The NBA is a star driven league and the best players are the foundation for the greatest teams. But which teams in the long history of the NBA are the greatest ever?
All these teams won NBA championships and many of them were part of dynasties that dominated the game for years. They also feature some of the greatest stars in league history as this list contains a who’s who of the greatest stars the league has ever seen.
Here is a look at the five best teams in NBA history.
- 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers
The 71-72 Lakers set a then NBA record by finishing the regular season with a 69-13 regular season record. The Lakers won the NBA’s Pacific Division by a commanding 18 games.
The Lakers featured Hall of Famers like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain shot 64.9 percent from the field to lead the league and averaged a league-best 19.2 rebounds per game as well. Their leading scorer that year was Gail Goodrich who led the league with 25.9-points per game.
The Lakers went on to defeat the New York Knicks in five games to win the NBA title. LA dominated a Knicks team that featured Hall of Famers Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier.
The Lakers were dominant and deep and set a record for wins in a season that stood for 24 years.
- 85-86 Boston Celtics
The Celtics won 67 games and went an incredible 40-1 at home in 1985-86. The Celtics won the NBA’s Atlantic Division by 13 games. They went 15-3 in the postseason to win the NBA title, defeating the Houston Rockets in a six-game series in the Finals.
The Celtics were loaded with talent. Larry Bird won his third consecutive NBA MVP Award while Bill Walton was voted the league’s best sixth man. Big man Robert Parish and Kevin McHale joined Bird up front on this supremely talented team Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson gave them a strong backcourt.
This team featured six Hall of Famers in Bird, Johnson, Parish, McHale, Walton and coach K.C. Jones.
- 16-17 Golden State Warriors
The Warriors were incredibly efficient in the playoffs, winning their first 15 postseason games and finishing 16-1 overall.
During the regular season, Golden State won 67 games and won their division by 16 games. Golden State featured three players who averaged more than 20 points per game including Kevin Durant, Stephan Curry and Klay Thompson.
The Warriors had outstanding depth in Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green and defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs in five games to win the NBA title.
- 86-87 Los Angeles Lakers
The 86-87 Lakers were a team of stars. Head coach Pat Riley was at the top of his game and his club won 67 games and won the Pacific Division by 16 games.
The Lakers featured Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy. Michael Cooper won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year that season and the deep had outstanding depth with A.C. Green, Kurt Rambis and Mychal Thompson.
The Lakers defeated a talented Boston Celtics team in six games to win the title. It was the third time these two franchises met in the NBA Finals during the decade of the ‘80s.
- 95-96 Chicago Bulls
The Bulls won 72 games in 1995-96 and finished 20 games ahead of the second-place Indiana Pacers in the Central Division.
Michael Jordan won the league MVP and led the league in scoring with 30.4-points per game. Dennis Rodman led the league in rebounds per game and Scottie Pippen was also a first-team All Star and key cog in the Bulls offensive machine.
Other starters included Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr and Bill Wennington.
The Bulls dynasty dominated the 1990s and the 1995-96 featured the Bulls at the height of their powers. The greatest player in league history took control of the game and helped make the Bulls the greatest team in NBA history.
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