This season the NBA is experimenting with a round robin format in the first round of the playoffs. The top three teams from each conference will square off. Each conference's top two teams from this tournament will play in a best of three conference finals. The winners of these finals will meet in a best of seven NBA Finals.
Before the round robin can begin a single playoff game will be played between Philadelphia and Syracuse (the 1953 NBA Champion) for the final Eastern slot in the round robin. Syracuse won the coin toss and will host the game.