On Tie Breakers and Broken Divisions





As a Hawks fan, I'm thrilled that we swept the Celtics this season. T H R I L L E D. I can't stress the word enough. Listening to Steve Holman declare "GOOD NIGHT BOSTOOON" over the radio was exciting. It was a feeling of electrification tinged with the slightest hint of cold, hard revenge. It was the Hawks as a team brushing aside doubts, fears, and the memories of a painful game 7 loss, and then brushing aside the champions of two years ago. Clearly, the Hawks are better than the Boston Celtics--the evil, old, tiring and thuggish Boston Celtics. (I won't bash Paul Pierce though)

And yet, if the Hawks and Celtics tie for the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics actually hold the tie breaker--what gives?

Apparently--even though Atlanta has essentially eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs already--the Celtics will be handed the 3rd spot because they've won their division. But hey, with tough, championship hungry teams like the New Jersey Nets breathing down your neck, I suppose the division crown is worth something, right? Right? What I mean to say is, I'm glad that the the other four teams in the Southeast Division are .500 and under. Really, I'm happy that the Orlando Magic are barely breaking even behind the Hawks.

Oh, I'm sorry, I messed up. The division I meant to say was the "Atlantic Division," the team I meant to point out starts with "Toronto" and ends with "Raptors," and the team that they're lagging behind is--you guessed it!--the Boston Celtics. My B dawg. My B.

"So John," you may ask, "what the hell is your point?"

My point is--I so evenly reply--is that the current tie breaker system is terrible. Every year, something like this happens--but I only care now because the Hawks are currently being victimized. Why else would Zaza cheer like a college kid after watching a team he's beaten four times this season lose to the Thunder? Oh, and as for Woody? He doesn't care--for shame!

"Hawks coach Mike Woodson said he has no complaints about the tiebreaker system that gives the advantage to a team winning its division. Atlanta swept Boston 4-0 in the season series, but the Celtics would get the third seed if the teams end up tied for winning the Atlantic Division." (Taken from;_ylt=Ao5SEtG1244nEaAVFoqU4vW8vLYF?gid=2010033101)

The team who wins the season series should win the tie breaker. That's it. Because any other outcome would depend on 8 different teams who are playing for their own reasons: to rebuild, to grow, to reach the playoffs--anything other than win or lose games for the division leader. 

In short, tiebreakers shouldn't be dependant on anything other than the two teams fighting for playoff positioning. Then again, I am biased. Tell me what you think in the poll or in the comments section.

Go Hawks!

A FanPost expresses the opinion of the community member who wrote it and not that of the blog management.

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