Western Conference (NBA)

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The Western Conference of the NBA is made up of fifteen teams, and organized in three divisions of five teams each.

Since 2006, the three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their record, with all remaining non-division winners seeded 5 through 8. This leaves open the possibility that a #2 seed could be a non-division winner. Home-court advantage in a playoff series is decided by record, not by seeding, so if a #4 and #5 team met in a playoff series in which the #5 team had the better record, the #5 team would have home-court advantage.

The reasoning behind this seeding arrangement is because a non-division winner could have a better record than the winners of the two divisions other than the one that produced the non-division winner in question. If the three division winners were seeded 1 through 3 for the playoffs in order of their record, and all non-division winners seeded 4 through 8, it would be possible for the two leading teams of the conference to meet in the Conference Semifinals. This actually happened in the 2006 NBA Playoffs when the two best teams in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks, both from the Southwest Division, faced one another in the Western Conference Semifinals while the 3rd seed, the Northwest Division-leading Denver Nuggets, had fewer wins than the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th seeds. The NBA proposed and approved of the current format to ensure that the best two teams of a conference can meet no earlier than the NBA Conference Finals.

The Western Conference playoffs is divided into two playoffs rounds, and The NBA Conference Finals with the winner of the Conference Championship facing the Eastern Conference champion in the NBA Finals to determine the champion. All playoff series are best-of-seven.

The current divisional alignment was adopted at the start of the 04–05 season, when the Charlotte Bobcats began play as the NBA's 30th franchise. This necessitated the move of the New Orleans Hornets from the Eastern Conference's Central Division to the newly-created Southwest Division of the Western Conference.

Contents

Current organization

The Western Conference teams are organized as follows:

Northwest Division

Southwest Division

Pacific Division

Former teams

Defunct

  • Anderson Packers
  • Baltimore Bullets
  • Chicago Stags
  • Cleveland Rebels
  • Denver Nuggets (1949-1950)
  • Detroit Falcons
  • Indianapolis Jets
  • Indianapolis Olympians
  • Pittsburgh Ironmen

Relocated to Eastern Conference

Western Conference champions

Western Conference was named Western Division until 1970
  • 1947: Chicago Stags
  • 1948: Baltimore Bullets
  • 1949: Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1950: Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1951: Rochester Royals
  • 1952: Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1953: Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1954: Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1955: Ft. Wayne Pistons
  • 1956: Ft. Wayne Pistons
  • 1957: St. Louis Hawks
  • 1958: St. Louis Hawks
  • 1959: Minneapolis Lakers
  • 1960: St. Louis Hawks
  • 1961: St. Louis Hawks
  • 1962: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1963: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1964: San Francisco Warriors
  • 1965: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1966: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1967: San Francisco Warriors
  • 1968: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1969: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1970: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1971: Milwaukee Bucks
  • 1972: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1973: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1974: Milwaukee Bucks
  • 1975: Golden State Warriors
  • 1976: Phoenix Suns
  • 1977: Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1978: Seattle SuperSonics
  • 1979: Seattle SuperSonics
  • 1980: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1981: Houston Rockets
  • 1982: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1983: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1984: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1985: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1986: Houston Rockets
  • 1987: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1988: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1989: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1990: Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1991: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1992: Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1993: Phoenix Suns
  • 1994: Houston Rockets
  • 1995: Houston Rockets
  • 1996: Seattle SuperSonics
  • 1997: Utah Jazz
  • 1998: Utah Jazz
  • 1999: San Antonio Spurs
  • 2000: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2001: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2002: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2003: San Antonio Spurs
  • 2004: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2005: San Antonio Spurs
  • 2006: Dallas Mavericks
  • 2007: San Antonio Spurs
  • 2008: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2009: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2010: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2011: Dallas Mavericks

NBA Champions in bold

List of Western Conference teams with the most conference championships

  • 31: Minneapolis Lakers / Los Angeles Lakers
  • 4: San Antonio Spurs
  • 4: Houston Rockets
  • 4: St. Louis Hawks
  • 3: Golden State / San Francisco Warriors
  • 3: Portland Trail Blazers
  • 3: Seattle SuperSonics
  • 2: Fort Wayne Pistons
  • 2: Milwaukee Bucks
  • 2: Phoenix Suns
  • 2: Utah Jazz
  • 1: Baltimore Bullets
  • 1: Chicago Stags
  • 1: Sacramento Kings / Rochester Royals
  • 1: Dallas Mavericks

Original Source

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