Higher Ground

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The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
5 April 2015

I. Aim High

Funny to see these NBA Eastern Conference teams and their records on the screen the other night accompanied by the caption, “Aim High,” given that at least two and possibly three of the playoff teams will finish with sub-.500 records. More on that later.

II. Soul Train

If Steph Curry is fast becoming one of the faces of the league, plays like this are why:

http://www.sbnation.com/2015/3/31/8324099/stephen-curry-crossed-chris-paul-up-so-hard-he-breakdanced/in/8087176

III. David Wins

As natural as it is to root against Goliath, I feel somewhat bad for the guys on the previously unbeaten University of Kentucky team. As they are a Goliath to virtually everyone they play, those guys were under crazy pressure every time
they walked out on the court. 38-1 is still an historic feat…but next time, if there is a next time, shake hands afterwards.

I wonder if old coach Adolph Rupp – who turned over once when Tubby Smith coached UK to a title some years back – has turned yet again at the sight of all of those Black McDonald’s All-Americans at Kentucky.

IV. Spurs Lose to Knicks

With the seeding race so tight within the Western Conference, the unexpected overtime loss the charging San Antonio Spurs – as is the case this time each year -suffered at the hands of the worst record New York Knicks may wind up having an effect on the entire playoff picture in the west.

With that said…

V. Playoff Solution

Here’s a little postseason solution that addresses the current talent imbalance between the conferences, but maintains conference and divisional rivalries that a straight 1-16 playoff setting would not.

1) Reduce the regular season to 80 games – to essentially shave one week off…because an extra week of playoffs will follow.

2) Award playoff positions to:

The three division winners in each conference, and
The next four best records in each conference.

At that point there would be 7 teams from each conference. Then award spots to the teams with the four best remaining records, leaving a total of 18 playoff teams. The 4 teams with the worst records will then play a best of three play-in round, eliminating two teams. Those two teams would play the number one seeds in each conference.

One interesting possibility is that both of the play-in winners would be from the same conference, meaning that one team would be competing in the other conference’s playoff rounds – which could create some intriguing matchups from year to year. Anyway, it’s something to consider. Whoever knows Adam Silver, please share with him!

VI. Black Girls Rock

I am fortunate to know two young ladies, Crystal & Donna, that helped show Black Girls Rock on BET. Check it out tonight…or on one of the dozen times they rerun it.

VII. Happy Easter

Enjoy the rest of your Easter Sunday!

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