Atlantic Division (NBA)

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Atlantic Division
ConferenceEastern Conference
LeagueNational Basketball Association
Inaugural season1970–71 season
No. of teams5
Most recent champion(s)New York Knicks (5th title)
Most titlesBoston Celtics (21 titles)
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Atlantic Division
ConferenceEastern Conference
LeagueNational Basketball Association
Inaugural season1970–71 season
No. of teams5
Most recent champion(s)New York Knicks (5th title)
Most titlesBoston Celtics (21 titles)

The Atlantic Division is one of the three divisions in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The division consists of five teams, the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. All teams, except the Raptors, are located on the East Coast of the United States. However, Toronto sports teams have over the years enjoyed rivalries with teams in the Northeastern United States (particularly, Toronto teams also share divisions with Boston teams in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, with the former also containing a team in New York City).

The division was created at the start of the 1970–71 season, when the league expanded from 14 to 17 teams with the addition of the Buffalo Braves, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers. The league realigned itself into two conferences, the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, with two divisions each in each conference. The Atlantic Division began with four inaugural members, the Celtics, the Braves, the Knicks and the 76ers.[1] The Celtics, the Knicks and the 76ers all joined from the Eastern Division.

The Celtics have won the most Atlantic Division titles with 21. The 76ers have won the second most titles with five. Eight NBA champions came from the Atlantic Division. The Celtics won six championships, while the Knicks and the 76ers won one championship each. All of them, except the 1972–73 Knicks, were division champions. In the 1983–84 season, all five teams from the division qualified for the playoffs. In the 1982–83 season, all teams in the division had winning percentages above 0.500 (50%). The most recent division champion is the New York Knicks.

Until the end of the 2012-2013 season (when both the Celtics and 76ers appear to have entered a rebuilding stage, by trading away valuable players for future draft picks), the Atlantic Division was considered as being perhaps the most competitive division in the NBA (a title historically bestowed on divisions from the Western Conference, during the late 90s and 2000s this was particularly thought to be the Southwest Division).[2]


Atlantic DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
Toronto Raptors610.3753–63–42–116
Boston Celtics712.3680.53–54–70–119
Philadelphia 76ers611.3530.55–51–60–117
Brooklyn Nets512.2941.52–43–81–017
New York Knicks312.2002.51–62–60–015



Boston CelticsBoston, Massachusetts1970Eastern Division
Brooklyn Nets (2012–present)
New Jersey Nets (19772012)
New York Nets (19681977)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Piscataway/East Rutherford/Newark, New Jersey
Uniondale, New York
New York KnicksNew York City, New York1970Eastern Division
Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania1970Eastern Division
Toronto RaptorsToronto, Ontario2004Central Division

Former teams[edit]

TeamCityYearFromYearToCurrent division
Buffalo Braves (19701978, now Los Angeles Clippers)Buffalo, New York1970dagger1978Pacific Division
(as San Diego Clippers)
Pacific Division
Charlotte Hornets (19882002, now New Orleans Pelicans)Charlotte, North Carolina1988dagger1989Midwest DivisionSouthwest Division
Miami HeatMiami, Florida1989Midwest Division2004Southeast DivisionSoutheast Division
Orlando MagicOrlando, Florida1991Midwest Division2004Southeast DivisionSoutheast Division
Washington Wizards (1997–present)
Washington Bullets (19741997)
Washington, D.C.
Landover, Maryland
1978Central Division2004Southeast DivisionSoutheast Division

Team timeline[edit]

Denotes team that is currently in the division
Denotes team that has left the division

Toronto RaptorsOrlando MagicMiami HeatNew Orleans PelicansWashington WizardsBrooklyn NetsPhiladelphia 76ersNew York KnicksLos Angeles ClippersBoston Celtics

Division champions[edit]

^Had or tied for the best regular season record for that season
SeasonTeamRecordPlayoffs result
1970–71New York Knicks6999634000000000000 52–30 (.634)Lost Conference Finals
1971–72Boston Celtics6999683000000000000 56–26 (.683)Lost Conference Finals
1972–73Boston Celtics^6999829000000000000 68–14 (.829)Lost Conference Finals
1973–74Boston Celtics6999683000000000000 56–26 (.683)Won NBA Finals
1974–75Boston Celtics^6999732000000000000 60–22 (.732)Lost Conference Finals
1975–76Boston Celtics6999659000000000000 54–28 (.659)Won NBA Finals
1976–77Philadelphia 76ers6999610000000000000 50–32 (.610)Lost NBA Finals
1977–78Philadelphia 76ers6999671000000000000 55–27 (.671)Lost Conference Finals
1978–79Washington Bullets^6999659000000000000 54–28 (.659)Lost NBA Finals
1979–80Boston Celtics^6999744000000000000 61–21 (.744)Lost Conference Finals
1980–81Boston Celtics^6999756000000000000 62–20 (.756)Won NBA Finals
1981–82Boston Celtics^6999768000000000000 63–19 (.768)Lost Conference Finals
1982–83Philadelphia 76ers^6999793000000000000 65–17 (.793)Won NBA Finals
1983–84Boston Celtics^6999756000000000000 62–20 (.756)Won NBA Finals
1984–85Boston Celtics^6999768000000000000 63–19 (.768)Lost NBA Finals
1985–86Boston Celtics^6999817009999900000 67–15 (.817)Won NBA Finals
1986–87Boston Celtics6999720000000000000 59–23 (.720)Lost NBA Finals
1987–88Boston Celtics6999695009999900000 57–25 (.695)Lost Conference Finals
1988–89New York Knicks6999634000000000000 52–30 (.634)Lost Conference Semifinals
1989–90Philadelphia 76ers6999646000000000000 53–29 (.646)Lost Conference Semifinals
1990–91Boston Celtics6999683000000000000 56–26 (.683)Lost Conference Semifinals
1991–92Boston Celtics6999622000000000000 51–31 (.622)Lost Conference Semifinals
1992–93New York Knicks6999732000000000000 60–22 (.732)Lost Conference Finals
1993–94New York Knicks6999695009999900000 57–25 (.695)Lost NBA Finals
1994–95Orlando Magic6999695009999900000 57–25 (.695)Lost NBA Finals
1995–96Orlando Magic6999732000000000000 60–22 (.732)Lost Conference Finals
1996–97Miami Heat6999744000000000000 61–21 (.744)Lost Conference Finals
1997–98Miami Heat6999671000000000000 55–27 (.671)Lost First Round
1998–99[a]Miami Heat6999660000000000000 33–17 (.660)Lost First Round
1999–00Miami Heat6999634000000000000 52–30 (.634)Lost Conference Semifinals
2000–01Philadelphia 76ers6999683000000000000 56–26 (.683)Lost NBA Finals
2001–02New Jersey Nets6999634000000000000 52–30 (.634)Lost NBA Finals
2002–03New Jersey Nets6999598000000000000 49–33 (.598)Lost NBA Finals
2003–04New Jersey Nets6999572990000000000 47–35 (.573)Lost Conference Semifinals
2004–05Boston Celtics6999549000000000000 45–37 (.549)Lost First Round
2005–06New Jersey Nets6999598000000000000 49–33 (.598)Lost Conference Semifinals
2006–07Toronto Raptors6999572990000000000 47–35 (.573)Lost First Round
2007–08Boston Celtics^6999805000000000000 66–16 (.805)Won NBA Finals
2008–09Boston Celtics6999756000000000000 62–20 (.756)Lost Conference Semifinals
2009–10Boston Celtics6999610000000000000 50–32 (.610)Lost NBA Finals
2010–11Boston Celtics6999683000000000000 56–26 (.683)Lost Conference Semifinals
2011–12[b]Boston Celtics6999591000000000000 39–27 (.591)Lost Conference Finals
2012–13New York Knicks6999659000000000000 54–28 (.659)Lost in the Second Round

Titles by team[edit]

^Denotes team that has left the division
TeamTitlesSeason(s) won
Boston Celtics211971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85,1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1991–92, 2004–05, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
Philadelphia 76ers51976–77, 1977–78, 1982–83, 1989–90, 2000–01
New York Knicks51970–71, 1988–89, 1992–93, 1993–94, 2012–13
Miami Heat^41996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00
New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets)42001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06
Orlando Magic^21994–95, 1995–96
Washington Bullets^ (now Washington Wizards)11978–79
Toronto Raptors12006–07

Season results[edit]

^Denotes team that won the NBA championships
+Denotes team that won the Conference Finals, but lost the NBA Finals
*Denotes team that qualified for the NBA Playoffs
SeasonTeam (record)
1970–71New York* (52–30)Philadelphia* (47–35)Boston (44–38)Buffalo (22–60)
1971–72Boston* (56–26)New York+ (48–34)Philadelphia (30–52)Buffalo (22–60)
1972–73Boston* (68–14)New York^ (57–25)Buffalo (21–61)Philadelphia (9–73)
1973–74Boston^ (56–26)New York* (49–33)Buffalo* (42–40)Philadelphia (25–57)
1974–75Boston* (60–22)Buffalo* (49–33)New York* (40–42)Philadelphia (34–48)
1975–76Boston^ (54–28)Philadelphia* (46–36)Buffalo* (46–36)New York (38–44)
1976–77Philadelphia+ (50–32)Boston* (44–38)N.Y. Knicks (40–42)Buffalo (30–52)N.Y. Nets (22–60)
1977–78Philadelphia* (55–27)New York* (43–39)Boston (32–50)Buffalo (27–55)New Jersey (24–58)
1978–79Washington+ (54–28)Philadelphia* (47–35)New Jersey* (37–45)New York (31–51)Boston (29–53)
1979–80Boston* (61–21)Philadelphia+ (59–23)Washington* (39–43)New York (39–43)New Jersey (34–48)
1980–81Boston^ (62–20)Philadelphia* (62–20)New York* (50–32)Washington (39–43)New Jersey (24–58)
1981–82Boston* (63–19)Philadelphia+ (58–24)New Jersey* (44–38)Washington* (43–39)New York (33–49)
1982–83Philadelphia^ (65–17)Boston* (56–26)New Jersey* (49–33)New York* (44–38)Washington (42–40)
1983–84Boston^ (62–20)Philadelphia* (52–30)New York* (47–35)New Jersey* (45–37)Washington* (35–47)
1984–85Boston+ (63–19)Philadelphia* (58–24)New Jersey* (42–40)Washington* (40–42)New York (24–58)
1985–86Boston^ (67–15)Philadelphia* (54–28)Washington* (39–43)New Jersey* (39–43)New York (23–59)
1986–87Boston+ (59–23)Philadelphia* (45–37)Washington* (42–40)New Jersey (24–58)New York (24–58)
1987–88Boston* (57–25)Washington* (38–44)New York* (38–44)Philadelphia (36–46)New Jersey (19–63)
1988–89New York* (52–30)Philadelphia* (46–36)Boston* (42–40)Washington (40–42)New Jersey (26–56)Charlotte (20–62)
1989–90Philadelphia* (53–29)Boston* (52–30)New York* (45–37)Washington (31–51)Miami (18–64)New Jersey (17–65)
1990–91Boston* (56–26)Philadelphia* (44–38)New York* (39–43)Washington (30–52)New Jersey (26–56)Miami (24–58)
1991–92Boston* (51–31)New York* (51–31)New Jersey* (40–42)Miami* (38–44)Philadelphia (35–47)Washington (25–57)Orlando (21–61)
1992–93New York* (60–22)Boston* (48–34)New Jersey* (43–39)Orlando (41–41)Miami (36–46)Philadelphia (26–56)Washington (22–60)
1993–94New York+ (57–25)Orlando* (50–32)New Jersey* (45–37)Miami* (42–40)Boston (32–50)Philadelphia (25–57)Washington (24–58)
1994–95Orlando+ (57–25)New York* (55–27)Boston* (35–47)Miami (32–50)New Jersey (30–52)Philadelphia (24–58)Washington (21–61)
1995–96Orlando* (60–22)New York* (47–35)Miami* (42–40)Washington (39–43)Boston (33–49)New Jersey (30–52)Philadelphia (18–64)
1996–97Miami* (61–21)New York* (57–25)Orlando* (45–37)Washington* (44–38)New Jersey (26–56)Philadelphia (22–60)Boston (15–67)
1997–98Miami* (55–27)New York* (43–39)New Jersey* (43–39)Washington (42–40)Orlando (41–41)Boston (36–46)Philadelphia (31–51)
1998–99[a]Miami* (33–17)Orlando* (33–17)Philadelphia* (28–22)New York+ (27–23)Boston (19–31)Washington (18–32)New Jersey (16–34)
1999–00Miami* (52–30)New York* (50–32)Philadelphia* (49–33)Orlando (41–41)Boston (35–47)New Jersey (31–51)Washington (29–53)
2000–01Philadelphia+ (56–26)Miami* (50–32)New York* (48–34)Orlando* (43–39)Boston (36–46)New Jersey (26–56)Washington (19–63)
2001–02New Jersey+ (52–30)Boston* (49–33)Orlando* (44–38)Philadelphia* (43–39)Washington (37–45)Miami (36–46)New York (30–52)
2002–03New Jersey+ (49–33)Philadelphia* (48–34)Boston* (44–38)Orlando* (42–40)Washington (37–45)New York (37–45)Miami (25–57)
2003–04New Jersey* (47–35)Miami* (42–40)New York* (39–43)Boston* (36–46)Philadelphia (33–49)Washington (25–57)Orlando (21–61)
2004–05Boston* (45–37)Philadelphia* (43–39)New Jersey* (42–40)Toronto (33–49)New York (33–49)
2005–06New Jersey* (49–33)Philadelphia (38–44)Boston (33–49)Toronto (27–55)New York (23–59)
2006–07Toronto* (47–35)New Jersey* (41–41)Philadelphia (35–47)New York (33–49)Boston (24–58)
2007–08Boston^ (66–16)Toronto* (41–41)Philadelphia* (40–42)New Jersey (34–48)New York (23–59)
2008–09Boston* (62–20)Philadelphia* (41–41)New Jersey (34–48)Toronto (33–49)New York (32–50)
2009–10Boston+ (50–32)Toronto (40–42)New York (29–53)Philadelphia (27–55)New Jersey (12–70)
2010–11Boston* (56–26)New York* (42–40)Philadelphia* (41–41)New Jersey (24–58)Toronto (22–60)
2011–12[b]Boston* (39–27)New York* (36–30)Philadelphia* (35–31)Toronto (23–43)New Jersey (22–44)
2012–13New York* (54–28)Brooklyn* (49–33)Boston* (41–40)daggerPhiladelphia (34–48)Toronto (34–48)


Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets[edit]

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers[edit]

New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets[edit]



  1. ^ "1970–71 Season Overview: Kareem Rules the League". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  2. ^ "NBA PM: The NBA’s Toughest Division". Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Donovan, John (February 4, 1999). "Let the semi-season begin: Expect injuries, intensity and a new champion in '99". CNN Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  4. ^ Jenkins, Lee (December 5, 2011). "'tis The Season". CNN Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  5. ^ [1]

External links[edit]