The Greatest NBA Teams Of All Time

greatest NBA team of all time

The greatest NBA teams of all time, such as the 2012-2013 Miami Heat, the 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers, the 1966-1967 Philadelphia 76ers, and the 1985-1986 Boston Celtics, showcased unparalleled dominance, skill, and resilience on their path to championship glory, making them pillars of basketball history. These teams, led by iconic players and coaches, embody the epitome of excellence and have etched their names in the annals of NBA greatness through their remarkable achievements and unforgettable performances.

Choosing the greatest NBA team of all time is tough and it is one of the hard decisions you would make. As the years passed, the game of basketball progressed and a lot of change happened. The big man can shoot threes, we have tall point guards, small players can defend well and referees are becoming more biased, lol. Even though I was just only joking about the referees, my point here is that many years have passed and many have changed and because of the adjustments made, choosing the greatest NBA team of all time would be difficult.

Below are my top picks and I believe that they deserve their spot on the list! But still, I am open to a debate and you can share your top five greatest NBA team in the comments below.

The Top 8 Greatest NBA Team Of All Time 

8. 2012-2013 Miami Heat
  • Season Record: 66-16
  • Achievements: Third longest winning streak in NBA history (27 wins), the first team since Chicago Bulls (‘98) to become 3-Peat Eastern Conference Champions, toss Spurs their first Finals series lost, Defeated San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals to win their second straight championship.

The 2012-2013 Miami Heat is one of the greatest NBA teams of all time because in that season they won numerous achievements. The Heat was led by the big 3 Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. The Heat was the most dominant team in the East, beating every team and disposing of Derrick Rose and Paul George in the playoffs. 

After the Heat disposed of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2011-2012 NBA season, the Heat are hungry to grab another championship title. They climbed their way into the NBA finals easily after beating the Bucks, Bulls, and Pacers in the playoffs. For them to get another championship title, the Heat needs to defeat the San Antonio Spurs.

The Heat almost lost against the Spurs in game 6, but with the big shot of Ray Allen, the Heat forced a game 7. With this team, the Miami Heat franchise was able to have their 2nd straight NBA championship. With a great starting lineup, great bench players, and talented coach, there is no doubt that this team had the ability to make history.

7. 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Season Record: 57-25
  • Achievements: Defeated the Golden State Warriors for the first championship title of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise, Number one seed in the Eastern Conference, The first team to come back from a 1-3 deficit in a Finals series.

After the tough loss from the previous season in the NBA finals against the Warriors, the Cavaliers are determined to snatch the championship title from the Dubs. They lost to the Warriors from the previous season because of some unwanted injury of some of their stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. 

The Cavaliers came back with healthier stars, a new coach, a good bench, and a determination to get that chip. Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the East as the top seed, the team averaged 104.3 points per game. The Cavs were so dominant in the Eastern Conference and beat every team that goes against their way. 

Before meeting the Warriors in the finals, the Cavaliers had to face several teams in the playoffs first. The Cavs proved that they are the Lions in the Eastern conference, as they swept the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds of the playoffs. They beat the Toronto Raptors in game 6 and took the place in the NBA finals. 

The Cavaliers again faced the Golden State Warriors with a 73-9 record, everyone expected that the Warriors would win the championship because of their astounding season record. The Cavs almost lost against the Warriors and the Cavaliers fans were so frustrated seeing their team closed on being swept in the finals, but some miracle happened. 

In-game 5, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving gave their best to stay alive, they scored 41 points each. After the Cavs won game 5, the Cavs have been motivated again. They snatched game 6 from the Warriors as well and managed to stay alive until game 7. 

In an unexpected fashion, the Cavaliers pulled off one of the achievements in NBA history by winning three straight games. They beat the Warriors in game 7 with Lebron James clutch block and Kyrie’s clutch 3-point shot.

Because of this great achievement that no other NBA team has accomplished in history, the 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers team deserved to be in the greatest NBA team of all time.

6. 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers

  • Season Record: 56-26
  • Achievements: Number one seed in Western Conference, Beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 in the NBA Finals, Gave the Lakers its 13th championship

The Lakers were coming off a championship from the previous season, however, that did not stop them from snatching another. The Lakers were led by the unstoppable duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, even though they finished the season in the second seed they were still unstoppable in the playoffs.

In the first round of the playoffs, Shaq and Kobe led the Lakers in sweeping the Portland Trailblazers in three games. The Lakers continued their dominance in the second round against Chris Webber and the Sacramento Kings. They closed out the Kings in Game 4 that made Kobe the player of the game with 48 points and 16 rebounds.

After the Laker’s amazing first and second round, they need to face the Spurs in order to get a spot in the NBA finals. The Spurs are the first seed in the West and were led by Tim Duncan, Avery Johnson, and Steve Kerr. They were also coached by Gregg Popovich. The Lakers had no fear when they faced the Spurs. Even though the Spurs are top in the West, the Spurs team has no match with the monster duo of the Lakers. 

After doing away with the Spurs, the Lakers faced the Philadelphia 76ers that was led by Allen Iverson. The Lakers lost in their home court and it was the first loss at home in the postseason, as they fell in overtime 101-107. 

This Lakers team should be considered in the greatest NBA team of all time as they show dominance and power. 

5. 1966-1967 Philadelphia 76ers

  • Season Record: 68-13
  • Achievements: The best start in NBA History in 50 games (46-4), Number one in Eastern Conference, Ended the Celtics’ championship dynasty by beating them 4-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, Defeated the San Francisco Warriors 4-2 for the championship, Earned the second championship for the franchise.

Wilt Chamberlain, also known as Mr. 100, led the 76ers into winning the franchise’s second championship title. The 76ers made a good start in the NBA season as they recorded 46-4, no doubt that this team would be the NBA champions of this season. The Sixers not only dominated the season but also the playoffs.

The Sixers made easy work of the Cincinnati Royals by beating them three games in a best of five series. After defeating the Royals, the Sixers would next face their rival, the Boston Celtics. Wilt and the Sixers were motivated to dethrone the Champions, the Sixers proved that they are the Kings by almost sweeping the Celtics as they won the series, 4-1. Chamberlain was the dominant player in the series, as he recorded an unofficial quadruple-double in Game 1 against the Celtics. 

The Sixers got a spot in the NBA finals and they are ready to face the Warriors, which were led by Rick Barry. Wilt Chamberlain was dominant in the finals series, as he averaged 17.7 points and 28.5 rebounds. They were simply a winning team throughout the season as they started strong and ended their season with a championship.

4. 1985-1986 Boston Celtics

  • Season Record: 67-15
  • Achievements: Record-holder for most wins at home, Second with the most number of wins during the regular season in franchise history with 67, Defeated the Rockets 4-2 in the Finals to give the franchise their 16th championship.

The Boston Celtics were known for having multiple championships, they were still the record holder for most NBA championships. In this season, the Boston Celtics were led by these three big stars Larry Bird, Kevin Mchale, and Robert Parish. With an amazing roster, they dominated the NBA season with ease, especially at home as they only lost one game at home.

With a roster full of shooters, it would not be a surprise on how they started the playoffs. The Celtics will first face the Chicago Bulls that were led by Michael Jordan. Jordan set a record for most points in a single game by a player with 63, however, despite the scoring tenacity of MJ, Boston still managed to sweep the Bulls in a three-game series.

After dealing with the Bulls, the Celtics had to deal with the Hawks. The Hawks had no match to the Celtics, the Celtics kicked the Hawks out of the playoffs. The Celtics need to face the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals in order to get a spot in the NBA finals. With an amazing roster, there is no doubt that the Buck had no match against the Celtics. The Celtics swept the Bucks and got a spot in the NBA finals. 

Larry Bird and the Celtics will next face Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets. The big three of the Celtics remain undaunted as they faced the best center of the season, Hakeem Olajuwon. The Celtics closed the series on game 6 with a 114-97 victory. 

The Boston Celtics were very dominant in this season, especially at home. Because of the team’s ability to defend their home court and win a championship, it is enough to give them a spot as one of the greatest NBA teams of all time.

3. 1991-1992 Chicago Bulls

  • Season Record: 67-15
  • Achievements: Number one seed in the Eastern Conference, 37-5 start to the season, Defeated the Portland Trailblazers 4-2 in the NBA Finals, and gave the franchise its 2nd straight championship.

The 1991-1992 Chicago Bulls were winners in many aspects, this team was built to win a championship title. They have an amazing coach Phil Jackson and dominant players Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxson, and Bill Cartwright that led the Bulls into winning their second straight championship. 

In the first round, the Bulls were set to face the Miami Heat. Jordan put a scoring spree against the Miami Heat, averaged 45 points in that series, including a 56 point game to sweep the Heat. After facing the Heat, the Bulls were set to face the New York Knicks that was led by Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and Tim McCormick. The Knicks were able to steal one game from the Bulls and proved that they are a tough contender on their homecourt. In-game 7, the Bulls kicked out the Knicks from the playoffs where Jordan averaged 42 points. 

After a grueling series against the Knicks, the Bulls were set to face the Cavaliers next. The Cavaliers proved that they have a match against the Bulls for games 2 and 4. However, the trio of the Bulls was just too much for the Cavaliers. The Bulls ended the series in six games.

The Bulls claimed a spot in the NBA finals and they are going to face the dangerous Portland Trailblazers that were led by Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, and Kevin Duckworth. Michael Jordan and the Bulls closed out the series in game 6, where the Bulls were able to pull out a four-point win, 97-93. 

With an astounding season, the Bulls deserve to be in the list of the greatest NBA team of all time. The trio of the Bulls proved to be too much to handle for their opposing team during that era.

2. 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors

  • Season Record: 67-15
  • Achievements: Number one seed in Western Conference, Best playoff record in NBA history, One of the two teams to win 30 road games in back to back seasons, League leader in team points per game (115.9), Ranked 1st in Offensive Rating (115.6) Defeated the Cavaliers 4-1 in NBA Finals for the championship, Gave the franchise their 5th championship.

After a disappointing season, the Warriors are eager to bounce back and snatch the NBA title. The Warriors made some noise after they signed Kevin Durant. The team was led by four superstars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant. 

Warriors showed dominance not just in the season but also in the playoffs. They toyed the Portland Trailblazers and easily swept them in four games, they were set to meet the Jazz next. This Warriors team brought out their boxing gloves to knock out the Jazz from the playoffs. 

The San Antonio Spurs are ready to try to steal the finals spot from the Warriors. However, because of the injury of Kawhi Leonard, the Warriors easily swept the Spurs in four games. 

The Warriors are ready to take revenge after what the Cavs did to them last season, but now the Warriors were armed with Kevin Durant. With a great lineup, the Warriors are not anxious about meeting the Cavs and there is no doubt that the Warriors can sweep the Cavs. Luckily, the Cavs snatched one game from the Warriors in that series, which was the only loss of the Warriors. But despite that loss, the Warriors avoided a repeat of the previous season by sweeping the Cavs in game 5. Kevin Durant was named the finals MVP.

With their great power, there is no reason that this team will not be on the list.

1. 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls

  • Season Record: 72-10
  • Achievements: Second most number of wins in a regular season, First NBA team to win 70 games in the regular season, started 37-0 at home, Recorded a 44-game winning streak, Second most number of road wins (33), the only team to win 70 games in a season and win the championship, Eastern Conference champions, Defeated the Seattle Supersonics 4-2 in the NBA Finals, Gave the franchise its 4th NBA Championship

If there is any team that deserves to be in the number one spot in the greatest NBA team of all time, it would be the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. The Bulls dominated the league with most wins in a season. This time the Bulls are led by trio stars Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. After getting defeated by the Magic last season, the Bulls were determined to bring back the glory to their franchise. 

Chicago opened the playoffs by sweeping the Miami Heat in three games. After sweeping the Heat, the Bulls were set to meet the Knicks in the conference finals. The New York Knicks has no match against the big three of the Bulls as they conceded in five games. 

The Bulls met the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA finals and dominated them in the first three games. But the Supersonics did not back down and snatch the game 4&5 from the Bulls, which were held on their home court. The Bulls did not let the game 7 happen as they swept the Supersonics in game 6, 87-75.

Final Words

These eight teams were considered as the greatest NBA team of all time because of how they showed dominance against other teams. As you can see all these teams were superteams and it proved that no one can win an NBA title with only one superstar in the team. 

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