A lot of people have been talking about getting the best record in the league or at least in the West. This has obvious advantages like home-court and playing supposed "weaker" teams. But, I started thinking that it seems like the teams with the best record don't always end up in the Championship. So, I went back a decade + and looked at every season from last year to the last strike season. I found some telling numbers.
So, if a team has the best record in their conference, they have a 37.5% chance to make the finals (nine teams with best record, 24 total slots). But, a team without the best record has a 62.5% chance to make the finals (15 teams without the best record in conference, 24 total slots). And, I have found that only three times has the team with the overall best record won the championship, indicated with *, a dismal 12.5%. So, let the Heat or Bulls have it! Or even the Spurs. The numbers say it is fine.
And, the season that probably has the most comparison would be the strike shortened season, 1998–99. The best record that year was split between San Antonio and Utah, which the previous made it to the finals and won, but their foe was the 8th seeded Knicks. Anyone can make it, especially in these truncated seasons.