Board of Governors approves NBA Finals format change

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Board of Governors approves NBA Finals format change
October 23, 2013, 10:30 am
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The NBA Finals will move to a 2-2-1-1-1 format starting this season after the Board of Governors unanimously approved the change. (USATSI)

Programming note: Catch the Warriors tonight when they take on the Kings in Sacramento -- coverage begins at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California

The NBA’s Competition Committee, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that playoffs format consistency is more important than the demands on the participants.

Moreover, the league’s Board of Governors on Wednesday announced it was in unanimous agreement.

As a result, the most important playoffs of all, the NBA Finals, which has operated under the 2-3-2 home-and-away format for the past 29 years, will immediately return to a 2-2-1-1-1 format utilized for all other postseason series.

"The Competition Committee felt strongly that a consistent format should be used for each round of our playoffs," Rod Thorn, the league’s president of basketball operations, said in a news release. "With improvements in team air travel and technology, the reasons the 2-3-2 format made sense for us in the past largely do not exist any more, so creating consistency become the priority."

In other words, it’s important that all postseason series now follow the same home-and-away schedule, whether it’s Clippers-Lakers or Warriors-Celtics.

The 10-member Competition Committee – of which Warriors managing partner Joe Lacob is a member – approved the change last month, sending it to the board. It should be noted that no players are on the committee, though there is a designated representative from the players association.

The upsides: This creates uniformity and eliminates the possibility of boredom setting in as players and media and league officials spend as many as six days for three games in one city.

The downsides: This means a longer NBA Finals, insofar as there will be an extra day off between Games 6 and 7. It also means more travel, as many as five trips between involved cities, which often happen to be on opposite coasts. It’s increased costs, all around.

Then again, it’s just money.