Rounding out Golden State's pre-KD Big Three, of course, was Klay Thompson. The "Seven Seconds or Less" offense led by Steve Nash lit the NBA up to the tune of a league-best 62 wins, and the spread pick-and-roll principles it employed can be seen in the DNA of most current teams. He got his feet back just far enough upon catching the kick-out. "Well, you said the one word that it was about, it was about a 'team,'" Barry said. "And when we came together and we all played our part, it was like a perfect song and dance.'. The Kings, who were the top seed in the West, led the series 3-2 heading into Game 6. Far too often, the NBA's GOAT debate is limited to just Michael Jordan and LeBron James. "If he was a jerk, if he had no character, if he wasn't smart enough to know it's for the good of the team, I'd have all kinds of problems," Popovich said. And he was the conductor of "Showtime." When those five shared the floor, Golden State was plus-27.0 points per 100 possessions (plus-16.7 in the playoffs). When he was on the floor, San Antonio allowed 4.7 fewer points per 100 possessions. This team also featured Michael Cooper, one of the game's greatest defenders. His 5.9 BPM this season was better than any mark he put up during the three-peat, and his 50.2 effective field-goal percentage was tied for the third-highest mark of his career (barely trailing his 2012-13 and 2007-08 campaigns). Some teams, meanwhile, do their damage over the long run instead of having any one standout season. And in the Finals, he went toe to toe with, and came out on top of, Wilt Chamberlain. Of course, 2014-15 was also Stephen Curry's first MVP campaign. remains one of the widely known calls in NBA history. In the Finals, he and the Warriors faced a juggernaut. John Paxson and Craig Hodges were two of the game's best floor-spacers. Whenever you look back on a team and they had 4 hall-of-famers, Wil Chamberlain, Larry Costello, Hal Greer, and Chet Walker, in the starting lineup you know they were a hard team to beat. From wire to wire, this was a completely and utterly dominant team performance. And he took home Finals MVP after both series. Jordan would finish that 33-point blowout with 39 points and 11 assists. And a rapidly developing Byron Scott pitched in another 17.0. Our Top 5 NBA Teams of All Time Our list below is a compilation of some great basketball teams that may or may not be your favourite but definitely talks about some of the best … He trailed only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bobby Jones in box plus/minus. We'll follow your lead.' Rick Fox and Robert Horry were both growing into the roles they'd enjoy for much of the three-peat. 1996-2016: 25.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 172.7 Win Shares, 1-time MVP, 15-time All-NBA, 5-time champion The final two of those titles cemented Bryant in … Eight players played at least 500 minutes and had an above-average box plus/minus (12 were above replacement level). The legendary big man averaged 31.4 rebounds and 30.1 points, but the balanced, team-first approach of the Celtics led to a Game 7 win for Boston that included one of the game's most legendary moments. Bob Dandridge, who would go on to make four All-Star teams, one All-NBA team and one All-Defense team, added 18.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. These Celtics were a defensive juggernaut. I'm not going to have you break up this team. The team’s 63-19 record was the best in Pistons history at the time and their 15-2 run in the playoffs is about as close to perfect as you can get, with their only two losses coming against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. After a hard dribble right, Jordan stopped, crossed over to his left, sent Russell flying and shot the pull-up that proved to be the Finals sealer. He upped that assist average to 8.4 in the playoffs. "If you’re in this league for 13 years and just battling in the playoffs and always coming up short, this is extra special," Nowitzki said after beating the Heat, per Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. The Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 4 victory in the Finals was their only blemish in a 16-1 postseason. Ultimately, the 2011 playoffs belonged to Dirk. It was clear he was closing in on the twilight of his career, but he was still named to the All-NBA second team. "I was surprised," Boston coach Bill Fitch said of Maxwell winning the award. No. They ended a major sports championship drought for the city that dated back to 1964, when the Browns finished at the top of the NFL. He also managed 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 blocks. He put up postseason career bests in offensive box plus/minus, defensive box plus/minus and turnover percentage thanks to averages of 30.2 points, 5.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 2.6 turnovers and 1.7 steals. He was 10th in the league in points per game, but when you limit the sample to those who matched or exceeded his 60.2 true shooting percentage, he trailed only Bird and McHale. This team was also the beneficiary of one of Andrew Bogut's best seasons. In the playoffs, Chicago was nearly as dominant, outscoring teams by 12.1 points per 100 possessions (the fourth-best playoff net rating of all time) and going 15-3 on the way to the title. It was clear he was on the way to a dominant career, but he certainly wasn't a one-man show on this team. In Game 1 of the Finals, Allen Iverson scored 48 points in a Philadelphia 76ers win, but the Lakers quickly got back on track, winning the next four games by an average of 10 points. Chamberlain (19.2 points and 14.8 rebounds in his second-to-last season) and Hairston (13.1 points and 13.1 rebounds) anchored the season's No. We were also introduced to the so-called "death lineup" during this season. And though Leonard would go on to miss around a quarter of the season due to "load management," he finished ninth in MVP voting. But this team was much more than prime Kobe. The 1990-91 Chicago Bulls, Jordan's first title team, weren't quite as dominant as the 1996-97 squad in the regular season, but their playoff dominance gives them the edge. Leon Powe was the only player with at least 500 minutes and a below-average defensive box plus/minus. Stephen Curry had the Warriors' highest average game score during those Finals, and Bird led the '81 Celtics in that same number. A 40-25 disparity in free-throw attempts in the series' penultimate game raised red flags for plenty of fans. The Thrill Is Gone, baby, and it's been gone for quite a while, probably since Michael Jordan laced 'em up in training camp. Had CP3 not been hurt in Game 5 of that series, we may not be talking about the 2017-18 Warriors in this forum. Chuck Daly tipped [general manager Jack McCloskey] off that Adrian Dantley had become sullen, and both men were concerned his mood threatened to make for a toxic locker room. And their 25.2 assists per contest led the NBA. And Sam Jones was also a double-figures scorer. LeBron James (three times), Larry Bird and Tim Duncan are the only players in league history to pile up more wins over replacement player in a single playoffs. Against the Los Angeles Lakers alone, that five-man lineup was plus-41 in 121 Finals minutes. The Spurs' beautiful, team-first approach led to the best record (62-20) and simple rating system (8.0) in the NBA in 2013-14. Parish added 16.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 31.7 minutes. I'm not saying you're at fault, but you know something that I don't know. From the champions who opened the decade to the ones who closed it, the 1998-99 San Antonio Spurs featured one of the best frontcourts in NBA history. Draymond was outstanding that season, with averages of 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks. On a less mathematical level, it's worth pointing out how good Odom and Ariza were during this era. His 45.7 field-goal percentage was also 6.2 points above the league average. Among the teams sampled from 2000 to 2009 for this exercise, the Celtics finished first in simple rating system, net rating and relative defensive rating, a, When KG was on the floor, Boston's opponents scored, Seemingly every rotation was made perfectly. The league average that season was 49.1 percent. That eliminated a couple of regular-season powerhouses that fell apart in the playoffs, including the 2008-09 Cleveland Cavaliers. Altogether, the rotation seemed about as close to flawless as rotations get. Those two, of course, fell well shy of Magic's assist numbers (they combined for 10.2 per game). "It's a joke how good he is," Indiana Pacers president Donnie Walsh said ahead of the 1994 Finals. The concerted effort it took to make that improvement did not come from one superstar. They ended up with a record of 65-17 and only lost 3 total games in the playoffs beating the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the finals. For the most part, though, the statistical criteria remained our guide. But in typically Spursian fashion, this team was about more than the big names. Pippen almost averaged 20 PPG that season playing a secondary role which led a lot of people around the league to think that the Bulls potentially had two top 5 players in the entire league. And with things chugging along at a seemingly fine pace, trading Dantley was, to put it mildly, bold. They finished with a league-best 66 wins, LeBron won his second straight MVP, and Wade finished 10th in MVP voting. The 1962-63 campaign was Bob Cousy's last (until he came back for a seven-game stint with the Cincinnati Royals in 1969-70), but one of the game's most decorated organizations barely missed a beat, thanks in large part to the arrival of John Havlicek that same season. The 49-point spread over the course of the series is tied with the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth-biggest in Finals history (and it's the biggest of any Bulls team). Then, in the playoffs, Kobe was even better. But these Pistons were much more than a one-man show. "It was about a group of young men who were willing to put their egos aside, and go out and do what was best for the team.". The 1983-84 Boston Celtics were led by the same top two scorers (Larry Bird and Robert Parish) as the title-winning 1980-81 team, but they also benefited from Kevin McHale's breakout campaign and the arrival of All-Star Dennis Johnson. Armstrong was one of the game's best three-point threats. The Lakers were plus-10.4 points per 100 possessions with Shaq on the floor and minus-0.5 with him off. Points were also awarded to each team based on whether it won the title. "Thomas, at 6 feet, is the only small man in the league who can make the game his," Michael Wilbon wrote in June of 1990. Of course, it wasn't all about guards and wings. That season, they led the NBA in simple rating system (their 11.8 is the second-best mark in NBA history), offensive rating and defensive rating. Like the Lakers' 2001-02 playoff run, though, this one wasn't as squeaky-clean as the record might suggest. I'm just trying to win. And with its second title in three years, it was clear it would be a factor for most of the 1980s. And Bill Laimbeer was an early pioneer for stretch bigs. When he was on the floor, the Warriors were plus-17.5 points per 100 possessions, compared to minus-3.8 when he was off. JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Richard Jefferson, Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye all made meaningful contributions, as well. "He can do it all, and he makes everybody around him better. The additional trust in teammates went a long way toward unleashing Hall of Famers Hal Greer, Chet Walker and Billy Cunningham. He did a little bit of everything for L.A. during those playoffs, averaging 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals. 4 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers to win your League. Grade algorithm comprise the NBA’s greatest Final Four. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the legend firmly entrenched in the GOAT debate, but Johnson led the team in box plus/minus for the second straight season. There have been the most dominating teams like Boston Celtics 1985-86, LA Lakers 1987-88 and their championship victories were truly remarkable and personified greatness. But when it mattered most, Jordan was able to once again assert his dominance. When you have Kareem averaging 31.7 PPG and 16.0 RPG and Robertson putting up 19.4 PPG and 8.2 APG you will be tough to beat and they proved that. And every one of them picked the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. Prior to the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' 72 wins seemed like one of those unbreakable sports records. As mentioned, Jones was phenomenal too. And he maintained his dominant performance through the postseason. A 25-year-old Udonis Haslem was a key cog. Michael Finley averaged 9.0 points off the bench. Manu went for 22.2 points, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. "He's the best player ever," Don Nelson, then coaching the Milwaukee Bucks, said in 1986. The guards on this team did plenty too. Mitch Kupchak went for 14.3. Over the 523 postseason minutes in which Billups, Hamilton, Prince and the two Wallaces shared the floor, Detroit was a staggering plus-14.6 points per 100 possessions. It just didn't feel right to omit Olajuwon and the only team to interrupt MJ's reign, though. The Warriors forced almost everyone else to embrace, to some extent, the pursuit of positionless basketball, precision shooting and motion-heavy offense. "Fo', Fo', Fo'," or three straight sweeps. For his career, Thomas is 16th in NBA history in playoff box plus/minus. And they peaked at the exact right moment. Philadelphia couldn't quite back up Malone's prognostication, but it sure came close. Heading into that season, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were third and fifth, respectively, in career offensive box plus/minus (they're in a virtual tie for third now). Though he was well past his prime, Oscar Robertson averaged 19.4 points, 8.2 assists and 5.7 rebounds. In fact, his average for assists increased to 5.5 in the playoffs. Wilt Chamberlain had won a title with the 76ers in the '60s, but after spending much of his career chasing Bill Russell, another one would do wonders for his legacy. The attack wasn't quite as triple-heavy as those of today's teams, but the philosophy of surrounding a dominant big with shooting is something that still resonates. Near the twilight of their careers, Tony Parker (16.7) and Tim Duncan (15.1) were still the team's leading scorers. After those two, it really was a balanced, gritty team effort that led to the championship. And their defense was significantly better in the playoffs than it was during the regular season. They were a whopping plus-230 over those 17 games, the best raw point differential for a single postseason in league history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the only player in league history to match or exceed all those marks in a single season. Golden State had three of them (Curry, Durant and Thompson). "But with that said, OK, fine, you can have that. With one of the best coaches in the history of basketball paired with the likes of Kareem, Mychal Thompson, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and many other players they were borderline unbeatable. The 1990-91 squad steamrolled the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons in an 11-1 run through the Eastern Conference. "I'm one of those players who can just turn the scoring on and off.". Duncan averaged 20.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 blocks. In just his second season, Duncan averaged 21.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.4 assists. Nowitzki alone had a plus-10.6 net rating (Dallas was minus-9.3 when he sat). Joe Dumars averaged 17.8 points and shot 40.0 percent from three that season. They went 67-15 in the regular season but a big part of their success was their home record. It is difficult to rank them, given that some of them played in different eras. Chicago won the series in six games, but the Jazz were only outscored by four points in the aggregate. He averaged 41.0 minutes, 27.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 3.7 blocks and 1.6 steals. And his production looks tame in comparison to 2015-16 in part because of this squad's depth. That season, he averaged 31.9 points (11th all-time), 7.1 assists and 5.4 threes (first all-time) per 75 possessions. The third team of the Shaq-and-Kobe three-peat, the 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers were clearly headlined by those two stars, but they received major contributions from a couple of role players in the playoffs. Then Frazier went for 36 points and 19 assists in the clincher that may be best known for Reed's iconic walk from the tunnel to the court. Even though Wilt Chamberlain was at the end of his career he was still extremely productive putting up 14.8 PPG and 19.2 RPG. Detroit had just made the Finals with Dantley in 1988. This version of the Bulls lost a couple more games than the 95-96 team but it didn’t matter as they led the league in points per game as a team and were 6th in opposing points per game allowed. Not every NBA franchise has an MJ or a LeBron, but every team has their own GOAT. They also hummed like Phoenix previously had on the other end. Altogether, this team was a dominant force. The role of No. 1 option was new to Magic, but he was more than up to the task. John Stockton was a few years past his prime, but he was still plenty impactful too. That postseason, he averaged 32.4 points and comfortably led the NBA in wins over replacement player. "And to have been a part of that, and to have lived through it, with the guys, was really special.". Both had skill sets that were ahead of their time. But it was Wilt's performance in the Eastern Division Finals that really stands out. Jerry West, meanwhile, had dominated the NBA as a scorer for 11 seasons prior to 1971-72 (he had the sixth-highest career scoring average of all time to that point) but had never won a title. In the end, this Warriors squad had the second-best postseason net rating of all the 2010s teams sampled. Jordan averaged 30.4 points, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals. That season, he averaged 22.1 points and 3.5 threes while shooting 42.5 percent from deep and often saving Curry from the hassle of defending opposing 1s. And when he shared the floor with Green and Kyle Lowry, Toronto was plus-14.0 points per 100 possessions (98th percentile). What Lowry has done with his time with the Raptors is simply unmatched. Duncan averaged 27.4 points and 13.8 rebounds. But the feelings that series planted in the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs fueled one of the NBA's greatest revenge stories. And this series gave us one of the most iconic images and moments of Jordan's career. Jim McMillian and Happy Hairston didn't garner the same level of accolades during their careers, but they were certainly critical to the success of this particular team. Kyrie Irving had a higher average game score than any Warrior in the series. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry were first and second in threes made during those playoffs. In the playoffs, Chicago was nearly as dominant, outscoring teams by 12.1 points per 100 possessions (the fourth-best playoff net rating of all time) and going 15-3 on the way to the title. James Edwards pitched in with 14.5 points. He didn't have a huge role in the regular season, but moving him into the starting five for most of the playoffs unlocked small-ball possibilities that helped the team for the rest of the Heatles era. Best NBA players of all time 2020 NBA starting Point Guards Best Overall NBA players Right Now Starting Pg's 2020-21 NBA City Jerseys NBA Teams 2019-20 (Made For KOT4Q) PAREJAS NBA 2020 - … If this article were about the most influential teams in NBA history, the 2004-05 Phoenix Suns may well have this spot. LeBron, Wade and Bosh had formed the Heatles the previous summer. He won his first title in 1957 and his 11th in 1969. But Boston wasn't done there. The 10.7 simple rating system posted by the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls is tied with the 1971-72 Milwaukee Bucks for the fifth-best mark in league history. This squad was deep, gritty and led by a superstar. On paper, the 1970-71 Bucks stand with the 1995-96 Bulls as one of the most dominant teams ever. Bill Russell and Larry Bird get the bulk of the historical attention paid to this organization—and rightfully so—but the 1973-74 Boston Celtics had a few of their own legends who helped secure a title. Jones provided plenty of help along the way. But the clearest difference between Chicago and the rest of the league was the presence of the GOAT, who was motivated in part by a rival winning that regular season's MVP honors. When both were on the floor, the Spurs were plus-12.7 points per 100 possessions. As a member of the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks, in just his second NBA season, Kareem won his first of six titles and first of six MVP awards. They went on to beat the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals in 6 games. This Boston team went 40-1 at home, which is tied for the best home record in the history of the NBA. Modern NBA fans know this feeling well. Throughout that season, the Warriors dominated their competition. He was fourth on the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game. "This" was the title. And in the Finals, they dominated Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Bird? In the 559 minutes those two played together in the postseason, Dallas was plus-12.3 points per 100 possessions. I don't begrudge spirited reactions to any of the following placements. Wherever he was, regardless of how far he was from the rim, teams had to pay attention. This season isn't without controversy, though. And a supporting cast that included Tom Heinsohn, Tom Sanders, Willie Naulls and K.C. He averaged 24.7 rebounds and 15.0 points. But in 1967, he and the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers broke through. During the playoffs, Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr and Scott Burrell all posted above-average box plus/minuses. The do-it-all forward averaged 21.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks. Eight Blazers averaged at least 8.0 points per game that season. He posted career highs in assists per game (2.9), offensive box plus/minus (4.5) and defensive box plus/minus (minus-0.1). Here's a look at the 10 best NBA teams of all time. Led by Pat Riley, the 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers were one of the best teams to ever take the floor in LA. Among players with at least 500 minutes, that 21.3-point swing was topped only by... teammate Draymond Green. Willis Reed, that season's MVP, led the way with 21.7 points, 13.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Small ball took on new life thanks to Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. In terms of individual performances, Jordan was, as you might expect, absurd. ", Wade would go on to have better individual seasons (though he never won a regular-season MVP) and win two more titles, but 2005-06 may well have been his narrative peak. Across all regular-season and postseason minutes, San Antonio was plus-13.8 points per 100 possessions when all three were on the floor. Not only do they have the decade's best simple rating system, they boasted an MVP in Larry Bird, Sixth Man of the Year and former MVP Bill Walton, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish still in (or near) their peaks and a solid supporting cast around the stars. They only allowed 84.7 PPG on the defensive end so despite being a middle-tier offensive scoring team, they were able to still be successful. The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers were led by three experienced and hungry Hall of Famers. In his age-37 season, Allen averaged 10.9 points and 1.8 threes off the bench while shooting 41.9 percent from deep. The 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers have a few claims to fame. Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace finished the 2003-04 campaign 16th, 21st and 47th, respectively, in BPM. But three more regular-season wins, a better simple rating system, Sam Jones' peak season and overcoming a monster Wilt Chamberlain performance in the playoffs gave the edge to the 1964-65 Boston Celtics. And they were even more dominant in the heightened intensity of the playoffs. During those playoffs, L.A. was plus-9.7 points per 100 possessions with Kobe on the floor and minus-2.7 with him off. But in the NBA, front-office executives have an important role. But the title pursuit seemed on the brink of collapse when he went down with a torn thigh muscle in Game 5 of the Finals. And everyone coalesced to dominate in the playoffs. Grantland's Zach Lowe packed several of the themes into one paragraph: "The Spurs’ fifth championship symbolizes everything we’ve been bringing up all year: the triumph of the NBA’s beautiful game; the crowning achievement for three stars who took less money to stay together; a cathartic response from perhaps the most crushing defeat in NBA history; and the end point of the franchise’s evolution from pound-the-post bully ball to a fast-paced, triple-happy style of play that put them ahead of almost every other team in adapting to the NBA’s newer rules.". The 2012-13 Miami Heat rode the momentum of the 2012 championship into a dominant regular season that included a 27-game winning streak (the second-longest in league history within a single season). Well, he's on his own level.". "A coach once speculated that he bleeds anti-freeze.". In Jordan's final pre-baseball season, he averaged 32.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals. This team's 52-20 record, league-leading simple rating system and stifling postseason defense were the products of a team effort, though. Ron Harper carried over his role from the dynastic Chicago Bulls as head coach Phil Jackson's triangle point guard. The NBA's most dominant teams, the subject of this countdown, force adaptation. The team also featured Hall of Famers Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Tom Sanders, Frank Ramsey, K.C. These Warriors are sort of the forgotten group when looking at the entire dynasty. Beyond the scoring, he averaged 10.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.4 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. Walt Frazier went for 20.9 points, 8.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds. And, as seems to be the case with the modern Rockets, they were ahead of the analytical curve, leading the NBA in three-point attempts per 100 possessions. Golden State went 12-2 against the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans and Cleveland Cavaliers, including a Finals sweep over the Cavs. He was, "Here is a player who guards Larry Bird like no one else,", "You may not put him at the top of your list,", With Kareem leading the way, these Bucks posted the, "We've had a very unique success this year, and I think we have a great team," Jordan, In the playoffs, Chicago was nearly as dominant, outscoring teams by, Playoff and regular-season winning percentage, Playoff and regular-season simple rating system (combination of point differential and strength of schedule), Playoff and regular-season relative offensive rating (team's points per 100 possessions minus the league average), Playoff and regular-season relative defensive rating (team's points allowed per 100 possessions minus the league average), Playoff and regular-season net rating (points per 100 possessions minus points allowed per 100 possessions), Greer: 22.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, Walker: 19.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, Cunningham: 18.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1991 playoff Bulls: .882 winning percentage, 6.3 relative offensive rating, minus-6.9 relative defensive rating (minus is good here), 13.2 net rating, 1997 playoff Bulls: .789 winning percentage, 0.8 relative offensive rating, minus-5.7 relative defensive rating, 6.5 net rating.