Every NBA team’s playoff record since the 1999-00 season

Which NBA teams have performed the best and which have underachieved in the playoffs so far this century? Who has the most playoff appearances and who has the least? All of these questions will be answered as this article takes a look at each team’s playoff history over the last 19 postseasons (1999-2000 to 2017-18) using information gathered from Pro-Basketball Reference.

Every NBA team’s playoff record

Below is a table of every NBA team’s basic information, sorted by the number of playoff appearances that each team has. It also shows each team’s overall playoff record and their series record.

Out of the 30 NBA teams, 18 have made the playoffs at least 10 times. The San Antonio Spurs have made the playoff every single year. In contrast, the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Charlotte Hornets have the least appearances having only made it six times.

Team Playoff App Playoff Record Series Record
San Antonio Spurs 19 148-103 (59%) 32-15 (68.1%)
Dallas Mavericks 15 70-78 (47.3%) 13-14 (48.1%)
Miami Heat 14 110-76 (59.1%) 23-11 (67.6%)
Boston Celtics 14 94-89 (51.4%) 17-13 (56.7%)
Indiana Pacers 14 70-75 (48.3%) 11-14 (44%)
Los Angeles Lakers 13 123-75 (62.1%) 30-8 (78.9%)
Portland Trail Blazers 12 30-52 (36.6%) 4-12 (25%)
Oklahoma City Thunder 11 63-60 (51.2%) 11-11 (50%)
Houston Rockets 11 47-53 (47%) 6-11 (35.3%)
Chicago Bulls 11 39-52 (42.9%) 5-11 (31.3%)
Utah Jazz 11 37-57 (39.4%) 7-11 (38.9%)
Detroit Pistons 10 73-64 (53.3%) 16-9 (64%)
Philadelphia 76ers 10 44-52 (45.8%) 7-10 (41.2%)
Atlanta Hawks 10 38-54 (41.3%) 6-10 (37.5%)
Toronto Raptors 10 32-50 (39%) 5-10 (33.3%)
Memphis Grizzlies 10 29-46 (38.7%) 4-10 (28.6%)
Milwaukee Bucks 10 26-43 (37.7%) 2-10 (16.7%)
Denver Nuggets 10 22-42 (34.4%) 2-10 (16.7%)
Cleveland Cavaliers 9 97-55 (63.8%) 21-8 (72.4%)
Brooklyn Nets 9 53-50 (51.5%) 10-9 (52.6%)
Orlando Magic 9 36-42 (46.2%) 6-9 (40%)
Phoenix Suns 8 43-43 (50%) 8-8 (50%)
Washington Wizards 8 29-37 (43.9%) 4-8 (33.3%)
Golden State Warriors 7 77-36 (68.1%) 17-4 (81%)
Sacramento Kings 7 32-32 (50%) 5-7 (41.7%)
New Orleans Pelicans 7 20-29 (40.8%) 2-7 (22.2%)
Los Angeles Clippers 7 31-38 (44.9%) 4-7 (36.4%)
New York Knicks 6 18-28 (39.1%) 3-6 (33.3%)
Minnesota Timberwolves 6 15-25 (37.5%) 2-6 (25%)
Charlotte Hornets 6 14-24 (36.8%) 2-6 (25%)

The Spurs have more playoff appearances this century then seven NBA franchises have in their entire histories. They also have as many or more playoff losses (103) this century then 20 NBA franchises have total playoff games in the same span.
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Best and worst performing playoff teams this century

Over the 19 playoffs that have taken place so far this century only five teams have won at least 55% of their games. The top two teams are the Warriors and the Cavaliers, which is unsurprising considering both have dominated the league in the last four seasons.

On the other end of the spectrum, there have been 10 teams that have won less than 40% of their playoff games. The five worst teams are listed in the table below, with the Nuggets occupying the bottom spot.

Team Playoff Record
Golden State Warriors 77-36 (68.1%)
Cleveland Cavaliers 97-55 (63.8%)
Los Angeles Lakers 123-75 (62.1%)
Miami Heat 110-76 (59.1%)
San Antonio Spurs 148-103 (59%)
Minnesota Timberwolves 15-25 (37.5%)
Charlotte Hornets 14-24 (36.8%)
Portland Trail Blazers 30-52 (36.6%)
Los Angeles Clippers 21-38 (35.6%)
Denver Nuggets 22-42 (34.4%)

Every NBA team's playoff wining percentage this century (2000-2018 playoffs, by game not series) (1)

In terms of winning playoff series, only six teams have won over 60% of the ones they have played in this century. Unsurprisingly, it is the same five teams from the above table, plus the Detroit Pistons. Only six teams have worst than a 25% series win rate, with the Bucks and Nuggets tying for last place.

Team Series Record
Golden State Warriors 17-4 (81%)
Los Angeles Lakers 30-8 (78.9%)
Cleveland Cavaliers 21-8 (72.4%)
San Antonio Spurs 32-15 (68.1%)
Miami Heat 23-11 (67.6%)
Detroit Pistons 16-9 (64%)
Minnesota Timberwolves 2-6 (25%)
Charlotte Hornets 2-6 (25%)
Portland Trail Blazers 4-12 (25%)
New Orleans Pelicans 2-7 (22.2%)
Milwaukee Bucks 2-10 (16.7%)
Denver Nuggets 2-10 (16.7%)

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Playoff sweeps so far this century

Out the 285 series to be played over these past 19 playoffs, there has been a total of 53 sweeps to take place. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the most accounting for 10 (18.86%) of all sweeps. Golden State has the most sweeps (5) without having been swept.

Meanwhile, the Hoston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers stand out for having not swept anyone or gotten swept this century. The Memphis Grizzlies have been swept the most (five times), one more than Toronto, Atlanta, and Portland.

Team Swept Opponent Got Swept
Cleveland Cavaliers 10 2
Los Angeles Lakers 7 2
San Antonio Spurs 7 3
Golden State Warriors 5 0
Miami Heat 5 2
Dallas Mavericks 3 1
Brooklyn Nets 3 2
Phoenix Suns 2 0
Orlando Magic 2 1
Oklahoma City Thunder 1 0
Chicago Bulls 1 0
Indiana Pacers 1 1
New Orleans Pelicans 1 1
Washington Wizards 1 2
New York Knicks 1 2
Charlotte Hornets 1 2
Boston Celtics 1 3
Detroit Pistons 1 4
Houston Rockets 0 0
Philadelphia 76ers 0 0
Milwaukee Bucks 0 1
Minnesota Timberwolves 0 1
Los Angeles Clippers 0 1
Denver Nuggets 0 1
Sacramento Kings 0 1
Utah Jazz 0 3
Atlanta Hawks 0 4
Toronto Raptors 0 4
Portland Trail Blazers 0 4
Memphis Grizzlies 0 5

Getting to each playoff round

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team to advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs everytime they have made the playoffs. Detroit has the best ratio of making it out of the 2nd round, having done so 6/7 times. Meanwhile, the Lakers are the best at getting to the Finals, having made it there every time (7/7) they got to the conference championship round.

Only four teams have never made it to the conference championship round so far this century. The Washington Wizards have the most playoff appearances (8), without having reached the conference championship round. Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers have the most playoff appearances (12) without having reached the Finals.

Team Playoff App. 2nd Round App. Conf. Champ App. Finals App.
Los Angeles Lakers 13 10 7 7
San Antonio Spurs 19 14 9 5
Miami Heat 14 9 6 5
Cleveland Cavaliers 9 9 6 5
Golden State Warriors 7 6 4 4
Boston Celtics 14 9 6 2
Detroit Pistons 10 7 6 2
Dallas Mavericks 15 7 3 2
Brooklyn Nets 9 6 2 2
Indiana Pacers 14 6 4 1
Oklahoma City Thunder 11 6 4 1
Orlando Magic 9 3 2 1
Philadelphia 76ers 10 5 1 1
Phoenix Suns 8 5 3 0
Houston Rockets 11 4 2 0
Utah Jazz 11 6 1 0
Sacramento Kings 7 4 1 0
Toronto Raptors 10 4 1 0
Atlanta Hawks 10 5 1 0
Chicago Bulls 11 4 1 0
Portland Trail Blazers 12 3 1 0
Memphis Grizzlies 10 3 1 0
New York Knicks 6 2 1 0
Denver Nuggets 10 1 1 0
Milwaukee Bucks 10 1 1 0
Minnesota Timberwolves 6 1 1 0
Los Angeles Clippers 7 4 0 0
Washington Wizards 8 4 0 0
New Orelans Pelicans 7 2 0 0
Charlotte Hornets 6 2 0 0

NBA Finals

The Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors have dominated this century so far, winning 15/19 (78.94%) of all NBA Finals. All 19 NBA Finals have featured at least one of these four teams playing for the championship.

The Western Conference has been dominated by the Lakers, Spurs, and Warriors who have 16/19 (84.21%) total Finals appearances. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference has been dominated by LeBron James, who has taken the Heat and Cavaliers to the Finals 9/15 (60%) times since he entered the league.

Team Finals App Finals W/L Finals Game Record
Los Angeles Lakers 7 5-2 23-15
San Antonio Spurs 5 4-1 19-10
Miami Heat 5 3-2 15-14
Cleveland Cavaliers 5 1-4 7-19
Golden State Warriors 4 3-1 15-7
Detroit Pistons 2 1-1 7-5
Boston Celtics 2 1-1 7-6
Dallas Mavericks 2 1-1 6-6
Brooklyn Nets 2 0-2 2-8
Indiana Pacers 1 0-1 2-4
Oklahoma City Thunder 1 0-1 1-4
Orlando Magic 1 0-1 1-4
Philadelphia 76ers 1 0-1 1-4

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Sources and Info: (All sources not listed here linked/mentioned in the article)

Featured Image: “2014 NBA Playoffs” by Michael Tipton is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/ (Used to get playoff information for each team)

https://www.printyourbrackets.com/winning-percentage-calculator.php (Used to find win percentage for each team)

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