Oct 3, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
Welcome to PBT’s regular roundtable on issues around the NBA, where our writers weigh in on the topic of the day.
Today: Is the NBA’s likely return to a 2-2-1-1-1 format for the NBA Finals (instead of the 2-3-2 that has been in place since 1985) a good idea?
Kurt Helin: I like it, but I don’t think it’s that big a change on the court, ultimately. The rule was put in back in an era when virtually every newspaper in America was flying reporters back and forth between Boston and Los Angeles in the Finals every year and complaining. The players few commercial, everyone did, and it made some sense from a logistical standpoint to go 2-3-2. I don’t think it does anymore, they should go back to a format where the team with the better record gets Game 5 at home. That said, no team gets to say they lost because of the format. It’s not that big a deal. Not to go all coach Norman Dale, but the basket is still 10 feet from the ground and 15 feet from the free throw line. The better team wins in seven games.
D.J. Foster: Now this explains why Kurt was at Summer League just muttering “my team is on the floor” over and over again. I agree that the 2-2-1-1-1 format won’t change an awful lot from a competition standpoint, but I do think it’s more exciting and gives more of the back-and-forth vibe that basketball is all about. It might be easier for casual hometown fans to stay more involved the series as well, for whatever that’s worth. And sure, the extra travel is a little tougher on media, but it all evens out because we get free ice cream at games. So long as I can rake in the free treats and airline miles, I’ll make it.
Brett Pollakoff: While I agree that the 2-3-2 format has never been the cause of a team losing (except maybe the Lakers in the 2004 Finals to the Pistons, but that’s a longer conversation for another time), it does give the team with home court advantage an incredible leg up in a longer series. No team should have games 6 and 7 at home, because it’s too much for the visitors to overcome — the last two times the Finals went 7, the home team trailed 3-2 in the series before winning the last two games to secure the title.
Every champion wins on the road in the playoffs, so ultimately the advantage isn’t too great. But I do believe that in closeout games is where the home court advantage is truly a factor, so it’s good to see the format switched to make it more equitable for both teams.
Dan Feldman: In terms of which team wins the series, it doesn’t matter. Essentially, the NBA is changing the order the favorite and underdog get their third home game. I don’t see a reason that switch would affect the likelihood either team wins the game, and the numbers back me up.
2-3-2 Finals (1985-2013, 1953, 1949)
Underdog third home game: 15-12 (56 percent)
Favorite third home game: 13-6 (68 percent)
Other Finals (including 1956, when the teams switched cities after each game)
Underdog third home game: 15-9 (63 percent)
Favorite third home game: 21-11 (66 percent)
That’s practically the same and well within random variance. The road to determining the champion might wind a little differently, but the destination will be the same either way.
Rhett Anderson: Since statistically and historically the Finals’ format hasn’t really affected their outcomes, the main reason I see is to streamline them with the rest of the playoffs. 2-3-2 always seemed arbitrary to me anyways, similar to first-round 5-game series of the past: why not standardize it all?
With the change, all series are now 7 games and 2-2-1-1-1 and the playoffs as a whole are more cohesive. In the end it’s probably not going to affect much other than team travel schedules and player rest levels - and that’s a moot point since if you make the Finals you’ve been traveling the 2-2-1-1-1 schedule for three series already anyways.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:01 AM EST
Imagine being in a management position at your job, and supervising one of your better employees for a somewhat extended period of time. Then flash forward years later, when for a variety of reasons, you accept a position working for your former employee, who now has your old job. And while your former employee knows…
Dec 4, 2013, 10:22 AM EST
When the Golden State Warriors start raining threes there is no show like them in the NBA. The Warriors were down 27 points in the third quarter night at home to the Raptors. The Raptors were ahead 18 entering the fourth quarter and every Toronto fan still awake and watching the game back home was…
Dec 4, 2013, 10:08 AM EST
We told you yesterday Mike Woodson’s seat is getting hot in New York — The Knicks are 3-13 and have lost nine in a row, owner James Dolan has a Nets obsession, the Knicks play the Nets on Thursday and if the Knicks streak reaches 10… let’s just say Dolan is unpredictable. The fact Woodson…
Dec 4, 2013, 8:43 AM EST
The night before Paul George did the same thing for the Pacers, this time it was Arron Afflalo — scoring 43 points in a losing effort. Afflalo was overshadowed by the two rookies notching triple-doubles (Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo) but this was a career high for the former UCLA star. He had 14 in the…
The Extra Pass: Chemistry clicking in Denver as Nuggets beat Nets to win seventh straight, and Tuesday’s recaps
Dec 4, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
NEW YORK – If it was a fight, they would have stopped it. To say the Nuggets beat the Nets on Tuesday to earn their seventh straight win wouldn’t at all be an accurate description of how Denver came out and destroyed Brooklyn in the third quarter, and then continued the assault against a depleted and…
Tuesday night NBA Grades: Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo with dueling rookie triple doubles
Dec 4, 2013, 2:13 AM EST
If you were busy exploring our galaxy online and not watching hoops Monday then you missed the first time in NBA history that two rookies recorded triple-doubles in the same game. We’re here to help you out with our nightly grades from around the league. Michael Carter Williams, Philadelphia 76ers. The early leader in the…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:25 AM EST
Bobcats forward Michael Kidd Gilchrist suffered a left hand fracture against the Mavericks on Tuesday, the team announced. Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the third quarter and did not return. X-rays revealed the fracture, and he will be re-evaluated on Wednesday when the club returns to Charlotte. Paul Pierce and Anthony Davis both suffered similar…
Dec 3, 2013, 9:42 PM EST
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Dec 3, 2013, 9:16 PM EST
We’ve seen shots launched over the backboard from behind it made before, but none of them were quite like this. Midway through the first quarter following an airball from Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley chased down the rebound as the ball was seemingly headed out of bounds. Not only did he corral it, but he had…
Dec 3, 2013, 7:51 PM EST
Luol Deng and the Bulls were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension, and as a result the two-time All-Star will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season. Deng is finishing out a high-priced deal that will pay him $14.2 million this year, and…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:54 PM EST
Dwyane Wade is inactive for the Heat’s home contest on Tuesday against the Pistons. “He was a little bit sore after last game,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said, “so we’ve been working with him and decided that tonight probably would be good to rest.” Miami is obviously taking the cautious approach in regard to Wade, keeping…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:17 PM EST
At NBA Summer League through games in Brooklyn at the start of this season, the coach voice you heard yelling out defenses and instructions was often assistant coach Lawrence Frank, not head coach Jason Kidd. When the Nets decided to go with the untested Kidd as coach they hired Frank (and paid him well) to…
Dec 3, 2013, 5:54 PM EST
Metta said the reported argument between he and Kenyon was over pasta. He said Kenyon likes shell pasta and he likes elbow pasta.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) December 03, 2013 That’s Al Iannazzone of Newsday quoting Metta World Peace discussing his reported locker room dust up with Kenyon Martin. James Harden would agree that World Peace…
Dec 3, 2013, 5:11 PM EST
The real test comes Wednesday — it’s not how Kobe Bryant looked in practice Tuesday that will determine if he returns to the Lakers lineup Friday night, it’s how he feels 24 hours later. Still, he looked good. That according to everyone who saw him. Here are some tweets from Lakers reporters out of the…
Dec 3, 2013, 3:54 PM EST
Royce White got a fresh chance with the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Or at least that’s what he hoped; it also looked a lot like a salary move by Philadelphia at the time. Still he played for the Sixers in the preseason, even took a plane flight road trip, then he was one of the…
Dec 3, 2013, 2:48 PM EST
If the Miami Heat’s big three of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James all decided not to opt out and came back to the Heat under their current contracts, they would make a combined $61.3 million next season. Next year’s salary cap is currently projected to be $62.9 million. However, all three of them…
Dec 3, 2013, 1:52 PM EST
LL Cool J has made the difficult transition from rapper to actor on a show your grandma watches. Not every guy can do that. He’s also a Knicks fan who had a lot of hoops connections from back in the day – he talked trash with a rookie Kobe Bryant, he was friends with Charles…
Dec 3, 2013, 1:32 PM EST
When measured at Adidas EuroCamp last year, Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo measured 6’9” with a reported 7’3” wingspan. Plus he has freakishly large hands. But he’s going to end up bigger than that — he’s still growing. That according to a story about Antetokounmpo in the Journal Times (hat tip to the still growing Zach Harper…
Dec 3, 2013, 12:53 PM EST
As frightening as it must have been Roger Mason Jr. can feel fortunate it didn’t turn out worse. The Miami Heat reserve and his sister were having dinner last Sunday after a Heat win at home when they and others in a Miami restaurant were robbed at gunpoint and his Rolex was stolen. NBCMiami.com has…
Dec 3, 2013, 12:29 PM EST
With the Knicks tied for the worst record in the East, on a nine-game losing streak, with infighting starting to bubble to the surface, and an owner who thought this team would be a contender at the start of the season, you would expect coach Mike Woodson’s seat to be getting hot. It is, reports…
- Joe Johnson says players noticed friction between Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank 0
- ‘Melo says Knicks players “worried” Woodson could lose job if losing continues 1
- The Extra Pass: Chemistry clicking in Denver as Nuggets beat Nets to win seventh straight, and Tuesday’s recaps 1
- Tuesday night NBA Grades: Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo with dueling rookie triple doubles 5
- PBT Podcast for Dec. 3: We answer twitter questions on Blazers, Pacers vs. Monstars 0
- Kobe Bryant takes to Twitter to defend his contract extension (100)
- Report: Dion Waiters accused Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson of playing “buddy ball.” (53)
- John Wall: ‘I’m the best point guard in the league’ (45)
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (45)
- With game in balance, Jason Kidd tells player to “hit me,” spills drink, gets psuedo timeout to draw up play (39)