At the All-Star break the Warriors boast the NBA’s best record (47-9) and are the favorites (-160, 5Dimes) to win the title. How often does the team with the best record at the All-Star break win the NBA Championship?
To find out we pulled the standing from basketball-reference for each season at the All-Star break going back to 1970 and looked at how often the team with the best record made the Finals and won the title. Note: there was no All-Star game in 1999 due to the strike.
Since 1970, the team with the best record after the NBA’s “first half” has reached the Finals 56.5% of the time. Those same teams went on to win it all 41.3% of the time.
Those numbers are inflated thanks to the dominant Celtics and Lakers teams of the 80s. During the decade of excess (1980-1989), the teams with the best records at the break reached the Finals 8 out of 10 years and won it all seven times.
Since 1990, the team with the best record at the All-Star break has reached the NBA Finals 46.2% (12 teams) of the time and won the championship eight times (30.8%).
In the last ten years, the team with the best record heading into the NBA’s second half has reached the Finals six times and won it all four times.
By the All-Star break we have a pretty good idea of which team will be the NBA champions. The Warriors have the best record and barring a major injury Golden State will enter the playoffs as the favorites to win the championship and rightfully so.
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