Eastern Conference (NBA)

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Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference (NBA) logo.gif
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Founded 1947 (as the Eastern Division)
No. of teams 15
Most recent champion(s) Miami Heat (5 titles)
Most titles Boston Celtics (21 titles)

The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of 15 teams, organized in three divisions of five teams each.

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 records, with all remaining non-division winners seeded 5 through 8. This leaves open the possibility that a #2 or #3 seed could be a non-division winner. Home-court advantage in a playoff series is decided by record, not by seeding, so if the #4 and #5 teams meet in a playoff series in which the #5 team has the better record, the #5 team would have home-court advantage.

The reasoning behind this seeding arrangement is that a non-division winner could have a better record than the winners of the two divisions other than the non-division winning team in question. If the three division winners were seeded 1 through 3 for the playoffs in order of their records, and all non-division winners seeded 4 through 8, it would be possible for the two best 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 Conference Finals.

The Eastern Conference playoffs are divided into two preliminary rounds followed by the Eastern Conference Finals, with the winner of the Conference Championship facing the Western 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 2004–05 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.

Current standings[edit]

Eastern Conference
# Team W L PCT GB GP
1 Toronto Raptors * 22 6 .786 28
2 Atlanta Hawks * 19 7 .731 2.0 26
3 Washington Wizards 19 7 .731 2.0 26
4 Chicago Bulls * 17 9 .654 4.0 26
5 Cleveland Cavaliers 16 10 .615 5.0 26
6 Milwaukee Bucks 14 14 .500 8.0 28
7 Miami Heat 13 15 .464 9.0 28
8 Brooklyn Nets 11 15 .423 10.0 26
9 Boston Celtics 10 15 .400 10.5 25
10 Orlando Magic 10 20 .333 13.0 30
11 Indiana Pacers 9 19 .321 13.0 28
12 Charlotte Hornets 8 19 .296 13.5 27
13 Detroit Pistons 5 23 .179 17.0 28
14 New York Knicks 5 25 .167 18.0 30
15 Philadelphia 76ers 3 23 .115 18.0 26

Current organization[edit]

The Eastern Conference teams are organized as follows:

Former teams[edit]

Defunct

Relocated to Western Conference

Eastern Conference champions[edit]

Eastern Conference was named Eastern Division until 1970
NBA Champions in bold

List of Eastern Conference teams with the most conference championships[edit]

Season results[edit]

Legend
^ Denotes team that won the NBA Finals
+ Denotes team that won the Conference Finals, but lost the NBA Finals
* Denotes team that qualified for the NBA Playoffs