- 1973 NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoffswas the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1972-1973 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion New York Knicksdefeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers, four games to one in the NBA Finals. The Knicks won their second (and as of 2008, most recent) NBA championship. New York's Willis Reedbecame the first player to win the NBA Finals MVPtwice (on the other hand, the award had only existed since 1969).
The playoff format was modified. Only the divisional champions qualified automatically; two wild-cards were also added from each conference. Once qualification was determined, the four qualifiers were seeded 1-2-3-4 based entirely on record; divisional position no longer mattered. The #1 seed then played #4, and #2 played #3. Because of this new format, New York, the Atlantic Division runner-up, had the home-court advantage versus Baltimore, the Central Division champion, since the Knicks had the better regular-season record. The Bullets had had the home-court advantage in the 1972 playoffs versus the Knicks and in the 1971 playoffs versus Philadelphia, even though their record was worse than New York's and Philadelphia's were those seasons, because they had won their division while the '72 Knicks and '71 76ers were runners-up.
This was the second consecutive time (and third in the last four years) that the Lakers and Knicks met in the championship series, and the Lakers-Knicks rivalry ended with two championships won by the Knicks and one by the Lakers. Los Angeles would have to wait until 1980 to return to the finals but would ultimately become the Team of the '80s; New York would not be back in the championship round until 1994.
3RoundBracket-Byes | RD1= Conference Semifinals
RD2= Conference Finals
RD3= NBA Finals
* [http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/NBA_1973.html Basketball-Reference.com's 1973 NBA Playoffs page]
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