The NBA will now seed playoff teams solely by their record, throwing out the top-four protection for teams who win their divisions.
The expected change was unanimously approved Tuesday by the league's Board of Governors. Teams in each conference will be seeded from one to eight by their won-loss record.
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 having 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 the second tiebreaker. A division winner previously got the home-court advantage if it met a team with the same record in the playoffs.