Posted Oct 22 2001 7:02PM
Sixteen teams qualify for the NBA Playoffs, eight from the Eastern and Western conferences, respectively.
The division winner with the best record in each conference is ranked No. 1, the other division winner is ranked No. 2 and the remaining six teams are ranked Nos. 3-8 according to their won-lost records.
The playoff pairings for the First Round are teams 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5. In the Conference Semifinals, the winner of teams 1 vs. 8 plays the winner of teams 4 vs. 5, and the winner of teams 2 vs. 7 plays the winner of teams 3 vs. 6. The winners of the Conference Semifinals then meet in the Conference Finals, with the respective winners in the Eastern and Western conferences advancing to the NBA Finals.
The First Round of the NBA Playoffs is best-of-5 games. Each succeeding round, including the NBA Finals, is best-of-7 games. The First Round is played on a 2-2-1 basis and the Conference Semifinals and the Conference Finals are played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format. The NBA Finals are played on a 2-3-2 basis; the team with the better regular season record is the home team for the first two and last two games.
In every series, the home-court advantage goes to the team with the better record during the regular season, regardless of its standing in the division race. Thus, if a division winner plays a second-place team from another division that had a better regular season record, the second-place team would get the home-court advantage.