FanPost

Regular Season Road Games and Playoff Success

Let us take a moment to reflect back at the last 35 seasons, comparing regular season road records with playoff success.

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Teams with the best road records during the regular season
(This is the breakdown of what the best team of each of the 35 years accomplished)

* NBA Championships(14) - Boston('81), Philadelphia('83), Boston('84), Boston('86), Lakers('87), Lakers('88), Detroit('89), Chicago('92), Chicago('96), San Antonio('99), Lakers('00), Boston('08), Lakers('09), Miami('13)

* Eliminated in the NBA Finals(4) - Washington('79), Boston('85), Philadelphia('01), Miami('11)

* Eliminated in the Western Conference Finals(6) - Portland('91), Phoenix('93), San Antonio('95), Lakers('98), Dallas('03), Phoenix('05),

* Eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals(4) - Boston('80), Boston('82), Miami('97),Indiana('04),

* Eliminated in the Semi-Finals(3): Lakers('90), Dallas('02), Spurs('06)

* Eliminated in the opening round(4): Seattle('94), Dallas('07), Dallas('10), Chicago('12)

So, the team with the best road regular season record:

31 of the 35 advanced out of the opening round to the Conference Semi-Finals
28 of the 35 advanced out of the Conference Semi-Finals to the Conference Finals
18 of the 35 advanced out of the Conference Finals to the NBA Finals
14 of the 35 won the NBA Championship

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If you look at the six best road records in the regular season,we have an almost magical consistency:

Here is a list of pople in which all 4 spots of the Conference Finals were held by top 6 teams on the road during the regular season:

Only 28 of the available 140 spots in the Conference Finals were not held by teams with top 6 records on the road during the regular season (that's just 20% of the spots that need to be divided up, implying the 6 of them deserve 80% of the bathroom privileges.

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Here is the breakdown (a listing of each Conference Finals positions they finish on the road in the regular season)

1st position made the Conference Finals in (1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013)

2nd position made the Conference Finals in (1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 2012)

3rd position made the Conference Finals in (1979 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012)

4th position made the Conference Finals in (1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012)

5th position made the Conference Finals in (1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

6th position in (1983, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2009)

7th position in (1986, 1990, 2002, 2005, 2007)

8th position in (1983, 1985, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2008)

9th position in (1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2010, 2013)

10th position in(1981, 2002)

11th position in(1995, 2000)

12th position in (1981,1987, 1994)

13th position in (2003, 2012)

14th position in (1983)

15th position in (2000)

18th position in (1999)

The point of comprising this list was to demonstrate just how top heavy Championships are won...

The 28 seasons where the team with the best road record has the same number of Conference Finals that everyone who finished 7th or worse combined to have.

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But what we really want to know is the numbers about NBA Championships won by their relative standing vs other players: :

1st position - 14 titles
2nd position - 10 titles
3rd position - 1 title
4th position - 2 titles
5th position - 5 titles
6th position - 2 titles
7th position - 1 title

So, every title for the past 35 years was won by a team with a relative ranking of no worse than 7th with regards to road games during the regular season.

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So who are the current top 7 teams with respect to road regular season games (team and road record):

1) San Antonio Spurs - 19-6
2) Oklahoma City Thunder - 18-9
3) Portland Trail Blazers - 17-10
4) Indiana Pacers - 15-8
5) Miami Heat - 15-10
6) Golden State Warriors - 15-12
7) LA Clippers - 14-14

These are the same 7 teams that have been projected by basketball reference Champioship projections.

Indiana - 3 to 1
Oklahoma City - 5 to 1
San Antonio - 15 to 2
Miami - 10 to 1
LA Clippers - 14 to 1
Portland - 28 to 1
Golden State - 28 to 1
Houston - 35 to 1
Field - 25 to 1

The fact that different ways to project winners are all giving the same response is providng me with hope...

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For reference: A list of the Conference Finals teams over the last 35 years and where they rank o the road.

NBA Finals
Road Record Road rating Losers of the Conf Finals
Road record Road rating
2013 Miami 29-12 1st 2013 Indiana 19-21 9th
2013 SA 23-18 5th 2013 Memphis 24-17 4th
2012 Miami 18-15 5th 2012 Boston 15-18 13th
2012 OKC 21-12 3rd 2012 SA 22-11 2nd
2011 Dallas 28-13 2nd 2011 OKC 25-16 5th
2011 Miami 28-13 1st 2011 Chicago 26-15 4th
2010 Lakers 23-18 5th 2010 Orlando 34-7 4th
2010 Boston 26-15 3rd 2010 Phoenix 22-19 9th
2009 Lakers 29-12 1st 2009 Denver 21-20 6th
2009 Orlando 27-14 4th 2009 Cleveland 27-14 2nd
2008 Boston _31-10 1st 2008 Pistons 25-16 5th
2008 Lakers 27-14 2nd 2008 SA 22-19 8th
2007 SA 27-14 3rd 2007 Jazz 20-21 7th
2007 Cleveland 20-21 8th 2007 Detroit 27-14 4th
2006 Miami 21-10 5th 2006 Pistons 27-14 2nd
2006 Dallas 26-15 3rd 2006 Phoenix 23-18 4th
2005 SA 21-20 7th 2005 Phoenix 31-10 1st
2005 Detroit 22-19 6th 2005 Miami 24-17 5th
2004 Detroit 23-18 4th 2004 Pacers 27-14 1st
2004 Lakers 22-19 5th 2004 Minnesota 27-14 2nd
2003 SA 27-14 2nd 2003 Dallas 27-14 1st
2003 NJ Nets 16-25 13th 2003 Pistons 20-21 6th
2002 Lakers 24-17 4th 2002 Sacramento 25-16 3rd
2002 NJ Nets 19-22 10th 2002 Boston 22-19 7th
2001 Lakers 25-16 3rd 2001 SA 25-16 2nd
2001 Philadelphia 27-14 1st 2001 Milwaukee 21-20 8th
2000 Lakers 31-10 1st 2000 Portland 29-12 2nd
2000 Indiana 20-21 8th 2000 NY Knicks 17-24 15th
1999 SA 16-9 1st 1999 Portland 13-12 6th
1999 NY Knicks 8-17 18th 1999 Indiana 15-10 3rd
1998 Chicago 25-16 6th 1998 Indiana 26-15 4th
1998 Utah 26-15 2nd 1998 Lakers 28-13 1st
1997 Chicago 30-11 2nd 1997 Miami 32-9 1st
1997 Utah 26-15 4th 1997 Houston 27-14 3rd
1996 Chicago 33-8 1st 1996 Orlando 23-18 4th
1996 Seattle 6-15 2nd 1996 Jazz 21-20 6th
1995 Houston 22-19 6th 1995 SA 29-12 1st
1995 Orlando 18-23 11th 1995 Indiana 19-22 8th
1994 Houston 23-18 4th 1994 Jazz 20-21 9th
1994 NY Knicks 25-16 2nd 1994 Indiana 19-23 12th
1993 Chicago 26-15 2nd 1993 NY Knicks 23-18 4th
1993 Phoenix 27-14 1st 1993 Seattle 22-19 5th
1992 Chicago 31-10 1st 1992 Cleveland 22-19 5th
1992 Portland 24-17 2nd 1992 Jazz 18-23 9th
1991 Chicago 26-15 2nd 1991 Detroit 18-23 9th
1991 Lakers 25-16 3rd 1991 Portland 27-14 1st
1990 Detroit 24-17 2nd 1990 Chicago 19-22 7th
1990 Portland 24-17 3rd 1990 Phoenix 22-19 5th
1989 Detroit 26-15 1st 1989 Chicago 17-25 9th
1989 Lakers 22-19 2nd 1989 Phoenix 20-21 4th
1988 Lakers 26-15 1st 1988 Dallas 20-21 4th
1988 Detroit 20-21 3rd 1988 Boston 21-20 2nd
1987 Lakers 28-13 1st 1987 Seattle 14-27 12th
1987 Boston 20-21 3rd 1987 Detroit 20-21 5th
1986 Boston 27-14 1st 1986 Milwaukee 24-17 3rd
1986 Houston 15-26 7th 1986 Lakers 27-14 2nd
1985 Lakers 26-15 2nd 1985 Denver 18-23 8th
1985 Boston 28-13 1st 1985 Philadelphia 24-17 3rd
1984 Boston 29-12 1st 1984 Phoenix 10-31 14th
1984 Lakers 26-15 2nd 1984 Milaukee 20-21 4th
1983 Philadelphia 30-11 1st 1983 Milwaukee 20-21 6th
1983 Lakers 25-16 2nd 1983 SA 22-19 4th
1982 Lakers 27-14 2nd 1982 SA 19_22 8th
1982 Philadelphia 24-17 3rd 1982 Boston 28-13 1st
1981 Boston 27-14 1st 1981 Philadelphia 25-16 3rd
1981 Houston 15-26 12th 1981 Sacramento(KC) 16-25 10th
1980 Lakers 23-18 2nd 1980 Seattle 23-18 4th
1980 Philadelphia 23-18 3rd 1980 Boston 26-15 1st
1979 Seatle 21-20 2nd 1979 Phoenix 18-23 4th
1979 Washington 23-18 1st 1979 SA 19-22 3rd

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Go Blazers!

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