All-time Lists

The 9 Dominant Teams in NBA History

(We are happy to welcome E-dog to his first post as a guest author at Chasing 23. E is a religious basketball fan who lives in New Jersey and is feverishly hoping that the Russian can pull off a coup so he’ll have a reason to attend basketball games again)

First, a few introductory notes:

  1. This is an assessment of the dominant single-season teams in NBA history.  It sets forth certain basic statistical criteria, both for regular-season and playoff performance, which establish 9 teams as truly dominant over the course of a single season.  (That’s why there are only 9 teams on this list, and also why it’s the 9 “dominant”, as opposed to “most dominant”, teams.)  I am old enough to have watched, and to remember, 6 of these teams, so I will rank those.  (The other 3 were before my time altogether, so I don’t think I have enough of a basis to rank them.)
  2. This is my assessment and ranking involving my criteria.  Please take this for what it is, which is the opinion of (I think) a somewhat informed fan, nothing more.  Many of you will consider my assessment and rankings to be less informed than that, and will have your own assessment and rankings based on your own criteria, which is perfectly fine; I welcome and encourage disagreement.
  3. This is an assessment and a partial ranking of dominant teams, not the best teams, in NBA history.  For the record, I don’t think that the #1 team on my list is the best team in NBA history, but I do think that they dominated that season more than any other team dominated any other season in my lifetime.  Measuring dominance largely involves comparing a team to other teams for that same season, whereas measuring the best teams involves comparing teams across different seasons and different eras, which is a much more difficult and complicated exercise.
  4. Lastly, while these 9 teams made the list on the basis of certain statistical criteria, the ranking of the 6 teams of my lifetime is based as much on intangible feel as on statistics, as in, how dominant did each team seem from watching and following them over that season?  You can call it the “you had to be there” factor.

Next, a brief discussion of the criteria.  Each team is listed with its regular-season record (“RS”), its regular-season point differential (“RSPD”), its playoff record (“P”), its playoff point differential (“PPD”), any individual awards that it won that year and the number of games by which it had the best record in the league (and, if different, in its conference).  Thanks you to and The NBA Realist for their research on point differentials. Each team on the list met the following requirements:

a. For the regular-season: (i) it finished with the best regular-season record in the league; (ii) it won at least 75% of its regular-season games; and (iii) it finished at least 4 games ahead of every other team in the league.  Certain teams that had dominant playoff runs, such as the ’60-’61 Celtics, the ’63-’64 Celtics, the ’81-’82 Lakers, the ’90-’91 Bulls and the ’00-’01 Lakers, fell short of these regular-season criteria and thus did not qualify.

b. For the playoffs: (i) it won the NBA championship (duh), (ii) it won at least 70% of its playoff games; and (iii) it did not have any elimination games.  You can call (iii) the “No Game 7” rule, and it knocked out a lot of teams with dominant regular seasons, including the ’59-’60 Celtics, the ’64-’65 Celtics, the ’91-’92 Bulls, the ’99-’00 Lakers and the ’07-’08 Celtics.  (As a side note, it does seem a bit off that the list does not include a single team from the Bill Russell era; they just missed putting it all together on the dominance scale a few times.)  If a team had to play a Game 7 along the way, how dominant could they really have been?

And now, without further adieu, here’s the list, beginning with the 3 teams that came before my time and are thus not ranked:[1]

1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers

Regular Season Record (RS): 68-13; Regular Season Point Differential (RSPD): 9.4;

Playoff Record (P): 11-4;  Playoff Point Differential (PPD): 9.3

MVP: Wilt Chamberlain

All-NBA First Team: Wilt Chamberlain

All-NBA Second Team: Hal Greer

+8 over the Celtics for best league and conference record

This is the team that snapped the Celtics’ 8-year run as champions, and marked the only time that Wilt’s team beat Russell’s team in the playoffs (4-1 in the East Finals).  This was the first time that Wilt didn’t win the scoring title, but his averages of 24 points, 24 rebounds and nearly 8 assists per game comprise what many consider to be his best season ever.  A number of observers consider this to be the best team in NBA history.

1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks

RS: 66-16; RSPD: 12.2

P: 12-2; PPD: 14.5

Regular-season and Finals MVP: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

All-NBA First Team: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

All-NBA Second Team: Oscar Robertson

All-Defensive Second Team: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

+14 over the Knicks for best league record, +15 over the Bulls for best conference record

Milwaukee’s only championship team was the first team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games in a season, as the off-season acquisition of Oscar Robertson to pair with Kareem turned the Bucks into an unstoppable dynamo.  Kareem won his first MVP award with nearly 32 points and 16 rebounds per game.  The number of games by which they finished with the best record in the league is an NBA record.  They don’t seem to get that much love from basketball historians, perhaps because this was supposed to be just the first of many titles, and as a result this team may very well be the most underrated team in NBA history.

1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers

RS: 69-13; RSPD: 12.3

P: 12-3; PPD: 5.0

Finals MVP: Wilt Chamberlain

All-NBA First Team: Jerry West

All-NBA Second Team: Wilt Chamberlain

All-Defensive First Team: Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West

Coach of the Year: Bill Sharman

+6 over the Bucks for best league and conference record

After 7 Finals defeats (4 of them in Game 7) since moving to LA, this Lakers team finally delivered the long-awaited championship to the City of Angels.  Bill Sharman literally gave his voice to mold this team into a cohesive, defense-oriented unit which set the current record of 33 consecutive wins and also set a standard for regular-season wins which stood for 24 years.  Here’s a trivia answer for you: Gail Goodrich was the Lakers’ leading scorer at just under 26 points per game.   Two nits to pick with this team are: (i) 3 of their wins in the conference finals that year (4-2 over the Bucks) were by 4 points or less, while each of their two losses were by more than 20 points; and (ii) they beat a Willis Reed-less Knicks squad in the Finals (although I don’t think this would have changed the outcome, since Reed was backed up by another Hall of Famer in Jerry Lucas, so how bad could the drop-off have been?).  Regardless, say this much for Wilt: he didn’t win the big one nearly enough for me to view him at the same level as Russell, but when he did win the big one, he did so in dominant, historic fashion.

Now for the ranking of the 6 dominant teams of my lifetime, in reverse order:[2]

6.         1988-89 Detroit Pistons

RS: 63-19; RSPD: 5.8

P: 15-2; PPD: 7.7

Finals MVP: Joe Dumars

All-Defensive First Team: Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars

+6 over the Lakers and Cavaliers for best league and conference record

Having just missed the title the year before, the Pistons turned it up down the stretch, finishing the season 27-4 after a late-February trade sent Adrian Dantley to Dallas for Mark Aguirre.  Two reasons why this team is not ranked higher: (i) the Bulls, who were still far from the juggernaut that they would soon be, led the Pistons 2-1 in the conference finals before Detroit stepped on the gas to win in six; and (ii) it is highly doubtful that the Pistons would have won the title that year if not for the injuries that knocked both Byron Scott and Magic Johnson out of that year’s Finals (a 4-0 sweep).  (Yes, you can call it karmic payback for Isiah’s injury in ’88, and you know what?  I’ll take it.  As a Lakers fan from childhood, the ’88 playoffs (with three Game 7’s) were the ultimate do-or-die fan experience for me, and I wouldn’t trade that title for anything.)

5.         1996-97 Chicago Bulls

RS: 69-13; RSPD: 10.8

P: 15-4; PPD: 5.5

Finals MVP: Michael Jordan

All-NBA First Team: Michael Jordan

All-NBA Second Team: Scottie Pippen

All-Defensive First Team: Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

+5 over the Jazz for best league record, +8 over the Heat for best conference record

Wait a minute, you may be asking, wasn’t this basically the same team as the legendary ’95-’96 squad?  Well, not exactly.  The personnel was slightly different (Brian Williams, before he became Bison Dele, was the main addition), and they weren’t quite as dominant.  Utah fought them to a 2-2 draw in the Finals, and if not for perhaps Jordan’s single greatest performance ever (the Flu Game in Game 5), the Bulls would have returned home on the brink of elimination, not to mention that the Jazz arguably also lost Game 6 more than the Bulls won it.  That’s why this team only ranks #5 on my list.

4.         1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers

RS: 65-17; RSPD: 9.3

P: 15-3; PPD: 11.4

Regular-season and Finals MVP: Magic Johnson

All-NBA First Team: Magic Johnson

Defensive Player of the Year: Michael Cooper

All-Defensive First Team: Michael Cooper

+6 over the Celtics for best league record, +10 over the Mavericks for best conference record

This is the best (and most dominant) Lakers team of my lifetime, and it kills me to not rank them higher.  The Lakers completed the years-long transition from Kareem to Magic as their primary offensive option, and Magic entered his prime (which lasted for four seasons, through the ’89-’90 campaign), averaging nearly 24 points and over 12 assists and 6 rebounds per game as he won his first MVP award.  The Lakers pulled away from the pack with a 27-2 run shortly after trading for Mychal Thompson to fortify their frontcourt.  Of course, in the Finals Magic provided the single-most indelible fan memory of my childhood with the “junior sky hook” to win Game 4.  So why isn’t this team ranked higher?  Because …

3.         1985-86 Boston Celtics

RS: 67-15; RSPD: 9.4

P: 15-3; PPD: 10.3

Regular-season and Finals MVP: Larry Bird

All-Defensive First Team: Kevin McHale

All-Defensive Second Team: Dennis Johnson

Sixth Man of the Year: Bill Walton

+5 over the Lakers for best league record, +10 over the Bucks for best conference record

(i) This Celtics team finished with a better record even though it played in a tougher conference (only one other team in the ’86-’87 West won 50 or more games, whereas three other teams in the ’85-’86 East did) and (ii) it featured four Hall of Famers (DJ plus the Big Three), all at their peak, with a fifth Hall of Famer (Walton) coming off the bench to win Sixth Man of the Year honors.  Bird won his third straight MVP award with nearly 26 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists per game, becoming the only player other than Russell and Chamberlain to do so.  Many observers who have forgotten more basketball than I’ll ever know say that this is the best team in NBA history, and frankly (at least for my lifetime) I’d be hard-pressed to disagree.  So why isn’t this team ranked even higher?  Because, as a Lakers fan who followed this Celtics team with an eye towards a Finals rematch (which the Olajuwon-Sampson Rockets thwarted), I thought to myself, “The Celtics look like the better team this year, and we’ll be the underdogs, but it’s not impossible.”  By contrast, each of the top two teams on my list had me thinking, “There’s no effin’ way anyone’s beating these guys come playoff time.”

2.         1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers

RS: 65-17; RSPD: 7.7

P: 12-1; PPD: 6.5

Regular-season and Finals MVP: Moses Malone

All-NBA First Team: Moses Malone and Julius Erving

All-Defensive First Team: Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones

Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Jones

+7 over the Lakers for best league record, +9 over the Celtics for best conference record

I admit it, I have the “Fo’, Fo’, Fo’” Sixers ranked higher than most.  Perhaps it’s because it was the first truly dominant NBA team that I saw.  Like I said, you had to be there.  Consider that they were good enough to make the Finals the previous season, before losing to the Lakers in six – and then they traded for Moses, the reigning league MVP, who repeated as MVP with 24.5 points and over 15 rebounds per game.  But it wasn’t just Moses’ show, as they fielded four starters in that year’s All-Star game (which has been duplicated only twice since then).  They were on a 70-win pace for most of the season before tailing off with an 8-8 finish, but they rebounded with the best playoff run ever until the ’00-’01 Lakers, as Moses just murdered the Lakers in the Finals.  (Yes, I know that in the ’83 Finals the Lakers didn’t have James Worthy, who broke his leg with a week left in the regular season.  But the Sixers beat the Lakers twice that year with Worthy, and they were so good that I don’t think having Worthy would have changed the outcome.)  If not for that 8-8 finish, this team would garner a lot more consideration for the best team ever.

1.         1995-96 Chicago Bulls

RS: 72-10; RSPD: 12.3

P: 15-3; PPD: 10.6

Regular-season and Finals MVP: Michael Jordan

All-NBA First Team: Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

All-Defensive First Team: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman

Coach of the Year: Phil Jackson

+8 over the Sonics for best league record, +12 over the Magic for best conference record

You’re probably thinking that this is a cliché choice, an obvious pick.  Let me address whatever skepticisms you may have with a few questions:

Once this Bulls team got rolling that year, didn’t every one of their losses feel like a “HOW THE HECK DID THAT HAPPEN?”-level event (particularly their March 10 loss in New York and their March 24 loss to expansion Toronto)?

When you consider the loss to Toronto by two points, and that their only two home losses of the year came in the final two weeks of the season by a single point each, doesn’t it seem like, if anything, their record should have been even better (ridiculous as that may sound)?

In the Finals, once they jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Sonics, didn’t you sense that they let up and allowed the Sonics to take Games 4 and 5 and that they could have very easily swept that series if they so desired?

Heck, would anyone really be surprised if it turned out that someone at the NBA or at NBC Sports offered the Bulls certain “inducements” after Game 3 to ensure that there wouldn’t be a sweep, esp. after the Bulls took Game 3, a must-win for the Sonics playing in front of their raucous home crowd, by 22?

Yeah, I thought so.  That’s why this team is #1 on my list.


33 Responses to “The 9 Dominant Teams in NBA History”

  1. I would have to say that I agree with almost all your choices, but there is a choice I believe that deserves consideration. The 2001 LA Lakers were a powerful squad. Shaq and Kobe swept through the playoffs, beating strong-quality Western Conference teams, before finally losing game 1 to Allen Iverson and Philly. Just my opinion.

    Posted by Fear 33-23-91 | February 21, 2011, 7:26 pm
  2. Edog welcome to Chasing 23. Great first post! And I agree with your #1 :)

    Posted by losbullz | February 21, 2011, 9:02 pm
  3. this is BS,
    you take some pathetic team of the past than the highly contested game in the present,
    no 2002 or 2001 or even 2000 Lakers Team here.??
    that team killed “EVERY” team in the playoff and send those sorry asses to school, that was the 3-peat laker team you left out.. WOW

    what are you?
    a Pacer or a Sixer FAN?

    this blog is pretty darn NOT accurate.. BS!!

    Posted by LakerFanatic | February 22, 2011, 9:40 am
  4. Fear 33-23-91, your point about the ’00-’01 Lakers is well-taken; they had the greatest playoff run ever and could have gone 15-0 that postseason, as they blew leads late in regulation and in OT in the Game 1 loss to the Sixers. Their issue is that they scuffled through much of the regular season and needed to win their last 8 games just to tie for second-best in the league at 56-26, so they fell short in the regular-season criteria. How I’ve wished that the Shaq-Kobe teams could have combined their ’99-’00 regular season with their ’00-’01 postseason. Alas …
    On a separate note, from April 2-December 6, 2001, the Lakers (i) finished the ’00-’01 regular season 8-0, (ii) went 15-1 in the ’01 playoffs and then (iii) started the ’01-’02 season 16-1. That’s 39-2 in games that counted! Will any team ever do that again? I doubt it.

    Posted by E-Dog | February 22, 2011, 3:31 pm
  5. LakerFanatic, I’m sorry to be a hater in your book; guess I’d better get my Rik Smits and Eric Snow jerseys out of mothballs. :-)
    Seriously, in addition to reply to Fear 33-23-91, I should make clear that, in my view, true dominance requires achieving a certain standard of excellence over BOTH the regular season AND the playoffs, and the Shaq-Kobe Lakers fell just short of putting it all together on that count. (Believe me, I’m not complaining over the “consolation prize” of 3 straight titles, and I’m sure they’re quite happy with that too.) This is not a list of the really, really good, perhaps even great NBA champions, but of the most dominant champions. It’s a short list, and it should be; heck, I couldn’t even get to 10!

    Posted by E-Dog | February 22, 2011, 4:03 pm
  6. I disagree with your assesment of the 88-89 Pistons. They beat the Lakers twice that year when they were healthy. They had the best record in the league. No one, and I mean no one was stopping them. As for the 83 Sixers being ahead of the 86 Celtics or 87 Lakers? Please, FO-FO-FO may have been a cute saying but that team would have been smoked by LA or Boston. The 96 Bulls? Dominence watered down by an expansion year. Hell they weren’t even the best Bulls team of Michael’s run.

    Posted by The Truth | February 23, 2011, 5:24 am
  7. E-Dog awesome article! after this season if the Spurs win – will you consider them as number 10?

    Posted by MBB | February 23, 2011, 9:36 pm
  8. I admit it, I CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! :-)
    Seriously, The Truth, the ’88-’89 Pistons were good enough to make this list, and if the Lakers were missing just Scott in that year’s Finals I might have said it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. But adding the series-ending injury in Game 2 to the league MVP in Magic is too much for me to overlook.
    As for the ’82-’83 Sixers, I’m not saying that they were better than the top Magic or Bird teams, but I do think that they dominated that season more than those Celtics or Lakers teams did. I put more weight on their 57-9 start than on their 8-8 finish, and I think that their playoff performance more accurately reflectsd the former instead of the latter.
    Finally, on the ’95-’96 Bulls, yes, it was an expansion year (same for the ’66-’67 Sixers, ’70-’71 Bucks and the ’88-’89 Pistons) and that does have a way of producing outsized seasons (both good and bad). That’s part of the reason why this list measures dominance, not greatness. As I said, I don’t think the ’95-’96 Bulls were the best team ever, just the most dominant I’ve seen.

    Posted by E-Dog | February 24, 2011, 4:38 am
  9. MBB, if the Spurs meet all of the regular-season and playoff criteria that I mentioned, then they’ll be the 10th team on my list. They’ll probably rank ahead of the ’88-’89 Pistons for #6 and could even challenge the ’96-’97 Bulls for #5. They’ll need to come up with something memorable to crack the top 4 though.

    Posted by E-Dog | February 24, 2011, 5:26 am
    • E — you have to be kidding right? This Spurs team belongs on no all-time list in any league ever (regardless how they finish). Tim Duncan is playing on one leg. Tony Parker is a tier 2 point guard. And their supporting cast isn’t blowing anyone away. The fact is, Pop has done an amazing job this year. You honestly would consider putting this team ahead of Jordan and Pippen?

      Posted by Brown Mamba | February 25, 2011, 8:11 am
  10. Kudos for acknowledging the non-factor Worthy injury in 1983. Laker fans love use this an excuse, but he reality is 1983 James Worthy (who wasn’t even a starter and only averaged 13pts and 5 reb) was obviously not the same as 1988 James Worthy. Regardless, it wouldn’t have made a difference. Moses Malone absolutely owned Kareem throughout this career.

    Posted by The NBA Realist | February 24, 2011, 6:45 pm
  11. Black Mamba, I should clarify: it’s unlikely that I would put this year’s Spurs at #5, but it’s not impossible. If they continue at their current pace (67-68 wins) and follow that up with a dominant playoff run, then I would have to give it some thought.
    Here’s the thing: I just don’t consider the ’97 Bulls to have been all that dominant. 3 of their Finals wins were by a combined margin of 8 points, and all 3 of those games were tied in the final minute, with 2 of them decided in the final seconds. The Jazz can look back at this one and say, with considerable justification, that they let this one get away. That’s why they’re only #5 even though they tied for the second-best regular-season record ever. I’m not even factoring in the multitude of Knicks fans who will go to their graves believing that NY would have beaten Chicago in the ’97 East Finals if not for the Game 5 brawl vs. Miami.

    Posted by E-Dog | February 25, 2011, 4:06 pm
  12. Excellent post. Tough to argue with your picks. I didn’t realize Malone was as dominant as he was in 82-83. As a Celtics fan, I don’t like seeing the Bad Boy Pistons up there. I still remember my dad taping those C’s/Pistons playoff games so I could watch in the morning.

    I know that sounds lame, but the games were on late, and I was only 7 years old. Please don’t judge me on this post alone.

    Posted by Green in LA | February 27, 2011, 6:24 pm
  13. Green in LA, I’m definitely not judging you, and it doesn’t sound lame at all. In fact, it sounds pretty cool as a father-son fan memory. I was lucky in that sense because growing up in LA meant that the games started, and ended, 3 hours earlier (although it did make homework a challenge sometimes).
    I don’t think anyone outside the Detroit area liked the Bad Boys, and I’d like to get your thoughts on an idea of mine. The Celtics had intense rivalries with the Sixers and Lakers in the ’80s, but I suspect that the Celtics and their fans hated the Pistons most of all, esp. after the ’87 East Finals with Laimbeer, Rodman and Isiah. From a fan’s perspective, does that sound right?

    Posted by E-Dog | February 28, 2011, 3:27 pm
    • Honestly, I am 28 and wasn’t watching basketball until ’88. So, for me personally, the Bad Boys were the first team I despised. You can make arguments for both the Sixers and Lakers earlier in the ’80s, but I only watched those teams and games after the fact.

      I will say that as an avid basketball fan and watching tons of old games I came to respect the Lakers and their teams in the ’80s. I don’t think I have ever felt respect for those Pistons teams, just hatred. That’s what makes sports fun, right?

      Posted by Green in LA | March 2, 2011, 5:56 pm
  14. my nigga, you are a laker hater…when you go 15-1 in the playoffs you gotta be up here

    Posted by Tremaine Edwards Jr. | March 2, 2011, 7:05 pm
  15. Green in LA, I actually feel sorry for you that you didn’t start watching basketball in ’88. That means that you missed out on all the Magic-Bird Finals, as well as the three titles of the Bird era. As one who started following basketball just in time for all of that, I can only say, what a time to miss!

    Posted by E-Dog | March 3, 2011, 4:37 pm
  16. Green in LA, I meant to say “until” ’88. Sorry about that.

    Posted by E-Dog | March 3, 2011, 4:40 pm
  17. Tremaine, have you met LakerFanatic? I should introduce the two of you. :-)
    As I’ve mentioned, this list is for those teams who showed both regular-season and playoff dominance, and the ’00-’01 Lakers fell short on the regular-season front. This was the first year in which the Shaq-Kobe tension boiled over, and it seemed to affect the team until the tail-end of the season; they finished 2nd in the West with “only” 56 wins. Of course, I’m not complaining about them winning it all that year; not a bad “silver medal”.

    Posted by E-Dog | March 3, 2011, 4:51 pm
    • word ? When does it count more ? I guess you on the bron bron tip do hella good in the regular season…get nothing done in the playoffs…it’s all good tho

      Posted by Tremaine Edwards Jr. | March 12, 2011, 9:08 am
      • you are obviously trolling, and you’re not very good at it, move along

        Posted by Jay | April 11, 2011, 4:54 pm
        • Ok, I do admit some Lakers fans are blind. Tremaine, you make some good points, but the ’01 Lakers squad doesn’t belong on this list. Blame Shaq for coming into the season out of shape for that. That’s what Kobe’s and Shaq’s beef was all about. That team could’ve been MORE dominant, but the MVP was too complancent in winning it once.

          Posted by J.T. | April 29, 2011, 10:38 am
  18. You can rank LA higher than Boston simply because LA beat Boston in the Finals, Boston went through Houston. Also, in 3 NBA finals of the 4 LA lost, they were missing nixon-worthy-macadoo in 83, Magic and scott in 89, and worthy and scott in 91. The other was to Boston in 7. It’s possible LA would have beat the bulls, sixers, and pistons those years for 8 championships during the magic era

    Posted by daff | May 2, 2011, 4:24 pm
  19. The 1991 Bulls were actually the best of the MJ era in my opinion. They had a pretty easy ride through the regular season at 61-21 and breezed through the playoffs. In fact they would have gone 15-0 if it weren’t for 2 game winning 3’s (One by Hawkins in game 3 vs Philli and one by Perkins in game 1 vs LA)

    Posted by Adam | May 30, 2011, 8:31 pm
  20. The “best team,” in my opinion,(although they didn’t win the title that year) was the 1977-78 Blazers–who lost three key players (e.g., Bill Walton) to injury after rampaging to a 50-10 start after winning the title the year before ; they led the league in offense and defense at that 50-10 juncture and had at one point won 44 straight at home over two seasons. Rick Barry, Chuck Daley, and other basketball luminaries said they were the finest passing team, one of the quickest (if not quickest)teams in NBA history and possessed a particularly high basketball IQ and team chemistry that was a marvel to watch at the time…

    Posted by DC | January 1, 2012, 11:45 pm
  21. You have to put the 01 lakers on this list. They basically swept the playoffs save for game 1 of the finals when A.I. went berserk. They swept a 50-32 portland team, they swept a 55-27 kings team, and they absolutely abused a 58-24 spurs team that the majority of of sports writers figured could compete with the team, Shaq and Kobe were arguably the greatest duo ever during this run

    Posted by jon | January 7, 2012, 6:55 pm
  22. list is pretty solid and accurate in my opinion

    re the comments on the 2001 lakers – yes they were a great team – but who was the competition?

    agreed on the 60s & 70s teams, they were stacked – Kareem/Oscar team was great – no surprise / coincidence that Wilt was on 2 of the teams that many people consider the best teams of all time (66-67 Sixers, only team to ever beat the 60s Celtics; and the 71-72 Lakers, 33 game winning streak which still stands) – and he never had an Oscar level player at his side, and no Pippen either…

    the 80s teams are amazing and good calls – especially the Fo Fo Fo team wow what domination – Moses used Kareem like kleenex, and the league was not as diluted then as the 1990s…

    actually, speaking of expansion/dilution – yes, the Bulls teams were amazing, but the league was so watered down – new teams in 88 (2) and 89(2) and then again in 95 (2) – that’s 4 total by the time of the first Bulls 3 peat, and 6 total by the time of the 2nd Bulls 3peat – and the opponents the Bulls brought down did not really compare to the 1980s Pistons/Celtics/Lakers, let alone some of the insanely overflowing-with-HOFer teams of the 1960s Celtics – Bulls always had the edge as to roster, which included 2 HOFers in the first 3peat and 3 HOFers in the 2nd 3peat, and very strong role players.

    Posted by oudshmood | May 21, 2015, 5:50 pm


  1. […] with my previous ranking of the most dominant NBA teams, I am limiting the ranking of top 6th Men to those that I have actually seen play.  However, […]

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