The NBA has seen a few different eras. While the Lakers dominated the league in the late 1990s, the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets had their moments of greatness. The Houston Rockets signed players like Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler, and were considered the favorite to win the championship. Ultimately, the Lakers defeated the Rockets in the Western Conference finals. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs dominated the league in the early 2000s. With the Twin Towers of Tim Duncan and David Robinson leading the team, they won the Western Conference and ended the magical run of the New York Knicks.
The playoffs in the NBA use a best-of-seven elimination format, in which teams play each other up to seven times before one team advances to the next round. In each round, the top two seeds in a conference will face the no. 8 and third seeds in the other conference. Ultimately, the two winners of each conference will play each other in the NBA Finals. The best of the best teams advance to the NBA Finals.
The NBA is divided into two conferences, each containing nine teams. Each conference has its own championship season. The NBA’s current league organization has fifteen teams. Of those, twelve are active while three are inactive. The New York Nets joined the league in the 1961-62 season. In 1966, the league expanded from nine to fourteen. This meant that the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards were added to the league. Four years later, the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns moved to their current home city of Houston.
As the NBA tries to find new ways to improve the quality of their games, they are evaluating the schedules of their competition. After all, the NBA schedule is much more difficult than ever before. The league has added an extra week to the schedule, which made the season last about 176 days instead of the usual 82. The fourth game played in five nights also had to be eliminated, a first in the NBA’s history.
The NBA is governed by a salary cap, which limits teams’ salaries, but is also referred to as a “soft cap” because the league’s income can fluctuate. Teams can go over the cap without penalty, as long as they meet certain requirements. Besides the salary cap, the league’s scheduling system is also highly complex. Each team plays every other once every three seasons. A team must play at least three games within its division for each season.
After the regular season, there is a break to allow the NBA to conduct its annual All-Star Game. There will be 24 All-Stars in the playoffs, with 12 players from each conference earning a spot in the starting lineup. The other 14 will be chosen by the head coaches of the teams. Each conference’s top vote-getter will draft their own team from the player pool. The player with the highest vote total in the league will win the first pick and the Game MVP award.