So, while holding on to the tournament as previously outlined, the most simple option would be to add those 8 games to the regular season by exploiting the current divisional format (eliminating conferences). Teams would play their respective divisional opponents four times (16 games) and opponents outside the division only twice, home and away (50 games). Each division winner and then the overall remaining top 10 teams would go to the playoffs. This reaches the almighty 82-game destination exactly and precisely.
So to summarize this post with the previous, my proposal for the NBA is to:
- scrap the preseason completely.
- have each team to play 16 games of group-play (6 groups of 5 teams seeded according to final regular season's standing, see previous post).
- have top 3 teams in each group enter the tournament (similar to sweet 16, a.k.a. NBA Super Bowl, see previous post).
- create a 66-game regular season with current divisions, leading to playoffs as is currently constructed.
Finally I would like to thank the guys at Drive and Dish Podcast (driveanddish.podbean.com) and Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) for their feedback to the initial post.