What is the NBA Eastern Conference Championship?
The NBA Eastern Conference Championship is the annual championship game of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Eastern Conference, one of the NBA’s two conferences.
The series is played in a best-of-seven format. The team with the higher seed hosts the first two games of the series, while the team with the lower seed hosts the following two games at home. The remaining three games played on alternating basis at each team’s arena. At the conclusion of the series, the Eastern Conference champions are presented with a trophy and move on to the NBA Finals to compete against the winner of the Western Conference.
The Eastern Conference Championship can trace its roots to the 1949 merger of two former rival professional basketball leagues, the BAA and the NBL. After the merger, the NBA organized into two conferences, the western conference and the eastern conference. Every NBA team regardless of their conference plays 82 regular season games. At the conclusion of the regular season, the eight teams with the best record advance to the playoffs.
What NBA teams have won the most eastern conference championships?
While having a higher degree of parity than the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference has been largely dominated by the Boston Celtics, who have each been Eastern Conference champions 21 times since the league’s inception following the BAA-NBL merger. The Celtics have reached the championship series 35 times, including an NBA-record 13 consecutive appearances from 1957-1969. To put this into perspective, the team with the second most conference championships is the Philadelphia 76ers, who have been Eastern Conference champions nine times. The New York Knicks come in at third place, being Eastern Conference champions eight times.
What NBA teams have never won an eastern conference final?
Despite the higher degree of parity, there are still several eastern conference teams that have both never advanced to, nor won the conference championship. For example, the Milwaukee Bucks have advanced to the title game six times, but have come up short of being Eastern Conference champions each time. Similarly, the Atlanta Hawks have advanced to the conference championship just once, but were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Only the Charlotte Hornets have never succeeded in advancing to the conference championship.
Betting on the Eastern Conference championship
Despite the NBA not being as popular as the NFL in terms of the total amount wagered each year in the US, the NBA is by no means a slouch. The league has serious viewership in the US and an even greater international footprint (certainly more than the NFL, which still only largely appeals to the US marketplace) in overseas viewership, particularly China. As such, NBA betting enjoys immense popularity. One of the growing areas of betting is the market for NBA futures bets. While the majority of action remains on picking the NBA Finals winner, other popular bets center on the winners of the eastern and western conferences and even player futures such as league MVP or Rookie of the Year.
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