NBA all the way! The best man-to-man basketball plays, and 2-3 zone plays of the 2000s were evident for all to see with the top NBA teams of yesteryear. Some of these teams are still power players in the highest echelons of the NBA. We are moments away from listing some of the greatest NBA teams of the 2000's. Before we continue, who do you think they were? The LA Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs? Miami Heat? The Detroit Pistons? Truth be told, all of these were great teams, but let's start ranking them by performance, and their ability to completely dominate their opponents.
- The Golden State Warriors
- San Antonio Spurs
- Los Angeles Lakers
- The Miami Heat
- The Philadelphia 76ers
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* The Golden State Warriors (2016/17)
The Golden State Warriors are without doubt one of the best teams of the 2000s. Their performances speak volumes about how they dominated their opponents. ‘Masterclass’ is how many NBA fans describe the Golden State Warriors. Not only were they a power force in the regular-season, they dominated in playoffs too. Stats indicate that their offensive play was beyond reproach, scoring 115 pts per game with a whopping 30 assists thrown in for good measure. No doubt these guys knew how to Tango with the best of them. They completely obliterated the Utah Jazz and the Blazers, thanks to a stellar group of players including The likes of Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry, et al, GSW sure knew how to punch a hole through any opponent's defense!
FYI: They won 67 games, last 15 games and had a win/loss percentage of .817.
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* San Antonio Spurs (2013/14)
The San Antonio Spurs finished first in the NBA South West Division in 2013/2014. They had a record of 62-20, and were coached by Gregg Popovich. In 2014, they won the NBA Western Conference first round (4-3), the NBA Conference Semifinals (4-1), and the NBA Western Conference finals (4-2). They then went on to win the NBA finals (4-1) against the Miami Heat. Thanks to players like Jeff Ayres, Aron Baynes, Marco Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Shannon Brown, Austin Daye, Nando De Colo, and Boris Diaw, this team was electric on the court. The Spurs were actually runner ups in the 2013 NBA Finals, which is why their performance in 2013/2014 was extra special. Incidentally, the Spurs have won the NBA Championships 5 times, in 1999 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. Judging from this pattern, they are due for another NBA title soon!
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* Los Angeles Lakers (2000/2001)
The LA Lakers are always a power force in the NBA. Back in 2000/2001, they were ranked #6 in team ratings on the NBA calendar. They won 56 games, lost 26 games, with a win/loss percentage of .683. That's a ways off from the San Antonio Spurs at .707, but the Lakers had something special that year. The erstwhile Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal totally dominated. They were virtually unbeatable in the playoffs; they beat the San Antonio Spurs, the Kings, and the Blazers, before squaring off against the Philadelphia 76ers and the inimitable Allen Iverson in the NBA Finals. Incidentally, their record in the play-offs was unbelievable: They won 15-1, and this team certainly has to rank among the best ever in basketball during the 2000s.
Fun Fact: The LA Lakers have won 16 NBA championships starting in 1949, and the last one in 2010. This team is also due for another shot at the NBA's greatest crown!
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* The Miami Heat (2005/2006)
The Miami Heat were building up to an NBA Championship since the early 2000's. That shot at glory came in 2005/2006 when they finished the season in first place in the NBA South-East Division, with a record of 52 wins and 30 losses. They played against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals, and beat them 4-2. On their way to victory, they competed against the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Eastern Conference first-round (4-2), the New Jersey Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals and beat them (4-1), and against the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and beat them (4-2). Who were the stars for the Miami Heat you may be wondering? None other than Dwayne Wade, Jason Williams, Shaquille O'Neal, James Posey, and Gary Payton. The Miami Heat top scorers during the season with Dwayne Wade at 27.2 points per game, Jason Williams at 12.2 points per game, and Shaquille O’Neal at 20.0 points per game. What an outfit!
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* The Philadelphia 76ers (2000/2001)
The Philadelphia 76ers were unstoppable during the season. They hit the ground running and won the first 10 games and became the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Of course, it helps when you've got guys like Alan Iverson spearheading the charge. During the 2001/2002 season, the team had a record of 56 wins and 26 losses, and they finished first in the NBA Atlantic Division they beat the Indiana Pacers 3-1 in the Eastern Conference first-round, they beat the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals 4-3, and they blew past the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals 4-3. It was their performance in the NBA finals that was the stuff of legend, despite the fact that they lost 1-4 against the power-packed squad of the LA Lakers. During the 2001 NBA finals between the 76ers and the Lakers, Alan Iversen was the play-off leader with 723 points, and the MVP in the finals was Shaquille O’Neal with an average of 33.0 points per game.
Each of these 5 teams is legendary. There are many other exceptional NBA teams that we can point out during the 2000's, including the likes of these winners:
* The Oklahoma City Thunder (2015/16)
* The Chicago Bulls (2010/11)
* The Detroit Pistons (2003/4)
* The Cleveland Cavaliers (2015/16)
* The Boston Celtics (2007/8)
That’s a wrap folks! Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. We’re getting ready for March Madness and all the hottest NCAA action.
*Photo by Tony Avelar and AP