Owners Alter NBA Finals Format
After nearly 30 years in the 2-3-2 format, the NBA Finals will be going back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for this year. Commissioner David Stern said that the reason for the change was because "there's been a sense among our teams that in a 2-2 series, it's not fair for a team with the better record to be away [for Game 5]. It's not fair for the better team in terms of record to spend as many as eight days away from home."
In the past, if the away team was able to steal one of the first two games, they quickly became the favorite to win the NBA Finals, since they had the next three games in a row at home. Reverting back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format restores a more competitive balance. The only downside for the new format is that it will require more travel for both teams if the series goes six or seven games. However, unlike the regular season with it’s back-to-backs, there is enough time in the Finals where the players can get some form of rest.