The NBA is split into two conferences - Eastern and Western - with each conference containing three divisions. This divisional alignment has been in place since 2004.
The three divisions in the Eastern Conference are:
Atlantic - Includes teams like the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Toronto Raptors.
Central - Includes teams like the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Southeast - Includes teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards.
The Western Conference also contains three divisions:
Northwest - Includes teams like the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, and Utah Jazz.
Pacific - Includes teams like the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings.
Southwest - Includes teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and San Antonio Spurs.
The divisional alignment is designed to group teams by geographical proximity to reduce travel. It also aims to balance out the quality of teams across divisions.
Winning the division title secures a top-4 playoff seed. Rivalries within divisions are fierce as teams battle frequently during the regular season.