NBA teams map: How many basketball teams are in each conference in the NBA?

NBA teams map: How many basketball teams are in each conference in the NBA?

While the essence of all sports competitions is to win and be crowned champion, different sporting activities have unique ways in which they are arranged and how winners are arrived at. In soccer, for instance, teams are grouped into the different bottom and top-tier divisions. The top teams in the bottom tiers are promoted to the respective top tiers above, while the worst performing ones are relegated to the lower tier. The winner of each division is the team with the highest points at the end of the season. However, the NBA team map is a little different as it introduces the concept of conferences.

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NBA teams map
The NBA teams map. Photo: @SportingStadiums
Source: Facebook

Where are all the NBA teams located? If you are used to soccer, especially the EPL, La Liga, and Serie A, then the National Basketball Association (NBA) scheduling might be a bit confusing. According to the NBA map, US basketball teams don't just compete in one league comprising all the teams. Instead, the league is clustered into conferences in which teams must compete.

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Background of the NBA

The predecessor to the NBA was founded in New York on 6 June 1946. The operators of big arenas like Philadelphia, Detroit, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Boston and New York were exploring the future of basketball post-World War II in America. Its initial name was the Basketball Association of America, and it had 11 teams which played a total of 60 48-minute games in a season.

The regular season of the NBA starts towards the end of October and ends in mid-April. Every team plays a total of 82 regular season games. When the regular season ends, the top 16 teams – eight from each conference, qualify for the playoffs.

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The no. 1 seed plays against the No. 8 seed in the first round. No. 2 faces No. 7 and so on. Each of the playoff series is a best of 7 series and is played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format. In this format, two games are played at the top seed's home court, two at the lower seed's home courts, followed by one game at a time back and forth.

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The playoffs serve as an elimination tournament intended to eliminate the weaker teams so that the top teams from each conference meet in the NBA finals. The winner is awarded the Larry O'Brien (Championship) Trophy.

How many NBA teams are there?

The NBA happens to be the top premier basketball league not only in North America but also in the entire world. The map of where NBA teams are located consists of 30 teams divided into two conferences of 15 teams based on their geographical locations. The two NBA conferences are the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

NBA ConferencesEach of the two NBA conferences on the NBA map is further divided into three 'division' categories. These categories are also based on the locations of the teams. For example, the categories of the Eastern Conference are the Atlantic, Central, and Southeast Divisions, and those of the Western Conference include the Northwest, Pacific, and Southwest NBA Divisions.

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NBA teams under the Eastern Conference

Each of the three divisions in the conference has five teams competing. Below are the teams in the Eastern Conference NBA divisions map:

NBA teams map
Basketballs lined up under the NBA Playoffs before the start of a game between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round in Florida. Photo: Kevin C. Cox
Source: Getty Images

Southeast Division

  • Washington Wizards
  • Miami Heat
  • Orlando Magic
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Charlotte Bobcats

Atlantic Division

  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • New York Knicks
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Philadelphia 76ers

Central Division

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Indiana Pacers

NBA Teams under the Western Conference

Similarly, the Western Conference has three divisions which have five teams each. These are:

Pacific Division

  • Phoenix Suns
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
NBA teams under
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball from Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during Game One of the Western Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen
Source: Getty Images

Northwest Division

  • Utah Jazz
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

Southwest Division

  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • New Orleans Hornets
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Houston Rockets

The NBA G League

The G League is the NBA's official minor league basketball organization. It started with eight teams in 2001 but has since expanded to 30 teams. Each G League team is affiliated with one or more NBA teams. Gatorade currently sponsors the league, and the teams are divided into conferences as well.

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The teams in the Eastern Conference are Capital City Go-Go, Cleveland Charge, College Park Skyhawks, Delaware Blue Coats, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Grand Rapids Gold, Greensboro Swarm, Long Island Nets, Lakeland Magic, Maine Celtics, Motor City Cruise, Raptors 905, Westchester Knicks, Windy City Bulls, and Wisconsin Herd.

In the Western Conference, we have Austin Spurs, Birmingham Squadron, Iowa Wolves, Memphis Hustle, Oklahoma City Blue, Ontario Clippers, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Salt Lake City Stars, Santa Cruz Warriors, Sioux Falls Skyforce, South Bay Lakers, Stockton Kings, and Texas Legends. There are also two Exhibition teams, Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico and NBA G League Ignite.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How many players are on an NBA team? Typically, a team has 15 players, but only 12 can dress out to play in a game while the remaining three are in reserve. Therefore, only five NBA players can play at a time.
  2. Which team has won the most NBA Championships? The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have a tie for the most NBA Championships with 17 each.
  3. Which NBA teams are closest to each other? The teams closest to each other in the NBA are the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies
  4. Which is the newest NBA team? The most recent NBA team is the New Orleans Pelicans which joined the league in 2002.
  5. Which states have more than one NBA team? California, New York, Florida, and Texas.
  6. How are NBA teams divided? They are divided into the Eastern and Western conferences consisting of 15 teams each.
  7. Which is the least popular NBA team? The least popular NBA teams are Denver, Orlando, Memphis and Salt Lake City because they haven't won a single championship between them.

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The division of basketball teams in the USA is a genius idea because it reduces teams into smaller manageable groups. If that was not the case, the NBA would have been one big league with many teams, and it would have taken forever just to finish a single season. Instead, through conferences, champions from various locations can compete against each other to know the ultimate winner. shared a list of professional Ghanaian football players in England. The Ghanaian National Football team has been presenting Ghana in many international tournaments worldwide.

These professionals have played regionally and internationally. Check out the article to know more!

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