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The NBA playoffs are going strong and while we wait for the new champion, we thought we could take a look at some of the best NBA teams of the year and in history.
5 Best NBA Teams in 2021
While the debate about the best NBA teams at this moment could probably be left to the court since the playoffs are in progress, many factors affect a team’s success in the postseason. So, here are our top five choices for the best NBA teams in 2021:
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, but we would do them an injustice if we didn’t include them on our list since the current champions have struggled with injuries the entire season.
Still, the team that has Anthony Davis and LeBron James is definitely among the best in the NBA. In addition to the main duo, the Lakes also have a good supporting cast, including Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroeder, Montrezl Harrell, and a few other exciting role players.
We have witnessed some great teams in recent history and a few “Big 3” teams like the Heat team with James, Bosh, and Wade, or the Celtics team with Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. But the Big 3 that now resides in Brooklyn probably trumps them all.
When healthy, it’s difficult to see a better team than the Nets. In addition to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, the Nets also have Blake Griffin, Joe Harris, Jeff Green, and a few other useful players. There is also Spencer Dinwiddie who missed the entire season due to injury.
We can now officially say that the Nuggets have the MVP in their team, which is a big piece of the puzzle that makes the Nuggets one of the best teams in the NBA. Nikola Jokic is the first center to win this prestigious award since Shaquille O’Neal.
The Nuggets have built their team by drafting smartly. For example, Jokic was the 41st pick, Murray was 7th and Michael Porter Jr. was 14th. In addition to them, the Nuggets also have other good players like Will Barton, Aaron Gordon, and Monte Morris. If Jamal Murray can do well once he recovers from a torn ACL, the Nuggets certainly have a bright future.
The Bucks have been the top seed in the East for two years straight before finishing third this season, so they are constantly at the top of the tables. However, they have also failed to impress in the playoffs, which is a huge question mark on the true quality of the team.
Still, a team that has the two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has to be considered among the best at the moment, especially since the Bucks also have a lot of depth with Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, Donte DeVincenzo, and others.
The team that is often overlooked today has finished the season in the top spot in the Western Conference and they have started the playoffs in a strong fashion. They are not the flashiest team in the NBA, which is why they are not always given the respect they deserve.
However, the team has a lot of high-quality players, including Donovan Mitchell and one of the best defensive players in the league Rudy Gobert. The Jazz also have the experienced Mike Conley Jr. and the Croatian sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. Jordan Clarkson, Royce O’Neal and a few other players add a nice boost from the bench.
5 Best NBA Teams of All Time
It’s not easy to choose the best NBA teams of all time and the debate about it will always be alive. However, we have selected our top five favorite NBA teams of all time for you:
1985-86 Boston Celtics
The Celtics entered the season after a loss to the Lakers in the NBA Finals, determined to get their revenge. After finishing the regular season with a 67-15 record, everybody expected the Celtic and the Lakers to meet in the finals once again.
However, they didn’t get a chance to play against the Lakers – the Rockets have reached the finals instead and they were not a match for the Celtics led by Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, and Robert Parish.
1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers
After failing to make the NBA Finals in the previous season, the Lakers desperately wanted to get back on top – especially since the Celtics took the title in 1986. The team improved their regular-season record to get to 65 wins and they were more than ready for the playoffs.
The Lakers were led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with Byron Scott, A.C. Green, Kurt Rambis, Mychal Thompson and others. The team reached the NBA Finals, in which we saw another classic against the Boston Celtics and the Lakers’ victory in six games.
1988-89 Detroit Pistons
One of the best defensive teams in the history of the NBA, the Bad Boys from Detroit were nobody’s favorite champion. But the team that relied on physical play and sometimes dirty tactics had to fight for their right to usurp the Celtics/Lakers duality of the 80s.
While they did rely on defense to bring them to the top, these Pistons were far from untalented. They had Isiah Thomas, one of the league’s best playmakers. The energy was brought by young and wild Dennis Rodman, along with other quality players like John Salley, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Mark Aguirre, and others.
2016-17 Golden State Warriors
The team that broke the all-time record for regular-season wins in 2015-2016, but failed to win the title in the end, was certainly going to compete for the title again. However, the Warriors shook the basketball world when they signed one of the best players in the NBA Kevin Durant over the summer.
With the same base that included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala, the Warriors were rightfully considered unstoppable. The team cruised to 67 wins in the regular season also dominated the playoffs and finished the postseason with only one loss.
1995-96 Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls entered the season with a lot of optimism after the return of Michael Jordan at the end of the previous one. Even though his return didn’t immediately bring success to the team, the Chicago Bulls were once again the greatest force in the NBA in 1995-1996.
The team finished the regular season with 72 wins and many people believed that this is the record to stand for all eternity. However, the Warriors broke the record in 2016, but unlike the Bulls in 1996, they failed to win the title. Next to Jordan, this team also included Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc, Longley, Kerr, Harper, and others.