The NBA Finals is returning to a 2-2-1-1-1 format in a change unanimously approved Wednesday by the owners during their meetings in New York. The league had used a 2-3-2 format for the Finals since 1985 mainly because of travel concerns, but this season the final three games of the championship series, if necessary, will alternative between cities. Commissioner David Sterm announced the switch at his final Board of Governors meetings before he retires on Feb. 1 after 30 years on the job. He said it was unfair for the team with the better record to be on the road for three games. Since the 1985 season, the team with the home-court advantage at the start of the NBA Finals is 21-8. The first three rounds of the playoffs will not change from the 2-2-1-1-1 format currently in place. Meanwhile, NBA general managers went with the tried and true in picking the Miami Heat to win their third consecutive championship this season. The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs tied for second behind the Heat as the team most likely to take the title in a poll conducted by NBA.com. Heat star LeBron James was selected to claim his second league MVP award in a row and his fifth overall, which, if he won, would tie him with Michael Jordan and Bill Russell, one behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's six. One change from last year's preseason voting is Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers not being named as the top shooting guard in the league for the first time in 12 years. The GMs went with Houston's James Harden. Their pick for rookie of the year is Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, a first-round pick from Indiana.
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