27 October 2013

NBA Finals Will Adopt 2-2-1-1-1 Format

NBA Finals Format
According to Kevin Zimmerman of SB Nation, the NBA said it will ditch the current 2-3-2 finals format and return to the same one used before 1985.

The NBA's competition committee is pushing for the NBA Finals to return to a 2-2-1-1-1 home and away format. Sources told the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett that the committee voted unanimously to return to the format that was changed to the 2-3-2 home and away groupings that have been a part of the Finals since 1985. The change was already approved by league owners.

The first round, conference semifinals and conference finals of the NBA Playoffs already use the 2-2-1-1-1 format, but the Finals format was changed in 1985 to two home games, three road games and then two more home games for the team with the better regular season record.

Travel costs and television marketing purposes led to the new format, but since implementation of the 2-3-2 format, lower-seeded teams have struggled. They rarely win all three of their home games as the higher-seeded teams get used to the road atmosphere.

With team charter flights making it easier to travel more and in less amount of time - and with television being live for all games - the change back to a 2-2-1-1-1 format appears logistically sound and viewed as a more competitive model.

The 2-3-2 was instituted in 1985, outgoing commissioner David Stern's first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Celtics and Lakers frequently meeting for the championship. But critics felt it gave an edge to the lower-seeded team.

"There certainly was a perception ... it was unfair to the team that had the better record, that it was then playing the pivotal Game 5 on the road. So this obviously moves that game back to giving home-court advantage to the team with the better record if it's a 2-2 series," Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.

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