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NEW YORK – The NBA Development League announced today it will expand the playoff format for the 2009-10 season to three rounds of three-game series. The 2010 NBA D-League postseason is set to being as early as April 7, 2010.
For the first time, the eight qualifying teams will play best-of-three series in both the quarter- and semi-finals, leading up to the third consecutive year of best-of-three Final series.
The Eastern and Western Division winners, along with the next six teams with the best regular season records, regardless of division, will qualify for the 2010 NBA D-League postseason.
For the second consecutive year, the two division winners along with the wild card entrant with the best regular season record will select their first round opponent from the teams ranked five through eight. The top-seeded division winner will select its opponent first, with the second ranked division winner selecting second and the wild card team with the best regular season record selecting third. The fourth seeded team will play the remaining team.
“As we continue to grow the NBA D-League, we’re excited to take the important step of expanding our playoffs,” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “This enables fans of every playoff team to cheer for their team at home, and will lead to an even more competitive and exciting playoffs to showcase our game and our top NBA prospects.”
In all three rounds, the team with lower seed will host the first game, while the team with higher seed will host the second, and, if necessary, third and deciding game.
The 2009-10 NBA D-League regular seasons concludes on April 3.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2009-10 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Maine Red Claws and the Springfield Armor. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.