The NBA championship is the pinnacle of fame that any franchise wants to achieve. It shows the team’s strength and is a title that can be kept for the entire NBA history. Not all winners are the greatest NBA teams of all time, though.
Great football teams can change the game and the league forever. The great players in the squad adorn the league history with their talent and will.
In addition to a great squad, many factors create dominant teams. These include excellent strategies, locker-room cohesion, and several other variables. If you want to learn more about the best NBA teams of all time, continue reading this article with Scott Fujita.
Top 10 NBA teams of all time
Top 10 Of The Best NBA Teams Of All Time: Rankings And Highlights
There are many factors to judge whether NBA teams are great or not? Will they make it to the NBA finals, or will their regular season performance be any good? Comparing championship teams against each other will take more analysis than just the NBA title.
Before entering the top 10 greatest NBA teams, we will need a little space to pay tribute to the teams that missed the cut. They are also great teams with admirable achievements.
The honorable list includes the following football teams:
- 1972-73 New York Knicks. The New York Knicks in 1972-73 were a flawless lineup. They have won 57 games with stars like Dave DeBusschere, Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, and Earl Monroe. This championship team continued to make headlines by defeating a 68-win Boston Celtics at the Eastern Conference finals. Soon after, they defeated LA at the NBA Finals.
- 1988-89 Detroit Pistons. On December 14, 1989, the Detroit Pistons defeated the LA to move to 32-13 for the season. The Pistons’ top scorer, Adrian Dantley, helped the team reach the NBA Finals. The team’s postseason record is 15-2, with only two losses to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls at the Eastern Conference Finals.
- 2012-2013 Miami Heat. The Miami Heat created the momentum for the 2012 NBA championship to become a solid regular season with 27 straight games. They finished with the best 66 regular season wins of the season. LeBron James is the MVP for the second straight season.
- 1998-99 San Antonio Spurs. From the champions who opened the decade to those who closed it, the San Antonio Spurs were the best in NBA history. San Antonio’s so-called Twin Towers boast Tim Duncan and David Robinson, two defensive specialists with various offensive skills to boot.
#10. 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
Regular Season Record: 57-25
Postseason Record: 16-5
Standing tenth in the list of greatest teams in NBA history is the 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers. This franchise is the first and only team to come back from a 1-3 deficit in the NBA Finals in league history.
Last season with the Cavaliers didn’t go so well when they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals. In 2015-16, the team became more robust and assertive. Lebron James and Kyrie Irving have hit their stride, averaging 104.3 points per game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had an explosive playoffs season as they beat the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, and Toronto Raptors to claim a spot in the finals. There, they meet the mighty Warriors again with the All-Star trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
The team led 1-3 but miraculously came back up with the final score of 4-3. Because of this greatness that no other NBA team has achieved in history, they have entered this list.
#9. 1966-1967 Philadelphia 76ers
Regular Season Record: 68-13
Postseason Record: 12-3
The 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers got off to a perfect start and then captured the entire season. Led by Wilt Chamberlain, the Eastern Division candidate operates like a powerful machine.
The prominent team leader, Mr.100, achieved double figures averaging 24.1 points per game and 24.2 rebounds. On the other hand, Chet Walker and Hal Greer are also impressive scorers with 19.3 and 22.1 points per game.
The 76ers had a devastating 4-1 victory over the Boston Celtics, successfully dethroning the eight-time defending champion. They defeated a struggling San Francisco Warriors in six games to claim the NBA championship in higher spirits than ever.
#8. 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers
2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers
Regular Season Record: 56-26
Postseason Record: 15-1
When it comes to the regular season stats of the 2000-01 LA, you will remove them from this list. However, the team deserves it when it comes to their dominance in the postseason.
L.A. destroyed every team in its path, wiping out the top-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs on the cross-Western run. Shaq averaged 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.4 blocks in the NBA Finals.
This season can also be considered when Kobe has reached actual superstar status. Shaq and Kobe were clearly dynamic together on their way to the NBA title. But they started to establish themselves as one of the all-time great matches in the 2000-01 season.
#7. 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers
Regular Season Record: 65-17
Postseason Record: 15-3
The 1986-97 Los Angeles Lakers, with three stars Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, are among the most iconic squads in NBA history. They started with a dominating NBA season by winning the Western Conference finals.
During the season, the roster featured seven players who achieved double figures. Many people still call this lineup Showtime Lakers with the ability to run unprecedentedly fast. They wiped out every opponent and advanced into the NBA Finals to face formidable opponents, the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird.
Both teams had six eye-catching matches, and LA was the winner. Magic Johnson was also the Finals MVP of that season.
#6. 1990-91 Chicago Bulls
1990-91 Chicago Bulls
Regular Season Record: 61-21
Postseason Record: 15-2
The 1990-91 Bulls Team was the squad that brought Michael Jordan’s first title. Although their regular season wins numbers are unimpressive, their playoff performance is genuinely devastating.
The 1990-91 squadron overcame the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons in an 11-1 game through the Eastern Conference. And in the Finals, they dominated Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers for five games.
The 49-point difference throughout the streak is tied with the Milwaukee Bucks 1970-71 for the eighth-biggest goal in Finals history. This season is also the perfect start to the dominance of the duo Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, with the particular supporting cast.
#5. 1985-86 Boston Celtics
Regular Season Record: 67-15
Postseason Record: 15-3
During the 80s, the 1985-86 Boston Celtics team deserved to be one of the best NBA basketball teams of all time. Not only do they have an impressive regular season record, but they also have MVPs Larry Bird, Bill Walton, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale.
Bird was the standout player with 25.8 points per game, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. But the rest of the Boston Celtics were also excellent.
Overall, the rotation seems to be as close to perfect as the rotations. And the Celtics destroyed the rest of the league on its way to 67 regular-season wins and a 15-3 win to claim the championship.
#4. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers
Regular Season Record: 69-13
Postseason Record: 12-3
The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers are strong with the leadership of three talented Hall of Famers in steady form.
Wilt Chamberlain was looking for another NBA championship after winning the 76ers in the ’60s. At the same time, Jerry West was in prime form as the leading scorer for 11 seasons. Gail Goodrich, Jim McMillian, and Happy Hairston are also essential to the franchise’s success.
Those five are the leaders of the 69-13 Lakers roster with the third-best simple rating system in NBA history.
#3. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks
1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks
Regular Season Record: 66-16
Postseason Record: 12-2
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is only in his sophomore year for the Bucks team, but he still wins the Finals MVP convincingly. The 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks had a solid defense with a Kareem scoring machine and four other stars double-figured.
They won 66 regular season games and wiped out the Bullets in NBA Finals. They also lost just two games in the postseason and beat mighty LA in the semifinals.
The fourth place on this list of greatest teams is compelling.
#2. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
Regular Season Record: 72-10
Postseason Record: 15-3
Many consider the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls to be the greatest team, but Scott Fujita puts them in second place. Along with Michael Jordan, the Bulls are the only team to win 70 games in the regular season and take the NBA title.
They led the NBA in terms of a simple rating system (11.8 being the second-best in league history), defensive and offensive ratings. Michael Jordan is the main attraction, with Scottie Pippen being the perfect addition.
In the knockout stages, Chicago nearly dominated, edging out teams with 12.1 points out of 100 in possession (fourth-best playoff network ranking of all time) and leading 15-3 on their way to the title.
#1. 2016-17 Golden State Warriors
2016-17 Golden State Warriors
Regular Season Record: 67-15
Postseason Record: 16-1
The 2016-17 Warriors team is the most potent NBA team in history, and we think you’ll agree. They form a dominant combination with four stars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green on the same team.
You could say they played great in the regular season, and they still won 67 games. After the knockout round took place, they started going 100%. They matched the Lakers ’01 for the most extraordinary post-season record in league history with a 16-1 scoreline.
Don’t forget. This team also has an excellent defense compared to other teams.
To watch the Warriors’ iconic performance again, check out the video below.
Many people think that only the only teams that win the NBA Finals deserve to be on the list, but we believe regular season or postseason stats are also vital. It helps you evaluate the entire playing process of the team.
And that’s our top 10 list. What do you think about it?