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NBA Conferences

The forerunner of the NBA was the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which was a professional league which was founded in 1946. In 1947, for the second season of the NBA, the league split into two divisions, the East Division and the West Division. This created the split that is recognised today with East and West.  The NBA takes the history of the BAA as being part of is own and the league should be viewed as a continuation of this original league.

NBA Eastern Conference

Eastern Conference LogoThe NBA’s Eastern Conference has 15 teams in it and there are three divisions, each with five teams in it.

The top eight teams of the Eastern Conference make their way through to the play-off round. The three divisional winners and the team with the best record out of all the non-winning teams are seeded 1 to 4 for the playoffs.  The remaining non-divisional winners are seeded 5 through to 8.

The three divisions in the Eastern Conference are the:

  • Atlantic Division
  • Southeast Division and
  • Central Division

The teams in the Atlantic Division are:

Atlantic Division
Logo City Team Name Official Website
Boston Celtics nba.com/celtics/
Brooklyn, New York Nets nba.com/nets/
New York Knicks nba.com/knicks/
Philadelphia 76ers nba.com/sixers/
Toronto (Canada) Raptors nba.com/raptors/

The teams in the Southeast Division are:

Southeast Division
Logo City Team Name Official Website
Atlanta Hawks nba.com/hawks/
Charlotte Hornets nba.com/hornets/
Miami Heat nba.com/heat/
Orlando Magic nba.com/magic/
Washington Wizards nba.com/wizards/

The teams in the Central Division are:

Central Division
Logo City Team Name Official Website
Chicago Bulls nba.com/bulls/
Cleveland Cavaliers nba.com/cavaliers/
Detroit Pistons nba.com/pistons/
Indiana Pacers nba.com/pacers/
Milwaukee Bucks nba.com/bucks/

Teams who were previously in the Eastern Conference but are now defunct are:

  • Providence Steamrollers
  • Toronto Huskies
  • Washington Capitols

The most successful team in the Eastern Conference is easily the Boston Celtics who as of 2012-13 had won the NBA Eastern Conference Championships 21 times. At this point, their nearest rivals in the Eastern Conference would be the Philadelphia 76ers who have 9 wins in total.

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NBA Western Conference

Western Conference LogoThe NBA’s Western Conference has 15 teams in it and there are three divisions, each with five teams in it.

The top eight teams of the Western Conference make their way through to the play-off round. The three divisional winners and the team with the best record out of all the non-winning teams are seeded 1 to 4 for the playoffs.  The remaining non-divisional winners are seeded 5 through to 8.

The three divisions in the Western Conference are the:

  • Northwest Division
  • Southwest Division and
  • Pacific Division

The teams in the Northwest Division are:

Northwest Division
Logo City Team Name Official Website
Denver Nuggets nba.com/nuggets/
Minnesota Timberwolves nba.com/timberwolves/
Oklahoma City Thunder nba.com/thunder/
Portland Trail Blazers nba.com/blazers/
Utah Jazz nba.com/jazz/

The teams in the Southwest Division are:

Southwest Division
Logo City Team Name Official Website
Dallas Mavericks mavs.com
Houston Rockets nba.com/rockets/
Memphis Grizzlies nba.com/grizzlies/
New Orleans Pelicans nba.com/pelicans/
San Antonio Spurs nba.com/spurs/

The teams in the Pacific Division are:

Pacific Division
Logo City Team Name Official Website
Golden State Warriors nba.com/warriors/
Los Angeles Clippers nba.com/clippers/
Los Angeles Lakers nba.com/lakers/
Phoenix Suns nba.com/suns/
Sacramento Kings nba.com/kings/

Teams who were previously in the Western Conference but are now defunct are:

  • Anderson Packers
  • Baltimore Bullets
  • Chicago Stags
  • Cleveland Rebels
  • Detroit Falcons
  • Indianapolis Jets
  • Indianapolis Olympians
  • Pittsburgh Ironmen
  • Sheboygan Red Skins
  • St. Louis Bombers
  • Washington Capitols
  • Waterloo Hawks

The most successful team in the Western Conference is easily the Los Angeles Lakers who as of 2012-13 had won the NBA Western Conference Championships 31 times. At this point, their nearest rivals in the Western Conference would be the San Antonio Spurs who have 5 wins in total.

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