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NBA: The 10 Best and 10 Worst Playoff Teams of the Past 25 Years

10 BEST PLAYOFF TEAMS (1990-91 thru 2014-15)

TEAM PLAYOFF APP. / SEASONS PLAYOFF APPEARANCE PERCENTAGE NBA FINALS APP. / TITLES FURTHEST ADVANCE FRANCHISE NOTES
1. San Antonio Spurs 24/25 96.0% 7/6 NBA Champs (1998-99, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2013-14)
2. Los Angeles Lakers 21/25 84.0% 8/5 NBA Champs (1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2008-09, 2009-10)
3. Indiana Pacers 19/25 76.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (1999-00)
4. Chicago Bulls 18/25 72.0% 6/6 NBA Champs (1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98)
4. Miami Heat 18/25 72.0% 5/3 NBA Champs (2005-06, 2011-12, 2012-13)
4. Portland Trail Blazers 18/25 72.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (1991-92)
4. Utah Jazz 18/25 72.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (1996-97, 1997-98)
8. Phoenix Suns 17/25 68.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (1992-93)
9. Atlanta Hawks 16/25 64.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11)
9. Houston Rockets 16/25 64.0% 2/2 NBA Champs (1993-94, 1994-95)
9. Oklahoma City Thunder 16/25 64.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (1995-96, 2011-12) Includes Seattle SuperSonics (1990-91 thru 2007-08)

*

10 WORST PLAYOFF TEAMS (1990-91 thru 2014-15)

TEAM PLAYOFF APP. / SEASONS PLAYOFF APPEARANCE PERCENTAGE NBA FINALS APP. / TITLES FURTHEST ADVANCE FRANCHISE NOTES
1. Golden State Warriors 7/25 28.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Semi-Finals (1990-91, 2006-07, 2012-13)
1. Washington Wizards 7/25 28.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (2004-05, 2013-14) Includes Washington Bullets (1990-91 thru 1996-97)
3. Los Angeles Clippers 8/25 32.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Semi-Finals (2005-06, 2011-12, 2013-14)
3. Minnesota Timberwolves 8/25 32.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2003-04)
5. Toronto Raptors 7/20 35.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (2000-01)
6. Charlotte Hornets 9/25 36.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (1992-93, 1997-98, 2000-01, 2001-02) Includes Charlotte Bobcats (2004-05 thru 2013-14)
6. Sacramento Kings 9/25 36.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2001-02)
8. Memphis Grizzlies 8/20 40.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2012-13) Includes Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96 thru 2000-01)
8. Milwaukee Bucks 10/25 40.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Finals (2000-01)
10. Philadelphia 76ers 11/25 44.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (2000-01)

*

EVERYBODY (1990-91 thru 2014-15)

TEAM PLAYOFF APP. / SEASONS PLAYOFF APPEARANCE PERCENTAGE NBA FINALS APP. / TITLES FURTHEST ADVANCE FRANCHISE NOTES
1. San Antonio Spurs 24/25 96.0% 7/6 NBA Champs (1998-99, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2013-14)
2. Los Angeles Lakers 21/25 84.0% 8/5 NBA Champs (1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2008-09, 2009-10)
3. Indiana Pacers 19/25 76.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (1999-00)
4. Chicago Bulls 18/25 72.0% 6/6 NBA Champs (1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98)
4. Miami Heat 18/25 72.0% 5/3 NBA Champs (2005-06, 2011-12, 2012-13)
4. Portland Trail Blazers 18/25 72.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (1991-92)
4. Utah Jazz 18/25 72.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (1996-97, 1997-98)
8. Phoenix Suns 17/25 68.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (1992-93)
9. Atlanta Hawks 16/25 64.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11)
9. Houston Rockets 16/25 64.0% 2/2 NBA Champs (1993-94, 1994-95)
9. Oklahoma City Thunder 16/25 64.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (1995-96, 2011-12) Includes Seattle SuperSonics (1990-91 thru 2007-08)
12. Boston Celtics 15/25 60.0% 2/1 NBA Champs (2007-08)
12. New York Knicks 15/25 60.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (1993-94, 1998-99)
14. Dallas Mavericks 14/25 56.0% 2/1 NBA Champs (2010-11)
14. Detroit Pistons 14/25 56.0% 2/1 NBA Champs (2003-04)
14. Orlando Magic 14/25 56.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (1994-95, 2008-09)
17. Brooklyn Nets 13/25 52.0% 2/0 NBA Finals (2001-02, 2002-03) Includes New Jersey Nets (1990-91 thru 2011-12)
18. Cleveland Cavaliers 12/25 48.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (2006-07)
18. Denver Nuggets 12/25 48.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2008-09)
20. New Orleans Pelicans 6/13 46.2% 0/0 Western Conf. Semi-Finals (2007-08) Includes New Orleans Hornets (2002-03 thru 2004-05, 2007-08 thru 2012-13) and New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2005-06, 2006-07)
21. Philadelphia 76ers 11/25 44.0% 1/0 NBA Finals (2000-01)
22. Memphis Grizzlies 8/20 40.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2012-13) Includes Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96 thru 2000-01)
22. Milwaukee Bucks 10/25 40.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Finals (2000-01)
24. Charlotte Hornets 9/25 36.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (1992-93, 1997-98, 2000-01, 2001-02) Includes Charlotte Bobcats (2004-05 thru 2013-14)
24. Sacramento Kings 9/25 36.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2001-02)
26. Toronto Raptors 7/20 35.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (2000-01)
27. Los Angeles Clippers 8/25 32.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Semi-Finals (2005-06, 2011-12, 2013-14)
27. Minnesota Timberwolves 8/25 32.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Finals (2003-04)
29. Golden State Warriors 7/25 28.0% 0/0 Western Conf. Semi-Finals (1990-91, 2006-07, 2012-13)
29. Washington Wizards 7/25 28.0% 0/0 Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals (2004-05, 2013-14) Includes Washington Bullets (1990-91 thru 1996-97)

NBA Playoffs: Biggest Road Wins in the Postseason

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Andersen, Chauncey Billups And Jason Hart Chill On The Bench In The New Orleans Arena While Their Denver Nuggets Record The Biggest Road Win In NBA Postseason History

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Andersen, Chauncey Billups And Jason Hart Chill On The Bench In The New Orleans Arena While Their Denver Nuggets Record The Biggest Road Win In NBA Postseason History

The biggest blowout in postseason history was won on the road. In 2009’s Round 1, the Denver Nuggets beat the daylights out of the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) by almost as many points as the Hornets scored (a 58-point differential in a 121-63 contest).

That’s all not entirely true, actually. If you check the biggest overall trouncings in NBA playoff history (home or away), you’ll see there was another 58-point win for the home Minneapolis Lakers back in 1956. So, really, it’s a tie.

But then the third biggest beatdown in postseason history was also handed to a home team. In 1973, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors by 56 in Oakland.

Thus, the Lakers (as Minneapolis and L.A.) own two of the three biggest playoff blowouts ever, one home and one away.

Handing out a spanking in someone else’s house is a good indicator of who the better team really is in the end. Of the 21 blowouts below, the winner went on to the next round 16 times (76.2 percent of the time).

None of these actually occurred in the NBA Finals themselves. For the 20 biggest blowouts in the championship series (they are all home games, every one), click here.

Thanks again to basketball-reference.com, where I punched this query into their play index tool to come up with every road playoff win of 20 points or more.

POINT DIFF. ROAD WINNER HOME LOSER SEASON ROUND, GAME
1. 58 Denver Nuggets* 121 New Orleans Hornets 63 2008-09 West Round 1, Game 4
2. 56 Los Angeles Lakers* 126 Golden State Warriors 70 1972-73 West Finals, Game 3
3. 44 St. Louis Hawks* 145 Detroit Pistons 101 1957-58 West Finals, Game 4
4. 40 Los Angeles Lakers* 118 San Francisco Warriors 78 1968-69 West Semifinals, Game 6**
5. 39 Philadelphia Warriors* 85 St. Louis Bombers (DEF) 46 1947-48 BAA Semifinals, Game 7**
6. 39 Utah Jazz* 129 Phoenix Suns 90 1990-91 West Round 1, Game 1
7. 37 Los Angeles Lakers* 140 Denver Nuggets 103 1986-87 West Round 1, Game 3**
8. 36 Milwaukee Bucks* 156 Philadelphia 76ers 120 1969-70 East Semifinals, Game 3
8. 36 Phoenix Suns* 135 Golden State Warriors 99 1988-89 West Semifinals, Game 4
10. 32 Boston Celtics 115 Detroit Pistons* 83 1990-91 East Semifinals, Game 3
10. 32 Boston Celtics* 120 Cleveland Cavaliers 88 2009-10 East Semifinals, Game 5
12. 31 Los Angeles Lakers* 133 Seattle SuperSonics 102 1986-87 West Finals, Game 4**
12. 31 Boston Celtics 110 Indiana Pacers* 79 2004-05 East Round 1, Game 4
12. 31 San Antonio Spurs* 120 Los Angeles Lakers 89 2012-13 West Round 1, Game 3
15. 30 Golden State Warriors* 138 Detroit Pistons 108 1976-77 West Round 1, Game 2
15. 30 Los Angeles Lakers* 120 Minnesota Timberwolves 90 2002-03 West Round 1, Game 5
15. 30 Orlando Magic* 105 Atlanta Hawks 75 2009-10 East Semifinals, Game 3
18. 29 Portland Trail Blazers 106 Los Angeles Lakers* 77 1999-00 West Finals, Game 2
18. 29 Cleveland Cavaliers 124 Boston Celtics* 95 2009-10 East Semifinals, Game 3
20. 28 Milwaukee Bucks* 122 Golden State Warriors 94 1971-72 West Semifinals, Game 3
20. 28 San Antonio Spurs* 110 Los Angeles Lakers 82 2002-03 West Semifinals, Game 6**

* Won the series

** Final game of series

Photo: Chris Graythen, Getty Images via zimbio.com

The 20 Biggest Blowouts in NBA Finals History

Neither Team - The Chicago Bulls Nor The Utah Jazz - Scored 100 Points In The NBA Finals' Biggest Blowout

Neither Team – The Chicago Bulls Nor The Utah Jazz – Scored 100 Points In The NBA Finals’ Biggest Blowout

Jumping the gun here but what the heck. Let’s look at the NBA Finals biggest blowouts of all time. We’ll check back in a couple of months for a video look.

Only one game in 68 years of Finals was decided by more than 40 points. On the way to their sixth title in 1998, Michael Jordan‘s Chicago Bulls whomped the Utah Jazz by 42 in a relatively low-scoring affair, 96-54, in Game 3.

All together, 21 NBA Finals games have been decided by 25 points or more, listed below. Every winner was the home team and only five of the blowouts have taken place since 2000.

What about the biggest blowouts in regular and postseason history? Right here and here.

Thanks to basketball-reference.com, where I queried this, and where you can see every Finals point differential of 15 or more.

POINT DIFF. WINNER LOSER SEASON GAME
1. 42 Chicago Bulls* 96 Utah Jazz 54 1997-98 3
2. 39 Boston Celtics* 131 Los Angeles Lakers 92 2007-08 6**
3. 36 San Antonio Spurs 113 Miami Heat* 77 2012-13 3
4. 35 Washington Bullets* 117 Seattle SuperSonics 82 1977-78 6
5. 34 Boston Celtics* 129 St. Louis Hawks 95 1960-61 1
5. 34 Boston Celtics 148 Los Angeles Lakers* 114 1984-85 1
7. 33 Boston Celtics* 129 Los Angeles Lakers 96 1964-65 5**
7. 33 Philadelphia 76ers 135 Los Angeles Lakers* 102 1981-82 5
7. 33 Los Angeles Lakers 137 Boston Celtics* 104 1983-84 3
7. 33 Chicago Bulls* 122 Portland Trail Blazers 89 1991-92 1
7. 33 Indiana Pacers 120 Los Angeles Lakers* 87 1999-00 5
12. 32 Boston Celtics* 142 Los Angeles Lakers 110 1964-65 1
12. 32 Portland Trail Blazers* 130 Philadelphia 76ers 98 1976-77 4
14. 31 Philadelphia 76ers* 126 San Francisco Warriors 95 1966-67 2
14. 31 Detroit Pistons 102 San Antonio Spurs* 71 2004-05 4
16. 29 Boston Celtics* 109 Houston Rockets 80 1980-81 5
17. 27 Rochester Royals* 92 New York Knicks 65 1950-51 1
18. 25 Boston Celtics* 127 St. Louis Hawks 102 1959-60 5
18. 25 Los Angeles Lakers* 136 Boston Celtics 111 1984-85 3
18. 25 Detroit Pistons 111 Los Angeles Lakers* 86 1987-88 4
18. 25 Los Angeles Lakers* 100 Orlando Magic 75 2008-09 1

* Won NBA Finals

** Final game of series

Photo: mymj.nl

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