In an appearance on the league's brand new SiriusXM radio channel, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said that the competition committee would look into eliminating divisions, per USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt:
On @SiriusXMNBA, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said competition committee will look at whether divisions have outlived usefulness.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) December 9, 2013
Silver, who will take over for David Stern as commissioner on Feb. 1, is surely responding to recent calls to abolish divisions in light of the Atlantic's putridity, most notably this missive from Grantland's Zach Lowe. It's never made much sense to have divisions affect playoff seeding, though, a point articulated by ESPN's Henry Abbott back in March of 2010.
If the season ended today, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers would both own fourth seeds despite not actually owning the fourth-best records in their respective conferences. Thanks to a rule change a handful of years ago, they would still lack home-court advantage in the first round, but the whole thing seems kind of silly and confusing. With how tight both conferences are between No. 4 and No. 10, there could easily be a situation where a division winner gets a more favorable matchup than it earned.
The only problem with getting rid of divisions? We wouldn't get quotes like this after a team improves to 10-12:
Sullinger: "We’re just trying to stay in first place in the Atlantic Division."— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) December 8, 2013