NBA Eastern Conference Teams With Most Playoff Appearances

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Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics drives past Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers during an NBA game in November 2021.
(Wikimedia Commons/Erik Drost)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Nov 20, 2023, 9:37 PM
  • The Boston Celtics have the most playoff appearances in the Eastern Conference with 60.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks are second and third on the list.
  • The Charlotte Hornets have the fewest playoff appearances in the conference with 10.

The Boston Celtics have proven they are perpetual leaders in NBA odds as they lead the Eastern Conference teams with 60 playoff appearances. Boston reached the Eastern Conference Finals 39 times and punched their ticket to the NBA Finals 22 times. This high number of postseason runs has given them 17 titles, tied with its rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, for the league-best. 

Boston is also on pace to add more playoff appearances to the franchise with their current roster, which is spearheaded by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Additionally, the C’s were able to grace several basketball hall-of-Famers, Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Paul Pierce.

Following the Celtics, for most playoff appearances in the East are the Philadelphia 76ers (52), Atlanta Hawks (48), New York Knicks (43) and the Detroit Pistons (42). It’s quite interesting for the Knicks and Pistons to be at the top of this list despite missing the playoffs multiple times in the past decade.

Meanwhile, the three teams with the fewest playoff appearances are the Orlando Magic with 16, the Toronto Raptors with 13, and the Charlotte Hornets with 10. These aforementioned teams were only in the league for less than four decades, which could be a primary factor in their inferior number of playoff participation. 

Orlando joined the league in 1989, while Charlotte and Toronto were inaugurated in 1995 and 1985. Despite the low number, Orlando reached the NBA Finals twice in 1995 and 2009, and Toronto won an NBA title in 2019. Charlotte is the only team at the bottom that hasn’t gotten past the second round.

Below is a table of Eastern Conference teams and their playoff appearances. Note that these numbers are as of the 2021-22 season.

NBA Eastern Conference Teams With Most Playoff Appearances 

RankTeamPlayoff Appearances
1Boston Celtics60
2Philadelphia 76ers52
3Atlanta Hawks48
4New York Knicks43
5Detroit Pistons42
6Chicago Bulls36
7Milwaukee Bucks35
8Washington Wizards30
9Indiana Pacers27
10Miami Heat23
11Brooklyn Nets23
12Cleveland Cavaliers22
13Orlando Magic16
14Toronto Raptors13
15Charlotte Hornets10

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.