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idioteque
06-11-2008, 10:36 AM
http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/06/11/stern-open-to-dropping-the-2-3-2-finals-format/


Stern Open to Dropping the 2-3-2 Finals Format

http://www.aolcdn.com/fanhouse/matt-watson/ (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/bloggers/matt-watson/)Posted Jun 11th 2008 5:10AM by Matt Watson (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/bloggers/matt-watson/)
Filed under: NBA Media Watch (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/category/nba-media-watch/), NBA Playoffs (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/category/nba-playoffs/)
http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/sports.aol.com/fanhouse/media/2008/06/david-stern-08-finals-240.jpgI've always hated the 2-3-2 format that the NBA uses in the Finals -- a team plays all season long to acquire homecourt advantage and then it has to play three straight on a lower seed's floor? That hardly seems fair.

As luck would have it, David Stern (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/DavidStern/) kind of hates it, as well, and admitted that the only reason he made the switch back in his early days as commish was because 1) Red Auerbach asked him to, and 2) he was worried the media wouldn't want to cover a 2-1-1-1-1-1 series that might require as many as four cross-country flights. From Ken Berger of Newsday (http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/ny-spberg105721522jun10,0,955577.column):

In '85, before Michael Jordan changed the landscape of the NBA forever, Stern said he agreed to the 2-3-2 format, in part, because limiting travel would "induce media to cover us." With an eight-year, $7.4-billion broadcast deal with ESPN/ABC and TNT, Stern doesn't need the traditional media the way he did in the old days, when he used to personally call newspaper sports editors and beg them to cover the All-Star Game.What's funny is that with the newspaper industry <strike>slowly</strike> dying and the cost of travel rising, there's been a marked decline in domestic newspaper credentials even with the 2-3-2 format, though as Berger points out, all the foreign press and online outlets easily make up the difference. Plus, unlike in 1985, the NBA is in the business of reporting (cough -- spinning) news itself through NBA TV and NBA.com.

So will the 2-3-2 format be kicked to the curb? We'll find out this summer when Stern puts it to a vote by the NBA's Board of Governors. I'd like to think this is a change that passes easily, but Stern indicated there hasn't been a huge rallying cry considering the higher-seeded team has still won the Finals 75% of the time.

And besides, Stern added, does homecourt advantage even matter when you have the refs on your side (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/06/10/donaghy-says-refs-fixed-outcome-of-two-playoff-series/)? *

* Not actually said ... out loud.

Unclebuck
06-11-2008, 10:45 AM
I was watching the press conference when Stern discussed this and while he seemed open to changing the format, it didn't sseem as though he's going to carry the ball for this.

I like 2-2-1-1-1 better, but there has never been a time when I thought the 2-3-2 format created a situation where the better team didn't win. 75% of the time the team with the homecourt advantage has won since they have gone to 2-3-2. The better team always wins anyway. Probably the most even Finals was in '05, and didn't the Spurs win in Detroit in game 5

Kegboy
06-11-2008, 11:09 AM
I hate the 2-3-2. However, one could make the argument if it hadn't been in effect, we may very well had lost the 2000 Finals 4-1.

Of course, you could also make the argument that LA may still have mailed in game 5, we naturally would have been in a better position to win game 6 (which was close), and who knows what happens in game 7.

I kinda doubt it, though. IMO the series was lost when the refs steadfastly refused to give Shaq his 6th foul throughout the entire 4th quarter of game 4, even while racking up the fouls against Dale, Rik, and Smooth.

Unclebuck
06-11-2008, 11:25 AM
I kinda doubt it, though. IMO the series was lost when the refs steadfastly refused to give Shaq his 6th foul throughout the entire 4th quarter of game 4, even while racking up the fouls against Dale, Rik, and Smooth.

so it goes back to the refs?? Really,

Kegboy
06-11-2008, 12:33 PM
so it goes back to the refs?? Really,

You go back and watch that 4th quarter and get back to me. If you really think it was called fairly, then Dick Bavetta could show up at your house, admit to your face that he's fixed games, show you bank records of getting paid off, play you audio of Stern giving orders on what to call and what not to, and you would still say there's nothing wrong with officiating.

Unclebuck
06-11-2008, 01:09 PM
You go back and watch that 4th quarter and get back to me. If you really think it was called fairly, then Dick Bavetta could show up at your house, admit to your face that he's fixed games, show you bank records of getting paid off, play you audio of Stern giving orders on what to call and what not to, and you would still say there's nothing wrong with officiating.

Well at least on that much we agree

QuickRelease
06-11-2008, 02:04 PM
I hate the 2-3-2 format, but I don't really care for the cross country effect of 2-1-1-1-1-1. I think that eats away at the 'fan tension' that builds from consecutive games at home against the same team. I like the format in the other rounds prior to the finals: 2-2-1-1-1.

Suaveness
06-11-2008, 02:18 PM
Why can't they just keep it 2-2-1-1-1?

spreedom
06-11-2008, 02:27 PM
Why can't they just keep it 2-2-1-1-1?

No joke! If it makes sense during the first three rounds, why not during the Finals?

Hicks
06-11-2008, 03:25 PM
I was guessing the 2-1-1-1-1-1 thing was a misprint.

BillS
06-11-2008, 03:34 PM
Why can't they just keep it 2-2-1-1-1?

Because that was the phone number for Pizzaria in Bloomington in 1967.

Shade
06-11-2008, 09:00 PM
You go back and watch that 4th quarter and get back to me. If you really think it was called fairly, then Dick Bavetta could show up at your house, admit to your face that he's fixed games, show you bank records of getting paid off, play you audio of Stern giving orders on what to call and what not to, and you would still say there's nothing wrong with officiating.

I'm still more upset about the '99 ECF, honestly. It was so blatant.

:bavetta: again, of course.