NBA Miami Heat

The Best Miami Heat Teams of All-Time

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The Greatest Miami Heat Teams of All-Time

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In a franchise that was only created 25 years ago, the Miami Heat have already accomplished more than many of the original NBA teams have in their decades in the league.

Bringing three championships already to city of Miami, the fans of South Beach have had a lot to celebrate over the past years, and especially the last three in particular. Making it to the NBA Finals in three consecutive seasons and coming away with two championships, the Heat have begun their journey towards creating an NBA dynasty.

Current Heat president and former head coach Pat Riley is the mastermind behind these Heat superpowers. His championship mentality comes from his time spent with the Los Angeles Lakers and the four championships he brought home to them in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.

However, all great coaches need great players to help them accomplish their goal of winning world championships. From 1990s stars Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning to current superstars like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat are quickly becoming one of the best teams of the 21st century.

As we take a look back at the greatest teams to ever come through the city of Miami, it's hard to narrow it down to one specific team that stood out as the best. But my guess is that the future Heat teams will bring forth the brightest batch of All-Stars that the NBA has ever seen. So take note, future NBA opponents, you've been warned.

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5. 1996-97 Miami Heat

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The 1996-97 Miami Heat roster was highlighted by the likes of stars Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning, who led the Heat to the best record in franchise history at the time at 61-21. They also garnered the nickname "Road Warriors" for their incredible 32-9 record on the road that season. This team may have even made a championship run if it weren't for some guy named Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls.

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4. 2011-12 Miami Heat

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

"The Big Three" of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh failed to bring home a championship in their first season together in South Beach. However, they could not be stopped on their second try. As LeBron James won his first MVP in a Heat uniform and the Heat were taken to seven games against their rival Boston Celtics, James lifted the team on his back and put up 45 points, 15 rebounds and five rebounds in the face of elimination, helping his Heat reach the NBA Finals to face the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami cruised past the Thunder in five games with relative ease on their way to their first championship in six years.

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3. 2005-06 Miami Heat

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As Stan Van Gundy was relieved of his duties by the all powerful Pat Riley, the Heat brought in veteran stars like Gary Payton to help complete their already stellar roster that included Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal. In the 2005-06 season, the Heat made it all the way to the NBA Finals to face the Dallas Mavericks, who won the first two games in Dallas in what seemed like a rout. But D-Wade showed his true prowess as a shooting guard, and dominated the last four games of the series, averaging 39.2 points in the those games on his way to being named the Finals MVP and winning his first championship in the city of Miami.

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2. 2012-13 Miami Heat

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After winning their first championship in the season prior, the Heat only continued to better themselves by making the additions of 3-point machine Ray Allen and a dominant force down low in "The Birdman", Chris Andersen. This championship was much harder to win than their previous one because of the long trip it took to get there, being taken to the brink of elimination against both the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs. However, like the true heart of champion, the Heat found it within themselves to keep fighting and eventually earned a second trophy, which was all highlighted by their recent acquisition of Allen hitting a game-tying three in Game 6 to tie the game with seconds to play and helping the Heat move forward towards creating their dynasty.

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1. 2013-14 Miami Heat

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Now some may think I'm getting carried away with my expectations of the upcoming season, but given that the Heat have brought in the recent acquisitions of Greg Oden and Michael Beasley to bulk up their roster, I don't see how Miami won't destroy every single one of their opponents on their way to a third consecutive championship. The one area that Miami was lacking in last season was rebounds, where they were the last in the league. However, with Greg Oden and Chris Andersen manning the post, I don't see how their rebounding issues can't be solved. Not to mention, they have the two-time defending regular season and NBA Finals MVP on their roster in LeBron James. If Dwayne Wade can stay healthy and Chris Bosh continues to play his role, you could see this team go down as the best team to have ever played the game.