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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YearTeamWon NBA Title?Made Finals?
2016WarriorsNoYes
2015WarriorsYesYes
2014ThunderNoNo
2013SpursNoYes
2012Thunder/HeatYesYes
2011SpursNoNo
2010CavaliersNoNo
2009LakersYesYes
2008CelticsYesYes
2007MavericksNoNo
2006PistonsNoNo
2005SpursYesYes
2004KingsNoNo
2003MavericksNoNo
2002KingsNoNo
200176ersNoYes
2000Trail BlazersNoNo
1998SuperSonicsNoNo
1997BullsYesYes
1996BullsYesYes
1995SunsNoNo
1994SuperSonicsNoNo
1993SunsNoYes
1992BullsYesYes
1991Trail BlazersNoNo
1990LakersNoNo
1989PistonsYesYes
1988LakersYesYes
1987LakersYesYes
1986CelticsYesYes
1985CelticsNoYes
1984CelticsYesYes
198376ersYesYes
1982CelticsNoNo
1981CelticsYesYes
1980CelticsNoNo
1979BulletsNoYes
1978Trail BlazersNoNo
1977LakersNoNo
1976WarriorsNoNo
1975BulletsNoYes
1974CelticsYesYes
1973CelticsNoNo
1972LakersYesYes
1971BucksYesYes
1970KnicksYesYes