the same division get seeded higher in the playoffs than say a division winner with a poorer record. Such was the case with both Cleveland in the Eastern Conference, and San Antonio in the Western Conference. I also understand that the NBA doesn’t want teams tanking to try and intentionally play a team they believe to be a weaker team that could be a higher seed (due to division winners getting higher seeds).

But once we see that Houston and Chicago received the home court advantages, then why are they listed as the No. 5 seeds instead of the No. 4? Seems like just semantics, but it actually can make a difference — especially to someone like me who was led to believe Utah would have home court advantage being the 4th seed — man was I wrong. So someone, please explain to me why Houston and Chicago weren’t just named the No. 4 seeds when they received every advantage a higher seeded team gets?

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