Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is played by men and women of all ages, and is widely watched on television. The sport is also a major component of many international tournaments.
The National Basketball Association (nba) is the professional basketball league of the United States, consisting of 30 teams. It was founded in 1949 when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League.
In the early days of the NBA, many teams were struggling financially. Some were even on the verge of financial ruin. However, the league would soon turn a corner and see great success.
During the 1980s, basketball saw a great explosion into American pop culture. New teams were added and the Magic-Bird rivalry drove fans to the arenas like never before.
The NBA began to realize that they needed to make changes in order to keep up with the popularity of the game. Some of these changes were aimed at reducing foul calls, while others were designed to speed up the game.
Some of these changes included hand-checking rules and a 3-second defensive rule that deemphasized isolation plays. Other changes included a reduction of the length and number of time-outs that were used during games.
Another change was the creation of a play-in tournament that would be used to determine the final two teams in each conference that would make up the playoffs. These play-in games would then be matched up against the other play-in teams to determine the top two seeds that advanced to the playoffs.
These play-in games have become a staple of the playoffs. They help keep the competition fair for both teams and allow a few upsets along the way.
The first round of the playoffs is a best-of-seven series. The team with the better record goes to the next round and so on until the championship is decided.
Divisions and the playoffs
The NBA realigned its divisions in 2004 to create two conferences with three divisions each. The division winners were guaranteed a top-three seed, while the second-best teams in each division were awarded the top-four seed. This created an ambiguity as to who would meet in the conference finals.
Since 2007, the league has removed this ambiguity. Instead, teams ranked eighth through tenth are eligible for the playoffs. In addition, a tiebreaker is now used to break tie situations between two or more teams in the same conference.
There are four quarters in an NBA game, each of which lasts 12 minutes. A five-minute break is allowed between quarters.
Each team is allotted a certain number of fouls per quarter. Once the allotted amount is reached, the team goes “into the bonus,” meaning they can receive free throws for every additional foul committed by the opposing team.
These bonuses are a significant factor in NBA games. They can result in huge points for either team.
The league also lowered the length and number of time-outs during games in order to reduce disruption on the court.