NBA: What if the playoffs were only best-of-five series?

NBA Finals trophy (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
NBA Finals trophy (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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NBA Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

What if all seven-game series of the NBA Playoffs were just a best-of-five?

Let’s be real, a best-of-seven NBA Playoff series can be a bit draining at times. Up until 2003, at least the first round of the playoffs were a best-of-five in an attempt to keep the playoffs a bit more efficient, if you will.

Looking back, though, it makes you wonder, what if the entire NBA playoffs was a best-of-five series?

Well, I took a look at all the 86 seven-game NBA Playoff series since 1979. If all of those were condensed to five games, 33 series would have had different outcomes. Of those 33 different outcomes, 16 would have had a new team in the NBA Finals. Of those 16 NBA Finals, 12 would crown new champions.

The following are some examples as to what the NBA world would look like if these scenarios played out in full.