Tonight on The Ticket, the Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers, who they lead by a dozen games in the NBA's Eastern Conference.

In fact, only two teams, Cleveland and Milwaukee, are within 10 games of the Celtics in the conference.

Meanwhile, over in the west, things are as tight as can be at the top, with Minnesota and OKC in a share of the top spot at 40-17, while Denver and the Clippers both within 2 1/2 games of the leaders.

The first teams in the West's Play-In Tournament, No. 7 Sacramento and No. 8 Dallas, would be in line to be the 5th seed in the East. I present all these numbers because usually when the Association gets this lopsided, is when talks of postseason tweaks begin to circulate.

Of course, the NBA has already made a sizeable change to its playoff format in recent years by extending the number of teams from 16-to-20 and instituting the Play-In Tournament for seeds 7-10.

But what if we just got rid of the conferences entirely and took the 16-best teams in the league, attached a 1-16 seed to them, and off we went?

Everything else stays the same, four rounds of best-of-7 series, with homecourt to the higher seeds all the way through. This year, for instance, the Celtics would be in line, as of today, to face the Orlando Magic (32-26) in the first round, who would sneak in as the league's No. 16 seed.

The tournament could be set up just like a March Madness bracket, meaning if the Celtics won their first round series vs. Orlando, they would advance to take on the winner of the 8 vs. 9 series, which as of today would feature the Knicks facing the Suns in the opening round.

I know, it throws everything that we've known and has been traditional to the NBA's history out the window, but you can't tell me it wouldn't lead to some absolutely juicy early round matchups en route to a thrilling chase for a championship. Travel would be a bit of a mess, but the league has enough money to figure it out. And the current format certainly provides enough off days to get wherever a team must go.

For a team like the Celtics, this probably isn't the greatest thing, as it would trim some of the fat off the bottom of the postseason bracket and make their path to a Larry O'Brien Trophy all the more difficult. But doesn't that just make the payoff all that sweeter too?

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