A change to the format of the NBA Finals could be coming in the near future.
Citing sources, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald tweeted on Sunday that the NBA’s competition committee has “voted unanimously to return NBA Finals to 2-2-1-1-1 format. Owners’ approval to come.”
If the owners approve this change, it’s not yet known if the 2-2-1-1-1 format would begin with the 2014 NBA Finals or the year after.
The current 2-3-2 setup, which the NBA has used since 1985, has been criticized for a number of reasons.
When “underdog” teams steal one of the first two games on the road, it creates a situation where they travel home for three games with a chance to win the title in five games or take a 3-2 lead into Game 6. This puts a lot of pressure on the team with home-court advantage to win both home games at the beginning of the series.
Another knock on the 2-3-2 format is that it gives the crucial Game 5 to the team that didn’t earn home-court advantage, which isn’t fair. In the 10 NBA Finals series that have been tied 2-2 since 1985, the winner of Game 5 has captured the Larry O’Brien Trophy seven times.
While there would be more travel involved with the 2-2-1-1-1 setup, thanks to charter flights and modern technology, teams are coping with the cross-country flights a lot better today than they did when the 2-3-2 format was adopted 28 years ago.