NBA Playoffs

The best NBA playoff team of all-time at every seed

Who is the best NBA team to ever land at each of the eight playoff spots in each conference?

The playoff seeding system does it’s best to set up a playoff bracket this is smoothly weighted from top to bottom. But the truth is that potential is uneven and great teams land all over the map. Looking back to the 1983-84 season when the NBA expanded their playoff format to 16 teams, these are the best squads to ever land at each seed.

The best No. 8 seed ever: Oklahoma City Thunder, 2009-10

When you watch the NBA today, it can be hard to fathom that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden were once all on the same team. The 2009-10 season was when that young group first broke through and began to show what they were truly capable of. This was Scott Brooks’ first full year at the helm and the organization’s first playoff appearance since moving to Oklahoma City.

Durant, at age-21, led the league in scoring for the first time. Westbrook, in his second season and also 21-years-old, averaged 16.1 and 8.0 assists. Rookies Harden and Serge Ibaka were key contributors off the bench and the Thunder won 50 games, outscoring opponents by an average of 3.7 points per 100 possessions. They weren’t quite ready to make good on their potential yet and lost 4-2 in a first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers. But even No. 8 seeds who pulled off upsets weren’t quite as loaded as this young Thunder squad.

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