SLAM’s TOP 75 NBA Teams of All Time: No. 21-11

That is the place issues begin to get realer than actual. This week, SLAM is unveiling our TOP 75 NBA Groups of All Time record that ran in our particular challenge, SLAM Presents TOP 75 NBA Groups of All Time. It wasn’t a simple record to make, however one factor’s for positive about all of those groups: they dominated in their very own method.

Right here’s our No. 21-11:

21. 2015-16 Golden State Warriors

Coach: Steve Kerr (Luke Walton, Interim Head Coach)

File: 73-9

Roster: Leandro Barbosa, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Ian Clark, Stephen Curry, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Inexperienced, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, James Michael McAdoo, Brandon Rush, Marreese Speights, Jason Thompson, Klay Thompson, Anderson Varejao

By no means earlier than in NBA historical past had a workforce completed the common season with a single digit within the loss column. When these Dubs did it, contemporary off the primary of what appeared positive to be three or 5 or 10 titles with the Curry-Thompson-Inexperienced core, a championship appeared like nearly a formality—and much more so once they took a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead within the Finals. Solely then it was Cleveland’s flip to make historical past.

20. 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers

File: 57-25

Roster: Jared Cunningham, Matthew Dellavedova, Channing Frye, Joe Harris, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Richard Jefferson, Dahntay Jones, James Jones, Sasha Kaun, Kevin Love, Jordan McRae, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams

There can be no disgrace in a second straight Finals loss to the mighty Warriors—no disgrace for LeBron, Kyrie and Kevin in falling quick towards the traditionally elite Dubs. There can be disappointment, positive, that the title LeBron got here again to Cleveland to win, as a part of arguably probably the most gifted workforce in Cavs historical past, merely wasn’t meant to be. However this was Cleveland. They have been used to disappointment. They weren’t used to creating historical past. Till they did.

19. 1991-92 Chicago Bulls

Coach: Phil Jackson

File: 67-15

Roster: BJ Armstrong, Invoice Cartwright, Horace Grant, Bob Hansen, Craig Hodges, Dennis Hopson, Michael Jordan, Stacey King, Cliff Levingston, Chuck Nevitt, John Paxson, Will Perdue, Scottie Pippen, Mark Randall, Rory Sparrow, Scott Williams

One title, towards an growing older Lakers workforce, didn’t make a dynasty, and so the Bulls got here into the ’91-92 season motivated for extra. These 67 regular-season wins have been an announcement, as was one other MVP award for Michael Jordan (30.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 6.1 apg). However as ever, the playoffs have been the place it mattered, and Chicago wanted to outlive a seven-game collection with the Knicks en path to the Finals. As soon as there, a hungry and gifted Portland workforce promised to make the Bulls earn it. And they also did.

18. 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs

Coach: Gregg Popovich

File: 62-20

Roster: Jeff Ayres, Aron Baynes, Marco Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Shannon Brown, Austin Daye, Nando De Colo, Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Danny Inexperienced, Damion James, Othyus Jeffers, Cory Joseph, Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills, Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, Malcolm Thomas

The entire thing with the Spurs’ post-millennial dominance was that it was Duncan, Parker and Ginobili, after which no matter spare components Coach Pop managed to completely align round them. It wasn’t imagined to be like this: A 22-year-old, third-year ahead who averaged 12.8 ppg within the common season rising as probably the most impactful participant in the complete postseason, together with a Finals MVP efficiency in a five-game humbling of the Warmth. This Kawhi Leonard man is perhaps fairly good.

17. 1997-98 Chicago Bulls

Coach: Phil Jackson

File: 62-20

Roster: Keith Sales space, Randy Brown, Jud Buechler, Scott Burrell, Jason Caffey, Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Steve Kerr, Joe Kleine, Toni Kukoc, Rusty LaRue, Luc Longley, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Dickey Simpkins, David Vaughn, Invoice Wennington

The Bulls stored the gang collectively for the “Final Dance,” and the outcome was a sixth title in eight years. There was loads of stress and stress. As ordinary, Michael Jordan was a hard-driving, big-scoring winner, whereas Scottie Pippen rode shotgun. Toni Kukoc did a little bit of every thing, and Dennis Rodman pounded the boards. Chicago survived a seven-game thriller with Indiana to succeed in the Finals, then dispatched Utah in six to finish all of it in type.

16. 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers

Coach: Alex Hannum

File: 68-13

Roster: Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Costello, Billy Cunningham, Dave Gambee, Hal Greer, Matt Guokas, Luke Jackson, Wali Jones, Invoice Melchionni, Chet Walker, Bob Weiss

After years of dominating the scorebook however not the winner’s circle, Wilt Chamberlain lastly gained a title. He did it by taking part in nice protection, grabbing almost each rebound and, amazingly, passing. He had loads of targets. Hal Greer, Chet Walker, Billy Cunningham and Wali Jones have been harmful scorers, and few have been harder inside than Luke Jackson.
The Sixers whipped the Celtics in 5 to succeed in the Finals after which stopped the Warriors to provide The Massive Dipper a championship.

15. 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers

Coach: Pat Riley

File: 62-20

Roster: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper, Magic Johnson, Earl Jones, Mitch Kupchak, Ronnie Lester, Bob McAdoo, Mike McGee, Chuck Nevitt, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, Larry Spriggs, Jamaal Wilkes, James Worthy

The Lakers had misplaced in two straight Finals however ’84-85 can be totally different. L.A. trampled all Western Convention competitors and was led once more by maestro Magic Johnson. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was nonetheless a power within the paint, whereas James Worthy, Byron Scott and Michael Cooper have been a formidable supporting forged. After L.A. misplaced by 34 within the Finals opener, Abdul-Jabbar took over and was MVP of the Lakers’ first-ever championship win over Boston.

14. 1988-89 Detroit Pistons

Coach: Chuck Daly

File: 63-19

Roster: Mark Aguirre, Adrian Dantley, Darryl Dawkins, Fennis Dembo, Joe Dumars, James Edwards, Steve Harris, Vinnie Johnson, Invoice Laimbeer, John Lengthy, Rick Mahorn, Tempo Mannion, Dennis Rodman, Jim Rowinski, John Salley, Isiah Thomas, Micheal Williams

The Pistons gained a title with a workforce as robust as their city. The Dangerous Boys have been bodily, to make sure, however they’d loads of expertise. Isiah Thomas teamed with Joe Dumars in a deadly backcourt, with Vinnie Johnson offering warmth off the bench. Rick Mahorn and Invoice Laimbeer dealt with the tough stuff, and the mid-season commerce for Mark Aguirre introduced all of it collectively. Detroit ended the Showtime period by sweeping the Lakers within the Finals.

13. 2017-18 Golden State Warriors

Coach: Steve Kerr

File: 58-24

Roster: Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher, Omri Casspi, Quinn Cook dinner, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Inexperienced, Andre Iguodala, Damian Jones, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, Patrick McCaw, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Klay Thompson, David West, Nick Younger

For the Dubs, regular-season data had lengthy since been rendered meaningless. This was about trophies, and the final of Golden State’s trio of titles ended up being its most conclusive. KD and Steph each missed chunks of the season however nonetheless functioned because the League’s most dependable cheat code when it mattered, and after a seven-game scare from Houston within the West Finals, the Warriors swept a depleted Cavs squad for the championship.

12. 1996-97 Chicago Bulls

Coach: Phil Jackson

File: 69-13

Roster: Randy Brown, Jud Buechler, Jason Caffey, Bison Dele, Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc, Luc Longley, Robert Parish, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Dickey Simpkins, Matt Steigenga, Invoice Wennington

By now, it was solely a query of how lengthy they may maintain it going. A 12 months after that 72-win marketing campaign, the Bulls began the ’96-97 season with 12 straight victories and had 5 successful streaks of seven video games or extra. The machine simply stored buzzing proper up till the Finals, after which, there was a second in Recreation 6 when it seemed just like the Jazz may power a Recreation 7. However they didn’t, as a result of towards these Bulls, no person ever did.

11. 1964-65 Boston Celtics

Coach: Purple Auerbach

File: 62-18

Roster: Ron Bonham, Mel Counts, John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, KC Jones, Sam Jones, Willie Naulls, Bevo Nordmann, Invoice Russell, Tom Sanders, Larry Siegfried, John Thompson, Gerry Ward

The very best workforce of Boston’s ’60s dynasty? It’s no less than within the dialog. Six Celtics averaged double figures, led by Sam Jones’ 25.9 ppg. It was the final of Invoice Russell’s 5 MVP seasons, and the final of Tommy Heinsohn’s Corridor of Fame profession. The defining second, because of a legendary name by Johnny Most, got here towards Philly in Recreation 7 of the East Finals: “Havlicek stole the ball!” A 4-1 dispatching of the Lakers within the Finals was nearly anticlimactic.

Learn right here to search out out who made it on the remainder of the record, together with No. 75-66, 65-55, 54-44, 43-33 and 32-22.

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Photographs by way of Getty Photographs