Recently, the Portland Trail Blazers, among other teams, received two nods for all-stars with Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. After their 34-13 start to the season, pundits have believed that making it to the second round was a realistic expectation.  Having two all-stars should signify that your team is having great success. Even with the fan vote, most players playing in the all-star game are from successful teams. As a fan, you’d expect that your team should make it past the first round in the playoffs, but the results might surprise you.

Without taking into account injuries, regular season record or playoff matchups, here are the last five years of NBA teams with two or more all-stars.

Each round is worth a point: 1st round =1, etc. If a team does not make the playoffs, it’s 0. Winning the finals is 5.

2008-2009 NBA All-Star Teammates

2009-2010 NBA All-Star Teammates

2010-2011 NBA All-Star Teammates

2011-2012 NBA All-Star Teammates

2012-2013 NBA All-Star Teammates

In the past five years:

  • Total average of rounds advanced to: 2.44
  • Removal of teams with more than two all-stars average: 2.08
  • Of the 32 teams, ten didn’t advance passed the first round.
  • Of the ten teams that didn’t advance passed the first round, one didn’t make the playoffs (2008-2009 Phoenix Suns).
  • In four of the last five years, the NBA Champion had at least more than one all-star.
    • The Mavericks won it in 2010-2011 with only Dirk Nowitzki as an all-star.
  • Boston is the only team in the last five years to have four all-stars in the same year. The failed to advance passed the second round.  

Even with the average that excludes teams with MORE than two all-stars, it is still 2.08, which would mean that a second round exit is realistic. It is in no way guaranteed, and the percentage of teams that failed to get passed the first round is 31%, which is significant.

Here’s to a fun all-star game.

Graham McConnell

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