The National Basketball Association, also referred to as the NBA, is a professional basketball league in North America. It’s considered as one of the four main professional sports leagues in Canada and the US and is made up of 30 teams, with 29 teams based in the US and one based in Canada. The NBA was formed in 1946 in New York City, under the title Basketball Association of America, however, in 1949, it joined forces with the National Basketball League, which led it to change its name to the NBA.
If you enjoy watching the NBA, or even betting on basketball in general, you probably know that the association has a long and important history, and anyone who wins the league will forever go down in history as the best basketball team around the globe. The next NBAs will be played on the 20th of February, and in preparation for this momentous event, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best teams that this league has ever seen.
7. 1966-1967 Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers had one of the greatest starts to their season that the NBA has ever seen in 50 games, with 46-4. This team was led by Wilt Chamberlain, and they quickly acquired a place at the top in the Eastern Division. Apart from Wilt Chamberlain, other noteworthy players in this team were Luke Jackson, Wali Jones, and Chet Walker. During this season, they had 68 wins under their belt, a record that was later broken by the 1971-72 L.A Lakers. They even had the best simple rating system during the 60s. Wilt Chamberlain averaged 24.1 points and 24.2 rebounds per game, while players like Chet Walker scored 19.3 points per game, and Hal Greer 22.1 points per game.
6. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks
One of Milwaukee Buck’s greatest players was Kareem, who won a first of six titles and first of six MVP awards in his second NBA season, which is quite a feat for any player. Kareem had an average of 31.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 16.0 rebounds, and it didn’t take long for him to establish himself as one of the greatest players the NBA had ever seen. Other than that, what made this team so impressive what that their defense team was considered as number one, together with four other players who all had double figures. Indeed, with this in mind, it came as no surprise that this team won 66 games during this season.
5. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers
The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers had many fantastic players. At one point, this team won 33 games in a row, which is one of the most impressive streaks the NBA had ever seen. There were six other teams that had a lucky streak of over 20 games, but no one had ever gotten into the 30s, which is why we just had to include them on the list. During this season, the team ended with 69 wins and even managed to triumph the New York Knicks in the NBA finals. The team had many impressive players, such as Gali Goodrich, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West, all of whom had the sixth-highest career scoring average in the NBA.
4. 1985-86 Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics was definitely one of the best teams during the 80s, and five of its players even went on to be featured in the Hall of Fame. As any Boston Celtics player can guess, Bird was perhaps one of the most remarkable players during this year. He had a fantastic average of 9.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 2.0 steals, and 25.8 points. Other than that, he shot 42.3 from deep and hit 1.0 threes per game, meaning he accomplished quite a lot with this team. Boston Celtics have the greatest home record that the NBA has ever seen, with 40-1, and they also won a total of 67 that season, which was quite remarkable.
3. 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers
Next on the list is the 87’ Los Angeles Lakers, and we can’t mention this team without mentioning Magic Johson. During that season, Magic won his first of the three MPV leagues and had a whopping average of 12.2 assists, 23.9 points, and 6.3 rebounds. Apart from Magic, there were many other fantastic players that made the team bulletproof, seven of them with double figures averages, such as Worthy with 19.4 points per game, Kareem with 17.5 points per game, and Byron Scott with 17.0 per game. The 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers was ranked number one in the Western Conference and triumphed the Boston Celtics by 4-2 in the NBA finals.
2. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
No ‘Greatest NBA teams ranking list’ can be complete without mentioning the mighty 1995-96 team Chicago Bulls. This is one of the greatest teams that the NBA has ever seen they really reached their peak during this year. Indeed, it was during this season that they broke a NBA-record of 72 wins. Other than that, they were also leading in the NBA’s simple rating system by 11.8, together with defensive rating and offensive rating.
These players were truly some of the best of the best, with Jordan averaging 30.4 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.2 steals, while Kerr, another great player, had a 5.5 shot percent from three on 2.9 attempts for every game. Pippen also deserves a notable mention, as he established 19.4 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 40.3 percent from three in 26.0 minutes off the bench.
1. 2016-17 Golden State Warriors
Amongst the greatest teams of all time, we had to include the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors, who perhaps unsurprisingly, we decided to rank as number one in our top seven NBA teams. Prior to this season, Stephen Curry was placed fifth while Kevin Durant was placed third in offensive box plus/minus. When these two players were on the same team, one could only expect greatness, especially with other star players like Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson.
This super team impressed everyone right from the start, landing 67 wins. Their simple rating system was ranked the fourth best, and they also were considered to have the best field-goal percentage. Their defensive squad was truly one of the best in the whole league. Adding on to this, seven of their players had a minimum average of 22 points and posted a 56-plus effective field-goal percentage that season.