NBA Approves Realignment

From Associated Press

The NBA's board of governors approved a realignment plan Monday that creates three divisions of five teams each in the Eastern and Western conferences for the 2004-05 season.

The expansion Charlotte Bobcats were placed in the Eastern Conference and the New Orleans Hornets were moved to the Western Conference.

Teams will play division opponents twice at home and twice on the road. They will play conference opponents outside their division three or four times, and teams from the other conference twice -- at home and away.

Division winners each earn a playoff berth. The remaining five playoff berths for each conference will be based on regular-season records with no regard to division alignment.

Home-court advantage in the playoffs will be based solely on regular-season records.

The new alignments:


* Southeast Division: Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando and Washington.

* Central Division: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana and Milwaukee.

* Atlantic Division: Boston, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.


* Southwest Division: Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans and San Antonio.

* Northwest Division: Denver, Minnesota, Portland, Seattle and Utah.

* Pacific Division: Lakers, Clippers, Golden State, Phoenix and Sacramento.

From Associated Press

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