NBA approves welcome a change to its playoff seeding system

Doc Rivers/Photo by Associated Press


The NBA board of governors has agreed to changes in the playoff format that will now see teams afforded playoff seedings based on records rather than a combination of records and whether they won their division.

Beginning this upcoming season the  eight playoff teams in each conference will be seeded based on order of their regular-season records.

Most recently, any team winning its division was guaranteed a top 4 seed in its conference even if another team in the conference had a better record. Interestingly, that team still did not have homecourt advantage even if it had a higher seed, if it had an inferior record than the team it was playing. That, of course, made no sense because at that point, why even give a team a top 4 seed for winning its division if you’re not going to reward it with homecourt advantage?

Either way, this is a good move by the NBA board of governors, which made this change on the recommendation of the league’s competition committee.

Doc Rivers, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations, is on the competition committee.



Full copy of Donald Sterling’s civil lawsuit against NBA, Shelly Sterling

Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling filed a civil lawsuit against the NBA and his wife Shelly on Tuesday, alleging fraud and asserting himself as the sole shareholder in the team he has owned since 1981.

Donald had already filed a federal lawsuit against the league in June seeking antitrust damages, and is currently embroiled in a probate trial with Shelly Sterling that could decide whether or not she had the right to sell the team for $2 billion.

Below is a full copy of the latest lawsuit:

Donald Sterling's civil lawsuit against the NBA and Shelly Sterling by thejackwang

Keith Benson scores 18 for Clippers, who fall to 1-3 in summer league play


Keith Benson/Photo courtesy of Oakland University


The Clippers are now 1-3 in summer league play after being defeated by the Miami Heat 96-87 on Wednesday at Cox Pavilion on the campus of University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Keith Benson – a 6-foot-10 power forward out of Oakland University – led the Clippers with 18 points off the bench.

DeAndre Liggins, a 6-6 shooting guard/small forward out of Kentucky, scored 14 points. Shawn Jones – a 6-7 power forward from Middle Tennessee St. – led Los Angeles with eight rebounds. Benson had six rebounds.

Miami (1-4) got a team-high 18 points from Justin Hamilton, a 7-foot post out of LSU. Tyler Honeycutt – a 6-8 forward who played at UCLA – led both teams with 15 rebounds.

The Clippers next play Friday at 3 p.m. against the Toronto Raptors at Cox Pavilion.


Chris Paul makes All-Defensive first team for the fourth time

Point guard Chris Paul has been selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team for the fourth time during his nine-year career.

Paul, who led the league in steals with a 2.48 average, received 64 first-team votes. Joining him on the first team are Defensive Player of the Year center Joakim Noah (105 first-team votes) of the Chicago Bulls, forward Paul George (65 first-team votes) of the Indiana Pacers,  forward Serge Ibaka (54 first-team votes) of the Oklahoma City Thunder and guard/forward Andre Iguodala (57 first-team votes) of the Golden State Warriors.

Voting consisted of a panel of 123 sports writers and broadcasters.

The second team is made up of forward LeBron James of the Miami Heat, guard Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets, guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, forward Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and center Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers.

Donald Sterling will sue the NBA for $1 billion

Even as his franchise steps toward a new regime, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling plans to sue the NBA for $1 billion in damages.

Attorney Maxwell Blecher confirmed that his client intends to file suit against the league, as first reported by NBC News. Sterling’s wife, Shelly, agreed Thursday to sell the franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion after reportedly having her husband declared mentally incapacitated. She in turn claimed full control of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.

The league has not yet approved the sale of the Clippers, and is proceeding with a June 3 hearing to oust Donald Sterling. Commissioner Adam Silver has maintained that the preferred outcome is a voluntary sale.

Sterling is seeking damages for the lifetime ban the NBA handed him last month and his termination charges.

Golden State secures No. 6 seed, but OKC’s loss to Pelicans prevents it from clinching No. 2

Even after tonight’s games there are still things to be decided regarding the upcoming Western Conference playoffs.

– The Oklahoma City Thunder still need a victory or a Clippers loss to assure themselves of the No. 2 seed after being stunned by the New Orleans Pelicans 101-89 on Monday night, thanks in large part to 41 points from Tyreke Evans. The Clippers have two games left, the Thunder one.

– The Golden State Warriors wrapped up the No. 6 seed with their 130-120 victory over Minnesota on Monday. Had OKC taken care of business, we would know that the Warriors would be playing the Clippers in the first round. Since there are only two games Tuesday – the Clippers host Denver in one – we won’t know exactly what will happen there until Wednesday unless the Clippers lose to the Nuggets, which would sew up No. 2 for OKC, No. 3 for the Clippers and a Clippers-Warriors matchup. (By the way, OKC’s last game is Wednesday at home against the lowly Pistons; it’s doubtful they lose that one, so count on Clippers-Warriors in the first round.)

– Memphis has officially made the playoffs with its 97-91 victory over Phoenix, eliminating the Suns at the same time. The Grizzlies are tied for the seventh spot with Dallas. They are a game behind No. 6 Golden State. Memphis, Dallas and Golden State all have one game left.