SLAM's TOP 75 NBA Teams of All Time List: 32-22

What makes an excellent champion group? And what makes one much better than the other? These are the concerns we took on when assembling our list of the 75 finest NBA groups of perpetuity list, which is included in our SLAM Presents leading 75 NBA Teams of All Time unique concern.

At this point in the list, we’re entering into dynasty area. Clutch minutes and high-pressure scenarios were the standard for these teams, a number of whom won numerous champions over a 3 to 5 year duration. Different.

From renowned three-peats to historical calls, here’s our choices for No. 32-22:


32. 2004-05 San Antonio Spurs

Coach: Gregg Popovich

Record: 59-23

Roster: Brent Barry, Bruce Bowen, Devin Brown, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Dion Glover, Robert Horry, Linton Johnson, Sean Marks, Tony Massenburg, Nazr Mohammed, Rasho Nesterovic, Tony Parker, Glenn Robinson, Malik Rose, Beno Udrih, Mike Wilks

The Spurs and Pistons entered into the season having actually divided the previous 2 NBA champions, and both upset higher-seeded challengers (the Suns and Heat, respectively) in the Conference Finals that spring. That established a title bout that offseted a relative absence of star power with heavyweight strength and dominant D. Five of 7 Finals video games ended with the losing group not breaking 80 points. The series ended with Tim Duncan protecting his 3rd ring.

31. 1963-64 Boston Celtics

Coach: Red Auerbach

Record: 59-21

Roster: John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, KC Jones, Sam Jones, Jim Loscutoff, Clyde Lovellette, Johnny McCarthy, Willie Naulls, Frank Ramsey, Bill Russell, Tom Sanders, Larry Siegfried

Yawn, another title run, however a minimum of Boston got a brand-new Finals challenger to separate the uniformity. The San Francisco Warriors attempted to play unmovable challenge the Celtics’ unstoppable force, and in Wilt Chamberlain, the Dubs a minimum of had the firepower. But Boston had the balance, experience and pedigree: John Havlicek and Sam Jones led the offense, and Bill Russell did his typical work, controling defensively and on the glass to lead Boston to its seventh champion in 8 shots.

30. 1969-70 New York Knicks

Coach: Red Holzman

Record: 60-22

Roster: Dick Barnett, Nate Bowman, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Bill Hosket, Don May, Willis Reed, Mike Riordan, Cazzie Russell, Dave Stallworth, John Warren

When a brand-new years brought an end to the Celtics’ supremacy, the Knicks asserted themselves as the class of the League. Behind MVP Willis Reed’s 21.7 ppg and 13.9 rpg and Walt Frazier’s trendy 20.9 points and 8.2 cents per, New York rolled to the League’s finest record and a Finals conference with the Lakers. What followed was a seven-game classic versus West, Wilt and Baylor, finest kept in mind for Reed’s Game 7 effort on a bottom leg that influenced his colleagues to triumph.

29. 1981-82 Los Angeles Lakers

Coach: Paul Westhead, Pat Riley

Record: 57-25

Roster: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brewer, Michael Cooper, Clay Johnson, Magic Johnson,Eddie Jordan, Mitch Kupchak, Mark Landsberger, Bob McAdoo, Mike McGee, Kevin  McKenna, Norm Nixon, Kurt Rambis, Jamaal Wilkes

Pat Riley was 2nd option. When Paul Westhead was fired (at Magic Johnson’s prompting) 11 video games into the ’81-82 season, Lakers owner Jerry Buss called Jerry West head coach. Only West didn’t desire it, so Riley—the previous gamer turned broadcaster turned unskilled assistant—got the gig. Duly encouraged, Magic, Kareem and Jamaal Wilkes led L.A. back to the Finals, where they bounced the Sixers in 6. Showtime was in impact, and among the best training professions was born.

28. 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers

Coach: Phil Jackson

Record: 58-24

Roster: Kobe Bryant, Joe Crispin, Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, Devean George, Robert Horry, Lindsey Hunter, Mark Madsen, Jelani McCoy, Stanislav Medvedenko, Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Penberthy, Mitch Richmond, Brian Shaw, Samaki Walker

The 3rd title of the Shaq-Kobe axis didn’t come quickly. That Western Finals series with Sacramento was harsh, and there were those who believed the Lakers shouldn’t have actually won it. But they did, and after that L.A. cleaned Jersey in the Finals, behind another overwhelming efficiency from O’Neal. The vibrant duo was once again remarkable, while Derek Fisher offered stability at the point, and supporting gamers like Rick Fox and Robert Horry stepped up when required.

27. 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs

Coach: Gregg Popovich

Record: 58-24

Roster: Brent Barry, Matt Bonner, Bruce Bowen, Jackie Butler, Tim Duncan, Francisco Elson, Melvin Ely, Michael Finley, Manu Ginobili, Robert Horry, Fabricio Oberto, Tony Parker, Beno Udrih, Jacque Vaughn, James White, Eric Williams

These Spurs scored when they required to, and they moved the ball like nobody else. But the genuine strength of the group was on defense, where San Antonio might suppress competitors, much like it did Cleveland in the Finals sweep. Tim Duncan was a no-frills frontcourt star, with point player Tony Parker’s imagination and Manu Ginobili’s style and enthusiasm the secrets to the group’s success. Role gamers like Bruce Bowen and Michael Finley assisted finish a pure group.

26. 1980-81 Boston Celtics

Coach: Bill Fitch

Record: 62-20

Roster: Tiny Archibald, Larry Bird, ML Carr, Terry Duerod, Eric Fernsten, Chris Ford, Gerald Henderson, Wayne Kreklow, Cedric Maxwell, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Rick Robey

After Magic Johnson got his title in 1980, it was Larry Bird’s turn. He and the Celtics waged a year-long fight with the Sixers that culminated with a seven-game Eastern Finals series that included 3 huge Boston returns. Kevin McHale and Robert Parish were interior forces, while Tiny Archibald, Chris Ford and Cedric Maxwell patrolled the border. The Rockets was difficult in the Finals, however they weren’t hard sufficient to stop the Celtics device.

25. 1989-90 Detroit Pistons

Coach: Chuck Daly

Record: 59-23

Roster: Mark Aguirre, William Bedford, Joe Dumars, James Edwards, Dave Greenwood, Scott Hastings, Gerald Henderson, Vinnie Johnson, Stan Kimbrough, Bill Laimbeer, Ralph Lewis, Dennis Rodman, John Salley, Isiah Thomas

The Bad Boys went back-to-back with the very same formula that won their very first title: relentless defense, prompt offense and a Mean Streets mindset. Isiah Thomas smiled a lot, however he was a killer. Joe Dumars silently accumulated the points. Bill Laimbeer made no pals inside. Dennis Rodman rebounded and safeguarded like a dervish. Mark Aguirre scored in lots of methods. James Edwards was a force in the post. And no one wished to tinker John Salley.

24. 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers

Coach: Phil Jackson

Record: 65-17

Roster: Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown, Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, DJ Mbenga, Chris Mihm, Adam Morrison, Lamar Odom, Josh Powell, Vladimir Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Sun Yue

The initially of back-to-back titles was Kobe Bryant’s preliminary one as undeniable leader of the Lakers and redemption for the Mamba. A year after losing in the Finals to ancestral competitor Boston, the Lakers accumulated 65 wins—3rd most in franchise history—with Bryant blazing a trail however getting a lot of aid from Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum within. The prepared for Finals match with Cleveland and LeBron James didn’t occur, so L.A. whipped Orlando rather.

23. 2007-08 Boston Celtics

Coach: Doc Rivers

Record: 66-16

Roster: Ray Allen, Tony Allen, PJ Brown, Sam Cassell, Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, Eddie House, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce, Scot Pollard, James Posey, Leon Powe, Gabe Pruitt, Rajon Rondo, Brian Scalabrine

Depending on how you specify it, the Super Team period began in Boston in the summertime of ’07, when future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen signed up with Paul Pierce to provide the Celtics their finest group in (a minimum of) twenty years. Behind Pierce’s scoring, Allen’s shooting and KG’s two-way play, the Cs published an NBA-high 66 wins and bounced LeBron and the Cavs en path to the Finals, where they restored their competition with the Lakers. Not long after, they hung banner No. 17.

22. 1992-93 Chicago Bulls

Coach: Phil Jackson

Record: 57-25

Roster: BJ Armstrong, Ricky Blanton, Bill Cartwright, Joe Courtney, Jo Jo English, Horace Grant, Michael Jordan, Stacey King, Rodney McCray, Ed Nealy, John Paxson, Will Perdue, Scottie Pippen, Trent Tucker, Darrell Walker, Corey Williams, Scott Williams

The Lakers and Pistons had actually taken a few of the magic out of title repeats by the time the Bulls
won their 2nd straight, however no group because the Celtics’ ’60s dynasty had actually won 3 in a row. The Bulls seemed like making history. The formula by now recognized: Jordan balanced League-
highs in points (32.6) and takes (2.8), Scottie Pippen was a horror at both ends and Chicago made the huge plays when it mattered, edging Barkley and the Suns in the Finals to seal the threepeat.


Read here to discover who made it on the remainder of the list, consisting of No. 75-66, 65-55, 54-44 and 43-33.

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