NBA Finals 2013: The history of the 2-3-2 format

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The San Antonio Spurs will host the Miami Heat for the next three games of the NBA Finals, but how much does homecourt advantage in a 2-3-2 format really help the host team?

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs seem to be involved in a pretty even matchup heading into Game 3 of the NBA Finals, allowing the location of the next few games the potential to cause a bit more havoc than it would in most series. The location, of course, will be the AT&T Center in San Antonio because -- since 1985 -- the NBA uses a 2-3-2 format for the championship series.

The guise of homecourt advantage isn't always as advantageous as some would like to believe, but the fact that Miami wasn't able to take a 2-0 advantage at home before heading into Texas with three games in opponent territory has caused some to wonder if the Spurs might be able to finish the series in Game 5 in front of their home fans instead of ending up in Miami for Games 6 and 7.

The belief that San Antonio should now win the series simply because they didn't lose both games in Miami isn't exactly sound logic, as the above link explains in great detail, but it's always sort of interesting to know what has happened in previous series as a sort of benchmark for the current one. No NBA Finals is created the same, obviously, but it's sometimes fun to see how things unfolded in the past.

Home games won No. Won series
Game 3 only 2 0
Game 4 only 3 1
Game 5 only 0 0
Games 3 and 4 4 2
Games 3 and 5 5 1
Games 4 and 5 5 1
All 3 3 3
None 6 0

The 2011 Dallas Mavericks are the only team to ever win Games 4 and 5 and also win the series, but the above statistics show that it's obviously a good indicator that if the home team takes cares of business during the "3" portion of the 2-3-2 format, that team is going to have a pretty good chance of winning the series.

The rest isn't necessarily important as anomalies are abundant and all over the place -- aside from no team ever winning a Finals series by going undefeated exclusively on the road -- but it's likely not an exercise in complete futility if one wants to say that winning NBA Finals home games are a good indicator of whether or not teams are going to win the series ... however obvious it might be to most readers.

Whether or not the 2-3-2 format needs to be changed is going to largely be up to personal preference, but it does seem a 2-2-1-1-1 format or something similar might be more beneficial to evening things out. If that were to occur, however, many other concerns would likely pop up ... and the anomalies regarding home teams winning might occur just as often.

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