The Dallas Mavericks (also known as the Mavs) are a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is owned by Internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
The Miami Heat are a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and are the current NBA Champions after defeating the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals.
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are currently the only National Basketball Association (NBA) club based in Canada and outside of the United States. The team is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
The Chicago Bulls are a professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Consisting of 16 teams in 2 conferences, the playoffs involve nearly two months of play. The playoffs are conducted in four rounds of best-of-seven series. The three division winners in each conference, along with the five best non-division winners in each conference, qualify for the playoffs. The division winners and top second-place team are seeded first through fourth based on record, with the remaining teams seeded fifth through eighth on record. Up until last year, the division winners earned the top three seeds in the conference; this was amended by the NBA on August 3, 2006 to rectify the problem highlighted by controversy in last year’s playoffs. Under this new system, the teams with the two best records in the conference cannot meet until the conference finals, unlike last year, when the 63-win San Antonio Spurs and the 60-win Dallas Mavericks met in the conference semifinals.