The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of 15 teams, organized in three divisions.
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.
Basketball is a sport, generally played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court.
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The three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their records, with all remaining non-division winners seeded 5 through 8. This leaves open the possibility that a #2 or #3 seed could be a non-division winner.
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Home-court advantage in a playoff series is decided by record, not by seeding, so if the #4 and #5 teams meet in a playoff series in which the #5 team has the better record, the #5 team would have home-court advantage.
The reasoning behind this seeding arrangement is that a non-division winner could have a better record than the winners of the two divisions other than the non-division winning team in question.
If the three division winners were seeded 1 through 3 for the playoffs in order of their records, and all non-division winners seeded 4 through 8, it would be possible for the two best teams of the conference to meet in the Conference Semifinals.
This actually happened in the 2006 NBA Playoffs when the two best teams in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks, both from the Southwest Division, faced one another in the Western Conference Semifinals while the 3rd seed, the Northwest Division-leading Denver Nuggets, had fewer wins than the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th seeds.
The National Basketball Association playoffs are a best-of-seven elimination tournament among 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, ultimately deciding the league's season champion in the NBA Finals.
San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populated city in the United States and the second-most populated city in the state of Texas, with a population of 1,409,019.
The 2006 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2005–06 season.
The NBA proposed and approved of the current format to ensure that the best two teams of a conference can meet no earlier than the Conference Finals.
The Eastern Conference playoffs are divided into two preliminary rounds followed by the Eastern Conference Finals, with the winner of the Conference Championship facing the Western Conference champion in the NBA Finals to determine the champion.
The current divisional alignment was adopted at the start of the 2004–05 season, when the now Charlotte Hornets began play as the NBA's 30th franchise.
This necessitated the move of the New Orleans Pelicans from the Eastern Conference's Central Division to the newly created Southwest Division of the Western Conference
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana.