Silver open to point differential, location changes for in-season tourney
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is willing to tinker with the new In-Season Tournament despite the success of its debut.
"I don't want to take away from this great start, but this is something we want to make a fixture in the league, so we're open to making changes," Silver said Friday in an interview with ESPN's Malika Andrews.
The In-Season Tournament, which counts toward regular season win totals, places teams into pools before moving on to a single elimination knockout round, similar to Champions League soccer. The inaugural finals take place in Las Vegas on Saturday and feature the Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers.
Using the Olympics model, the tiebreaker for teams with the same number of wins during pool play is point differential. The league will evaluate how players and fans respond to the tiebreaker system, Silver revealed.
"Maybe if an American audience feels like it's poor sportsmanship to run up the score, we have to deal with that," Silver said.
During the group stages, the Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan was ejected late in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors after Pascal Siakam took a three when the game was already decided.
Other players, including the Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown, described trying to run up the score as distasteful and "not how the game is played."
Silver is also open to changing locations for the semifinals and finals of the tournament. The NBA could institute a rotating host, similar to the All-Star Game's model, or allow the finals to be played in home arenas.
The executive recognized the importance of home-court advantage but the logistics of trying to schedule games on short notice has "been a bit more of a headache for the league office," he said.
One of the reasons a host city is attractive to the NBA is its ability to organize the event properly.
"Scheduling games at the last minute, it's not great for hometown fans," Silver said.