When does the first playoff-game tiebreaker occur?
Answer: The second game of the round of 16.
If the first game of a round-robin series does not result in a playoff round-fixture victory for either team, the game is considered a tiebreaker.
This rule is applied to both conference semifinals and conference semis.
If a team is tied at the halfway mark of a conference tournament, the tiebreaker is determined by the best-of-three series, as outlined above.
If two teams are tied at any point in a conference series, they must play a fourth game to determine the tiebreakers.
A team that defeats its opponent in the third game of its conference semifinals to advance to the conference finals will win the conference championship.
If neither team wins in the fourth game of their conference semifinals, the series will be tied and the teams will play a tiebreaking game, as described above.
The fourth game is not a tiebreak, but if a team loses in the final game of any conference series to advance, it will be deemed a loss.
This is the third tiebreaker and applies to all games played in a round robin series.
The first tiebreaker occurs if a game is tied for a team to win the series and then the winner is tied in the series.
This occurs in all round-of, regular-season, and postseason games.
For example, if a two-game series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder was tied in its second game, the Thunder would need to win their next two games to advance.
The third tiebreak occurs if two teams lose in the same series and the tie breaker is determined based on the result of the third or fourth game.
This can happen if both teams have played the same game and the result is tied after the first two games, as occurred in the 2006-07 season when the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Thunder played three games.
The team with the higher seed in the conference Finals is not required to play in the tiebreak game if the series was already tied.
For more information on this rule, read our explanation of the conference round-robin rules.
If both teams lose their last three games in the first round of a series, the two-year playoff record of the team that loses the last three contests is applied.
If either team is eliminated from the playoffs in the last four games of a four-team series, it is eliminated in the following round.
For details, read the conference playoff rules.
The following is a detailed analysis of the playoff rules and how they affect each team’s chances of winning the conference title.
Playoff record When both teams are eliminated from postseason play, their record is used to determine their playoff record.
The top four teams from the conference are eliminated.
This means that the four teams that advance to face the second seed in each conference will face each other in the next round.
The final playoff record for each team is determined at the end of the series, based on how many times the team played in the two previous rounds.
The highest seed from each conference advances to face one of the next four teams.
The two teams with the highest regular-seeded playoff records from the previous two rounds face each another in the semifinals and the third-place team from each league advances to the championship game.
If no one wins in a final round, the first seed in either conference advances, and the remaining teams play a third-round game to decide the winner.
If there are two teams that finish the series tied for the top seed in their conference, the teams that advanced are the ones that were eliminated in their previous round.
If one team has a winning record and the other team has an overall record of zero, the overall record is the combined winning record of both teams.
If it’s a tie for the overall team record, the higher ranked team in the league will be awarded the conference crown.
If only one team is the highest ranked in its conference, it must play one of its three remaining games to determine a tie in the playoffs.
For the record, this means the top two teams in the four conferences, the second- and third-highest seeded teams from each division and the eighth- and 11th-ranked teams from both conferences are tied in their respective divisions.
The best-ranked team in each division, the seventh-ranked one from the third division, and 11-seeds from the second division are tied for fifth.
The tie for seventh-seed in the second and third divisions is the one between the fifth-ranked and seventh-highest seeds in each of those divisions.
This tiebreaker will be used to decide who wins the conference championships.
The conference championship The conference champion of the Conference Finals is determined in the championship round, as determined by regular-division games.
In the semifinals, teams play one final regular-quarterfinals game to win one playoff round and advance