How Many Times Do NBA Teams Play Each Other?

In the thrilling and action-packed world of the National Basketball Association (NBA), fans eagerly anticipate the matchups between their favorite teams. One common question that arises among fans is, “How many times do NBA teams play each other?” Having a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the NBA regular season schedule can significantly enhance the overall fan experience. In this extensive blog post, we will delve deep into the details of the NBA schedule and shed light on the number of times NBA teams face off against each other during the regular season.

NBA Teams Play Each Other

The NBA Regular Season Schedule

The NBA regular season, which typically runs from October to April, is a grueling test of skill, endurance, and strategy for the 30 teams in the league. Each team plays a total of 82 games, facing a diverse range of opponents in their quest for playoff qualification and ultimately, the NBA championship. To ensure fair and balanced competition, the NBA has established a structured scheduling framework that incorporates divisional rivalries, conference matchups, and inter-conference battles.

Divisions and Conferences in the NBA

To better understand how the NBA schedule is structured, let’s take a closer look at the divisions and conferences within the league:

Eastern Conference Divisions

  1. Atlantic Division: This division is composed of the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Toronto Raptors. These teams engage in fierce battles that captivate fans throughout the regular season.
  2. Central Division: The Central Division consists of the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks. These teams showcase their skills and competitive spirit as they face each other multiple times in pursuit of divisional dominance.
  3. Southeast Division: The Southeast Division features the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards. These teams engage in thrilling matchups, adding an extra layer of excitement to the regular season.

Western Conference Divisions

  1. Northwest Division: The Northwest Division includes the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, and Utah Jazz. These teams battle it out in highly competitive contests that highlight their talent and determination.
  2. Pacific Division: The Pacific Division showcases the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings. The teams in this division deliver intense rivalries and high-stakes showdowns that captivate fans around the world.
  3. Southwest Division: The Southwest Division comprises the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and San Antonio Spurs. These teams engage in exciting matchups that embody the competitive spirit of NBA basketball.

Intra-Conference Games: Fierce Rivalries and Divisional Showdowns

Within the NBA regular season schedule, a significant portion of the games is dedicated to intra-conference matchups. This means that teams from the same conference face off against each other more frequently than teams from the opposing conference.

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Teams within the Same Division: Intense Battles and Storyline Development

Rivalries within the divisions often give rise to some of the most intense and emotionally charged matchups in the NBA. Teams within the same division play against each other four times during the regular season, fostering an atmosphere of competition and creating captivating storylines that captivate fans.

Teams outside the Division: Diversity and Variety in Matchups

While teams within the same division face each other more frequently, teams from different divisions within the same conference also have opportunities to compete. Each team in the same conference plays against the other teams either three or four times during the regular season, ensuring a balanced and diverse schedule that showcases different styles of play and introduces exciting new matchups.

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Inter-Conference Games: Clash of Conferences and Cross-Conference Showdowns

To add an extra layer of excitement and showcase the diversity of talent within the NBA, inter-conference games are an integral part of the regular season schedule. These matchups allow teams from different conferences to compete against each other, providing fans with the opportunity to see star players from one conference facing off against those from another.

Teams from Different Conferences: Rare Encounters and Memorable Moments

Each NBA team plays against teams from the opposing conference twice during the regular season, once at home and once on the road. These inter-conference games provide a unique opportunity for fans to witness rare encounters between teams and players who may not cross paths as frequently during the regular season. These matchups often result in memorable moments that further contribute to the excitement and allure of NBA basketball.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How many games does an NBA team play in a season?

A: Each NBA team plays a total of 82 games during the regular season.

Q: How many times do NBA teams play against each other within the same division?

A: NBA teams face off against each other within the same division four times during the regular season.

Q: Do NBA teams play against all teams in the opposing conference?

A: Yes, each NBA team plays against every team from the opposing conference twice during the regular season, ensuring a balanced and fair competition.

Q: Can NBA teams play against each other in the playoffs?

A: Yes, NBA teams can face each other in the playoffs, which occur after the regular season. The playoffs feature a tournament-style format that culminates in the crowning of the NBA champion.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the regular season schedule?

A: Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances or events, the NBA may make adjustments to the schedule. These adjustments can include the postponement or rescheduling of games to ensure the safety and well-being of players and teams.

Q: How does the NBA determine the schedule for each season?

A: The NBA schedule is carefully crafted by the league’s officials and takes into account various factors, such as travel logistics, team rivalries, and player rest requirements, to create a balanced and compelling regular season.


The NBA regular season is a thrilling journey that showcases the incredible talent and skill of NBA teams. Understanding the intricacies of the NBA schedule and the number of times teams face off against each other during the regular season enhances the fan experience and provides a deeper appreciation for the competition within the league. Whether it’s divisional rivalries, conference matchups, or inter-conference battles, the NBA regular season offers fans a diverse and captivating basketball experience.

So, as you cheer for your favorite NBA team and follow them throughout the regular season, remember that each game played contributes to their pursuit of greatness. Sit back, enjoy the action, and immerse yourself in the excitement of NBA basketball.

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