For many years, I have wondered why the NBA has not realigned the Western and Eastern Conferences, and come up with a new playoff system. Here is my solution to that. As a fan of the Minnesota Timberwolves, they are the team that, by far, does the most traveling of any other team in the league. They are in a conference that includes travels to Denver, Portland, Utah, all over California and Texas, Oklahoma City, Memphis, and New Orleans. All of those trips take place twice a year. The Timberwolves travel 30,000 miles more per year than the second closest team, which happens to be Portland. I think the NBA needs to do away with divisions within conferences and just focus on conferences. With 30 teams in the league, why not create three conferences and have the top 16 records make the playoffs. In the newly formatted Wild West, it would be: Portland, Golden State, Sacramento, Los Angeles (Lakers and Clippers) Phoenix, Utah, Denver, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio. In the Heartland Conference, it would be: Minnesota, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Indiana, and Detroit. In the Coastal Conference, it would be the remaining teams: New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Toronto, and Washington. The schedule would be reduced from 82 games to 76 games. The new schedule would include one trip to each team outside of the traveling team’s conference and that team would also receive one trip from each team outside its conference for a total of 40 games. Each team would play teams within its own conference four times for a total of 36 games, bringing the total number of games to 76. The top 16 teams will make the playoffs. Top eight records will receive “delayed” home-court advantage. What do I mean by “delayed?” The higher seed will have the first game at home. Then, it will travel for the second game and travel back home for game three, and on the road for game four. Teams would continue this pattern if it was to go longer than four games. Should the series go more than four games and the higher seeded team is trailing in the series, the higher seed would get game five, six, and seven at home. The lower seed may not like that, but it puts more of an emphasis on winning games in the regular season to get that type of advantage. Also, I don’t think higher seeded teams would purposely try to dig themselves a hole in the first four games. However, if a series continues to go back and forth, and is tied 3-3, the seventh game, like made obvious in the paragraph above, would be played at the higher seed. By cutting out six regular season games, that makes the NBA regular season about two weeks shorter. The regular season would be done at the beginning of April. The playoff system does need to be revitalized and I think the NBA could shake up the conferences, too. The conference realignment wouldn’t affect the West Coast, but the East Coast and Midwest could see a spike in television ratings and viewers. It’s something to think about, though.