NBA Changes Finals Format

The new NBA finals format has people buzzing, it is a much more fair policy that allows teams to truly gain an advantage and utilize momentum in a fair way. This utilizes travel available to them, and unlike years past a team will not have to stay a week at a time in the visiting city. This new policy has tremendous policy, power and politics implications as will be discussed in further detail later on.

The issue of home court advantage in championship series is always a political debate.  Every professional league needs a policy to decide who deserves home court advantage in the finals, and the National Basketball Association just changed their policy which changed the home court advantage format from 2,3,2 to 2,2,1,1,1.  This has tremendous impact in terms of the power dynamic in the NBA.  Last year if this format existed it would have been more difficult for the heat to win in 6 games, as the 6th game would have been in San Antonio rather than when it was in Miami.

The NBA wants the fairest possible way to award their trophy for the year, and they feel the best way is via the 2,2,1,1,1.  The previous years have involved much less travel however it gives the team that does not have home court wins the first two games, they instantaneously get home court and will then be favoured to win three games in a row.  The new format gives the game advantage, however that team does not have to win three consecutive games which is a very difficult and unlikely thing to do in the playoffs.

What the NBA has done in changing the finals format makes much more sense for travel purposes, as well as the fairness aspect of the NBA finals.  When a team gets home court advantage, it should be worth something, like it is in the first three rounds of the playoffs.  Previously the NBA has had a different home court format for the finals for the reasons that it used to be very difficult to travel when it was the Celtics against the Lakers. Currently all these teams have private jets, and travel is not an issue.  The format 2,2,1,1,1 makes more sense for fairness, travel and continuity purposes.

In conclusion, the switch they made is the fair way of doing things, and will see a benefit towards finals tv ratings and intern will net the league even more money hopefully, as it will result in a more competitive and compelling series!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/sports/basketball/nba-finals-format-tweaked.html

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