. * – Division leader. denotes an expansion team. denotes a team that merged from the American Basketball Association (ABA). denotes a team that merged from the National Basketball league. 31: Los Angeles Lakers/Minneapolis Lakers. 7: Golden State Warriors/San Francisco Warriors. 6: San Antonio Spurs. 4: Houston Rockets. 4: Atlanta/St. Louis Hawks. 4: Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics. 3: Portland Trail Blazers. 2: Fort Wayne Pistons. 2: Milwaukee Bucks. 2: Phoenix Suns. 2: Utah Jazz. 2: Dallas Mavericks. 1: Anderson Packers. 1: Baltimore Bullets. 1: Chicago Stags. 1: Sacramento Kings/Rochester Royals.
NBABasketball Association of AmericaNational Basketball Association (NBA)
The New Orleans Jazz (now in Utah) came aboard in 1974 bringing the total to 18. Following the 1976 season, the leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22. The franchises added were the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and New York Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets). Some of the biggest stars of this era were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Dave Cowens, Julius Erving, Elvin Hayes, Walt Frazier, Moses Malone, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Dan Issel, and Pete Maravich.
ABAAmerican Basketball Association (ABA)1969–70 ABA season
In 1976, its last year of existence, the ABA pioneered the now-popular slam dunk contest at its all-star game in Denver. The league succeeded in forcing a merger with the NBA in the 1976 offseason. Four ABA teams were absorbed into the older league: the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs. As part of the merger agreement, the four teams were not permitted to participate in the 1976 NBA Draft. The merge was particularly hard on the Nets; the New York Knicks were firmly established in their arena, Madison Square Garden, and would not permit the Nets to share dates there.
NBA championshipNBA championshipsFinals
The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs combined to win nine NBA Championships during this period. The Spurs were responsible for winning four championships during this time, in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007. In the 1999 NBA Playoffs, the Spurs finished with a 15–2 mark, including sweeps of the Blazers and Lakers. With a defensive squad led by David Robinson and Tim Duncan, San Antonio's 84.7 points allowed per game was the fewest average points allowed in the post-season in the last 30 years. In the Finals that year, the Spurs played against the New York Knicks, the first #8 seed team to reach the finals in NBA history, to an average of 79.8 points per game.
The other teams that have made it to at least 10 consecutive playoff appearances in the 21st century are the San Antonio Spurs (1998–present), Denver Nuggets (2004–2013), and Dallas Mavericks (2001–2012). The origins of the Atlanta Hawks can be traced to the Buffalo Bisons franchise, which was founded in 1946. The Bisons were a member of the National Basketball League, and played their games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. The club was organized by the Erie County American Legion and was coached by Nat Hickey. Their first game – a 50–39 victory over the Syracuse Nationals – was played on November 8, 1946.
F – Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs. F – Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves. C – Ben Wallace, Detroit Pistons. G – Doug Christie, Sacramento Kings. G – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers. All-Defensive Second Team:. F – Ron Artest, Indiana Pacers. F – Bruce Bowen, San Antonio Spurs. C – Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers. G – Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets. G – Eric Snow, Philadelphia 76ers. NBA All-Rookie First Team:. Yao Ming, Houston Rockets. Amar'e Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns. Caron Butler, Miami Heat. Drew Gooden, Orlando Magic. Nenê Hilario, Denver Nuggets. All-Rookie Second Team:. G – Manu Ginóbili, San Antonio Spurs. G – Gordan Giricek, Orlando Magic.
The Spurs and Mavericks split the first two games in San Antonio, but Dallas defeated the Spurs in games 3 and 4, both in Dallas. The Mavericks then went on to close out the series and eliminated the Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. In 2010, the Dallas Mavericks matched up against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. Although the Mavericks managed to obtain the number two seed, they were defeated by the Spurs in six games.
Pete Maravich, New Orleans Jazz. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers. David Thompson, Denver Nuggets. Paul Westphal, Phoenix Suns. Elvin Hayes, Washington Bullets. All-NBA Second Team:. Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers. George McGinnis, Philadelphia 76ers. Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers. George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs. Jo Jo White, Boston Celtics. All-NBA Rookie Team:. John Lucas, Houston Rockets. Mitch Kupchak, Washington Bullets. Scott May, Chicago Bulls. Adrian Dantley, Buffalo Braves. Ron Lee, Phoenix Suns. NBA All-Defensive First Team:. Bobby Jones, Denver Nuggets. E.C. Coleman, New Orleans Jazz. Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers. Don Buse, Indiana Pacers.
The Los Angeles Lakers selected Johnson with the pick acquired from the New Orleans Jazz, who traded the selection for Gail Goodrich. After Gilmore was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for center Dave Corzine, the Bulls employed a high-powered offense centered around Theus, and which soon included guards Quintin Dailey and Ennis Whatley. However, with continued dismal results, the Bulls decided to change direction, trading Theus to the Kansas City Kings during the 1983–84 season. Attendance began to dwindle, with the Wirtz Family looking to sell to ownership groups interested in moving the team out of Chicago, before selling to local ownership.
Two are intrastate rivalries, with the San Antonio Spurs, who moved along with the Rockets after four years with them in the Eastern Conference, and the Dallas Mavericks, introduced that very season. Houston has faced both Texas teams in playoffs since 1980, beating the Spurs three times and losing once. The Rockets lost twice to the Mavericks, while beating them once. Other famed rivalries were with the Los Angeles Lakers, who in the 1980s Showtime era only missed the NBA Finals when beaten by the Rockets, and the Utah Jazz, who the Rockets beat in both championship seasons but were defeated by Utah in five other occasions.
L.A. LakersLakersLA Lakers
The following season, the Lakers won 11 fewer regular season games than the prior year, but swept the first three rounds of the playoffs, defeating the Portland, Sacramento, and San Antonio. They met Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals. Although the Sixers took game one in overtime, the Lakers won the next four games to win their second straight title. Their 15–1 postseason record was the best in NBA history The Lakers won 58 games in 2001–02. In the playoffs, they swept Portland and defeated San Antonio four games to one to advance to the Western Conference Finals to face Sacramento.
On the same day, the Blazers front office had made a three-team trade with the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks. The trade sent Blazers guards Andre Miller to Denver and Rudy Fernández to Dallas along with international player Petteri Koponen, who had yet to make an appearance for Portland; Denver then sent guard Raymond Felton to Portland and Denver also received rookie forward Jordan Hamilton from Dallas as well as a future second-round pick from Portland.
L.A. ClippersClippersLA Clippers
In the second round of the playoffs, the team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. The following off-season, GM Neil Olshey reached an agreement to become General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers. Olshey was replaced by Gary Sacks. On draft night, the team re-acquired Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team deal that also sent Mo Williams and Furkan Aldemir, their 2012 draftee, to the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, respectively. The team then sent Reggie Evans to the Brooklyn Nets for the right to swap second-round draft picks with the Nets in the 2016 NBA draft.
Bruce Bowen – San Antonio Spurs. Ben Wallace – Detroit Pistons. Andrei Kirilenko – Utah Jazz. Ron Artest – Sacramento Kings. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers. Jason Kidd – New Jersey Nets. NBA All-Rookie First Team:. Chris Paul – New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Charlie Villanueva – Toronto Raptors. Andrew Bogut – Milwaukee Bucks. Deron Williams – Utah Jazz. Channing Frye – New York Knicks. All-NBA Second Team:. F Elton Brand – Los Angeles Clippers. F Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs. C Ben Wallace – Detroit Pistons. G Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat. G Chauncey Billups – Detroit Pistons. NBA All-Defensive Second Team:. Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs. Chauncey Billups – Detroit Pistons.
PhoenixSunsAnnual NBA Outdoors Game
In 1990–91, the Suns went 55–27 but lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz, 3–1. In 1991–92, the Suns went 53–29. Having sent four players to the All-Star Game in the previous two seasons (Chambers, Johnson, Hornacek, and Majerle), the Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs in three games in the first round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs. The Suns then were defeated in five games to the Trail Blazers in the Conference Semifinals. The series was punctuated by a game four in which the Suns lost in double overtime 153–151 (the highest scoring game in NBA Playoff history to-date). That game was the last Suns game ever played at the Coliseum.
Golden StateWarriorsSan Francisco Warriors
During the 2013 offseason, Golden State signed former Denver Nuggets swingman and future NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million deal. To make room under the salary cap, the Warriors traded Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedriņš and Brandon Rush (along with multiple draft picks) to the Utah Jazz. With their lone selection in the 2013 NBA draft, the Warriors made 22-year-old Serbian combo-guard Nemanja Nedovic the 30th and final pick of the first round.
2009NBA Draft2009 draft
On June 26, 2008, San Antonio acquired Golden State's 2009 second-round draft pick, the draft rights to Malik Hairston and cash considerations from Phoenix in exchange for the draft rights to Goran Dragić. Previously, Phoenix acquired 2007 and 2009 second-round draft picks on January 3, 2005 from Golden State in exchange for Žarko Čabarkapa. San Antonio used the 37th pick to draft DeJuan Blair. On June 26, 2008, Portland acquired a 2009 second-round draft pick from Denver in a three-team trade with Denver and Chicago. Portland also acquired New York's 2009 second-round draft pick and Chicago's 2010 second-round draft pick from Chicago.
Road victories over the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks further enhanced their reputation. Though they hovered around .500 for the first half of the season, they went on a 9-game winning streak that sent them into serious playoff contention. Kevin Durant became the youngest player in league history to win the scoring title, averaging 30.1 points per game while playing in all 82 games. The Thunder finished 50–32, more than doubling their win total from the previous season. The 50–32 record tied the 2008 Denver Nuggets for the most wins by an 8th seed in the modern Playoffs era.
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 2018, the 1994-1995 Rockets are the only team to have won an NBA title without having the 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.
New YorkKnicksNew York Knickerbockers
However, in the Finals, the San Antonio Spurs, with superstars David Robinson and Tim Duncan, proved too much for the injury-laden Knicks, who lost in five games. The remarkable fifth game of this Finals is remembered for its 2nd half scoring duel between the Spurs' Tim Duncan and the Knicks' Latrell Sprewell, and was decided by a long jumper by Avery Johnson with 47 seconds left to clinch the title for the Spurs.
G Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs. G Chauncey Billups – Denver Nuggets.
Truck Robinson, New Orleans Jazz. Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers. George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs. David Thompson, Denver Nuggets. All-NBA Second Team:. Walter Davis, Phoenix Suns. Maurice Lucas, Portland Trail Blazers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers. Paul Westphal, Phoenix Suns. Pete Maravich, New Orleans Jazz. All-NBA Rookie Team:. Bernard King, New Jersey Nets. Marques Johnson, Milwaukee Bucks. Jack Sikma, Seattle SuperSonics. Norm Nixon, Los Angeles Lakers. Walter Davis, Phoenix Suns. NBA All-Defensive First Team:. Bobby Jones, Denver Nuggets. Maurice Lucas, Portland Trail Blazers. Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers. Lionel Hollins, Portland Trail Blazers.
21, clinched Pacific division). 3) San Antonio Spurs (58-24, best record in the conference outside the division winners). 4) Utah Jazz (51-31, clinched Northwest division). 5) Houston Rockets (52-30). 6) Denver Nuggets (45-37). 7) Los Angeles Lakers (42-40). 8) Golden State Warriors (42-40).