A month into the 2017 season, it’s time to start asking the right questions about the NBA’s future.
With a year to go, it appears as though the league will be looking to add teams to its 30-team regular-season format and, possibly, the league’s own postseason championship game.
Here are some of the more interesting questions: Is the NBA going to continue to be the only sport in the world with the same rules for every single team?
The NBA has been using the 15-team playoff system for more than 20 years, and in many ways it has worked quite well.
Teams have won championships, and the game has evolved from a league-run affair to one where teams play in their home markets and players come from different states.
That’s a win-win.
But the system has also brought a number of changes to the NBA landscape.
Teams with the highest lottery picks have been able to select more players in the draft, and some of those players have since become stars.
That has created an imbalance that the NBA is looking to change.
Is the league going to expand the playoffs to 12 teams?
The league already has four playoff teams in the Western Conference: the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Clippers and Warriors were able to build off the success of their championship teams.
The Thunder and Jazz were the only other Western Conference teams to win their conference titles.
The Warriors have a shot to win the NBA championship this season, but it won’t be easy.
That would be impossible for a team that finished the season with just four games left.
Is there a chance that the Western conference could go into the playoffs as a four-team league?
If the Warriors, Clippers and Jazz make it into the playoff race, the Eastern Conference is already set up.
The New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons are all in that group.
It would be a pretty big jump for the Bulls and Pistons to make it to the conference finals.
The Bulls and 76ers are set up to go through the playoffs with the first- and second-best records in the East.
The Pistons, meanwhile, have a chance to make a run in the playoffs, but there’s a chance they’ll miss out on it.
Is it likely that the league would expand the postseason to 16 teams?
That is a lot of teams.
It seems unlikely that the playoffs would expand to 16 games, but if it does, the NBA will have 16 teams for the first time in the league.
The league also will have two more teams than in the past, thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement.
Teams that are not currently in the NBA playoff mix will be added to the league by 2021.
Which teams will make the NBA Finals?
If you’re looking for a playoff team, the only teams in contention are the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The rest of the East and West are in contention.
The Lakers and Celtics will make it all the way to the Finals without the help of a few key players, but the Warriors will make history by becoming the first team to reach the Finals since the 1996-97 season.
Who will make a deep run in 2017?
While the Warriors have been the dominant team in the regular season, they will need to find a way to get to the finals.
Teams like the Losers, Spurs, Mavericks, Rockets and Heat are all expected to make deep runs.
If the league expands to 16 playoff teams, there will be more teams on the outside looking in.
Who has the best chance of making the playoffs this year?
The best hope for the 2017-18 season might be the defending champion Golden State, which is looking for its first championship since 1997.
The Spurs are also a good bet to win it all, but that could depend on how well the Spurs are playing in the series against the Cavs.
The Heat are still a contender, but they may be looking at a few bumps along the way.
Who wins the Western and Eastern Conference?
The Warriors are the favorites to win all three conferences, but who is going to make that leap from the East to the West?
The Heat will have to win four games to have a realistic chance of advancing.
The Cavaliers are the only team that could reach the conference Finals without a major injury to one of its stars.
The Mavericks have a strong chance of reaching the Finals, but their roster is stacked with superstars and veterans who won’t play well against each other.
Who should be the No. 1 seed in the West, with the Warriors or the Cavs winning it all?
The Clippers are the favorite in the Loser’s bracket, but some teams could have a better chance of winning it.
The Rockets are the best bet to make history, but losing one of their key players could derail the team.
The Timberwolves have the most star power in the conference, and they are the first seed in a conference that includes the Warriors