The NBA has a total of 30 teams. These teams are organized in two different ways, conference and divisions. First the teams are divided in two conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Depending on where each team is located decides which conference that team is in. Looking at the map below you can see the logo of each team and where they are located. The teams to the left of the red line are in the Western Conference and the teams to the right of the line are in the Eastern Conference. Each conference contains 15 teams.
You see the two conferences again in the map below. Instead of logos this map just has the name of the City that contains an NBA team. If the team is in the Western Conference they will be in the red and if the team is in the Eastern Conference they will be in the blue. This map also shows each division in the NBA. Each conference can be further broken down into 3 divisions. The divisions in the Western Conference are Northwest, Pacific, and Southwest. The divisions in the Eastern Conference are Central, Atlantic, and Southeast. Each conference has 3 divisions which contain 5 NBA teams.
During the season each team is ranked by a win loss record. This record will determine the standings. The team with the most wins and the least loses will be ranked at number 1 in their conference standings. If there are any teams in the same conference or division that have the same record the league must look at the tiebreakers to figure out which team will take each position.
Tiebreakers in order:
- Division winner. This is the team that won their division.
- Better record in head-to-head games. Looking at the record of the games when the two teams played each, the one with the most wins takes the higher position.
- Higher winning percentage within division. This is the team with the best record against the teams in their division only.
- Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference. This is the team with the best record against the playoff teams in their own conference only.
- Higher point differential between points scored and points allowed. This is the total of all the points a team scores during the season minus all the points scored against the team during the season.
To find out where your favorite team stands in the standings each season you can go to http://www.nba.com/standings/ . To the left of this website you can change the order to conference or division standings. At the beginning of each season these records start at 0-0.