Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 at 3:35 pm  |  32 responses

NBA Changes Finals Format Back to 2-2-1-1-1

As expected, NBA owners unanimously voted on Wednesday to change the NBA Finals format from 2-3-2 to 2-2-1-1-1. This change will take effect in June. Per the AP: “The league will add an extra day between Games 6 and 7. The current format was instituted in 1985 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. The higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds. The change to the 2-3-2 format was one of the earliest made by Commissioner David Stern, who has often said he was acting on advice – or complaints – about the travel from former Celtics boss Red Auerbach. But with commercial travel long since replaced by charters, teams didn’t have the same difficulties now with the number of flights.”

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  • KSupreme

    about damn time

  • Harvey

    Yeah, can’t really complain about this.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne


  • Dfrance

    Always thought 2-3-2 was unfair to the team with home court advantage.

  • Dundler


    What’d be really cool though, is if they played the first four games 2-2, and then the next three on neutral venues, just so its completely even.

    But then you wouldn’t get the crowd reactions whatever, would still be cool though. In fact, maybe switch it around, first couple of games are neutral or something

  • spit hot fiyah

    so having a better regular season record wouldn’t matter once u get to the finals if that was the case

  • spit hot fiyah


  • Dundler

    Yeah I wouldn’t mind that. I’d see it as a 1st seed gets you the best chance of getting to the finals, then its all bets off type thing.

  • LakeShow

    And SLAM nation praised the basketball god’s…

  • spit hot fiyah

    alright, it would be weird to see that in the nba. but it works for a bunch of other sports so why not. the crowd reactions would still be there though. each team’s supporters would probably occupy like 80% of the seats with 20% going to “neutrals”

  • Dundler

    Yeah would just be cool to see each team go at it with no advantage. But not in elimination games act, cos you’d rob the players of chance of winning on their home floor

  • LP @ThisisEther

    I’m definitely the only one who prefers the 2-3-2 format….

  • bball knowledge

    That makes absolutely no sense because it would take away the fun of the game. You think Lebron’s game 6 against the Celtics would have been fun without that Boston crowd and atmosphere, or pretty much any great game or team from the 80′s and 90′s especially the ShowTime Lakers, Bad Boy Pistons, or Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

  • Dundler


  • King David


  • LakeShow

    What about it did you like?

  • shockexchange

    The shockexchange thinks the coonery is finally ending. Lola Folana and David Stern have two things in common, neither of which involves the apparent boundaries dissolved by everything else. Also, the term Uncle Tom is certainly devoid of social ramifications dating back to the earliest establishments in colonial America. Apartheid diamonds? Cmon jacob dont lie to me man



  • ginpom

    The team with the better record deserves the revenues from having more games, and crucial games, on their home floor.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    I just always thought in the NBA Finals, at this level of play, the location of the game doesn’t matter much…These teams are so good, the best team is going to win…regardless of location….

    But as far as home court advantage, I always thought the Higher seed still had a slight advantage…IN my mind, if that lower seed doesn’t win 1 of the first 2 away games, they pretty much have 3 home games that are MUST WINS… and we know that doesn’t happen…. The series is over.

    …and then, in the event of a tight series coming down to a Game 6 (like the most recent), I think this is where the home court advantage is the Strongest….The higher seed now has 2 consecutive closeout games on their homecourt….

    MIA/SA series went back and forth the whole series, it really didn’t matter where they played… Miami had those last 2 games at home, which I think helped them alot….in a 2-2-1-1-1 series, Game 6 would have been in San Antonio….and there’s NO WAY chris bosh and ray allen do that magic in San Antonio…

  • Castrovi

    It’s about time!!

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    but isn’t that the point of home court advantage. I liked what kenny smith said and just have the 16 best records compete rather than have conference division.

  • swill

    how so? i’ve always seen it as unfair to the team w/o home court. if the series goes past 5 games (which it almost always does), to win the series you have to close the other team out in their arena.

  • Melvin flynt

    Fair game

  • pposse

    i agree. imo the most crucial games in a 7 game series is game 5 and game 7. When the top two teams compete for a championship i just feel that atleast one of those games should go to the away team since it is for the championship. The number one seed shouldn’t get both those games at home.

  • Mkk

    I always seen it unfair to whoever goes up early. Regardless. It just puts so much pressure on the middle 3. Plus it hardly ever gave the top seed a chance to win on their home court. I felt in 97 the bulls almost tanked 4 and 5 so they could bring it home to Chicago . Not tanked but they weren’t as into it as the rest of ethe playoffs, whee they blew everything apart

  • bball knowledge

    obviously game 7 is crucial that’s pretty much a no brainer.

  • pposse

    so what do you think is the second most crucial game in a series?

  • bball knowledge

    In a 2-3-2 format I would say for the road team game one is crucial because you don’t want to risk being down 0-2 going back home.

  • Dfrance

    Because the team without homecourt plays has home court advantage in the first 5 games. If the team with homecourt loses one of the first 2 games, they have to go on the road for the next 3. Theoretically the team without homecourt can just win out at home and take the series.

  • swill

    makes sense. but i think having your 3 home games back to back to back makes it next to impossible to win every game at home. is it possible for it to be unfair to both sides? guess we can just agree that 2-2-1-1-1 is the way to go.

  • Dfrance

    Yeah its actually only happened twice. Lol. But historically, the lower seeded team actually has won more series using the 2-2-1-1-1 format than the 2-3-2 format so I think its a good thing.