For decades, the NBA has been a leader in professional sports and its popularity is only growing. Every passing year, there are more fans! So what is it like to be an NBA fan during the play-offs and how does it work exactly?
Qualification of teams in the playoff series (or play off)
Qualifying for the NBA play-offs depends on a higher winning percentage for a team than for its counterparts. The seed is given to the club with the best score and profit percentage in each conference. Teams that do not take first place should try to finish the regular season well. Qualified play-off franchises are logically the ones that have gotten the best results throughout the regular season.
If you dream of going to watch an NBA play-off game, you will need to follow the rules in force, namely apply for ESTA and be up to date with your COVID vaccines.
Total number of teams in the NBA
The NBA consists of 30 teams organized in 2 conferences with 15 franchises.
The regular season is divided into 2 conferences EAST and WEST, and the position of each team within this league is decided by its conference.
The Eastern Conference consists of 15 clubs. The Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors play in the Atlantic Division. The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks play in the Central Division. Finally, the Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat and Washington Wizards play in the Southeast Division.
The Western Conference is divided into 3 divisions: Southwest, Pacific and Northwest. The Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs play in the Southwest Division. The Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers are part of the Pacific Division. The Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers play in the Northwest Division.
Winners of the qualifying tournament
Winners of qualifying tournaments must be selected before the start of the play-offs.
Match winners qualify for the play-offs. This event allows the lower ranked teams to qualify, offering fans like us extra fun.
Number of NBA playoff games
During the play-offs, the maximum number of games that can be played is 7. Due to the NBA’s “top seven” structure, these play-offs can last from four to seven games. Counting the entire tournament, there can be a minimum of 60 matches and a maximum of 105 matches.
NBA Preparatory Tournament in 2022
The NBA launched a new format with the 2020-21 season. Every year before the NBA play-offs, the league holds a four-team play-off competition. The 4 teams included are those from each conference ranked seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth. The play-in tournament is then a new concept in which teams ranked ninth and tenth at the end of various conferences can participate in the play-offs if they win play-ins.
Prior to the introduction of this system, when the regular season ended and the seeds were determined, any team ranked below eighth was automatically excluded from NBA play-offs. Thanks to the games, the ninth and tenth teams have more opportunities to advance to the next stage of the event.
NBA 2022 Games Tournament Format
A play-off tournament takes place before the play-off. This warm-up tournament begins with the eighth and seventh seeds from each conference playing each other in a single game known as the warm-up game.
The winner of this match gets the seventh seed. The 9th and 10th teams will face each other in the second game of the preparatory tournament, called “Nine-Ten game”, which is next in the program. The winner of the “Nine-Ten” match will meet the loser of the “Seven-Eight game”, and the winner of the last match of the catch-up tournament will be the 8th seed.
NBA playoff system
Each conference offers a local playoff tournament in which qualifiers compete before the top teams compete in the conference finals. The playoffs are played in the best of seven rounds, which means that in a series between two teams, the winner is the first team that manages to win 4 matches to advance to the next stage. The team that loses its match is excluded from the competition.
The first round of the play-off is vital for any team looking to lift the championship trophy at the end of the season. The top seeds from each conference play the bottom seeds in a better series of seven. The series format is 2-2-1-1-1, which means that the top seed starts with two home games and then alternates until a team has won four games in total. The four teams that win their match in the first round advance to the second round, where they are ranked based on their success in the first round. For example, if the eighth seed beats the first seed, they become the first new seed in the second round. The second round follows the same format as the first, and then the conference finals and NBA finals follow a seven-game series format. Winning four rounds of the play-off is not a small thing, so teams really have to surpass themselves if they want to be crowned champions.
After the first round, the conference semifinals are the next round of play-offs. Only two of the four teams participating in this round will advance to compete for a place in the final. In this round, the home advantage team will play the first, third and fifth game on their home field. If necessary, the seventh match will be played on this field. The team that has no domestic advantage will play the second, fourth and sixth game in its home field. Throughout the series, each team will have the opportunity to play at home and away. It is essential to win most of the matches to advance to the next stage of the competition. Therefore, all players must provide 110% effort in order to help their team progress. Some players can get up on occasion and make extraordinary appearances that can make or break their team’s chances of winning. Conference semifinals are always an exciting time for basketball fans, who see their favorite teams competing for a chance to advance to the NBA Finals.
The Conference Finals are the play-off round where the conference champions are crowned. The conference champions then face off in the NBA Finals for Championship Larry O’Brien. To reach the conference finals, a team must first pass the first three rounds of the playoffs. The Conference Finals are also a top seven series. The team with the best record of the regular season will have the home field advantage in the play-offs, including the conference finals. When two teams from different conferences meet in the NBA Finals, they play a seven-game series of the best of seven games, and the team that wins the first four games is crowned champion. The home advantage in the NBA Finals goes to the team with the highest finish in their respective Conference Finals.
Finally, the NBA Grand Final has been a strategic and professionally executed event for over 50 years. Matches are so intense because they matter more than any other game in the regular season or even the play-offs; it’s all about who will win the NBA national title!