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NBA considering shortening playoffs to best-of-five series

If we even get a playoffs, it might be shortened.

1996 Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1: Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The COVID-19 epidemic has flipped life as we know it upside down pretty much across the board. Now it might be sending us into the past.

With the fate of the 2019-2020 NBA season still up in the air, one of the conditions the league office is considering, if they’re even able to finish the year at all, is shortening the NBA playoffs all to best-of-five series.

The league hasn’t played a best-of-five series since 2002, when the first round only was still played as a best-of-five. That setup had been in place since 1884, when the league expanded from best-of-three first rounders.

However, the NBA Finals has always been a best-of-seven series since its implementation back in 1946, so should the new format hold through every round of the playoffs and not just the opening round or rounds, it would be the first time in league history that the NBA Finals teams did not play a best-of-seven.

The last time the Houston Rockets competed in a best-of-five series was in 1999, when they lost 3-1 in the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs to the Los Angeles Lakers. Houston holds a .500 record (7-7) all-time in five-game series in the postseason and have played the Lakers the most in that type of set-up, going 1-3 against them in first-round, five game contests.

They were also 1-2 against the Utah Jazz and 2-0 against the Portland Trail Blazers.