The NBA is a professional basketball league in the United States and Canada with 30 teams. The league has produced some of the greatest players in sports history, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, and Michael Jordan. The NBA has also become known for its fast-paced game and high scoring. NBA games last 12 minutes each, with a 5-minute overtime period.
The NBA was founded in 1946. Initially, the league had 17 franchises. Over the years, the number of teams reduced due to mergers and relocations. In 1954, the league introduced a 24-second shot clock to encourage shooting and speed up play. In 1969, the league began using three pointers.
In the early 2000s, the Miami Heat became one of the most dominant teams in the league. They won three championships during this time, and they were led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. They are considered to be one of the best teams in the history of the NBA.
Each season, the top six teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. The top two teams in each division automatically earn a first-round bye, and the next eight teams compete in the play-in tournament for the remaining three spots.
The best teams are determined by regular-season record, winning percentage, and head-to-head matchups. The top eight teams in each conference then play the two teams with the second-best records in the other conference for a spot in the conference finals.
Since 2004, the NBA has realigned its divisions to ensure that each team plays a similar schedule. The resulting alignment allows each team to face four of the other nine teams in their own conference twice, and all other teams once. This helps prevent each team from getting too accustomed to its own league, and also gives each team a better chance at claiming the top seed in the playoffs.
In addition to the divisional matchups, each team plays a total of 82 games against other teams in the conference. These games include the standard 40 home games and 40 road games. The league also offers a series of exhibition matches against EuroLeague teams each year.
The most important statistic in the NBA is a team’s win-loss record, and this is measured on both the regular season and the playoffs. The winning team is credited with the most wins, and the losing team is given the least number of losses. The NBA also keeps a running tally of the average number of points scored per game by each team. In order to be eligible for the All-Star game, a player must have played in at least 60 regular season games and 15 postseason games.