Why one NBA restart plan is perfect for the Dallas Mavericks
3. Group stage does Dallas Mavericks no favors
One thoroughly discussed proposal is playing a group stage format like they do in the FIFA World Cup. The basic premise is teams are divided into pools. You would play each team in your group twice. The two teams with the best records following that advance to a traditional playoff format expect it would only be eight teams instead of 16.
The NBA would only bring back 20 teams in this scenario to make the groups even. That means the traditional 16 playoff teams plus the Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, and Spurs.
Assuming they used the regular season standing to split the groups, Dallas’ would feature the Clippers, Celtics, 76ers, and Spurs. Only two of those five teams advance. It would be by far the most difficult group to navigate. Ben Simmons should be back healthy for Philadelphia. The Celtics are always dangerous in the playoffs. The dreaded Clippers matchup plus the rival Spurs make it a headache for the Mavs.
This setting gives Dallas eight games, but it might not have that playoff fire. The idea is new and radical. That could take away some of the traditional playoff excitement for players. No game seems that important because a different matchup is ahead in a few days. Plus, the Mavericks would not get that seven-game series of the opposition preparing just for you. That is a key piece of the NBA playoffs.
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