The 10 Best NBA Playoff Teams of All Time

The 10 Best NBA Playoff Teams of All Time

LeBron James Heat
Getty Images

With LeBron James and the Miami Heat days away from their quest to become the first three-peat NBA Champions since the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers, now is the time to look back on the great history of the NBA and determine which teams were the best of all time.

Here now is my top-10 countdown of the best NBA Playoff teams of all time. The list is based mostly on playoff performance and championship success.

10. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks

Oscar Robertson Bucks
Getty Images

10. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks

Oscar Robertson Bucks
Getty Images

Milwaukee's only title team was their best team in franchise history. The 1970-71 Bucks featured a young Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Oscar Robertson, one of the best duos in NBA history. The Bucks also were supported by Bob Dandridge and Lucius Allen among many other talented players.

The Bucks went 12-2 in the postseason, losing once to San Francisco and Los Angeles before sweeping Baltimore in the finals.

9. 1990-91 Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan Bulls
Getty Images

9. 1990-91 Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan Bulls
Getty Images

The first of Michael Jordan's championship teams in Chicago was one of the best. Teamed with coach Phil Jackson and forward Scottie Pippen, Jordan finally overcame the "Bad Boys" of Detroit by sweeping the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Bulls went 15-2 in the postseason, losing to Charles Barkley's 76ers once and Magic Johnson's Lakers once in the NBA Finals. The Bulls also swept Patrick Ewing's Knicks in the first round.

8. 1988-89 Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Thomas Pistons
Getty Images

8. 1988-89 Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Thomas Pistons
Getty Images

As the best Pistons team in franchise history, the first of two titles for the "Bad Boys" was a dominant stretch for the Pistons. Led by Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, the Pistons had one of the best backcourts ever and were certainly the toughest team of all time.

The Pistons went 15-2 with their only two losses coming to a guy named Michael Jordan. The Pistons swept a hobbled Lakers team in the NBA Finals after losing Game 7 in 1988.

7. 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers

Wilt Chamberlain 76ers
Getty Images

7. 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers

Wilt Chamberlain 76ers
Getty Images

Easily one of the greatest teams in 76ers history and NBA history, the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers ran roughshod over the rest of league, giving Wilt Chamberlain his only title in Philadelphia.

The 76ers won 68 games in the regular season, went 11-4 in the postseason and dominated Bill Russell's Celtics in five games in the Eastern Conference Finals. The 76ers defeated the San Francisco Warriors in six games in the Finals.

6. 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers
Getty Images

6. 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers
Getty Images

After losing the famous 1984 NBA Finals to the Celtics in Game 7, the Los Angeles Lakers ended their nightmares at the hands of the Celtics, a long-time nemesis. Led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, the Lakers won their third championship of the Johnson-Jabbar era.

The Lakers went 15-4 in the postseason, defeating Clyde Drexler's Trail Blazers and Alex English's Nuggets in five and toppling Larry Bird's Celtics in six.

5. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan Bulls
Getty Images

5. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan Bulls
Getty Images

Considered the best team in NBA history, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set a record with 72 regular-season victories and cruised their way through the postseason. Chicago won seven straight postseason games against teams that won 60 regular season games.

The Bulls went 15-3 in the postseason, losing once to Patrick Ewing's Knicks and twice in the NBA Finals to Gary Payton's Sonics after holding a 3-0 series lead.

4. 1985-86 Boston Celtics

Larry Bird Celtics
Getty Images

4. 1985-86 Boston Celtics

Larry Bird Celtics
Getty Images

The best of Larry Bird's Celtics teams, the 1985-86 team lost only one home game all season long and went 32-5 in their last 37 games. The Celtics overcame a 63-point performance from Michael Jordan in the opening round and only lost once before the NBA Finals to Dominique Wilkins' Atlanta Hawks.

The Celtics went 15-3 in the postseason, losing twice on the road to Houston's Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon in the NBA Finals.

3. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers

Wilt Chamberlain Lakers
Getty Images

3. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers

Wilt Chamberlain Lakers
Getty Images

Led by Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, the 1971-72 Lakers won 69 regular season games, including 33 straight en route to one of the greatest seasons ever.

The Lakers won their first NBA Championship by rolling through some of the best teams of that era. The Lakers swept a 57-win Chicago Bulls team in the first-round and defeated the defending champion Bucks in six.

2. 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Lakers
Getty Images

2. 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Lakers
Getty Images

Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's best team was the 2000-01 team. Before everything completely disintegrated, the Lakers were unstoppable the entire season.

The Lakers swept Western Conference powers Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio to reach the NBA Finals. Los Angeles only lost once all postseason. In Game 1 of the Finals, the Lakers lost in overtime to the 76ers after Allen Iverson scored 48 points.

1. 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers

Moses Malone 76ers
Getty Images

1. 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers

Moses Malone 76ers
Getty Images

The greatest playoff team of all time is the 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers. Led by Julius Erving and Moses Malone, the 76ers had their greatest season ever.

The 76ers went 12-1 in the postseason, sweeping the Knicks, losing once to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals and sweeping Magic Johnson's Lakers in the NBA Finals. The 76ers were one game away from Malone's Fo Fo Fo prediction coming true.

Around the Web