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A few pointed questions for the NBA

I watched the last three minutes of the Bulls’ 104-99 win over Indiana in Game One of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Pacers outplayed the Bulls for the first 47 minutes, by all accounts, but the Bulls were able to pull off the win. I expect a sweep.

However, the whole scenario sucks.

The Bulls won 62 games in the regular season, yet they have to screw around with a team that finished 25 games behind them during an 82-game season?

I suppose it’s a reward to the Bulls, who would rather spend the first round playing a near-lottery team than anyone else. But why not a bye? Should the Pacers win a seven-game series, what does it day about the integrity of the NBA regular season?

The NBA and NHL are the biggest offenders by allowing 16 teams. But the NFL’s system allowed a 7-9 team (Seattle) to make the playoffs last year. And they won a playoff game, beating the defending Super Bowl champs.

In baseball, a wild card team can beat the champion from its own division in the league championship series. Then again, baseball’s schedule has enough problems with balance.

The regular season should mean something — enough that a team that has proven itself so bad should not get an equal chance at beating a 60-win team in a playoff series.

I know why they do this. Same reason as they do anything else: money. So, if they want to keep the expanded playoffs, how about this modest proposal:

If the difference in seeds is more than three, then the better team needs to win just three. The team with the worse seed needs to win four.

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