The 2022-23 regular season was a historic one for the NBA as they set all-time highs for total attendance, average attendance, total sellout games, and percentage of capacity. What we learned is that fans aren’t shy about filling seats and are willing to support their favorite NBA teams – even those that disappoint.
Coming into the season, the record total attendance during the regular season was 22,124,559 – a record set in the 2017-18 season. The NBA broke that record this season by 109,943 fans – total attendance for the year was set at 22,234,502. It’s just the second time total attendance has exceeded 22 million fans.
The NBA also saw a total of 791 sellouts, which is 31 more than the previous record of 760 sellouts set in the 2018-19 season. Considering there are 1,260 total games in the regular season, roughly 63% of all NBA games this season were sold out. It’s clear that most NBA teams have no problem selling tickets.
Which NBA Teams Had the Highest Average Attendance This Year?
Aside from total attendance and number of sold out games, the NBA also set all-time records in average attendance and percentage of capacity. According to their stats and records, NBA arenas were filled to 97% capacity this year – 9 of the 30 NBA teams had a percentage of capacity at or above 100%.
The 2022-23 regular season was also the first season in NBA history where teams averaged more than 18,000 fans – they finished the year with an average attendance of 18,077 fans. The previous record was set in 2017-18 with an average attendance of 17,987 fans – that’s a jump of 90 fans per NBA game.
With that said, nine NBA teams posted an average attendance above 19,000 fans and three of those teams had more than 20,000 fans. With the playoffs underway, let’s commemorate a record-breaking regular season by highlighting the NBA teams with the highest average attendance this past season.
15. Orlando Magic – 17,765 fans
Total Attendance: 728,405 fans
Average Attendance: 17,765 fans
Percentage Capacity: 94.3%
The Orlando Magic finished the regular season with a 34-48 record and were 13th in the Eastern Conference – missing out on the playoffs. They were coached by Jamahl Mosley and led by the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Paolo Banchero – who is in line to win Rookie of the Year.
Banchero averaged 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game this season. Franz Wagner added 18.6 points per game, while Wendell Carter Jr., Markelle Fultz, and Cole Anthony chipped in with at least 13.0 points per game – their top-five scorers are all under 25 years old.
14. Golden State Warriors – 18,064 fans
Total Attendance: 740,624 fans
Average Attendance: 18,064 fans
Percentage Capacity: 100%
The Golden State Warriors finished the regular season with a 44-38 record and were 6th in the Western Conference – making the playoffs and avoiding a play-in scenario. They were coached by Steve Kerr and led by Stephen Curry, who averaged 29.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 0.9 steals per game.
Klay Thompson had himself a great year and averaged 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, while Jordan Poole proved to be a valuable No. 3 player with 20.4 points and 4.5 assists per game. Andrew Wiggins gave the team depth and averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.
13. Utah Jazz – 18,206 fans
Total Attendance: 728,240 fans
Average Attendance: 18,206 fans
Percentage Capacity: 100%
The Utah Jazz finished the regular season with a 37-45 record and were 12th in the Western Conference – which isn’t too bad, considering they traded their best three players recently. They were coached by Will Hardy and were led by the newcomer Lauri Markkanen and the fan-favorite Jordan Clarkson.
Markkanen led the team with 25.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, while Clarkson shined in a starting role with 20.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Colin Sexton, Malik Beasley, Kelly Olynyk, and Talen Horton-Tucker each put up 10+ points per game to round their roster out.
12. Detroit Pistons – 18,529 fans
Total Attendance: 759,715 fans
Average Attendance: 18,529 fans
Percentage Capacity: 91.1%
The Detroit Pistons finished the regular season with a 17-65 record and were in 15th place in the Eastern Conference – they had the worst record in the league this year. They were coached by Dwane Casey and led by 33-year-old Bojan Bogdanovic with 21.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
The Pistons had a lot of young players perform well, including Cade Cunningham (19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists) and Jaden Ivey (16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists). Saddiq Bey, James Wiseman, Marvin Bagley III, Isaiah Stewart, and Killian Hayes each provide hope for the future.
11. Los Angeles Lakers – 18,613 fans
Total Attendance: 763,168 fans
Average Attendance: 18,613 fans
Percentage Capacity: 97.6%
The Los Angeles Lakers finished the regular season with a 43-39 record and were in 7th place in the Eastern Conference – they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in tournament to advance to the playoffs. They were coached by Darvin Ham and led by LeBron James in his 20th season in the NBA.
James finished with 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game in a season that saw him pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. It was a special season for the Lakers, who also saw Anthony Davis put up 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds and saw D’Angelo Russell return to LA.
10. Portland Trail Blazers – 18,716 fans
Total Attendance: 767,374 fans
Average Attendance: 18,716 fans
Percentage Capacity: 96.3%
The Portland Trail Blazers finished the regular season with a 33-49 record and were in 13th place in the Western Conference – missing out on the playoffs by a longshot. They were coached by Chauncey Billups and led by Damian Lillard, who averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.
The Trail Blazers saw two other players average at least 20 points per game this season – Anfernee Simons (21.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists) and Jerami Grant (20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists). They’ll need to make some improvements this season to work their way back into the playoffs.
9. Boston Celtics – 19,156 fans
Total Attendance: 766,240 fans
Average Attendance: 19,156 fans
Percentage Capacity: 100%
The Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a 57-25 record and had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference – they’re facing the Atlanta Hawks in the First Round of the NBA Playoffs. The team was coached by Joe Mazzulla after the offseason drama involving former head coach Ime Udoka.
The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum (30.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) and Jaylen Brown (26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists). Malcolm Brogdon (14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists) was a welcomed addition, while Derrick White, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford added some veteran depth.
8. Denver Nuggets – 19,235 fans
Total Attendance: 788,635 fans
Average Attendance: 19,235 fans
Percentage Capacity: 98.5%
The Denver Nuggets finished the regular season with a 53-29 record and had the best record in the Western Conference – they’re now playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the First Round of the NBA Playoffs. They were coached by Michael Malone, who is in his eighth season with the Nuggets.
The Nuggets were led by their two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic, who averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 9.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game. Jamal Murray added 20.0 points per game, while Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon added 17.4 points and 16.3 points per game, respectively.
7. New York Knicks – 19,392 fans
Total Attendance: 795,110 fans
Average Attendance: 19,392 fans
Percentage Capacity: 97.9%
The New York Knicks finished the regular season with a 47-35 record and entered the NBA Playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference – they’re playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the First Round. They were coached by Tom Thibodeau, who is now in his third season as head coach of the team.
The Knicks saw Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson emerge as a reliable one-two punch. Randle averaged 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, while Brunson averaged 24.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game. RJ Barrett strutted his stuff as the No. 3 option with 19.6 points per game.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers – 19,432 fans
Total Attendance: 777,280 fans
Average Attendance: 19,432 fans
Percentage Capacity: 100%
The Cleveland Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 51-31 record and entered the NBA playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference – they’re playing the New York Knicks in the First Round. They were coached by J.B. Bickerstaff, who first became head coach towards the end of the 2019-20 season.
The Cavs had an impressive one-two punch in both the backcourt and frontcourt. Their front court was led by Donovan Mitchell (28.3 points) and Darius Garland (21.6 points), while their backcourt was led by Evan Mobley (16.2 points) and Jarrett Allen (14.3 points). This team has a bright future ahead of them.
5. Miami Heat – 19,687 fans
Total Attendance: 807,190 fans
Average Attendance: 19,687 fans
Percentage Capacity: 100.4%
The Miami Heat finished the regular season with a 44-38 record and were in 7th place in the Eastern Conference – they defeated the Chicago Bulls in the play-in tournament to enter the playoffs as a 8th seed. They were coached by Erik Spoelstra, who is now in his 15th season as head coach of Miami.
The Heat were led by Jimmy Butler, who averaged 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Bam Adebayo (20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds) and Tyler Herro (20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists) rounded out a reliable supporting cast, but they lacked depth beyond those three players.
4. Toronto Raptors – 19,786 fans
Total Attendance: 811,261 fans
Average Attendance: 19,786 fans
Percentage Capacity: 99.9%
The Toronto Raptors finished the regular season with a 41-41 record and were in 9th place in the Eastern Conference – they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the play-in tournament to end their playoff hopes. The team was coached by Nick Nurse, who was in his fifth season as head coach since getting promoted in 2018.
The Raptors were led by Pascal Siakam, who averaged 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. Fred VanVleet (19.3 points, 7.2 assists), Gary Trent Jr. (17.4 points), OG Anunoby (16.8 points, 1.9 steals), and Scottie Barnes (15.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists) rounded out the supporting cast.
3. Dallas Mavericks – 20,177 fans
Total Attendance: 827,282 fans
Average Attendance: 20,177 fans
Percentage Capacity: 105.1% (league-high)
The Dallas Mavericks finished the regular season with a 38-44 record and were in 11th place in the Western Conference – they were 4.0 games behind the 10th place Pelicans, missing out on a shot in the play-in tournament. They were coached by Jason Kidd, who finished his second season with the team.
The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic, who averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. They ended up adding Kyrie Irving halfway through the season and had 27.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 20 games. Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr. also impressed.
2. Philadelphia 76ers – 20,469 fans
Total Attendance: 839,261 fans
Average Attendance: 20,469 fans
Percentage Capacity: 97.5%
The Philadelphia 76ers finished the regular season with a 54-28 record and entered the NBA Playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference – they’re playing against the Brooklyn Nets in the First Round. The team was coached by Doc Rivers, who is now in his third season since joining the team in 2020-21.
The 76ers were led by MVP candidate Joel Embiid, who averaged a league-high 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game. James Harden (21.0 points, league-high 10.7 assists) and Tyrese Maxey (20.3 points) gave this team a three-headed monster that was tough to beat.
1. Chicago Bulls – 20,527 fans
Total Attendance: 841,632 fans (league-high)
Average Attendance: 20,527 fans (league-high)
Percentage Capacity: 98.1%
The Chicago Bulls finished the regular season with a 40-42 record and entered the play-in tournament as the No. 10 seed – they beat the Raptors, but lost to the Heat and missed a shot to play in the playoffs. They were coached by Billy Donovan, who just completed his third season with the team since 2020-21.
The Bulls were led by Zach LaVine (24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (24.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists), while Nikola Vučević proved to be a viable No. 3 option with 17.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. They lacked a lot of quality depth beyond those three players.
Which NBA Teams Surprised Us This Season?
When the NBA regular season began on October 18, 2022, many people already had their eye on teams like the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers out of the East, and the Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Clippers out of the West. They performed well, but it was no surprise.
The team that surprised us most this season is the Sacramento Kings. Coming into the season, they were riding a 17-year playoff drought and no one predicted it coming to an end. They finished the season with a 48-34 record and are the No. 3 seed out of the Western Conference – they’ve been a fun team to watch.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were also somewhat of a surprise, considering how young they are – they were just one of six teams to have at least 50 wins. The other team I would throw in this category is the Brooklyn Nets, who made the playoffs as a No. 6 seed, despite trading away all their best players.
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