How the NBA is Structured
The structure of the NBA is a little bit different from other leagues. It consists of 30 teams, 29 of which are from the USA and one from Canada. There is no relegation at the end of each season.
The NBA is divided into two conferences, the Eastern and the Western Conference. Each conference has three divisions. The divisions for the Eastern conference include the Pacific, Northwest, and Southwest. Western conference divisions are Atlantic, Central, and Southeast.
First Conference Games
Each team has to play the other teams in the same division four times. That makes the first 16 fixtures for each team. Each side is then matched against six other teams from other divisions but from the same conference. Each team is thus required to play four times against the six opponents to make a total of 24 games.
Each team then plays the four remaining teams of the same conference three times each. These extra 12 games take the total tally of games played within the conference to 52. Each team then plays against each team from the other conference both home and away, which means that they will ply an extra 30 games. This means that each team in the NBA plays 82 games in the regular season.
After the regular season, each of the best eight teams in each division qualifies for the Playoffs. Playoff winners are decided by a best-of-seven encounter. Thus, the first team to win four games in the playoffs qualifies for conference semi-finals. The same applies to the semis, and the team that wins four games advances to the Conference Finals, which is also a best-of-seven encounter.
The winners in each of the conference finals are declared Conference Champions. They then face each other in the NBA Finals. The first team to win four matches in The Finals becomes the NBA Champion.