During the 1960s, the NBA grew from nine to fourteen teams. In addition, the league introduced the three-point line, which allowed teams to expand the court. The game also shifted away from a strong style of play to one with more players on the wing. Some of the biggest stars of the decade included Artis Gilmore, Moses Malone, and Dave Cowens. During this time, the NBA also introduced a 24-second shot clock. This helped discourage teams from running the clock late.
The NBA plays 82 games in a regular season. After the regular season ends in April, teams compete to earn a playoff spot. The top eight teams in each conference advance to the postseason. The playoffs run from April to June. In the playoffs, the higher-seeded team faces a weaker opponent in the first round. The playoffs feature a best-of-seven format, in which the winner of each round advances to the next round. The championship is decided after four playoff rounds.
In addition to the playoffs, the NBA also brings professional basketball to smaller markets in the United States during preseason. Teams play 36 games against non-divisional conference teams. The NBA is divided into two conferences. The Eastern Conference has three divisions, while the Western Conference has five divisions. Each team plays the other conference twice during the season. Each team plays against the other conference twice in the playoffs.
The NBA also has a draft. Teams pick twelve players to start the season. There are three players on each team’s reserve roster. The team’s coaching staff then scouts the team’s strengths and weaknesses. The roster is then divided into an active roster, inactive roster, and three-man inactive roster. Each team is allowed to have a maximum of 15 players. Each team is also allowed to assign up to two players to the NBA G League, a developmental league.
The NBA is divided into two conferences: the Eastern Conference, which has three divisions, and the Western Conference, which has five divisions. The NBA also has a Play-In Tournament to determine the eighth and seventh playoff seeds in each conference. The Play-In Tournament is similar to the Rookie Challenge, in which players from U.S. teams play international players.
Each team plays 82 games in the regular season, which begins in October and ends in April. After the regular season ends in April, the NBA Draft takes place in late June. The top pick goes to the team with the best record in the league. The NBA has faced EuroLeague teams in the EuroLeague American Tour since 2006. The NBA also plays against EuroLeague teams in exhibition matches during the NBA Europe Live Tour.
In the playoffs, the top two seeds play the seventh and eighth seed in the first round. The third seed plays the sixth seed in the playoffs. In addition, the fourth seed plays the fifth seed. Teams are also assigned a wildcard spot. These spots are determined by four highest records of non-division-winning teams in each conference.