Back in the day Stern was asked who he'd like to see in the finals best case scenario...he said "Lakers vs. Lakers" without missing a beat. I hate we're down now...but its much better for fans across the country to root for a competitive team in or near their own backyard with a chance at a title.
But it will affect ratings as casual fans won't tune in as much
That will always be the issue with the NBA, the NFL can afford a Superbowl of Seattle and Denver, or Indy and NOLA. MLB can manage franchises like the Card, Pirates or even SF making the World Series because those are ardent baseball franchises with so much history that even casual fans enjoy the tradition and mystique. How many casual fans would tune into a NOLA vs Indy NBA Finals, or a GSW vs WSH Finals, very few. The NBA's greatest franchises outside of SA are big markets, LA, Boston, NY (historically relevant), Chicago (forever associated with MJ), and Philly. None of which are contenders currently.
I agree it is good for 'true' fans to see their teams perform well, all the WSH, Indy, Dallas, even Charlotte fans (I'm sure they exist) , but that is a luxury that the NBA can't really afford happening year in, year out.
I keep saying this all the time but Silver shouldn't worry about the age limit, instead he should have the balls unlike Stern to realize the NBA needs to be concentrated instead of expanded, as well as removing such a ridiculous 82 game schedule.