Dynasty: Lakers, Spurs or Heat?

Team with most postseason success since expansion might surprise you

Updated: January 10, 2013, 1:11 PM ET
By Neil Paine | Basketball-Reference.com
Miami HeatSteve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsCan the Heat claim the most playoff success since 2005 -- and potential dynasty status?

Trivia question: Which NBA team has had the most postseason success since the last league expansion?

If you're like me, you probably assumed it was the Los Angeles Lakers. Since 2004-05, the season the league added the Charlotte Bobcats and swelled to its current 30-team roster, the Lakers have won a pair of NBA championships, lost to the Celtics in the Finals and made the Western Conference semifinals in two other seasons. To many observers, they certainly seem like the defining team since the 2004-05 season.

But that's not the case.

OK, so now you're probably guessing the San Antonio Spurs is the right answer. Though the 2005-12 timespan excludes the franchise's titles in 1998-99 and 2002-03, it does encompass its championships in 2004-05 and 2006-07, plus two Western Conference finals losses and a couple of conference semifinal berths. If it's not the Lakers, then the Spurs have to claim the most successful postseason résumeé of any team since 2004-05, right?

Wrong again.

By now, some of you may be scrambling for a team like the Celtics (one Finals win, one Finals loss, two other semi-deep runs) or maybe even the Mavericks as a long shot.

The correct answer is none of the above.

Neil Paine writes for FiveThirtyEight, the data-supported sports, politics and culture site coming soon from ESPN.