*** *** ***
10. Golden State Warriors (We Believe) – 2006-07
Main Players: Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, Matt Barnes, Jason Richardson and Al Harrington
This Warriors team was probably one of the most dysfunctional teams in history, but this group put on an offensive display every night. Under Don Nelson, a firm believer in playing without a playbook, the team was free to do whatever they wanted. The group had a dynamic backcourt with Baron Davis, Jason Richardson and Monta Ellis and had made a great trade during the midseason to receive huge benefactors in forwards Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. Their offense put up 106 points per game in the regular season but they also had an atrocious defense, giving up 107 points per game, ranking dead last in the league that season.
They make this list primarily because of their outing during the 2007 Playoffs when they pulled off a David and Goliath upset against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs, led by Dirk Nowitzki, were the No. 1 team in the Western Conference with a franchise record 67 wins. After 12 straight seasons without a playoff appearance, the Warriors finished eighth in the conference and came prepared to play Dallas. The fans at Oracle Arena created one of the most memorable hostile environments following the “We Believe” slogan (the equivalent to the 12th man for the Superbowl champs, the Seahawks). The Warriors would go on to win the series 4-2, pulling off one of the greatest upsets in NBA history. In the second round against the Utah Jazz, Baron Davis threw down one of the most ferocious dunks in playoff history on Andrei Kirilenko. The team would unfortunately lose the series but their determination and hope was incredible.
9. Dallas Mavericks â€“ Early 2000s
Main Players: Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley
Back-to-back teams for Don Nelson on this list and I am afraid he is not done. The trio of Steve Nash, Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki created an offensive explosion early in the new millennium. When the team was sold to billionaire Marc Cuban, the team took off. Cuban has always been a fan favorite due to his antics but was the best person to promote Mavericks basketball to the world.
The year 2000 was their first exciting season together when Nash and Nowitzki finally broke out, leading the team to win 53 games but losing in the semis to the Spurs. In 2002, the team went on to have their best season together, starting 14-0 and finishing with an outstanding 60-22 record. They finished first in scoring per night but second-to-last in defense. The team seemed bound to go to the championship and reached the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs. But Dirk Nowitzki hurt his knee, which resulted in him missing the rest of the series. The Mavericks lost in six games and their best chance to win that year. The next year the team kept up their offensive surge but fell short in the playoffs again. Everyone knows the rest of the story: Nash leaves to the Suns, becomes a two-time MVP and the Mavs win their first championship in 2011.