Goodbye 2-3-2, welcome back 2-2-1-1-1!
Pending the National Basketball Association (NBA) owners’ approval, the league will see a return to the old format for the NBA Finals replacing the 2-3-2 format, which has been used since 1985.
Deputy NBA commissioner Adam Silver
According to multiple sources, including Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the NBA competition committee has voted unanimously in bringing back the NBA best-of-seven championship series to a 2-2-1-1-1 format.
Sources: Competition Committee votes unanimously to return NBA Finals to 2-2-1-1-1 format. Owners' approval to come.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) September 29, 2013
NBA went to 2-3-2 Finals in '85 to cut long distance travel. But teams now fly charter, and 2-3-2 diminished homecourt adv. — Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) September 29, 2013
In the 2-2-1-1-1 format, the team with the homecourt advantage still opens with the first two games at home and then plays the next two games on the road. The last three games are alternated with Games 5 and 7 played for the team with the homecourt advantage.
In the 2-3-2 format, the team with the homecourt advantage opens at home but plays the middle three games on the road and then, if necessary, the last two at home.
The original switch from 2-2-1-1-1 to 2-3-2 happened in 1985 after a recommendation from then former Boston Celtics General Manager Red Auerbach to then Commissioner David Stern to “reduce the cross-country trips between Los Angeles and Boston.”
With teams now flying their own charter flights, the travel is now easier in the new era of the NBA.
Many experts argue that the 2-3-2 format actually favours the road team in the best-of-seven series. Since the change happened in 1985, only four teams were able to win the sixth and seventh game of the series and win the NBA Finals.
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