Like a lot of people I’ve tried to put a list of the top ten NBA teams in my lifetime. To be a top ten team you had to have the best regular season record that season as well as a good playoff record. Other things considered is the players on that team and the teams they defeated to win the title.
10 through 8
10. Tie 1965 Boston Celtics. Havlicek stole the ball. Red Auerbach coached the team with Russell, Sam and KC Jones, Tommie Heinsohn and John Havlicek. The Celtics were 62 – 18 in the regular season and 8 – 4 in the playoff.
10 Tie 2000 LA Lakers coached by Phil Jackson featuring an in his prime Shaq and a young star Kobe Bryant. 67 – 15 in the regular season and 15 – 7 in the playoffs.
9. 2013 Miami Heat coached by Erik Spoelstra. The Heat had a big three consisting of LeBron, Wade and Bosh. They had a 27 game winning streak in the regular season leading to a 66 – 16 record in the regular season and 16 – 7 in the playoffs. The Heat were saved by Ray Allen in the finals with his three pointer against San Antonio forcing a game seven that the Heat eventually won.
8. 1967 Philadelphia 76ers coached by Alex Hannum. This was the team that stopped Boston’s run of eight straight titles and nine titles out of the last ten. Led by Wilt, Hal Greer, Luke Jackson, Chet Walker and Billy Cunningham they started the season winning their first 46 out of 50 games finishing 68 – 13 and going 11 – 4 in the playoffs including beating the Celtics in five in the conference finals.
7-5 Best Teams of All-Time
7. 1971 Milwaukee Bucks coached by Larry Costello. Led by a young Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bobby Dandridge. The Bucks were 66 – 16 in the regular season and 12 – 2 in the playoffs running off twenty straight wins in the regular season.
6. 1987 LA Lakers coached by Pat Riley. 65 – 17 in the regular season and 15 – 3 in the playoffs led by Magic Johnson, Kareem and James Worthy. They beat the defending champion Boston Celtics in six games in the Finals.
5. 1972 LA Lakers coached by Bill Sharman. This was the team with Wilt and Jerry West. Sharman convinced Wilt to defend and rebound to lead their fast break. The team was 69 – 13 in the regular season winning 33 straight games and went 12 and 3 in the playoffs.
Top 4 Teams of All-Time
4. 1986 Boston Celtics coached by KC Jones. The team had Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and sixth man of the year, Bill Walton. The Celtics were 67 – 15 in the regular season with an amazing 40 – 1 home record and 15 – 3 in the playoffs.
3. 1983 Philadelphia Seventy Sixers coached by Billy Cunningham. This was the team Moses Malone famously, “fo, fo, fo” in speaking of the playoffs Instead they lost one game going 12 – 1 losing to the Milwaukee Bucks after going 65 – 17 in the regular season. Beside Malone the Sixers had Julius Erving, Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney.
2. 1996 Chicago Bulls coached by Phil Jackson. The Bulls were led by Michael Jordan, Batman, with his Robin, Scottie Pippen. They were 72 – 10 in the regular season and 15 – 3 in the playoffs. They also featured Dennis Rodman and Toni Kukoc.
1. 2017 Golden State Warriors coached by Steve Kerr. The Warriors were 67 – 15 in the regular season and 16 – 1 in the playoffs. They featured four great players in Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The addition of Durant to the team made them an offensive juggernaut.
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