By: Randy Cruz (@cruzr83)
The NBA Finals, which has been playing in the 2-3-2 format since 1985, is likely heading back to its original format, 2-2-1-1-1. There's still no word on whether the change would be implemented for this upcoming Finals.
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, The NBA's Competition Committee voted unanimously to bring back the Finals 2-2-1-1-1 format. The final decision is pending a vote from the owners.
As news broke today on the social media circuits, some fans were for the move, some were against the move.
With the old format (2-2-1-1-1), it was the stress of traveling across the country, especially since the Finals were dominated by the Lakers and Celtics that had teams and owners concerned about the scheduling, hence changing the format to 2-3-2 for the 1985 season, where the Lakers and Celtics again met up in the NBA Finals.
According to the AP in 2008, prior to the 2008 Finals, David Stern said in his Finals press conference that Red Auerbach, who complained about the old 2-2-1-1-1 format, had a role in the new 2-3-2 format, which was implemented in the 1984-1985 season during Stern's first official year as NBA commissioner.
To eliminate traveling long distance more than once (if the Finals went past 5 games), the 2-3-2 format assured that each team would travel fewer amount of times. The teams would travel no more than twice, even it went to a Game 7.
Also, the home court advantage being best utilized is also a major factor in bringing back the 2-2-1-1-1 format. With the 2-3-2 format, if the home team splits game 1 & 2, they won't even sniff their home floor again until a possible Game 6, and with the NBA scheduling, might not be for at least a week. Having the home court advantage for a Game 5 and a possible Game 7 is what many would say is the major benefactor of having a better record from the regular season.
The new format could ensure a closer, competitive series producing more Game 7's in the future, which in sports, brings the element of drama up to higher levels.
Since 1985, 18 of the 29 NBA Finals series went to at least Game 6, with only 5 series going to a Game 7.
Which NBA Finals format are you a fan of?