The Eastern Conference
of the National Basketball Association
is made up of fifteen teams, organized in three divisions of five teams each.
The three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their records, with all remaining non-division winners seeded 5 through 8. This leaves open the possibility that a #2 seed could be a non-division winner. Home-court advantage
in a playoff series is decided by record, not by seeding, so if the #4 and #5 teams meet in a playoff series in which the #5 team has the better record, the #5 team would have home-court advantage.
The reasoning behind this seeding arrangement is because a non-division winner could have a better record than the winners of the two divisions other than the non-division winning team in question. If the three division winners were seeded 1 through 3 for the playoffs in order of their records, and all non-division winners seeded 4 through 8, it would be possible for the two best teams of the conference to meet in the Conference Semifinals. This actually happened in the 2006 NBA Playoffs
when the two best teams in the Western Conference
, the San Antonio Spurs
and the Dallas Mavericks
, both from the Southwest Division
, faced one another in the Western Conference Semifinals while the 3rd seed, the Northwest Division
-leading Denver Nuggets
, had fewer wins than the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th seeds.The NBA proposed and approved of the current format to... Read More