By Brian Windhorst
NEW YORK -- NBA owners voted unanimously Wednesday to change the Finals format to 2-2-1-1-1 after nearly 30 years of a 2-3-2 format. The change is effective for the 2014 Finals.
Commissioner David Stern called it an "easy sell" to owners to help add competitive balance and align the Finals format with the rest of the playoffs. To ease the transition, an extra day off will be added to the schedule between Games 6 and 7.
"There's been a sense among our teams that in a 2-2 series, it's not fair for a team with the better record to be away [for Game 5]," Stern said. "It's not fair for the better team in terms of record to spend as many as eight days away from home."
The league started its 2-3-2 format in 1985 following several hard travel Finals between theBoston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers when the teams flew commercial airlines. In that format, the home team won the middle three games only three times.