Ever wondered about the best season records in the history of the NBA? It's a pretty competitive field at the upper echelons of the NBA, as you may well expect. The top 10 teams with the best season records in the NBA include the following:
1. Golden State Warriors in 2016 – 73/9 with a winning percentage of .890
2. Chicago Bulls in 1996 – 72/10 with a winning percentage of .878
3. LA Lakers in 1972 – 69/13 with a winning percentage of .842
4. Chicago Bulls in 1997 – 69/13 with a winning percentage of .842
5. Philadelphia 76ers in 1967 – 68/13 with a winning percentage of .840
6. Boston Celtics in 1973 – 68/14 with a winning percentage of .829
7. Boston Celtics in 1986 – 67/15 with a winning percentage of .817
8. Chicago Bulls in 1992 – 67/15 with a winning percentage of .817
9. LA Lakers in 2000 – 67/15 with a winning percentage of .817
10. Dallas Mavericks in 2007 – 67/15 with a winning percentage of .817
When teams perform that well during the season, you expect them to run away with the championship. Sometimes, this doesn't happen, and that's when you get articles like this one by 888sport NJ basketball aficionado, Brett Chatz – yours truly. Let's wind back the clocks and check out some of the best NBA teams of all time, and those that failed to bring home a championship title.
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Which Winningest Teams haven't Won the NBA Championships in that Season?
The list is longer than you can imagine – let's dribble folks!
We begin with none other than the Dallas Mavericks. In 2007, the Dallas Mavericks posted a record of 67/15, and they lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western quarter-finals.
The Philadelphia 76ers had a great year in 1980. Their record was 59/23 for the season. They lost to the LA Lakers in the NBA finals over 6 games – a major disappointment for a team that played their hearts out.
The Miami Heat are no strangers to great plays. In 2011 their record was 58/24 for the season, but they ultimately lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals over 6 games. Many folks attribute their loss to a blunder in game 2, after they squandered a big lead.
Ready to wind back the clocks? In 1972, the Milwaukee Bucks had an incredible season with 63/19. Ultimately, they lost to the LA Lakers in the Western finals in the playoffs with a 6-5 score. It was touch and go as they lost 135-134 in Game 2 in the West Finals – what a heart breaker.
In the 2013 season, the San Antonio Spurs had a great run of form. With 58 wins and 24 losses, they were eliminated in the playoffs 15-6 to the Miami Heat. Of course, the San Antonio Spurs are no strangers to championship titles, with a string of championships over the years.
Now, let's turn things around and head further east to the Orlando Magic. The 1995 Orlando Magic had a record of 57/25, but they lost to the Houston Rockets. Pretty grim stuff!
How about this for a record? 2002 – the Sacramento Kings – with a record of 61/21 who were eliminated thanks to the LA Lakers in the Western Finals over 7 games. The LA Lakers fought hard and won a deserved victory. That was brutal for the Sacramento Kings!
Who Is Leading the NBA in 2019/2020
In the Eastern Conference, the top three teams include the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and the Boston Celtics.
In the Western Conference, the top three teams include the Los Angeles Lakers, the LA Clippers, and the Denver Nuggets.
Consider that at the time writing, the top three NBA teams had not recorded more than 56 wins in the Eastern Conference, or 52 wins in the Western Conference. That makes our winningest NBA teams to lose the finals expose all the more impressive.
Honorable Mentions of NBA Teams to Miss a Championship Title
* 1973 LA Lakers 60/22 lost the NBA finals the New York Knicks 4-1
* 1990 Portland Trail Blazers 59/23 lost the NBA finals to Detroit Pistons 4-1
* 1975 Washington Bullets 60/22 lost the NBA finals to Golden State Warriors 4-0
* 1997 Utah Jazz 64/18 lost the NBA finals to the Chicago Bulls 4-2
* 1993 Phoenix Suns 62/20 lost the NBA finals to the Chicago Bulls 4-2
* 2006 Dallas Mavericks 60/22 lost the NBA finals to the Miami Heat 4-2
That's a wrap guys! It often happens in sport that a top-tier team performs remarkably well leading into the finals, only to succumb to the better team on the day.
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* Image courtesy of Mark J Terrill and AP