clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Explaining the playoff tie-breakers

There seems to be some confusion regarding playoff tie-breakers, at least within the big dailies. From today's Free Press:

Not only did the win help the Pistons separate from a main contender for the best regular-season record, it also gave the Pistons a season split with the Mavs.

If they finish with identical regular-season records, home court in the Finals will be decided by the third tiebreaker -- division record.

Actually, no, that's completely wrong.

If two teams finish with the same record, the first tie-breaker is head to head wins. Since the Pistons and Mavs are now tied, the second tie-breaker is winning percentage against conference opponents. The third tie-breaker is winning percentage against the other seven playoff teams in the same conference. The fourth tie-breaker is winning percentage against the eight playoff teams in the other conference. The fifth tie-breaker is point differential (points scored - points allowed).

But no where does division record come into play; methinks the Free Press has been watching too much football.

DETROIT 97, DALLAS 90: That's entertainment [Detroit Free Press]
Playoff Picture []