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NBA Playoffs
Upcoming season or competition:
2024 NBA playoffs
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League information
Sport Basketball
Founded June 6, 1946
(as the BBA)
No. of teams 16 (postseason), 20 (including Play-in tournament)
Most recent champion(s): Boston Celtics (2024)
Most titles: Boston Celtics (18)
TV partner(s): United States:
ABC/ESPN
TNT
NBA TV
Canada:
TSN/TSN2
Sportsnet/Sportsnet One
NBA TV Canada
International:
Broadcasters

The NBA Playoffs are an annual best-of-seven elimination tournament held after the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s regular season to determine the league's champion. The top six teams in each conference make the playoffs, while teams seeded 7-10 make the Play-In Tournament to decide seeds 7 and 8. First place plays eighth place, second place plays seventh place, third place plays sixth place, and fourth place plays fifth place. Each series between two teams lasts four to seven games, depending on how many games each team wins and loses. The team that makes it to the NBA Finals plays the team from the opposite conference. The team that wins the four games in the NBA Finals takes home the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

Format[]

Prior to the 2020s, the NBA playoffs were widely regarded to comprise the entirety of the NBA postseason, although some sources suggested the NBA Finals should be regarded as separate. From the 2022–23 NBA season, when an expansion to the postseason implemented during the prior three seasons (including two COVID-shortened seasons) was made permanent, the NBA made it clearly known that the Playoffs were to remain a 4-round, best-of-seven tournament (including the Finals), and that thus qualification criteria for the playoffs and postseason are no longer identical.

The top six teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, ranked by winning percentage, directly advance to the playoffs. Teams ranked seventh through tenth compete in the NBA play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds.

Officially considered separate from the NBA playoffs, the NBA play-in tournament uses a modified Page playoff format in which the seventh- and eighth-place teams play each other in a qualification game, with the winner being given the opportunity to play as the seventh seed of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the ninth- and tenth-place teams play each other in an elimination game, with the loser being eliminated and the winner playing the loser of the seven-eight game in a final game to determine who earns the eighth playoff seed.

Both conferences conduct the playoffs in the traditional bracket format. All rounds are best-of-seven series. Series are played in the 2–2–1–1–1 format, meaning the team with home-court advantage hosts games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while their opponent hosts games 3, 4, and 6, with games 5, 6 and 7 being played if needed. This format has been used since 2014, after NBA team owners unanimously voted to change the format of the NBA Finals from the 2–3–2 format on October 23, 2013. Once the playoffs start, the bracket is fixed; teams are never "reseeded", unlike in the National Football League and formerly the National Hockey League (until the wild card format introduced in the 2013-2014 season) where the strongest remaining teams face the weakest teams in subsequent rounds.

Tiebreaker criteria[]

If two or more teams within the same conference are tied in overall winning percentage, tiebreaker criteria are used to determine final rankings.

The tiebreaker criteria are as follows:

  1. Head-to-head record; better record in games with the tied teams.
  2. Division record; better record in games against teams in its own division (Only if the teams are in the same division).
  3. Conference record; better record in games against teams in its own conference.
  4. Winning percentage against playoff teams in its own conference.
  5. Winning percentage against playoff teams in the opposing conference.
  6. Point differential in all games.

Should three or more teams tie, any division leaders are given higher seeds regardless of any other criteria. In addition, once any team is eliminated from a tiebreaker, the evalation goes back to the first step for the remaining teams. Prior to 2016, this rule was also used for two-team ties, but only applied if the two teams have the same head-to-head record.

History[]

The National Basketball Association was established in 1949 by merger of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League but it recognizes the three BAA seasons as part of its own history. In all of its three years the BAA champion was finally determined in a best-of-seven series but its first two tournaments, the 1947 and 1948 BAA Playoffs, were otherwise quite different from the third, which 21st-century NBA playoffs nearly match. In 1947 and 1948, the Eastern and Western Division champions were matched in a best-of-seven series following the regular season, whose winner advanced to the championship round. Meanwhile, four runners-up played best-of-three series to determine the other finalist: the two second-place teams were matched in one short series and the two third-place teams in another; the winners of those two series played another one. In 1947, the Philadelphia Warriors won the runners-up bracket and beat the Western champion Chicago Stags four games to one, which the NBA recognizes as its first championship; in 1948 Baltimore won the runners-up and beat Eastern champion Philadelphia in the final. Both tournaments generated one finalist from the Eastern and one from the Western Division, but only by chance.

In 1949, the third and last BAA tournament matched Eastern teams exclusively and Western teams exclusively, necessarily generating Eastern and Western playoff champions to meet in the final. At the same time, the number of playoff teams was increased from three to four from each Division; two rounds of best-of-three series were played, followed by a best-of-seven championship. The main idea was retained by the NBA. Even the 1950 tournament, following a transitional season with three divisions rather than two, initially determined one playoff champion from each division. The Central champion Minneapolis Lakers became the first league champion under the NBA name by defeating Anderson from the West in a best-of-three, with Syracuse from the East idle, and then knocking off the Syracuse Nationals in six games.

The 1951 through 1953 playoffs changed the division finals into a best-of-five playoff. With only nine league members in 1953–54, the NBA cut its postseason tournament field from eight teams to six (from 1954 through 1966, the period of eight to nine league members). Round robins were played in 1954, uniquely in NBA history—a three-team round robin among the three playoff teams in each division. From 1955 to 1966, the first-place team in each division was idle while its two runners-up faced played a best-of-three. Division finals were expanded to best-of-seven in 1958 and division semifinals to best-of-five in 1961.

With ten league members again for the 1966–67 season, eight teams were again admitted to the tournament, providing a simple three-round knockout (8-team bracket). A year later, the division semifinals were changed to best-of-seven playoff. Then, in 1975 and 1977, respectively, a fifth and sixth team were added to each Division, necessitating an additional first round of best-of-three series.

Finally in 1984, the tournament expanded to its present 16-team, four-round knockout, and the now-complete set of first-round series was expanded to a best-of-five. In 2003 the first round was changed to also be best-of-seven.

Beginning with the 2004 season, with the addition of the thirtieth NBA franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA realigned its divisions. The result was that each conference would have three divisions of five teams each, and the winner of each division was guaranteed a top-three playoff seed. This would change slightly after the 2005–06 season; while division winners still receive automatic playoff berths, they are guaranteed a top-four seed, as described below.

2006 NBA playoffs controversy[]

The playoff format in place for the 2004–05 and 2005–06 NBA playoffs created controversy and would be changed prior to the 2006–07 NBA season.

Prior to 2004, when the NBA was aligned into two conferences with two divisions each, the division champions were guaranteed the top two seeds. This meant that the top two teams in a conference could never meet until the conference finals, assuming they both made it to that round.

After the NBA realigned its two conferences into three divisions each, the seeding rules remained largely unchanged. The top three seeds would now be reserved for division champions. However, this meant that if the top two teams (by record) in a conference were in the same division, they would be seeded first and fourth. Assuming no first-round upsets, this raised the prospect that the top two teams in the conference would face each other in the conference semifinals, instead of the conference finals.[citation needed] In the second year of this format, the 2005–06 NBA season, the two teams with the best records in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks of the Southwest Division, did just that. This turn of events led to the playoff format being criticized by many.

In August 2006, the NBA announced a rules change. Beginning in the 2006-2007 season, the top four seeds in each conference would be seeded according to their win–loss totals, "guaranteeing that the top two teams in each conference cannot meet until the conference finals".

Timeline[]

  • 1947: The playoffs were instituted with a three-stage tournament, similar to the Stanley Cup playoffs of the 1930s; the two first-place teams qualified directly to one semifinal where they played each other in a best-of-7 series. Teams finishing second & third qualified for the best-of-3 quarterfinals, where the two second-placed teams were paired in one quarterfinal, as were the two third-placed teams, and the two quarterfinal winners played each other in a best-of-three semifinal. The two semifinal winners played each other in the Basketball Association of America (BAA) best-of-7 final series.

There were no byes, or idle time, for the division champions – as there would be for higher-seeded playoff teams 1955–66 and 1975–83. All six 1947 participants played their first tournament games on Wednesday, April 2; in 1948 the two Eastern runners-up (E2, E3 in the figure) were idle for a few days only because there was a three-way Western tie to break. Both winners of the runners-up bracket, Philadelphia in 1947 and Baltimore in 1948, reached the final series having played fewer tournament games than their final opponents, Chicago in 1947 and Philadelphia in 1948, had played in the best-of-7 pairings of division champions. And both winners of the runners-up bracket won the final series. The "postseason" actually comprised 11 games played in a span of 21 days for the 1947 Chicago Stags and 13 games in 30 days for 1948 Philadelphia Warriors, the finalists who emerged from the pairing of division champions.[1]

  • 1949: The playoffs were reorganized to match Eastern Division teams exclusively, and Western Division teams exclusively in two halves of the bracket. Thus the BAA tournament generated a playoff champion in each Division. (So did the NBA in each of three 1950 divisions, and so it has done in each half of the league since then.) The top four teams from each of the two divisions qualified. The quarterfinals and semifinals were renamed division semifinals and division finals, respectively, and both rounds were best-of-3. Thus any playoff team might be eliminated in two games, one home game. The best-of-7 final was unchanged.
  Division Semifinals
Best-of-3
Division Finals
Best-of-3
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E4     
      
      
E3   
  E2     
      
    
  W1     
W4     
    
      
W2   
  W3     
  • 1950: The BAA was renamed as the National Basketball Association (NBA). With a three-division setup, 12 teams now qualified for the playoffs, with the top four teams from each division meeting in the best-of-3 division semifinals. The winners met in the best-of-3 division finals. With three teams remaining, the surviving team with the best regular season record qualified directly for the finals while the other two teams met in a best-of-3 NBA semifinals.
  • 1951: With the NBA reverting to a two-division setup; the division semifinals reverted to its original 1949 format with only eight teams qualifying. The division finals was extended to a best-of-5 format.
  Division Semifinals
Best-of-3
Division Finals
Best-of-5
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E4     
      
      
E2   
  E3     
      
    
  W1     
W4     
    
      
W2   
  W3     
  • 1954: With only nine league members (soon to be eight), the number of playoff teams was cut down to six. The division semifinals was changed to a double round-robin format within the division, with the top three teams from each division qualifying (each team played four games). Following the round-robin games, the top two teams qualified for the best-of-three division finals, followed by the best-of-seven finals.
  • 1955: The number of playoff teams remained at six, but the initial round-robin was dropped after one year in favor of giving the first-place team in each division a bye to the best-of-five division finals. Teams which placed second and third played a best-of-three division semifinal. In 1955 the byes provided five and six extra days idle for the first-place teams.[2]
  • 1958: The division finals was extended to a best-of-seven format.
  • 1961: The division semifinals were extended to a best-of-five format.

Template:6TeamBracket-info The 1961 to 1966 tournaments alone combined initial byes for the top seeded teams in each division with best-of-five initial series for second and third seeded teams in both divisions. The 1961 byes provided five and seven extra days idle for the first-place teams. By 1966 the schedule provided more rest for the first-round participants with byes of 11 and eight extra days idle.[3]

  • 1967: The number of playoff teams was expanded to eight once more. The division semifinals now included the fourth-best team in each conference. The first-placed teams no longer received a bye. They were matched against the third-placed teams in the best-of-5 division semifinals, while the second-placed teams were now matched against the fourth-placed teams.
  • 1968: The division semifinals was extended to a best-of-seven format.
  Division Semifinals
Best-of-5 (1967),

Best-of-7 (1968–1970)

Division Finals
Best-of-7 (1968–1970)
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E3     
         
         
E2   
  E4     
          
        
  W1     
W3     
        
          
W2   
  W4     
  • 1971: With an increased number of teams, the divisions were upgraded into conferences, which were then split into two divisions. Eight teams still qualified, four from each conference. Hence, the division semifinals and division finals came to be known as conference semifinals and conference finals, respectively. The top two teams in each division qualified as the Eastern Conference, comprising the Atlantic and Central divisions, while the Western Conference consisted of the Midwest and Pacific divisions. The first place team from one division would face the second place team of the other division within their conference. In the conference playoffs, a division winner always held home-court advantage over a second place team regardless of record.
  Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                           
  A1     
C2     
      
      
C1   
  A2     
      
    
  M1     
P2     
    
      
P1   
  M2     
  • 1973: The playoff format was modified, as only the divisional champions qualified automatically; two wild-cards were also added from each conference. Once qualification was determined, the four qualifiers were seeded 1–4 based on record; divisional position no longer mattered. The No. 1 seed then played No. 4, and No. 2 played No. 3.
  Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                           
  E1     
E4     
         
         
E3   
  E2     
          
        
  W1     
W4     
        
          
W3   
  W2     
  • 1975: The number of playoff teams was expanded from eight to ten. A first round was introduced which matched the fourth and fifth seeds in each conference in a best-of-3 first round series, while the top three seeds received a bye. This is similar to the system currently used in the 2012 MLB postseason. Division winners did not automatically receive a bye to the Conference Semifinals.
  • 1977: The number of playoff teams was expanded from 10 to 12. The first round now included the sixth best team in each conference, which was matched against the third seed. Only the division winners received byes to the next round.

The 1983 tournament is the latest to incorporate first-round byes for seeded teams. The first-round best-of-three series tapped off on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19 and 20; the second-round best-of-sevens on Sunday to the following Wednesday, April 27. Counting from Tuesday the byes provided five to eight extra days idle.[4]

  • 1984: The playoffs were expanded from 12 teams to 16 teams. All teams now participated in the first round, which was extended to a best-of-five series.
  First Round
Best-of-5
Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                                     
1       
16       
          
 
          
8     
9       
          
          
5       
12       
        
 
          
4     
13       
        
        
W1*       
W8       
        
 
          
W4     
W5       
        
          
W3       
W6       
        
 
          
W2*     
W7       
  • 2003: The first round was extended to a best-of-seven series. This change arguably benefitted the higher seeds as it reduced the likelihood of an upset by a lower seed. It also meant that a team that swept their series 4–0 might have to wait up to two weeks to play their next series against a team that had won 4–3.
  First Round
Best-of-7
Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                                     
1       
16       
          
 
          
8     
9       
          
          
5       
12       
        
 
          
4     
13       
        
        
W1*       
W8       
        
 
          
W4     
W5       
        
          
W3       
W6       
        
 
          
W2*     
W7       
  • 2005: Each conference was realigned into three divisions with each division winner qualifying for a top-three seed regardless of record. The next best five teams from each conference also qualify for the playoffs.
  First Round
Best-of-7
Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                                     
1       
16       
          
 
          
8     
9       
          
          
5       
12       
        
 
          
4     
13       
        
        
W1*       
W8       
        
 
          
W4     
W5       
        
          
W3*       
W6       
        
 
          
W2*     
W7       
  • 2007: To address the criticisms of having each division champion guaranteed a top-three seed, regardless of record, the rules were changed such that the division winners are now only guaranteed a top-four seed. The team with the second-best record in the conference is now guaranteed the second seed, even if it finishes second in its own division. This ensures that the two best teams in the conference will not meet until the conference finals at the earliest. The previous system raised the prospect of the two best teams in the conference being seeded 1 and 4 if they play in the same division, thus forcing them to play each other in the second round (given no upsets).
    • Note: In the example below, both the East's No. 2 seed and the West's No. 3 seed are not division champions.
  First Round
Best-of-7
Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                                     
1       
16       
          
 
          
8     
9       
          
          
5       
12       
        
 
          
4     
13       
        
        
W1*       
W8       
        
 
          
W5     
W4*       
        
          
W3       
W6       
        
 
          
W2*     
W7       
  • 2016: While the playoff bracketing did not change, qualification criteria were changed. The teams with the eight best records in each conference receive playoff berths, with no automatic berths or guaranteed top-four seed placement for division champions.
    • Note: In the example below, both the East's No. 7 seed and the West's No. 5 seed are division champions.
  First Round
Best-of-7
Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7
Conference Finals
Best-of-7
NBA Finals
Best-of-7
                                     
1       
16       
          
 
          
8     
9       
          
          
5       
12       
        
 
          
4     
13       
        
        
W1*       
W8       
        
 
          
W4     
W5*       
        
          
W3       
W6       
        
 
          
W2*     
W7       
  • 2020: Beginning in 2020, play-in games were used to determine the final qualified team(s) in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

In the 2020 play-in format, if the ninth-place team within a conference finished the regular season within four games of the eighth-place team, they would compete in a postseason play-in series.[5] This format was used only in the Western Conference, as the No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies finished within a half-game of the No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers.[6][7][8][9][10] Described as a best-of-two series, the Trail Blazers, needing only one win as the higher seed, eliminated the Grizzlies in game one to advance to the playoffs.[11]

  • 2021: In 2021, the format for the play-in games was finalized.

In 2021, the top six teams in each conference advance to the playoffs, while seventh- through tenth-placed teams qualified for a play-in tournament. The seventh- and eighth-place teams got up to two chances to win one game to qualify for the playoffs, while the ninth- and tenth-place teams needed to win two consecutive games to advance.[12] The play-in games would become a permanent part of the postseason starting in 2023.[13]

W1 is Winner of 7/8 game
L1 is Loser of 7/8 game
W2 is Winner of 9/10 game
W3 is Winner of W2 / L1 game.

Team rosters[]

Playoff teams must identify their postseason rosters before the playoffs begin. They are allowed up to 15 players each and can designate two players as inactive for each game.[14] Players are eligible to be on a team's playoff roster as long as they were on the team for at least one regular season game, and were not on another NBA team's roster after March 1.[15] Prior to the 2005-06 season, playoff rosters were limited to 12 players who were named before the playoffs began.[14][16]

Records and statistics[]

  • Only six 8th seeded teams have managed to win a series versus the number 1 seeded team: The Denver Nuggets eliminated the Seattle SuperSonics 3–2 in 1994.[17] The New York Knicks eliminated the Miami Heat 3–2 in 1999.[18] The Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 4–2 in the 2007 Western Conference First Round (becoming the first 8 seed to beat a 1 seed in the best of 7 formats).[19] In 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs, 4–2[20] and in 2012, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 4–2 following a torn ACL to star Derrick Rose.[21] In 2023, the Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks 4–1, becoming the first eight-seed to win a playoff series after qualifying for the NBA play-in tournament. The Heat finished the regular season 7th in the Eastern Conference but was relegated to the 8th seed following the play-in games. They are also the first team to win their division but qualify for the play-in games, having won the Southeast Division title with the worst record, and they eventually became the lowest-seed division winner in playoff history.[22]
  • The 1999 Knicks and the 2023 Heat are the only 8th seeded teams to reach the NBA Finals;[23][24] no 8th seeded team has won the NBA championship as of 2023. In addition, the Heat are the first team to reach the Finals after qualifying for the play-in tournament.
  • The 2022–23 Miami Heat and the 2022–23 Los Angeles Lakers are the only teams to win a playoff series after qualifying for the play-in tournament. The 2023 playoffs also marked the first time two teams seeded 7th or lower won a playoff series in a single postseason, and the first time two teams seeded 7th or lower reach the conference finals.
  • The 1956–57 St. Louis Hawks, 1958–59 Minneapolis Lakers and the 1980–81 Houston Rockets are the only teams with losing records (34–38, 33–39 and 40–42, respectively) to make it to the NBA finals. In 1981, the Houston Rockets' opponent in the Western Conference Finals, the Kansas City Kings, also had a losing record (40–42). All three of these teams lost to the Boston Celtics in the finals.
  • The 1994–95 Houston Rockets, a sixth seed with a record of 47–35, are the lowest seeded team to win the NBA finals.[25] In the NBA finals, the Rockets swept the Orlando Magic (57–25) in four games; in doing so, the Rockets defeated four teams that had won 50 or more games during the regular season (the Utah Jazz at 60–22, the Phoenix Suns at 59–23, the San Antonio Spurs at 62–20 and Orlando at 57–25), the first time a team had done so. As of now, the 1994–95 Rockets are the only team to have won an NBA title without having home-court advantage during any round of the playoffs.
  • The Golden State Warriors own the longest NBA playoff winning streak for a single postseason with 15 straight wins in the 2017 playoffs.[26]
  • Of all the teams with multiple NBA finals appearances, the Chicago Bulls are the only team to have never lost in the finals, winning six.
  • The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles/Minneapolis Lakers possess the most overall NBA finals series wins with 17 each. The Celtics have played in 22 NBA Finals series, with an overall record of 17–5, while the Lakers have played in the most NBA Finals series (32), with an overall record of 17–15.
  • The longest active playoff appearance streak currently belongs to the Boston Celtics with 8 consecutive appearances in the playoffs, beginning in the 2014–15 NBA season.[27] The longest streak of playoffs appearances in a row is currently tied at 22 seasons between the San Antonio Spurs, who made it from 1997–98 season until the 2018–19 season, and the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers, who made it from the 1949–50 season to the 1970–71 season.[28]
  • As of the 2023-24 season, the longest active playoff drought belongs to the Charlotte Hornets, who have not made the playoffs since the 2015–16 season. The longest all time playoff drought belongs to the Sacramento Kings, who went 16 seasons without making the playoffs (2006-07 through 2021-22).
  • In 1983, under the bye–7–7–7 system, the Philadelphia 76ers attained the best record of 12–1, having only lost in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • In 2001, under the best of 5–7–7–7 system, the Los Angeles Lakers attained the best record of 15–1, having only lost in Game 1 of the Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • In 2017, under the best of 7–7–7–7 system, the Golden State Warriors attained the best record of 16–1, having only lost in Game 4 of the Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors and Cavaliers came into the Finals with a combined record of 24–1, with the Cavaliers having only lost in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.
  • The top four seeded teams all advanced to the Conference Semifinals round in 1980, 1986, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2019 and 2022.
  • Every seed number from 1-8 advanced to the Conference Semifinals round in 2023.

Playoff appearances[]

Current as of the 2023 NBA playoffs

Appearances by active teams[]

Team Appearances[29]
Los Angeles Lakers 63 [upper-alpha 1]
Boston Celtics 61
Philadelphia 76ers 53 [upper-alpha 2]
Atlanta Hawks 49 [upper-alpha 3]
Detroit Pistons 42 [upper-alpha 4]
New York Knicks 43
San Antonio Spurs 39 [upper-alpha 5]
Portland Trail Blazers 37
Chicago Bulls 36
Golden State Warriors 37 [upper-alpha 6]
Houston Rockets 34 [upper-alpha 7]
Milwaukee Bucks 35
Oklahoma City Thunder 32 [upper-alpha 8]
Phoenix Suns 32
Washington Wizards 30 [upper-alpha 9]
Utah Jazz 31 [upper-alpha 10]
Sacramento Kings 30 [upper-alpha 11]
Indiana Pacers 27 [upper-alpha 5]
Denver Nuggets 29 [upper-alpha 5]
Dallas Mavericks 24
Brooklyn Nets 24 [upper-alpha 5][upper-alpha 12]
Miami Heat 24
Cleveland Cavaliers 23
Orlando Magic 16
Los Angeles Clippers 17 [upper-alpha 13]
Toronto Raptors 13
Memphis Grizzlies 13
Charlotte Hornets 10 [upper-alpha 14]
Minnesota Timberwolves 11
New Orleans Pelicans 8 [upper-alpha 14]
  1. Includes appearances as the Minneapolis Lakers (1947–1960).
  2. Includes appearances as the Syracuse Nationals (1946–1963).
  3. Includes appearances as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1946–1951), the Milwaukee Hawks (1951–1955), and the St. Louis Hawks (1955–1968).
  4. Includes appearances as the Fort Wayne Pistons (1949–1957).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Does not include appearances in the American Basketball Association (ABA) playoffs. Per the conditions of the ABA–NBA merger, the NBA does not officially recognize the ABA history, playoffs and records.
  6. Includes appearances as the Philadelphia Warriors (1946–1962) and the San Francisco Warriors (1962–1971).
  7. Includes appearances as the San Diego Rockets (1967–1971).
  8. As part of the 2008 relocation settlement with the City of Seattle, the Thunder officially shares its history with that of the Seattle SuperSonics (1967–2008).[30]
  9. Includes appearances as the Chicago Packers (1961–1962), the Chicago Zephyrs (1962–1963), the Baltimore Bullets (1963–1973), the Capital Bullets (1973–1974), and the Washington Bullets (1974–1997).
  10. Includes appearances as the New Orleans Jazz (1974–1979).
  11. Includes appearances as the Rochester Royals (1948–1957), the Cincinnati Royals (1957–1972), the Kansas City-Omaha Kings (1972–1975), and the Kansas City Kings (1975–1985).
  12. Includes appearances as the New Jersey Nets (1977–2012).
  13. Includes appearances as the Buffalo Braves (1970–1978).
  14. 14.0 14.1 The New Orleans Pelicans were originally the Charlotte Hornets, and moved to New Orleans in 2002. A new team, the Charlotte Bobcats, was then established in 2004. The New Orleans team kept the Hornets nickname from its relocation from Charlotte until 2013. When the Charlotte team reclaimed the Hornets name in a 2014 agreement, it also reclaimed the history and records of the original Charlotte Hornets; as such, the New Orleans Pelicans are considered established in 2002, and the Bobcats/Hornets are considered a linear franchise that was inactive from 2002 to 2004.[31]

All-time NBA playoffs table[]

The all-time NBA playoffs table is an overall record of all match results of every team that has played in playoffs since the 1946–47 season. The table is accurate as of the end of the 2022 NBA playoffs.[32] Bold indicates the highest number.

Franchise Pld W L PTS OPP PTS DIFF PTS CH CT
Atlanta Hawks 382 167 215 38008 39040 -1032 1 0
Boston Celtics 675 382 293 70796 69318 1478 17 9
Brooklyn Nets 163 70 93 15868 16127 -259 2 2
Charlotte Hornets 63 23 40 5853 6035 -200 0 0
Chicago Bulls 344 186 158 33603 33167 436 6 6
Cleveland Cavaliers 229 125 104 22543 22142 401 1 5
Dallas Mavericks 209 96 113 21484 21812 -328 1 2
Denver Nuggets 205 81 124 21980 22531 -551 1 1
Detroit Pistons 372 189 183 35551 35418 133 3 5
Golden State Warriors 349 190 159 36540 35960 -320 7 7
Houston Rockets 322 158 164 32833 32975 -142 2 4
Indiana Pacers 241 115 126 22521 22538 -17 3 1
Los Angeles Clippers 142 63 79 14819 14909 -90 0 0
Los Angeles Lakers 761 458 306 78979 77158 1821 17 19
Memphis Grizzlies 80 30 50 7620 8003 -383 0 0
Miami Heat 249 138 111 23486 23286 200 3 6
Milwaukee Bucks 289 142 147 30107 29874 233 2 3
Minnesota Timberwolves 52 18 34 4813 5050 -237 0 0
New Orleans Pelicans 49 20 29 4630 4820 -190 0 0
New York Knicks 380 187 193 35959 36379 -420 2 4
Oklahoma City Thunder 331 164 167 33581 33661 -80 1 4
Orlando Magic 133 59 74 12718 12862 -144 0 2
Philadelphia 76ers 460 236 224 47061 47133 -72 3 5
Phoenix Suns 296 147 149 31272 31229 43 0 3
Portland Trail Blazers 274 119 155 28112 28769 -657 1 3
Sacramento Kings 188 80 108 18235 18585 -350 1 0
San Antonio Spurs 403 222 181 40210 39484 726 5 6
Toronto Raptors 117 55 62 11545 11692 -147 1 1
Utah Jazz 286 133 153 28334 28500 -166 0 2
Washington Wizards 237 99 138 24097 24426 -329 1 4

References[]

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named BBR
  2. "1954-55 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  3. "1960-61 NBA Season Summary".
      "1966-66 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  4. "1982–83 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  5. "NBPA reps vote to approve 22-team format to finish season". https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29272443/sources-nbpa-reps-approve-22-team-format-finish-season. 
  6. "Dame, Blazers survive Nets to nab play-in berth" (in en). August 14, 2020. https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29658229/damian-lillard-trail-blazers-escape-win-vs-nets-reach-play-round. 
  7. "Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies: Everything you need to know about the NBA's first ever play-in tournament" (in en). 14 August 2020. https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/trail-blazers-vs-grizzlies-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-nbas-first-ever-play-in-tournament/. 
  8. Loop, Nate. "NBA Playoffs 2020: Grizzlies vs. Blazers Play-In Game Schedule, Live Stream" (in en). https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2904720-nba-playoffs-2020-grizzlies-vs-blazers-play-in-game-schedule-live-stream. 
  9. Adams, Jonathan (2020-08-13). "NBA Play-in Game Rules: How Does Playoff Tournament Work in Bubble?". https://heavy.com/sports/2020/08/nba-play-in-game-tournament-rules-bubble-playoff/. 
  10. Adams, Jonathan (2020-08-15). "NBA Play-in Game: What Happens if Blazers-Grizzlies Win or Lose?". https://heavy.com/sports/2020/08/nba-play-in-game-grizzlies-blazers-lose-win/. 
  11. "Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers - Game Recap - August 15, 2020 - ESPN". https://www.espn.com/nba/recap?gameId=401236333. 
  12. "FAQ: NBA Play-In Tournament". https://www.nba.com/news/nba-play-in-tournament. 
  13. "NBA adopts Play-In Tournament on full-time basis" (in en). https://www.nba.com/news/nba-adopts-play-in-tournament-on-full-time-basis. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Pastuszek, Jon (April 9, 2013). "Pastuszek: Could Yi Jianlian Help an NBA Playoff Team?". SheridanHoops.com. http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2013/04/09/pastuszek-could-yi-jianlian-help-an-nba-playoff-team/. 
  15. Helin, Kurt (March 21, 2011). "Winderman: Still time to add good player (or Eddy Curry) to playoff roster". NBCSports.com. http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/21/winderman-still-time-to-add-good-player-or-eddy-curry-to-playoff-roster/. 
  16. NBA RULES HISTORY Template:Webarchive
  17. "Denver Nuggets Legendary Moments: 1994 upset of Seattle SuperSonics". https://www.nba.com/nuggets/news/nuggets-legendary-moment-1994-sonics-050720. 
  18. "1999 NBA Eastern Conference First Round - Knicks vs. Heat". https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1999-nba-eastern-conference-first-round-knicks-vs-heat.html. 
  19. "2007 NBA Western Conference First Round - Warriors vs. Mavericks". https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2007-nba-western-conference-first-round-warriors-vs-mavericks.html. 
  20. "2011 NBA Western Conference First Round - Grizzlies vs. Spurs". https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2011-nba-western-conference-first-round-grizzlies-vs-spurs.html. 
  21. "2012 NBA Eastern Conference First Round - 76ers vs. Bulls". https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2012-nba-eastern-conference-first-round-76ers-vs-bulls.html. 
  22. "2023 NBA Eastern Conference First Round - Heat vs. Bucks". https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2023-nba-eastern-conference-first-round-heat-vs-bucks.html. 
  23. "History on This Day: Knicks become first No. 8 seed to reach NBA Finals". June 11, 2021. https://therookiewire.usatoday.com/2021/06/11/nba-finals-eighth-seed-new-york-knicks/. 
  24. "2023 NBA Eastern Conference Finals - Heat vs. Celtics". https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2023-nba-eastern-conference-finals-heat-vs-celtics.html. 
  25. "ESPN.com - Page2 - Worst championship teams". https://www.espn.com/page2/s/list/championteams/worst.html#:~:text=1995%20Houston%20Rockets,they%20swept%20in%20the%20finals.. 
  26. Feldman, Dan (June 5, 2017). "Warriors break NBA record for longest playoff winning streak". https://nba.nbcsports.com/2017/06/05/warriors-break-nba-record-for-longest-playoff-winning-streak/. 
  27. "Active Playoff Streaks for each NBA Team". https://www.landofbasketball.com/statistics/playoffs_active_streaks.htm. 
  28. "Longest Playoffs Made Streaks in NBA History". https://www.landofbasketball.com/statistics/playoffs_made_streaks.htm. 
  29. "Franchise History". NBA.com. March 13, 2022. http://stats.nba.com/history/?ls=iref:nba:gnav. 
  30. "Details of settlement between Bennett, Seattle revealed". ESPN.com. August 20, 2008. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3545175. 
  31. "Charlotte Hornets Name Returns to Carolinas". Charlotte Hornets. May 20, 2014. http://www.nba.com/hornets/charlotte-hornets-name-returns-carolinas. 
  32. "NBA Teams Playoffs Most Wins and Looses". https://www.statmuse.com/nba/ask/nba-teams-playoffs-most-wins-and-looses. 
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