The NBA – The Seasons and Finals

Known for its star players and high-scoring games, the NBA has produced some of the most iconic figures in sports history. From storied rivalries to personal sagas and team dynasties, the NBA has something for every fan.

The regular season runs from October to April, with teams playing 82 games each. After the playoffs, a best-of-seven series takes place between the winners of each conference to determine the championship. The winners receive a Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and a ring.

To maintain a competitive balance between teams, the NBA has a salary cap, which is a limit on how much teams can pay their players. This helps keep the richest teams from dominating the league and allows smaller markets to field a competitive squad.

In addition to its televised games, the NBA also hosts international competitions and has an extensive youth development program through NBA Cares. Through this initiative, the NBA works with globally recognized youth-serving organizations to promote education, family and community development, and health-related issues.

Teams begin their season with training camps in late September or early October, where they work to evaluate rookies and develop their current roster. Throughout the preseason, teams often play exhibition games against other professional or semi-professional clubs.

During the regular season, teams compete in a best-of-seven format against each other to earn the chance to play in the playoffs, where they vie for the right to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The top eight teams in each conference make the playoffs, where they are seeded according to their records (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc).

The NBA Finals take place in June and feature the winners of each conference. The champions of the Eastern and Western conferences meet in a best-of-seven series to determine the overall winner.

While the NBA has made some positive changes to its television product and stepped up enforcement of certain rules, there is still room for improvement. For example, a rule change this summer giving head coaches a second in-game challenge was a good move, but flopping needs to be more aggressively punished.

After the season concludes, the Draft Lottery is held in the spring to determine the order in which the 14 teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs pick up their players’ rights. The first three Lotto balls drawn decide the first, second and third picks; the remaining 13 are selected in reverse order of their finish during the regular season. Teams can also move up or down in the draft pick order through trades.