The standings at the end of each NBA season are not a direct representation of how productive every team’s season was.
Maybe a squad was expected to contend for the championship but only nabbed the eighth seed in its conference. Or maybe a young team in the same conference was expected to contend for the league’s worst record, but overachieved and nabbed the ninth seed.
The former team had the better record, but the latter team had the better season.
For 2014-15 in particular, five teams who will finish outside of the playoff hunt had very satisfying seasons, even though their win-loss records suggest otherwise.