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National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association (NBA) 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.
It has thirty franchised member clubs (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada), and is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States.
The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues. NBA players are the world’s best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after absorbing the rival National Basketball League (NBL).
NBA Regular Season
During the regular season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a year (16 games). Each team plays six of the teams from the other two divisions in its conference four times (24 games), and the remaining four teams three times (12 games).
Finally, each team plays all the teams in the other conference twice apiece (30 games). This asymmetrical structure means the strength of schedule will vary between teams (but not as significantly as the NFL or MLB).
Pre Season and play Offs
NBA Playoffs begin in late April, with eight teams in each conference competing for the Championship. The three division winners, along with the team with the next best record from the conference are given the top four seeds.
The next four teams in terms of record are given the lower four seeds.
Having a higher seed offers several advantages. Since the first seed begins the playoffs playing against the eighth seed, the second seed plays the seventh seed, the third seed plays the sixth seed, and the fourth seed plays the fifth seed, having a higher seed means a team faces a weaker team in the first round.
The team in each series with the better record has home court advantage, including the First Round. This means that, for example, if the team who receives the 5 seed has a better record than the team with the 4 seed (by virtue of a divisional championship).
The 5 seed would have home court advantage, even though the other team has a higher seed.