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

by October 23, 2013
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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.”