The sweetest and most triumphant moment for any NBA team is when a championship is won. Here are the top 10 greatest nba teams of all time.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

The sweetest and most triumphant moment for any NBA team is when a championship is won.

In the league’s 65-year history, 65 teams have had the honor of calling themselves the ultimate basketball winners of the world.

Whether it’s the ’65 Boston Celtics, ’87 Los Angeles Lakers or ’97 Chicago Bulls, there is no doubt that every championship-winning team embodied greatness.

However, how do the championship teams in the league’s history compare to one another? The thought is quite intriguing.

That’s why I compiled a list of the greatest teams in NBA history.

The list was difficult to create, and it’s more relative than absolute.

It was based largely on each team’s dominance in its particular year, rather than on the “which team would win” question.

1. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 

 Record: 72-10

Here we have it. The greatest team in NBA history: the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls reached the epitome of their greatness, and really the epitome of greatness in general, in the 1995-96 NBA season.

In the 1994-95 season, the Chicago Bulls did not play to expectations, especially because Michael Jordan was off playing baseball. However, later in the season, Jordan made a surprise comeback.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

However, his comeback didn’t significantly help the team’s fortunes, as they lost to the Orlando Magic in the second round of the playoffs.

Thus, entering the 1995-96 season, there was no doubt that Jordan and the Bulls were ready to bring a title back to the Windy City.

The Bulls continued to play as a team like in years past. Jordan carried the team in close games, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot.

2. 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers 

 Record: 65-17

The Los Angeles Lakers’ 1985-86 season was a failure. After a successful 62-win regular season, they failed to make it to the NBA Finals, as they lost to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals.

Even worse, the Boston Celtics were the new champions of the world.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

Thus, it’s easy to say that the Lakers desperately wanted to reclaim their throne.

The year prior, the Lakers had a great regular season in which they won 65 games. Magic Johnson led the team in scoring with 23.9 PPG and in assists with 12.2 APG. James Worthy began to embrace a larger role on the team, averaging 19.4 PPG. 

3. 1985-86 Boston Celtics   

Record: 67-15

The order of the top three was extremely difficult to decide, but in the end, I decided to place the 1985-86 Boston Celtics at the third spot—the list would surely be incomplete without them.

Let’s delve deeper into the Celtics’ terrific ’85-86 season.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

The season prior, the Celtics fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Thus, Larry Bird and the team were as motivated as ever to take the world title away from their hated enemy.

The regular season was full of success for the Celtics. Bird, who averaged 25.8 PPG, and Kevin McHale, who averaged 21.3 PPG, continued to embarrass defenders with their vast array of offensive moves.

4. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers 

Record: 69-13

When you look at the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers roster, you can understand why they were a great team.

Despite being loaded with transcendent offensive threats such as Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich and Happy Hairston, the Lakers were able to successfully distribute the ball to each other.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

As a result, the team dominated opponents and even won 33 games in a row from November to January, a record that still stands today.

The Lakers ended the season with a league-high 69 wins and later defeated the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals.

5. 1988-89 Detroit Pistons 

Record: 63-19

The 1988-89 Detroit Pistons are one of the most hated teams in NBA history because of their physical style of play.

However, there is no doubt that the Pistons were dominant—that surely cannot be taken away from them.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

The Pistons were defensively adept—and that’s an understatement. They really epitomized defensive intensity.

Dennis Rodman, John Salley and Bill Laimbeer provided a strong defensive presence in the low post; they didn’t allow anyone to drive freely to the basket.

6. 1996-97 Chicago Bulls

Record: 69-13

The Chicago Bulls were most definitely the team of the ’90s, and the 1996-97 squad attests to that.

Led by coach Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Luc Longley, Dennis Rodman and co. continued dominating opponents with their transcendent display of teamwork.

Jordan and Pippen continued to score in high volumes, while distributing the ball. Kukoc provided a unique threat as a tall jump-shooter. In addition, Rodman rebounded the ball with ease.

The team finished the regular season with 69 wins and went on to defeat Karl Malone and John Stockton’s Utah Jazz in one of the most memorable NBA Finals in history.

7. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks

Record: 66-16

Oscar Robertson was near the end of his career entering 1970, and he still hadn’t achieved ultimate glory: an NBA championship.

The 1970-71 season marked a new beginning for Robertson, as he became a part of a young Milwaukee Bucks team.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Bucks’ superstar, established himself as a dominant force in the NBA in his rookie season.

The 1970-71 season was no different, as he continued to impose his will on all opponents, averaging 31.7 PPG and 16.0 RPG.

8. 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers

Record: 65-17

Julius Erving entered the 1982-83 NBA season as a 32-year-old veteran at the tail end of his career and without a NBA championship.

Erving was finally able to successfully climb the proverbial mountain, as he and the Philadelphia 76ers won the 1983 NBA championship.

Erving, however, didn’t do it alone—the team had a variety of productive players that contributed to success.

While Julius Erving, who averaged 21.4 PPG, and guard Andrew Toney, who averaged 19.7 PPG, provided offense, point guard Maurice Cheeks distributed the basketball.

9. 1991-92 Chicago Bulls

Record: 67-15

Let me tell you now, this will not be the first time you’ll see a ’90s Chicago Bulls team on this list.

Immediately after winning the franchise’s first title the year before, coach Phil Jackson’s Bulls cruised through the 1991-92 regular season, winning 67 games.

Top 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time.

What’s even more significant, however, is how the Bulls played seamlessly as a unit. 

Although Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen scored a majority of the points (51.1 PPG combined), both gave in to the triangle offense and worked to get other teammates involved.

10. 1964-65 Boston Celtics

Record: 62-18

The Boston Celtics are the greatest franchise in NBA history, largely because of the team’s display of sheer dominance in the 1960s.

The Celtics especially epitomized greatness in the 1964-65 NBA season.

Led by head coach Red Auerbach, legendary center Bill Russell (who averaged an astounding 24.1 RPG), shooting guard Sam Jones (who averaged team-high 25.9 PPG) and a young John Havlicek (who averaged 18.3 PPG), the Celtics finished the regular season with a 62-18 record—their record was not only the best in the league, but also the best in the team’s history up to that point.

By Rishabh

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