The NBA Finals Returns to 2-2-1-1-1 Format This Season
By: Randy Cruz (@cruzr83)
We knew the change was coming, it was just a matter of when. As it was reported back in late September about the possible change of the NBA Finals format, it became official today as the league announced today that the NBA Finals are going from the 2-3-2 format this season, the format they've had since 1985, to the prior format, 2-2-1-1-1.
According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Stern said the 2-2-1-1-1 format was an easy sell to the league's Board of Governor's.
The last time the NBA Finals were held in the 2-2-1-1-1 format was in 1984, then the Boston Celtics went up against the Los Angeles Lakers. With the continuous cross country travel between the teams, Red Auerbach campaigned for the format to be 2-3-2 to cut down on the traveling, since the Celtics and Lakers dominated the Finals throughout the 1980's.
If you like traveling long distance, then this is your ideal format. As I wrote back in September regarding the potential format change, 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.
The 1984 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers did go seven games, and many hope with the 2-2-1-1-1 format coming back, it can increase the potential of more Game 7's in the future, as only 5 of the last 29 NBA Finals series (under the 2-3-2 format) went the distance.