Report: West teams suggested playoff tweaks to fix conference imbalance

The Western Conference has outperformed the East for some time, and the scales tipped even further this offseason, with stars like Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Paul Millsap heading west.

There are at least six teams in the Eastern Conference that have made moves signaling a rebuild versus a dozen or so in the Western Conference that, barring injuries, should be competitive.

So, under the current playoff format, there will inevitably be clubs in the West that miss out on the postseason despite being more talented and finishing with better records than playoff squads in the East. The owners of those teams have made informal proposals to the league office to solve the disparity, sources told ESPN's Zach Lowe.

"It needs to be addressed," Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban told Lowe in an email Thursday. "Seven of the 10 smallest markets are in the West. I really believe Eastern teams know they can get by doing less, and (in some cases) make the playoffs. Because they are larger markets, they will sell tickets and advertising, and get viewers. They get the best of both worlds."

The power imbalance isn't new to the league. In fact, Lowe noted that Cuban pitched a temporary realignment plan in 2014, while Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver pressed the league to abolish conferences altogether, at least as it relates to their impact on playoff seeding.

Commissioner Adam Silver said at the time the league would study the issue, but ultimately nothing changed because of the schedule imbalance and travel complications resulting from a playoff format that doesn't take into account conferences.

"The commissioner's office was not interested," Sarver told ESPN this week in an email. "The Eastern teams don't like it."

Now that the issue has worsened, it might be time to take another look.

Comments
Report: West teams suggested playoff tweaks to fix conference imbalance
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
RELATED NEWS
SUGGESTED STORIES
Giannis and his length, again
Four dribbles coast to coast for Giannis slam
Harrell with a harrowing dunk
Zero hesitation from @MONSTATREZZ! 💨💪
Giannis ➡️ Jabari ➡️ SLAM
Giannis OOPS it to Jabari for the SLAM! 💥 #FearTheDeer
Beal at the halftime buzzer
#B3AL with the GRIT at the halftime buzzer! #WizHornets
Blink And You'll Miss It 👀
Oladipo with the beautiful no-look dime to Turner! #Pacers 📺: #NBALeaguePass
LeBron fires slick one-handed wraparound pass to George Hill
@kingjames sets up @indianageorge3!
Harden checks on Butler
James Harden down st Wolves locker room quickly after game, asking to talk to Butler
Another triple-double for Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic posted his 3rd consecutive triple-double with 28 PTS, 11 AST, 11 REB to power the @nuggets at home! #MIleHighBasketball
Nuggets honor Iverson, Camby, Martin on 2000's night
Kenyon Martin, AI, and Marcus Camby are honored during 2000's night in Denver! #MileHighBasketball
Raptors' Valanciunas throws down dunk at buzzer to send game vs. Bucks to OT
JONAS 😱
Wiggins Catches A Body 💪
Towns to Wiggins backdoor for the @Timberwolves! #AllEyesNorth is on a 19-5 run in Q1. 📺: @ESPNNBA
Brow crowns Dwyane Wade!
Anthony Davis 🆙🔝! #DoItBig
Holiday's late floater gives Pelicans OT win over Heat
Jrue Holiday hit the go-ahead floater in the lane for the @PelicansNBA win! #DoItBIG
SEE MORE STORIES