NBA Standings Explained

The NBA standings are complicated to understand at first but once you get a grasp of it it is actually pretty simple.

The NBA has 30 teams which we have previously discussed here. These teams are divided into two conferences; the East and the West. 

Each contains 15 teams which are once again divided into Divisions containing five teams each. The Eastern Conference consists of the: Atlanta Hawks; Boston Celtics; Brooklyn Nets; Charlotte Hornets; Chicago Bulls; Cleveland Cavaliers; Detroit Pistons; Indiana Pacers; Miami Heat; Milwaukee Bucks; New York Knicks; Orlando Magic; Philadelphia 76ers; Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.

The Western Conference consists of the: Dallas Mavericks; Denver Nuggets; Golden State Warriors; Houston Rockets; LA Clippers; LA Lakers; Memphis Grizzlies; Minnesota Timberwolves; New Orleans Pelicans; Oklahoma City Thunder; Phoenix Suns; Portland Trailblazers; Sacramento Kings; San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz. Keeping up?

Bulls Division BannersWithin a Conference the teams are again divided into three divisions. In the East there is the Atlantic Division, the Central Division and the South East Division. The Atlantic contains the Boston Celtic; Brooklyn Nets; New York Knicks; Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors. The Central Division consists of the Chicago Bulls; Cleveland Cavaliers; Detroit Pistons; Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks. The final Division, the South East, contains the Atlanta Hawks; Charlotte Hornets; Miami Heat; Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

The Divisions within the Western Conference are the Northwest Division, the Pacific Division and the Southwest Division. In the Northwest Division are the Denver Nuggets; Minnesota Timberwolves; OKC Thunder; Portland Trailblazers and Utah Jazz. The Pacific Division contains the Golden State Warriors; LA Clippers; LA Lakers; Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. The Southwest Division consists of the Dallas Mavericks; Houston Rockets; Memphis Grizzlies; New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs. The team with the best record at the end of the season within their division wins the Division Title for that season.

At the end of the season the top 8 teams from each conference enter the NBA Playoffs. The explanation of the Playoffs can be found here.

NBA Division Map

If you have any further questions let me know in the comments below or email/tweet me from the links on the contact page.

Next: The Schedule Explained

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7 thoughts on “NBA Standings Explained

  1. In what way are teams ranked by their ‘record’? Is it greatest difference between wins and losses that go to the top of the table?

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