According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, potentially starting in 2014, the Finals could soon be adopting the same ‘2-2-1-1-1’ format the other rounds of the playoffs use after the NBA Competition Committee voted unanimously for the change.
Before private jets and luxurious amenities of the sort became the norm for NBA teams to travel across country, the ‘2-3-2’ format served its purpose. Those days are long gone. We live in an age where wi-fi is easily accessible on planes and depending on the airline, beds, too. The main motivation behind this decision is obviously money, something the league has been about since the day David Stern took over in 1984 (not exactly a bad thing either). With more money comes the obvious possibility for more Game 7’s. As Windhorst notes, what the Heat pulled off back in June – winning Games 6 and 7 at home – has only happened four times in the past 29 seasons.*
Moving back to the format the Finals employed prior to 1985, the league allows the lower seeded team to play Game 6 at home, thus increasing the opportunities for a Game 7 or winning on their home floor (depending on the circumstances).
To that I say, finally. Now we can eliminate having to hear how the ‘2-3-2’ needs to be altered for 150 different reasons every June – from myself included. Basketball can’t get here soon enough. It’s a damn shame I’m this excited for Media Day.
* – The other three Finals Game 7’s since ’85 are Lakers over Celtics in 2010, Rockets over Knicks in 1994 and Spurs over Pistons in 2005.