With or without the Miami Heat involved, the 2014 NBA Finals will look different than that of 2013. The outdated 2-3-2 format for the Finals will be replaced by a 2-2-1-1-1 this season. The decision was a unanimous one by the NBA owners.
As opposed to the team hosting the series being away from home for Games 3, 4, and 5, the new format will allow the team with home-court advantage to play in front of their fans for Games 1, 2, 5, and 7.
Also, the new format calls for an extra travel day between Games 6 and 7.
Despite this change just being made to the Finals, the 2-2-1-1-1 format has been being used in every playoff series leading up to it. The first three rounds have been in the new Finals format, and the 2-3-2 format was only being used in the Finals.
More money and time will be spent due to the change, but it will allow for more of an even playing field. In 2012, the Oklahoma City Thunder split their two games at home against the Miami Heat before losing three consecutive on the road to lose the series. In 2013, San Antonio took a 3-2 series lead over Miami before heading back to South Beach to lose two consecutive that cost the Spurs the championship.