Things Just Got A Bit Easier For LeBron: The NBA Finals Format Has Officially Been Changed To Favor The Higher Seed
Today, owners unanimously voted to change the seven-game, home/away format the NBA Finals has had for the last 28 years, to the same format as the rest of the Playoffs. Thank you.
[Via AP] “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 2-3-2 format was implemented in 1985 because the Lakers and Celtics kept having to travel across country up to five times during the span of the traditional 2-2-1-1-1 series. But in 2013, teams charter flights on lavish private jets, so it’s not really that much of a deal any more.
But does the old format actual hurt the higher seeded team? Not really. The home team wins around 70% of the time, regardless of where the following game will be played. What the old format did hurt, however, was the frequency of game sevens, as the higher seeded team has shown a tendency to close out series in their home court game six.
Overall, the change is nice for consistency’s sake.