NEW YORK (AP) — The 2-3-2 NBA Finals format is following David Stern out of the league.
NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to return to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, believing the travel inconveniences that teams faced when Stern became commissioner nearly 30 years ago no longer exist.
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 current format was instituted in 1985, Stern’s first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Celtics and Lakers frequently meeting for the championship. But critics felt it gave an edge to the lower-seeded team.
“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.
Cavs pick up options
The Cavaliers picked up the fourth-year contract options on All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and forward Tristan Thompson.
The team also exercised the third-year options on guard Dion Waiters and forward Tyler Zeller on Wednesday.
Irving made the All-Star team in his second season, when he averaged 22.5 points and 5.9 assists in 59 games. The Cavs are counting on him to become more of a leader this season and lead the club back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.