Friday night witnessed utter March Madness as no more perfect brackets exist. Michigan State lost to Middle Tennessee, Cincinnati could not dunk the ball fast enough to tie the game against St. Joseph's, and Stephen F. Austin easily upset West Virginia. Sheer chaos.
So why not have that for the NBA? The way playoffs are currently constructed, teams see their seasons end way too early and a certain core of teams monopolize having a real chance to win the NBA title. Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves out of contention quickly and begin to actually root for their teams to simply start losing games for the purposes of tanking. So why not change that?
What if the NBA implemented a system where every team qualifies for a bracket styled playoff that's a 1 game, winner take all, until the NBA finals (where it can be 3, 5, or 7 games)? That would allow every team/city to have a reason to keep competing. Seeding in a playoff may very well matter a lot. Of course, right now each conference only has 15 teams, so the NBA would have to get 2 expansion teams - one in each conference - but I'm sure the cities of Seattle and (maybe?) Montreal wouldn't really mind.
With this form of playoff seeding, the NBA would make NBA fans around the country more invested in their teams and interested in the season. Sure, you'll typically see the 1-seed team beat the 16th seed of a conference.. Yet there will always be a better chance for upsets. This kind of interest, intensity, and pressure matters so much. As structured now, the NBA basically lets only a handful of teams win. After the first round match ups were also increased to 7 game series, the playoff system has become a true game of attrition. As such, it's much harder for underdog teams to advance in the playoffs.
Perhaps it'd be better to create a system where players are truly put under a microscope of tragedy, triumph, and heroes from nowhere.