Non-Conference Playoffs Would be 'Doomsday Scenario' for 76ers
Everything about the 2019-2020 NBA season is different. This year, two training camps will have to ensue. The first one was on time back in October. The second one will likely take place this summer as the season is expected to resume after a multi-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak in America.
If and when the NBA returns to action this summer, nothing will be the same. For starters, there won't be any fans in stands. And instead of having teams play in their respective cities and travel to others for games -- the NBA is expected to host the entire league at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as a 'bubble-city.'
So since everything is so different already -- the NBA and its Board of Governors is looking into potentially making some additional changes to spice things up even more. One of those changes happens to involve the playoff format. Over the last week or so, a few altered playoff scenarios have been thrown out. One of which has brought a lot of attention to itself, for better or for worse.
What's the Scenario?
For the playoffs, the NBA could consider seeding 16 playoff teams based on their overall league-wide ranking. At that point, conference standings won't matter much. Eastern Conference teams could face Western Conference teams before the NBA Finals. To many fans, the proposed scenario seems interesting.
For the Philadelphia 76ers, that could be an absolute 'doomsday scenario,' though, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic recently noted. Earlier in the week, we reported that the 1-16 seeding wouldn't change much for the 76ers when it comes to the first round.
Regardless of whether the NBA sticks to keeping conference play in all but one round or not, the Sixers are more than likely going to face the Boston Celtics in round one. After that, however, the bracket could get extremely complicated for Philly.
If the Sixers were to advance past the Celtics, the second-round opponent would be the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers versus the Dallas Mavericks. And after a potential round two victory, the 76ers could be on a path to face the Milwaukee Bucks or the Los Angeles Lakers.
While the NBA is far from decided on how the 2020 NBA Playoffs will look, the 76ers have no choice but to root against the non-conference seeding idea. The Sixers might've proven this season they could defeat some of the aforementioned teams; but they did so with home-court advantage in South Philly. During this year's postseason, home-court advantage doesn't exist, which makes the Sixers one of the NBA's most questionable teams heading into the playoffs.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_