Northwest Division
ConferenceWestern Conference
LeagueNational Basketball Association
SportBasketball
Inaugural season2004–05 season
No. of teams5
Most recent
champion(s)
Denver Nuggets (6th title)
Most titlesOklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics
Denver Nuggets
(6 titles each)

The Northwest Division is one of the three divisions in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The division consists of five teams: the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz. The Northwest Division is by far the most geographically expansive of the six divisions; the Nuggets, Trail Blazers and Jazz are geographically closer to the Pacific Division, the Timberwolves are geographically closer to the Central Division, and the Thunder is geographically closer to the Southwest Division, although in the latter instance that was not the case when the division was formed as the Thunder were still the Seattle SuperSonics.

The division was created at the start of the 2004–05 season, when the league expanded from 29 to 30 teams with the addition of the Charlotte Bobcats. The league realigned itself into three divisions in each conference. The Northwest Division began with five inaugural members: the Nuggets, the Timberwolves, the Trail Blazers, the SuperSonics and the Jazz.[1][2] The Trail Blazers and SuperSonics joined from the Pacific Division, while the Nuggets, the Timberwolves and Jazz joined from the now-defunct Midwest Division. The SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City prior to the 2008–09 season and became the Thunder, but remained in the Northwest Division. Other than this franchise re-location, the division's membership has remained unchanged since its creation.

The most recent division champions are the Denver Nuggets, having won a sixth division championship in the 2022–23 NBA season. They along with the SuperSonics-Thunder franchise have won the most Northwest Division titles with six each, while the Jazz have won five, the Trail Blazers have won two, and the Timberwolves have never won the Northwest Division title. In the 2009–10 season, all four teams that qualified for the playoffs each had more than 50 wins, and in 2018–19 all four teams that qualified for the playoffs had at least 49 wins.

Since the 2021–22 season, the Northwest Division champion has received the Sam Jones Trophy, named after Hall of Famer Sam Jones.[3]

2022–23 standings

Main article: 2022–23 NBA season

Northwest DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
cDenver Nuggets5329.64634–719–2210–682
xMinnesota Timberwolves4240.51211.022–1920–218–882
piOklahoma City Thunder4042.48813.024–1716–259–782
Utah Jazz3745.45116.023–1814–276–1082
Portland Trail Blazers3349.40220.017–2416–257–982

Notes

Teams

Team City Year From
Joined
Denver Nuggets Denver, Colorado 2004 Midwest Division
Minnesota Timberwolves Minneapolis, Minnesota 2004 Midwest Division
Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)
Seattle SuperSonics (19672008)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Seattle, Washington
2004 Pacific Division
Portland Trail Blazers Portland, Oregon 2004 Pacific Division
Utah Jazz Salt Lake City, Utah 2004 Midwest Division

Sam Jones Trophy

Beginning with the 2021–22 season, the Northwest Division champion has received the Sam Jones Trophy. As with the other division championship trophies, it is named after one of the African American pioneers from NBA history. During his playing career from 1957 to 1969, Sam Jones was an integral part of a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 10 NBA championships during that span. The Jones Trophy consists of a 200-millimetre (7.9 in) crystal ball.[4]

Division champions

^ Had or tied for the best regular season record for that season
Season Team Record Playoffs result
2004–05 Seattle SuperSonics 52–30 (.634) Lost Conference Semifinals
2005–06 Denver Nuggets 44–38 (.537) Lost First Round
2006–07 Utah Jazz 51–31 (.622) Lost Conference Finals
2007–08 Utah Jazz 54–28 (.659) Lost Conference Semifinals
2008–09 Denver Nuggets 54–28 (.659) Lost Conference Finals
2009–10 Denver Nuggets 53–29 (.646) Lost First Round
2010–11 Oklahoma City Thunder 55–27 (.671) Lost Conference Finals
2011–12[a] Oklahoma City Thunder 47–19 (.712) Lost NBA Finals
2012–13 Oklahoma City Thunder 60–22 (.732) Lost Conference Semifinals
2013–14 Oklahoma City Thunder 59–23 (.720) Lost Conference Finals
2014–15 Portland Trail Blazers 51–31 (.622) Lost First Round
2015–16 Oklahoma City Thunder 55–27 (.671) Lost Conference Finals
2016–17 Utah Jazz 51–31 (.622) Lost Conference Semifinals
2017–18 Portland Trail Blazers 49–33 (.598) Lost First Round
2018–19 Denver Nuggets 54–28 (.659) Lost Conference Semifinals
2019–20[b] Denver Nuggets 46–27 (.630) Lost Conference Finals
2020–21[c] Utah Jazz^ 52–20 (.722) Lost Conference Semifinals
2021–22 Utah Jazz 49–33 (.598) Lost First Round
2022–23 Denver Nuggets 53–29 (.646) TBD

Titles by team

Team Titles Season(s) won
Denver Nuggets 6 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2022–23
Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder 6 2004–05, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16
Utah Jazz 5 2006–07, 2007–08, 2016–17, 2020–21, 2021–22
Portland Trail Blazers 2 2014–15, 2017–18
Minnesota Timberwolves 0

Season results

^ Denotes team that won the NBA championships
+ Denotes team that won the Conference Finals, but lost the NBA Finals
* Denotes team that qualified for the NBA Playoffs
× Denotes team that qualified for the NBA play-in tournament
Denotes team that did not qualify for the 2020 NBA Bubble season restart
Season Team (record)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
2004–05 Seattle* (52–30) Denver* (49–33) Minnesota (44–38) Portland (27–55) Utah (26–56)
2005–06 Denver* (44–38) Utah (41–41) Seattle (35–47) Minnesota (33–49) Portland (21–61)
2006–07 Utah* (51–31) Denver* (45–37) Portland (32–50) Minnesota (32–50) Seattle (31–51)
2007–08 Utah* (54–28) Denver* (50–32) Portland (41–41) Minnesota (22–60) Seattle (20–62)
2008–09 Denver* (54–28) Portland* (54–28) Utah* (48–34) Minnesota (24–58) Oklahoma City (23–59)
2009–10 Denver* (53–29) Utah* (53–29) Portland* (50–32) Oklahoma City* (50–32) Minnesota (15–67)
2010–11 Oklahoma City* (55–27) Denver* (50–32) Portland* (48–34) Utah (39–43) Minnesota (17–65)
2011–12[a] Oklahoma City+ (47–19) Denver* (38–28) Utah* (36–30) Portland (28–38) Minnesota (26–40)
2012–13 Oklahoma City* (60–22) Denver* (57–25) Utah (43–39) Portland (33–49) Minnesota (31–51)
2013–14 Oklahoma City* (59–23) Portland* (54–28) Minnesota (40–42) Denver (36–46) Utah (25–57)
2014–15 Portland* (51–31) Oklahoma City (45–37) Utah (38–44) Denver (30–52) Minnesota (16–66)
2015–16 Oklahoma City* (55–27) Portland* (44–38) Utah (40–42) Denver (33–49) Minnesota (29–53)
2016–17 Utah* (51–31) Oklahoma City* (47–35) Portland* (41–41) Denver (40–42) Minnesota (31–51)
2017–18 Portland* (49–33) Oklahoma City* (48–34) Utah* (48–34) Minnesota* (47–35) Denver (46–36)
2018–19 Denver* (54–28) Portland* (53–29) Utah* (50–32) Oklahoma City* (49–33) Minnesota (36–46)
2019–20[b] Denver* (46–27) Oklahoma City* (44–28) Utah* (44–28) Portland* (35–39) Minnesota† (19–45)
2020–21[c] Utah* (52–20) Denver* (47–25) Portland* (42–30) Minnesota (23–49) Oklahoma City (22–50)
2021–22 Utah* (49–33) Denver* (48–34) Minnesota* (46–36) Portland (27–55) Oklahoma City (24–58)
2022–23 Denver* (53–29) Minnesota* (42–40) Oklahoma City× (40–42) Utah (37–45) Portland (33–49)

Notes

References

General
  • "NBA & ABA League Index". Basketball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
Specific
  1. ^ "NBA Approves Realignment for 2004-05 Season". National Basketball Association. November 17, 2003. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Expansion Bobcats prompt change". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. November 17, 2003. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  3. ^ "NBA unveils new trophies for division winners named after 6 NBA legends". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 11, 2022. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  4. ^ "NBA Unveils Division Winner Trophies Named After Black Pioneers from League History". Bleacher Report. April 11, 2022. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  5. ^ Jenkins, Lee (December 5, 2011). "'tis The Season". CNN Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. Retrieved April 30, 2012.