NBA playoffs

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For the 2015 playoffs, see 2015 NBA Playoffs.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs are a best-of-seven elimination tournament among 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference (called divisions, pre-1970), ultimately deciding the winner of the NBA Finals.

Format[edit]

The NBA announced the current revised playoff seeding system on August 3, 2006. Following the NBA regular season, eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs and are seeded one to eight.

The team that has the best record in each of the three divisions in each conference is declared division champion. The three division champions, and another team in the conference with the best record, are seeded one through four by their records. This guarantees the division champions no worse than the fourth seed, and also guarantees the team with the second-best record in the conference will be the second seed even if it happens to finish second in its division. Of the remaining eleven conference teams, the four with the best records are seeded fifth through eighth based on their record.

In the event two or more teams are tied in the standings, a series of tiebreakers are applied to determine which team receives the higher seeding.

Two-team tiebreaker:

  1. Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division)
  2. Better record in head-to-head games
  3. Higher winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
  4. Higher winning percentage in conference games
  5. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference (including tied teams)
  6. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in opposite conference (including tied teams)

Three-team tiebreaker:

  1. Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division)
  2. Best head-to-head winning percentage among all teams tied
  3. Highest winning percentage within division (if all tied teams are in the same division)
  4. Highest winning percentage in conference games
  5. Highest winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference (including tied teams)
  6. Highest point differential between points scored and points allowed

These seedings are used to create a bracket that determines the match-ups throughout the playoffs. Once the playoffs start, the bracket is fixed; teams are never "reseeded", unlike in the NFL and MLS where the strongest remaining teams face the weakest teams in subsequent rounds. The first round of the NBA playoffs, or conference quarterfinals, consists of four match-ups in each conference based on the seedings (1–8, 2–7, 3–6, and 4–5). The four winners advance to the second round, or conference semifinals, with a match-up between the 1–8 and 4–5 winners and a match-up between the 2–7 and 3–6 winners. The two winners advance to the third round, or conference finals. The winner from each conference will advance to the final round, or the NBA finals.

Each round is a best-of-seven series. Series are played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format, meaning the team with home-court advantage hosts games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while their opponent hosts games 3, 4, and 6, with games 5–7 being played if needed. Beginning in 2014, the NBA finals will also now be played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format, after NBA team owners unanimously voted to the change away from a 2-3-2 format on October 23, 2013.[1]

Conference quarterfinals
Best-of-7
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                       
E1  
E8  
 
 
E4  
E5  
 
Eastern Conference
 
E2  
E7  
 
 
E3  
E6  
 
 
W1  
W8  
 
 
W4  
W5  
 
Western Conference
 
W2  
W7  
 
 
W3  
W6  

The most common criticism of the current structure is related to parity of conferences. On numerous occasions, Eastern Conference teams with losing records qualified for the playoffs, while Western Conference teams with winning records ended up missing them, including the 2011, 2013 and the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

History[edit]

The National Basketball Association was established in 1949 by merger of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League but it recognizes the three BAA seasons as part of its own history. In all of its three years the BAA champion was finally determined in a best-of-seven series but its first two tournaments, the 1947 and 1948 BAA Playoffs, were otherwise quite different from the third, which 21st-century NBA playoffs nearly match. In 1947 and 1948, the Eastern and Western Division champions were matched in a best-of-seven series following the regular season, whose winner advanced to the championship round. Meanwhile four runners-up played best-of-three series to determine the other finalist: the two second-place teams were matched in one short series and the two third-place teams in another; the winners of those two series played another one. In 1947 the Philadelphia Warriors won the runners-up bracket and beat the Western champion Chicago Stags four games to one, which the NBA recognizes as its first championship; in 1948 Baltimore won the runners-up and beat Eastern champion Philadelphia in the final. Both tournaments generated one finalist from the Eastern and one from the Western Division, but only by chance.[2]

In 1949 the third and last BAA tournament matched Eastern teams exclusively and Western teams exclusively, necessarily generating Eastern and Western playoff champions to meet in the final. At the same time, the number of playoff teams was increased from three to four from each Division; two rounds of best-of-three series were played, followed by a best-of-seven championship. The main idea was retained by the NBA. Even the 1950 tournament, following a transitional season with three divisions rather than two, initially determined one playoff champion from each division. The Central champion Minneapolis Lakers became the first league champion under the NBA name by defeating Anderson from the West in a best-of-three, with Syracuse from the East idle, and then knocking off the Syracuse Nationals in six games.[3]

The 1951 through 1953 playoffs changed the division finals into a best-of-five playoff. With only nine league members in 1953–54, the NBA cut its postseason tournament field from eight teams to six (from 1954 through 1966, the period of eight to nine league members). Round robins were played in 1954, uniquely in NBA history—a three-team round robin among the three playoff teams in each division. From 1955 to 1966, the first-place team in each division was idle while its two runners-up faced played a best-of-three. Division finals were expanded to best-of-seven in 1958 and division semifinals to best-of-five in 1961.

With ten league members again for the 1966–67 season, eight teams were again admitted to the tournament, providing a simple three-round knockout (8-team bracket). A year later, the division semifinals were changed to best-of-seven playoff. Then, in 1975 and 1977, respectively, a fifth and sixth team were added to each Division, necessitating an additional first round of best-of-three series.

Finally in 1984, the tournament expanded to its present 16-team, four-round knockout, and the now-complete set of first-round series were expanded to a best-of-five. In 2003 the first round was changed to also be best-of-seven. (Thus all playoff teams from 2003 to present, same as the two Division champions in 1947 and 1948, continue to play at the close of the regular season without idle team ("bye") and may be certain of four playoff games including two at home.)

Beginning with the 2004 season, with the addition of the thirtieth NBA franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA realigned its divisions. The result was that each conference would have three divisions of five teams each, and the winner of each division was guaranteed a top-three playoff seed. This would change slightly after the 2005–06 season; while division winners still receive automatic playoff berths, they are guaranteed a top-four seed, as described above.

2006 NBA playoffs controversy[edit]

The previous playoff format, in place for the 2004–05 and 2005–06 NBA playoffs, after the NBA was re-aligned into six divisions, created controversy during the 2005–06 season and playoffs, and would be changed prior to the 2006–07 NBA season.[4]

NBA division winners were seeded higher than any other playoff participants, regardless of their record. Prior to 2004, when the NBA was aligned into two conferences with two divisions each, the top two seeds in each conference were reserved for the division winners. This meant that top two teams in a conference (by record) would be seeded either first and second (if they were in opposite divisions) or first and third (if they were in the same division). Because of the NBA playoffs' preset matchups in the second round, this meant that the top two teams in a conference could never meet until the conference finals, assuming they both made it to that round.

After the NBA realigned its two conferences into three divisions each, the seeding rules remained largely unchanged. The top three seeds would now be reserved for division winners. This meant that if the top two teams (by record) in a conference were in the same division, they would be ranked first and fourth, and would face each other in the conference semifinals, instead of the conference finals, if both teams won their first round series.

In the second year of this format, the 2005–06 NBA season, the two teams with the best records in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks of the Southwest Division, did just that. The Mavericks had the second-best record in the Western Conference and the third-best record in the entire league, behind the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio. However, they were seeded fourth because they finished second in the Southwest behind the Spurs. This turn of events led to the playoff format being criticized by many. Besides the prospect of a team losing earlier in the playoffs than its regular-season record or seeding would suggest, critics claimed that it also created an unfair advantage for teams in the 2-7/3-6 half of the Western Conference playoff bracket, who could advance to the conference finals without playing either of the two best teams in the conference in an earlier round.

The Phoenix Suns, winners of the Pacific Division and possessors of the third best record, were seeded second, while the Denver Nuggets, winners of the Northwest Division and tied for only the seventh-best record in the conference, were seeded third.

The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers met in the second-to-last game of the regular season, after the top four seeds had been clinched. The two teams were already determined to be the fifth and sixth seeds, and had only to determine which rank higher. The fifth seed would likely need to defeat the best two teams in the conference without home-court advantage to advance to the conference finals, as it would face fourth-seeded Dallas in the first round and likely face first-seeded San Antonio if it managed to defeat Dallas. The sixth seed would play third-seeded Denver in the first round, but would have home-court advantage (since the Grizzlies had the fourth-best record in the conference and the Clippers had the fifth-best), and would not have to face either San Antonio or Dallas until the conference finals at the earliest.

This led to speculation about whether the Grizzlies or the Clippers would have much commitment to winning their match-up in the second-to-last game of the season, since it was clearly most advantageous to lose the game in order to obtain the 6th seed. The Clippers eventually lost to Memphis without much evidence to refute the speculation that the Clippers had lost intentionally.[5] In the first round of the playoffs, the Clippers defeated the Nuggets in five games, while Memphis was swept by Dallas. Ultimately, Dallas and San Antonio did meet in the second round, with Dallas winning in seven games and advancing all the way to the NBA finals.

Timeline[edit]

  • 1947: The playoffs were instituted with a three-stage tournament, similar to the Stanley Cup playoffs of the 1930s; the two first-place teams qualified directly to one semifinal where they played each other in a best-of-7 series. Teams finishing second & third qualified for the best-of-3 quarterfinals, where the two second-placed teams were paired in one quarterfinal, as were the two third-placed teams, and the two quarterfinal winners played each other in a best-of-three semifinal. The two semifinal winners played each other in the Basketball Association of America (BAA) best-of-7 final series.
  Quarterfinals
Best-of-3
Semifinals
Best-of-3 (one series)

Best-of-7 (one series)

BAA finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E3     
W3     
  E3     
    E2     
W2   
  E2     
    E2   
  W1   
          
        
W1   
    E1     
      

There were no byes, or idle time, for the division champions – as there would be for higher-seeded playoff teams 1955–66 and 1975–83. All six 1947 participants played their first tournament games on Wednesday, April 2; in 1948 the two Eastern runners-up (E2, E3 in the figure) were idle for a few days only because there was a three-way Western tie to break. Both winners of the runners-up bracket, Philadelphia in 1947 and Baltimore in 1948, reached the final series having played fewer tournament games than their final opponents, Chicago in 1947 and Philadelphia in 1948, had played in the best-of-7 pairings of division champions. And both winners of the runners-up bracket won the final series. The "postseason" actually comprised 11 games played in a span of 21 days for the 1947 Chicago Stags and 13 games in 30 days for 1948 Philadelphia Warriors, the finalists who emerged from the pairing of division champions.[2]

  • 1949: The playoffs were reorganized to match Eastern Division teams exclusively, and Western Division teams exclusively – in two halves of the bracket, so to speak. Thus the BAA tournament generated a playoff champion in each Division. (So did the NBA in each of three 1950 divisions, and so it has done in each half of the league since then.) The top four teams from each of the two divisions qualified. The quarterfinals and semifinals were renamed division semifinals and division finals, respectively, and both rounds were best-of-3. Thus any playoff team might be eliminated in two games, one home game. The best-of-7 final was unchanged.
  Division semifinals
Best-of-3
Division finals
Best-of-3
BAA finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E4     
  E1     
Eastern Division
    E2     
E2   
  E3     
    E1   
  W2   
  W1     
W4     
W1   
Western Division
    W2     
W2   
  W3     
  • 1950: The BAA was renamed as the National Basketball Association (NBA). With a three-division setup, 12 teams now qualified for the playoffs, with the top four teams from each division meeting in the best-of-3 division semifinals. The winners met in the best-of-3 division finals. With three teams remaining, the surviving team with the best regular season record qualified directly for the finals while the other two teams met in a best-of-3 NBA semifinals.
  • 1951: With the NBA reverting to a two-division setup; the division semifinals reverted to its original 1949 format with only eight teams qualifying. The division finals was extended to a best-of-5 format.
  Division semifinals
Best-of-3
Division finals
Best-of-5
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E4     
  E4     
Eastern Division
    E2     
E2   
  E3     
    E2   
  W3   
  W1     
W4     
W1   
Western Division
    W3     
W2   
  W3     
  • 1954: With only nine league members (soon to be eight), the number of playoff teams was cut down to six. The division semifinals was changed to a double round-robin format within the division, with the top three teams from each division qualifying (each team played four games). Following the round-robin games, the top two teams qualified for the best-of-three division finals, followed by the best-of-seven finals.
  • 1955: The number of playoff teams remained at six, but the initial round-robin was dropped after one year in favor of giving the first-place team in each division a bye to the best-of-five division finals. Teams which placed second and third played a best-of-three division semifinal. In 1955 the byes provided five and six extra days idle for the first-place teams.[6]
  • 1958: The division finals was extended to a best-of-seven format.
  • 1961: The division semifinals were extended to a best-of-five format.
  Division semifinals
Best-of-3 (1955–1960),

Best-of-5 (1961–1966)

Division finals
Best-of-5 (1955–1957),

Best-of-7 (1958–1966)

NBA finals
Best-of-7
                           
        
  E1     
Eastern Division
    E3     
E2   
  E3     
    E3   
  W1   
          
        
W1   
Western Division
    W2     
W2   
  W3     

The 1961 to 1966 tournaments alone combined initial byes for seeded teams with best-of-five initial series for unseeded teams. The 1961 byes provided five and seven extra days idle for the first-place teams. By 1966 the schedule provided more rest for the first-round participants with byes of 11 and eight extra days idle.[7]

  • 1967: The number of playoff teams was expanded to eight once more. The division semifinals now included the fourth-best team in each conference. The first-placed teams no longer received a bye. They were matched against the fourth-placed teams in the best-of-5 division semifinals.
  • 1968: The division semifinals was extended to a best-of-seven format.
  Division semifinals
Best-of-5 (1967),

Best-of-7 (1968–1970)

Division finals
Best-of-7 (1968–1970)
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E4     
          
Eastern Division
            
E2   
  E3     
          
        
  W1     
W4     
      
Western Division
            
W2   
  W3     
  • 1970: With an increased number of teams, the divisions were upgraded into conferences, which were then split into two divisions. Eight teams still qualified, four from each conference. The two division winners were guaranteed at least a #2 seed, and the two best non-division winners from each conference qualified as third and fourth seeds. Hence, the division semifinals and division finals came to be known as conference semifinals and conference finals, respectively.
  Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1*     
E4     
          
Eastern Conference
            
E2*   
  E3     
          
        
  W1*     
W4     
      
Western Conference
            
W2*   
  W3     
  • 1975: The number of playoff teams was expanded from eight to ten. A first round was introduced which matched the fourth and fifth seeds in each conference in a best-of-3 first round series, while the top three seeds received a bye. This is similar to the system used in the NFL from 1978 to 1989.
  First Round
Best-of-3
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                                     
        
  E1*     
    E4     
E4   
E5     
          
Eastern Conference
          
        
        
  E2*   
    E3     
      
        
        
        
        
        
  W1*   
    W4     
W4   
W5     
        
Western Conference
          
        
        
  W2*   
    W3     
      
  • 1977: The number of playoff teams was expanded from 10 to 12. The first round now included the sixth best team in each conference, which was matched against the third seed. Only the division winners received byes to the next round. This is similar to the format currently used by the NFL.
  First Round
Best-of-3
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                                     
        
  E1*    
       
E4   
E5    
          
Eastern Conference
          
E3     
E6    
  E2*  
       
      
        
        
        
        
        
  W1*  
       
W4   
W5     
        
Western Conference
          
W3     
W6     
  W2*  
       
      

The 1983 tournament is the latest to incorporate first-round byes for seeded teams. The first-round best-of-three series tapped off on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19 and 20; the second-round best-of-sevens on Sunday to the following Wednesday, April 27. Counting from Tuesday the byes provided five to eight extra days idle.[8]

  • 1984: The playoffs were expanded from 12 teams to 16 teams. All teams now participated in the first round, which was extended to a best-of-five series.
Conference quarterfinals
Best-of-5
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                       
E1*  
E8  
 
 
E4  
E5  
 
Eastern Conference
 
E2*  
E7  
 
 
E3  
E6  
 
 
W1*  
W8  
 
 
W4  
W5  
 
Western Conference
 
W2*  
W7  
 
 
W3  
W6  
  • 2003: The first round was extended to a best-of-seven series. This change arguably benefitted the higher seeds as it reduced the likelihood of an upset by a lower seed. It also meant that a team that swept their series 4–0 might have to wait up to two weeks to play their next series against a team that had won 4–3.
Conference quarterfinals
Best-of-7
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                       
E1*  
E8  
 
 
E4  
E5  
 
Eastern Conference
 
E2*  
E7  
 
 
E3  
E6  
 
 
W1*  
W8  
 
 
W4  
W5  
 
Western Conference
 
W2*  
W7  
 
 
W3  
W6  
  • 2005: Each conference was realigned into three divisions with each division winner qualifying for a top-three seed regardless of record. The next best five teams from each conference also qualify for the playoffs.
Conference quarterfinals
Best-of-7
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                       
E1*  
E8  
 
 
E4  
E5  
 
Eastern Conference
 
E2*  
E7  
 
 
E3*  
E6  
 
 
W1*  
W8  
 
 
W4  
W5  
 
Western Conference
 
W2*  
W7  
 
 
W3*  
W6  
  • 2007: To address the criticisms of having each division champion guaranteed a top-three seed, regardless of record, the rules were changed such that the division winners are now only guaranteed a top-four seed. The team with the second-best record in the conference is now guaranteed the second seed, even if it finishes second in its own division. This ensures that the two best teams in the conference cannot meet until the conference finals at the earliest. The previous system raised the prospect of the two best teams in the conference being seeded 1 and 4 if they play in the same division, thus forcing them to play each other in the second round (given no upsets).
    • Note: In the example below, the East's #2 seed is not a division champion.
Conference quarterfinals
Best-of-7
Conference semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference finals
Best-of-7
NBA finals
Best-of-7
                       
E1*  
E8  
 
 
E5  
E4*  
 
Eastern Conference
 
E2  
E7  
 
 
E3*  
E6  
 
 
W1*  
W8  
 
 
W5  
W4  
 
Western Conference
 
W2*  
W7  
 
 
W3*  
W6  

Team roster[edit]

Playoff teams must identify their postseason roster before the playoffs begin. They are allowed up to 15 players and can designate two as inactive for each game.[9] Players are eligible to be on a team's playoff roster provided they were on the team for at least one regular season game, and were not on another NBA team's roster after March 1.[10] Previously, playoff rosters were limited to 12 players who were named before the playoffs began.[9]

Records and statistics[edit]

  • Only five 8th seeded teams have managed to win a series versus the number 1 seeded team: The Denver Nuggets eliminated the Seattle SuperSonics 3–2 in 1994. The New York Knicks eliminated the Miami Heat 3–2 in 1999. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 4–2 in the 2007 Western Conference First Round (becoming the first 8 seed to beat a 1 seed in the best of 7 format). In 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs, 4–2 and in 2012, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 4–2.
  • The 1999 Knicks are the only 8th seeded team ever to reach the NBA finals.
  • The 1958–59 Minneapolis Lakers and the 1980–81 Houston Rockets are the only teams with losing records (33–39 and 40–42, respectively) to make it to the NBA finals. The other 1981 Western Conference Finalist, the Kansas City Kings, also had a 40–42 record
  • The 1994–95 Houston Rockets, a sixth seed with a record of 47–35, were the lowest seeded team to win the NBA finals. In the NBA finals, the Rockets swept the Orlando Magic (57–25) in four games. In doing so, the Rockets defeated four teams that had won 50 or more games during the regular season (Utah Jazz at 60–22, Phoenix Suns at 59–23, San Antonio Spurs at 62–20 and Orlando at 57–25), which had never been done before. They are also the only team to have won an NBA title without having home-court advantage in any round.
  • The San Antonio Spurs own the longest NBA playoff winning streak for a single postseason with 12 straight wins in the 1999 playoffs and a 15–2 finish overall. The Los Angeles Lakers own the most dominant post-season appearance with a 15-1 record in the 2001 playoffs; they also have the second-longest playoff-game win streak with 11 in that season.
  • Of all the teams with multiple NBA finals appearances, the Chicago Bulls are the only team to have never lost in the finals, winning 6.
  • The Boston Celtics possess the most overall NBA finals series wins with an overall record of 17–4. The Los Angeles/Minneapolis Lakers have played in the most NBA finals series (31) with an overall record of 16–15.
  • The longest playoff appearance streak currently belongs to the San Antonio Spurs with 18 consecutive appearances in the playoffs, beginning in the 1997-98 NBA season.The longest ever streak of playoffs appearances in a row belongs to the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers, who made the playoffs 22 straight years from the 1949–50 season to the 1970–71 season, while the longest playoff appearance streak in one city belonged to the Portland Trail Blazers, who made it for 21 straight years, from the 1982–83 to the 2002–03 seasons.

Playoff appearances[edit]

Current as of 2015 NBA Playoffs

Appearances by active teams[edit]

Team Appearances[11]
Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers 60
Boston Celtics 52
Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers 47
Tri-Cities Blackhawks–Milwaukee/St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks 44
New York Knicks 41
Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons 40
San Antonio Spurs 35 [A]
Chicago Bulls 34
Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors 31
Portland Trail Blazers 30
Phoenix Suns 29
Rochester/Cincinnati Royals–Kansas City-Omaha/Kansas City/Sacramento Kings 29
San Diego/Houston Rockets 29
Milwaukee Bucks 28
Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder 27
Chicago Packers/Zephyrs–Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets–Washington Wizards 27
New Orleans/Utah Jazz 25
Denver Nuggets 24 [A]
Indiana Pacers 22 [A]
Dallas Mavericks 20
New York/New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets 19 [A]
Cleveland Cavaliers 19
Miami Heat 18
Orlando Magic 14
Buffalo BravesSan Diego/Los Angeles Clippers 11
Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets 9 [B]
Minnesota Timberwolves 8
Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies 8
Toronto Raptors 7
New Orleans (/Oklahoma City) Hornets/Pelicans 6 [B]
  1. ^ a b c d Does not include appearances in the American Basketball Association (ABA) playoffs. Per the conditions of the ABA–NBA merger, the NBA does not officially recognize the ABA history, playoffs and records.
  2. ^ a b The New Orleans Pelicans were originally the Charlotte Hornets, and moved to New Orleans in 2002. A new team, the Charlotte Bobcats, was then established in 2004. When the Charlotte team reclaimed the Hornets name in a 2014 agreement, the Charlotte team also reclaimed the history of the original Hornets; as such, the New Orleans Pelicans were established in 2002, and the Bobcats/Hornets rejoined the NBA in 2004.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NBA owners change Finals format to 2-2-1-1-1". NBA.com. 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  2. ^ a b "1946–47 BAA Season Summary".
      "1947–48 BAA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
      Select "Next Season" from the heading for 1947–48, and so on. Select "Finals" from League Playoffs for the daily schedule of the final series, and so on.
  3. ^ "1948–49 BAA Season Summary".
      "1949–50 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  4. ^ "ESPN – NBA announces postseason seeding format change – NBA". ESPN.com. 2006-08-02. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  5. ^ "April 18, 2006 Memphis-LA Clippers game recap". Yahoo! Sports. 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  6. ^ "1954-55 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  7. ^ "1960-61 NBA Season Summary".
      "1966-66 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  8. ^ "1982–83 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  9. ^ a b Pastuszek, Jon (April 9, 2013). "Pastuszek: Could Yi Jianlian Help an NBA Playoff Team?". SheridanHoops.com. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
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  12. ^ "Charlotte Hornets Name Returns to Carolinas". Charlotte Hornets. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014. 

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