Jay C. Brandriet
I enjoy ranking players. Separating teams is a more difficult task. I’ll rank the rosters that played between 1986 to 2018. These are the ten best team’s I’ve ever seen. They are all champions, and I listed each groups key members.
#10- 2013-14/ SAN ANTONIO SPURS (62-20) Gregg Popovich
They outscored the Heat by 70 points in their five game Finals series. No doubt Spurs fans will see this as a slight. I may not even have picked their best club. It’s my favorite Spurs roster.
Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leanord, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green.
#9- 1990-91/ CHICAGO BULLS (61-21) Phil Jackson
Chicago lost two playoff games by a combined four points. Sweeping the Pistons in the East Finals was the needed break through that led to a dynasty. Jordan himself, likes to push this team into conversations.
Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, John Paxson, B.J. Armstrong.
#8-2007-08/BOSTON CELTICS (66-16) Doc Rivers
I was a Kobe fan, watching him play this Boston group for the world title. My take before the series was, “The Celtics are too barrel chested and tough for these Lakers.” They were a team full of gritty stars.
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen, James Posey, Glen Davis, Eddie House.
#7- 2012-13/MIAMI HEAT (66-16) Erik Spoelstra
This was LeBron trusting his ability to win. Beating the Spurs made this back to back even more impressive. The Heat won 27 straight games.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, Norris Cole.
#6- 1999-00/LOS ANGELES LAKERS (67-15) Phil Jackson
The following year the Lakers were 15-1 in the playoffs. I picked this unit because it had a bounce, and a fresh energy. Phil Jackson was exactly what was needed. Shaq was his most motivated self. Kobe became the perfect second best player on the team….while being the second best player in the league.
Shaquille O’ Neal, Kobe Bryant, Glen Rice, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Ron Harper, A.C. Green, Brian Shaw.
#5- 1988-89/DETROIT PISTONS (63-19) Chuck Daly
“The Bad Boys” defined the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with rough and tumble basketball. Over their time, they went through Jordan, Bird, and Magic. They traded Adrian Dantley mid season, and kept the ship floating.
Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Bill Lambeer, Adrian Dantley/Mark Aguire, John Salley, Rick Mahorn, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards.
#4- 2016-2017/GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (67-15) Steve Kerr
The most talented shooting team to ever lace them up. They played defense. The way they shared and moved the ball was brilliant. The Warriors went 16-1 in the post season on their way to this ring.
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguadola, Shaun Livingston, David West, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee.
#3- 1985-86/BOSTON CELTICS (67-15) K.C. Jones
Look at the front line here. Bird at his apex, McHale, Parrish, and Walton off the bench. Best front court ever. These Celtics were 40-1 at home.
Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Bill Walton, Jerry Sichting, Scott Wedman.
#2- 1986-87/LOS ANGELES LAKERS (65-17) Pat Riley
This was showtime running at its smoothest. James Worthy tore it up in the playoffs. He had prime Magic, and Byron Scott on his side. Kareem had his last star caliber season. Michael Cooper was the Defensive Player of the Year. Taking down Boston was the icing on the cake.
Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, A.C. Green, Mychal Thompson, Kurt Rambis.
#1- 1995-96/CHICAGO BULLS (72-10) Phil Jackson
This team could guard all over the floor. They were long and versatile. Are the 1996 Bulls the best ever? They are up there. When things are even, I’ll take Michael Jordan in any number one spot.
Jay C. Brandriet