The playoffs and, in particular, The Finals, are the most important part of the entire NBA Season. Millions of people are glued on the TV in order to cheer for their favourite team, hoping to reach the most sought goal: winning the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Here it is a simple guide on how the second half of the NBA season, i.e., the post-season, works: the playoffs.
How do the NBA Playoffs work
The playoffs are the second stage of the regular season in the National Basketball Association (NBA). They consist of four rounds: quarterfinals, semis, conference finals and the championship game. Each round consists of two games played over two consecutive days. The winner of each game advances to the next round while the loser goes home. In case of a tied score, there is no overtime and the team with the better record wins. If both teams have identical records, the tiebreaker rules apply. The first playoff round starts on April 16th and ends on May 9th. The second round begins on May 10th and concludes on June 15th. The third round takes place on June 16th and the final round is held on June 17th.
How many NBA teams enter the Finals?
The NBA Playoffs begin tonight with the Indiana Pacers taking on the Toronto Raptors. In the West, it’s San Antonio against Golden State, Portland versus Utah, Oklahoma City versus Houston, Memphis versus New Orleans, L.A. Clippers versus Phoenix, Denver versus Minnesota, L.A Lakers versus Sacramento, Dallas versus Utah, and Los Angeles Clippers versus Brooklyn Nets. In the East, it’s Cleveland versus Boston, Philadelphia versus Milwaukee, Atlanta versus Washington, Miami versus Charlotte, Orlando versus Detroit, Chicago versus Toronto, and Brooklyn versus Philadelphia.
In addition to the 16 teams in the playoffs, there are four wild card teams that didn’t make the cut. They include the winner of each conference’s best record, plus one team from each conference that had the next highest winning percentage. Those four teams comprise the 16 teams that will play in the First Round.
How do the NBA Finals work
The NBA Finals are the last step of the regular season. They are played every June and July as the culmination of the regular season. Each conference consists of 16 teams, split into 2 groups of 8 teams each. The Conference winners advance to the Finals, while the losers go home. In case of ties, the best overall record determines the winner.
In the playoffs, the first round is played in 4 games, the second round in 5 games, and the finals in 7 games. A team needs to win 4 out of 7 games to secure the championship. If both teams finish with identical records, the better seeded team plays the first game at home.
If the final score is tied after seven games, there is no overtime; the team with the most points scored during regulation wins the game. If the score is still tied after five overtimes, a sudden death overtime period takes place where the first team to score three goals wins.
If the score is still tied, the game goes to a penalty shootout. Three players from each team take turns shooting penalties against the goalkeepers of the opponent. The shooter must attempt his shot within 10 seconds, otherwise the opposing goalkeeper gets a free kick. After all shooters have taken their shots, the referee awards the ball to the player who hit the target closest to the centre circle.
A team needs to win 3 out of 7 games to win the championship. If both team finish with identical records, there is no tiebreaker.
When are the NBA playoffs this Year?
New and exciting playoff format has been introduced for the 2020/21 NBA season. Several teams on the verge of elimination will be allowed to play in a play-in tournament. It is hoped that the NBA will be able to increase the number of fans and excitement with this new format, which means that no team will be safe.
What are the rules for the NBA playoffs in 2021? In the play-in tournament, four teams from each conference will be seeded between 7 and 10. It will be a one-game match between seed 7 and seed 8 and the winner will be awarded the seventh position. In the game between the 7th and 8th seeds, the loser will play the winner of the 9th and 10th seeds, and the winner will be the 8th seed. Two games must be won by the 9th and 10th seeds to secure the 8th seed.
In the past, fans would not have had an opportunity to cheer on their favorite teams in the playoffs due to the format. In order to clarify, I will use the 2018/19 season as an example to explain the play in tournament format further.
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When are the NBA playoffs this Year?
The NBA announced Thursday it will play the postseason during the summer months next year. The league had been considering moving the playoffs to June, but the coronavirus outbreak led to the decision to push back the schedule. The 2020/21 NBA regular season began Dec. 22 and will end in June. The playoffs will begin May 22 and wrap up July 22, 2021. The finals will be played in San Antonio on June 8.
In years prior the NBA playoffs often took place in April and finished by early to mid-June, but the league has moved the playoffs to the summer since 2005. The current format has the conference semifinals starting in mid-April and wrapping up in mid-May. The conference finals follow in late May and run into June. The Finals typically take place in early July.
When is the play-in tournament?
The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced Tuesday it will host a play-in tournament to determine the final four teams in each conference starting next month. This marks the first time the league has ever done such a thing. The event will begin May 18, just one day after the end of the regular season.
This year, the postseason field will consist of 16 teams in each conference. The first round will feature eight teams from each conference. Those teams will be seeded based on record and strength of schedule. Each team will face off against the 12th seed.
The winners of those matchups will advance to the second round where they will meet the 11th seeds. The winners of those matches will move onto the third round where they will play against the 10th seeds. The winners will advance to the fourth round where they will compete against the ninth seeds.
From there, the winning teams will continue to fight for the remaining spots in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. There are no semifinals in the play-in tournament because the goal is to crown the best overall team.
How exactly does the play-in tournament work?
The 2018/19 NBA regular season was one of the most exciting seasons ever. With LeBron James leading the way, the Cleveland Cavaliers won 73 games and defeated the Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the Finals. The Toronto Raptors went from being a laughingstock to winning the Eastern Conference. And the Boston Celtics became the biggest story out of the 2017 free agency period. All of these stories happened during the regular season. But what happens when we look at the playoffs? How do you make sense of it all?
In the National Basketball Association, the regular season consists of 82 games. Each team plays against every other team twice, once home and once away. This gives us a total of 164 games per team. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers had a record of 53-29, meaning they finished third place in the Western Conference. They beat the Portland Trail Blazers three times and lost to the Utah Jazz four times. In addition to that, they faced the Sacramento Kings six times. If you add up all the games, you end up with 164 games.
Now, how many playoff rounds are there? Well, the answer depends on whether you’re talking about the NBA Playoffs or the NCAA Tournament. Let’s start with the NBA Playoffs. Every team in the league qualifies for the postseason. However, some teams receive byes into Round One while others must play seven games just to advance to the second round. Here’s a breakdown of the number of games required to reach the next round:
Round One – 16 Games
Round Two – 14 Games
Round Three – 12 Games
Round Four – 8 Games
So, if your favorite team wins its first game in the Round One, then it only needs to win two more games to get to the Final Four. That means it could potentially go through as many as five rounds before reaching the championship series.
On the other hand, the NCAA Tournament is different. Only 64 teams qualify for the tournament. So, each team gets an automatic bid into the tournament. Then, the rest of the teams are divided into four regions. Teams within their region can earn bids into the tournament via the “play-in” round.
Play-Ins – 32 Games
Regional Rounds – 48 Games
National Semifinals – 8 Games
National Championship Game – 1 Game
The NBA Playoff Format
For decades, the league has been using a playoff system that involves eight teams from each conference playing in a single elimination tournament. In the end, the team with the better record in the regular season advances to the next round. This year, it looks like there will be some changes to how this works. Here’s what we know about the new playoff format so far.
How does home court advantage work in the NBA?
Home court advantage works differently in the NBA than it does in most sports. In basketball, the team with the better record has home court advantage, meaning they are guaranteed to host the first two games of the finals. After that, the team with the higher seeding has home court advantage. If both teams split their games evenly, the first round winner has home court advantage over the second round winner.