The NBA Finals are returning to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, the league announced on Wednesday.
The change will be implemented this season with an extra day off between Games 6 and 7. It will also allow for a possible Game 7 to be played on a Friday.
The NBA Finals had primarily been played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format before switching to 2-3-2 in 1985, which forced the team with the best record to play the middle three games on the road. Former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach had championed the switch to 2-3-2 to cut down on travel when his team was facing the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stern said the change to 2-2-1-1-1 was an "easy sell" to the league's Board of Governor’s, which voted unanimously to approve the change.
[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Don't wait, sign up today!]
“In a 2-3-2 series … it's difficult for the better team in terms of record to spend eight days on the road away from home," Stern said during a news conference in New York.
NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the extra day off between Finals Games 6 and 7 will be re-evaluated after this season.
The change, which was recommended by the NBA’s competition committee at its meeting on Sept. 17, aligns The Finals format with every other round of the NBA playoffs.
- Sports & Recreation