NBA Playoffs: Higher seed a big advantage in playoffs

John Rohde breaks down the numbers behind the NBA Playoffs — the advantages of having a Game 7 at home and how many teams with each seed have won an NBA or conference title.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 9, 2012
Advertisement
;

1951 — at Rochester Royals 79, New York Knicks 75

1952 — at Minneapolis Lakers 82, New York Knicks 65

1954 — at Minneapolis Lakers 87, Syracuse Nationals 80

1955 — at Syracuse Nationals 92, Fort Wayne Pistons 91

1957 — at Boston Celtics 125, St. Louis Hawks 123 (2OT)

1960 — at Boston Celtics 122, St. Louis Hawks 103

1962 — at Boston Celtics 110, Los Angeles Lakers 107 (OT)

1966 — at Boston Celtics 95, Los Angeles Lakers 93

1969 — Boston Celtics 108, at Los Angeles Lakers 106

1970 — at New York Knicks 113, Los Angeles Lakers 99

1974 — Boston Celtics 102, at Milwaukee Bucks 87

1978 — Washington Bullets 105, at Seattle SuperSonics 99

1984 — at Boston Celtics 111, Los Angeles Lakers 102

1988 — at Los Angeles Lakers 108, Detroit Pistons 105

1994 — at Houston Rockets 90, New York Knicks 84

2005 — at San Antonio Spurs 81, Detroit Pistons 74

2010 — at Los Angeles Lakers 83, Boston Celtics 79

Totals — Home 14, Visitors 3 (.823)

FINALS SEEDINGS

A championship has yet to be won by a No. 4, No. 5, No. 7 or No. 8 seed. Furthermore, no No. 5 or No. 7 seed has advanced to the Finals in the current 16-team format.

Many championships can be explained in individual greatness. Michael Jordan won five titles as a top seed, Magic Johnson won three, while Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas each won two.

Among current players, Kobe Bryant has won three titles as a top seed and Tim Duncan has won two.

NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS

(16-team playoff)

Western Conference

No. 1 seeds — Eight (2010, 2009, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1988, 1987, 1985)

No. 2 — Three (2005, 2001, 1994)

No. 3 — Three (2011, 2007, 2002)

No. 4 — None

No. 5 — None

No. 6 — One (1995)

No. 7 — None

No. 8 — None

Eastern Conference

No. 1 seeds — 10 (2008, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1986, 1984)

No. 2 — Two (2006, 1993)

No. 3 — One (2004)

No. 4 — None

No. 5 — None

No. 6 — None

No. 7 — None

No. 8 — None

CONFERENCE TITLES

Western Conference

No. 1 seeds — 16 (2010, 2009, 2008, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1992, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1985, 1984)

No. 2 — Five (2005, 2004, 2001, 1994, 1986)

No. 3 — Five (2011, 2007, 2002, 1991, 1990)

No. 4 — One (2006)

No. 5 — None

No. 6 — One (1995)

No. 7 — None

No. 8 — None

Eastern Conference

No. 1 seeds — 16 (2008, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984)

No. 2 — Eight (2011, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 1994, 1993, 1988)

No. 3 — Two (2009, 2004)

No. 4 — One (2010)

No. 5 — None

No. 6 — None

No. 7 — None

No. 8 — One (1999)

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE

Teams who play at home have an advantage in the playoffs, but it's not as dominant as you might think.

First round — Home team wins 66.9 percent

Conference semifinals — 67.9 percent

Conference finals — 65.2 percent

NBA Finals — 61.0 percent

Note: From 1984-2002, first-round playoffs in a 16-team format were best-of-five before switching to the current best-of-seven format in 2003. From 1977-1983, playoffs were in a 12-team format and the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds received first-round byes.


Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Former OU coach Sunny Golloway goes off at Auburn
  2. 2
    Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant
  3. 3
    Tulsa World: Missouri’s Frank Haith positioned to become TU’s basketball coach
  4. 4
    Oklahoma football: Peyton Manning stops by Sooners film session
  5. 5
    VIDEO: A look at the Air Jordan XX9 in Thunder colors
+ show more