Single-Season Team of the Decade

12.31.09 8 years ago 41 Comments
Tim Duncan (photo. adidas)

Tim Duncan (photo. adidas)

Watching “SportsCenter” run their Top 10 NBA plays of the decade the other night — where the top three coincidentally involved LeBron and Kobe directly — I officially ran out of patience for this “decade” stuff. I know it seems fitting to have the best plays of the decade topped by (depending on who you ask) the best player of the decade, but was Kobe’s game-winner against the Suns in ’06 really the best play of the last TEN years? (I would have put Derek Fisher‘s 0.4 shot ahead of Kobe’s shot.)

So I have just one more piece to add to the decade celebration, then I’m done.

When we talk about the “team of the decade,” it’s usually in reference to which team showed an overall dominance over a 10-year stretch. For this current decade, it’s either the Lakers (championships in ’00, ’01, ’02, ’09) or the Spurs (’03, ’05, ’07). But what about the single best team over one season? Obviously you have to go with a squad that got the job done and won the ‘chip, so here are the candidates:

*** *** ***

’99-00 Los Angeles Lakers
* Regular season: 67-15
* Playoffs: 15-8 (beat Indiana in the Finals)
* Top six: Shaquille O’Neal (MVP, All-NBA 1st Team, Finals MVP, All-Star MVP), Kobe Bryant (All-Defensive 1st Team, All-Star), Glen Rice, Ron Harper, A.C. Green, Robert Horry
* Coach: Phil Jackson (All-Star)

’00-01 Los Angeles Lakers
* Regular season: 56-26
* Playoffs: 15-1 (beat Philadelphia in the Finals)
* Top six: Shaquille O’Neal (All-NBA 1st Team, Finals MVP, All-Star), Kobe Bryant (All-Star), Rick Fox, Horace Grant, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry
* Coach: Phil Jackson

’01-02 Los Angeles Lakers
* Regular season: 58-24
* Playoffs: 15-4 (beat New Jersey in the Finals)
* Top six: Shaquille O’Neal (All-NBA 1st Team, Finals MVP, All-Star), Kobe Bryant (All-NBA 1st Team, All-Star MVP), Rick Fox, Samaki Walker, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry
* Coach: Phil Jackson

’02-03 San Antonio Spurs
* Regular season: 60-22
* Playoffs: 16-8 (beat New Jersey in the Finals)
* Top six: Tim Duncan (MVP, All-NBA 1st Team, All-Defensive 1st Team, Finals MVP, All-Star), David Robinson, Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen, Stephen Jackson, Manu Ginobili
* Coach: Gregg Popovich (Coach of the Year)

Chauncey Billups (photo. adidas)

Chauncey Billups (photo. adidas)

’03-04 Detroit Pistons
* Regular season: 54-28
* Playoffs: 16-7 (beat L.A. Lakers in the Finals)
* Top six: Ben Wallace (All-Defensive 1st Team, All-Star), Chauncey Billups (Finals MVP), Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Corliss Williamson
* Coach: Larry Brown

’04-05 San Antonio Spurs
* Regular season: 59-23
* Playoffs: 16-7 (beat Detroit in the Finals)
* Top six: Tim Duncan (All-NBA 1st Team, All-Defensive 1st Team, Finals MVP, All-Star), Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili (All-Star), Bruce Bowen, Nazr Mohammed, Robert Horry
* Coach: Gregg Popovich (All-Star)

’05-06 Miami Heat
* Regular season: 52-30
* Playoffs: 16-7 (beat Dallas in the Finals)
* Top six: Dwyane Wade (Finals MVP, All-Star), Shaquille O’Neal (All-NBA 1st Team, All-Star), Jason Williams, Udonis Haslem, Antoine Walker, James Posey
* Coach: Pat Riley

’06-07 San Antonio Spurs
* Regular season: 58-24
* Playoffs: 16-4 (beat Cleveland in the Finals)
* Top six: Tim Duncan (All-NBA 1st Team, All-Defensive 1st Team, All-Star), Tony Parker (Finals MVP, All-Star), Bruce Bowen, Francisco Elson, Michael Finley, Manu Ginobili
* Coach: Gregg Popovich

’07-08 Boston Celtics
* Regular season: 66-16
* Playoffs: 16-10 (beat L.A. Lakers in the Finals)
* Top six: Paul Pierce (Finals MVP, All-Star), Kevin Garnett (Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA 1st Team, All-Defensive 1st Team, All-Star), Ray Allen (All-Star), Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, James Posey
* Coach: Doc Rivers (All-Star)

’08-09 Los Angeles Lakers
* Regular season: 65-17
* Playoffs: 16-7 (beat Orlando in the Finals)
* Top six: Kobe Bryant (All-NBA 1st Team, All-Defensive 1st Team, Finals MVP, All-Star MVP), Pau Gasol (All-Star), Trevor Ariza, Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom
* Coach: Phil Jackson (All-Star)

Which was the best team of the decade?

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