Celtics Among Top NBA Finals Champions Since 2003

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

On Monday night, Joe Mazzulla and the Boston Celtics delivered the franchise’s first title in 16 years, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in 5 games after a historic run through the entire NBA Playoffs. 

This postseason, Mazzulla and the Celtics went 16-3, with commanding series wins over the Heat, Cavaliers, Pacers and finally Dallas. 

With the Finals completed and Boston once again able to call itself Title Town, it's worth wondering how Boston’s final .842 win percentage in the postseason stacks up historically.  

Since the NBA went to best-of-seven series in all four playoff rounds – requiring 16 postseason wins to earn a championship – the best playoff record (and winning percentage) belongs to the 2017 Golden State Warriors, who lost just one playoff game on their way to the title.  

But this year’s Celtics gave them a run for their money, as you can see in the chart below. Here is a look at the top title-winning teams since the NBA went to the current playoff format in 2003 (before then, the first round was best of five).

Of note: The title-winning 2008 Celtics went 16-10 with a .615 winning percentage, making them the NBA champion with the worst record since 2003.

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Best Title Teams Since 2003

Year/Team

Playoff Record

Winning Percentage

2017 Golden State Warriors

16-1

.941

2024 Boston Celtics

16-3

.842

2023 Denver Nuggets

16-4

.800

2007 San Antonio Spurs

16-4

.800

2020 Los Angeles Lakers

16-5

.762

2018 Golden State Warriors

16-5

.762

2016 Cleveland Cavaliers

16-5

.762

2015 Golden State Warriors

16-5

.762

 

The 2024 Celtics went 16-3 in the postseason, with a winning percentage of .842. Safe to say they were juggernauts across MA betting apps during the NBA playoffs.

Celtics Finish Near Top of the NBA’s Postseason Win Percentage List

The 2024 Celtics' win percentage puts the club second all time when it comes to the highest win percentages in NBA Playoffs history since 2003.  

Overall, Boston would finish behind the Warriors of 2017 (.941) but ahead of last year’s Denver Nuggets team and the 2007 San Antonio Spurs, who each went 16-4 (.800) on the way to a title.  

Throw in the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, the 2018 Golden State Warriors, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, 2015 Warriors and the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, each of whom went 16-5 (.762) in the postseason, and you have the full rundown on the best NBA teams in the postseason, win percentage wise.  

Mazzulla and the Celtics will look to repeat next year across Massachusetts sports betting, but make no mistake. They are already entrenched in the history books.

Thomas Leary contributed to this article

USA Today photo by Kevin Jairaj.

Author

Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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