The NBA Finals appear to be on its way to returning to its former 2-2-1-1-1 home-court advantage format.
The NBA Competition Committee — comprised of two team owners, four general managers, three head coaches and a player — voted unanimously for the change, The Boston Herald‘s Steve Bulpett is reporting. The decision is now awaiting owners approval.
The league’s current 2-3-2 championship format allows the team with home-court advantage to host the first and last two games, with the lower-seeded team hosting the middle three.
It adopted the format in 1985 to reduce the amount of cross-country travel that was occurring when the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics met in the Finals.
In 2013, the Miami Heat became the fourth team to win both Game 6 and Game 7 at home. The team with home-court advantage is 21-8 in NBA Finals under the 2-3-2 format.
The Boston Herald reported Sunday:
“Proponents of the change have believed the current 2-3-2 format dulls some of the homecourt advantage to the higher seed. The Miami Heat won Games 6 and 7 at home to claim the Finals in June, but they were just the fourth team in 29 years to accomplish that feat.
Also, with the lower seed getting Game 6 on its home floor, it increases the likelihood that a series will go to seven games, which is traditionally in the business interests of the league and its television partners. The NBA Finals are televised by ABC.”
Even if this will be a business move for the NBA, ESPN, and ABC, it will hopefully make for some more compelling series, as the dramatic shifts of scenery among games 5,6, and 7 could cause some high drama.