NBA owners voted unanimously on Wednesday to change the Finals format to 2-2-1-1-1 after nearly 30 years of a 2-3-2 format. The changes will come into effect beginning this season, much to the chagrin of journalists who were planning on possibly spending a week on South Beach.
Beginning with the 2014 finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds.
The NBA for the previous 29 years has used what's referred to as the 2-3-2 format, in which the higher seed hosts the first two games, then goes on the road for three straight.
The 2-3-2 format was instituted in 1985 in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Celtics
and Lakers frequently meeting for the championship. But some felt it also worked against the team that should have the advantage.
''There certainly was a perception … it was unfair to the team that had the better record, that it was then playing the pivotal Game 5 on the road. So this obviously moves that game back to giving home-court advantage to the team with the better record if it's a 2-2 series,'' Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.