The nba is an American basketball league that competes globally with teams from over 200 countries and territories. Its global appeal is reflected in the diverse player pool and in the fact that basketball is played worldwide at all levels of competition from youth to professional. The NBA is known for the speed and physicality of the game, as well as the emphasis placed on fundamentals. The league is also widely regarded as having the most talented players and most exciting games in all of sports.

Each year, teams play 82 regular season games. During the regular season, each team plays teams in its own division three or four times and teams in the other two divisions of its conference twice apiece. In addition, the top six teams in each conference, based on winning percentage, automatically qualify for the playoffs. The remaining teams in each conference participate in the NBA play-in tournament to earn the final two playoff berths.

The NBA Playoffs is the championship series that determines the league’s overall champion. The path to the Finals is split into Eastern and Western Conference pathways, with the winners of each mini-tournament progressing to the championship series. During the playoffs, all games are broadcast live on television, with major sports networks such as ABC, ESPN and TNT screening each game. NBA fans can also follow all the action on digital platforms such as HULU, Sling TV and fuboTV.

Once the playoffs begin, each game in a series is contested over seven days. The first three rounds are best-of-seven, while the fourth and fifth rounds are best-of-five. In addition, there are a number of tiebreaker rules that can be used to decide the outcome of a matchup.

At the end of each playoff round, the top seed is guaranteed a one-seed in the next series while the second and third seeds are locked into their respective positions. This was a change from the previous system, which allowed a division winner to receive a top-three seed even if it finished second in its own division.

In the 1950s, with the BAA renamed the NBA and expanded to 12 teams, the division format was upgraded from two to three. The division semifinals and finals were renamed as conference semifinals and finals. Division finals were also changed to a best-of-five format, which was the same as that of the division semifinals and finals.