NBA alters seeding format for post-season

Winning the Atlantic Division will no longer guarantee the Toronto Raptors a top-four seed in the post-season.

In the new playoff seeding format, which was announced in a league statement on Tuesday, the eight playoff teams in each conference will be ranked by their regular-season win-loss record rather than automatically giving division winners home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The rule change was unanimously approved Tuesday by the league’s Board of Governors.

Previously, division winners were guaranteed no worse than the No. 4 seed, a rule that became heavily criticized last season when Portland ended up No. 4 in the powerful Western Conference despite the sixth-best record in the conference.

The league also changed the tiebreaker procedures, making head-to-head results the first tiebreaker for seeding and home-court advantage, and whether a team won its division second. A division winner previously got the home-court advantage if it met a team with the same record in the playoffs.

–With files from The Associated Press


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