This blog gets a fair amount of traffic from the basketball analytics community, and I thank them for that. I have a few questions for them, and they're motivated by the upcoming MLS playoffs and by previous work on the two-leg playoff series, which is the most widely used playoff format in soccer.
- Has there been any work done on the structural advantage of the NBA playoff series formats, whether 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2? Even after accounting for team strengths, is there still an advantage to the higher seeded team?
- If there is a structural advantage to the higher seeded team, is it a result of opening the series at home, or being able to host the decisive matches (Game 7 in the Playoffs, Games 6 and 7 in the Finals)?