This year's NBA playoffs will take begin on April 15th, with the finals set to take place no later than June 18th.
The NBA Playoff Finals is one of the most exciting events on the basketball calender, and will see the eight best post-season teams from each division play each other in a best-of-seven series. The teams with the most NBA League points in each of the two conferences, Eastern and Western, will qualify for the Playoffs.
Teams are seeded according to their team win-loss records. Seedings are used to form brackets, which determines which teams will play each other in the tournament. Once seedings have been made, the match-up is fixed and does not change throughout the Playoffs. For example, the top seeded team will play the bottom seeded team of the same division, the second highest seed will play the second lowest seed, and so on.
This results in four first-stage matches for each conference. The winners of this stage will advance to their respective conference semi-finals, and the winners will then play each other in the Conference Finals. This results in an NBA Playoffs champion for each conference division. When the two winners have emerged, the Eastern Conference champion and Western Conference champion then play in the NBA Finals!
All games are played in a best-of-seven series, with a 2-2-1-1 format. The team with the home court advantage, which is decided by who has the best regular season records, will host game number 1, 2, 5 and 7. Only four wins are required to secure the series, and any games remaining will be forfeited. In other words, first to four wins each round, including the finals.
The NBA Playoffs has a rich history. NBA was originally formed in 1949 as a merger between the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball League. Before that, the BAA had already held three years worth of post-season Playoff tournaments. The 1949 Playoffs even used a similar format to what is still used today, with Eastern and Western Conference divisions and a best-of-seven championship match format.
Since the NBA was formed in 1949, many changes have been made to the structure and format of the Playoffs, including changes to the number of teams that can enter, changes to the format of the matches, and changes to the structure of the tournament itself. However, the NBA has now settled on the current multi-divisional, best-of-seven format.
The NBA Playoff Finals are set to be exhilarating for both basketball fans and lovers of sport's gaming. In 2016, Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Western Conference team Golden State Warriors in an awesome 4-3 victory. In 2015, the same two teams were in the finals, but the result when the other way with Golden State Warriors clinching an early 4-2 win.
BetStars have the Golden State Warriors looking like the favorites again this year. They were the first to secure an NBA Playoffs place, and the earliest to do so in NBA history. They were followed by the San Antonia Spurs and Houston Rockets, who are now both confirmed qualifiers in the Western Conference. The Cleveland Cavaliers also have favorable odds.
Watch out for the start of the NBA Playoffs on April 15th, and tune in to ABC to watch the NBA Finals in mid June.