9. 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers
Regular Season: 65-17 | Playoffs: 12-1
A truly legendary team in NBA history, the 1982-83 76ers boasted four NBA All-Stars and is the only team ever to have three All-Star Game starters from the same year on its roster. Julius Erving and Maurice Cheeks were joined by Moses Malone to form a team that would dominate the regular season, putting together what is still the most winning regular season in 76ers history before going 12-1 in the playoffs. Cheeks, Malone and Bobby Jones were also part of the NBA’s All-Defensive first team for their work that season.
8. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks
Regular Season: 66-16 | Playoffs: 12-2
In only its third season as a franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks put together one of the fiercest teams in basketball history, led by legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
This team dominated the league in 1970-71, posting the best average margin of victory in NBA history at 17.5 points. The brutality didn’t stop in the regular season, as this team also holds the record for highest average point differential in playoffs history at +14.5. This squad had five players averaging in double figures, including three who averaged at least 18 points per game, with Abdul-Jabbar averaging 31.7.
7. 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers
Regular Season: 62-20 | Playoffs: 15-4
Arguably the peak of “Showtime,” the 1984-85 Lakers did what no other team in franchise history had done before: beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
This immensely talented team included five future Hall of Famers and had eight players averaging at least 8 points per game, including four that averaged at least 16. This offensive juggernaut of a team posted a +7.4 average point differential per game all season and scored at least 100 points in all 19 playoff games they took part in. The 1984-85 Lakers still hold the record for the highest field goal shooting percentage for a season at .5448.
6. 1996-97 Chicago Bulls
Regular Season: 69-13 | Playoffs: 15-4
Bolstered by what might be the best lineup of players Michael Jordan ever had surrounding him, the 1996-97 Bulls were able to win the team’s fourth title of the 1990s and second in a row.
Hall of Famers Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman were joined by starters Ron Harper and Luc Longley — and had a bench rotation that included Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc and Hall of Famer Robert Parish. This team went on five different eight-game winning streaks during the regular season and had they not coasted through their final four games, could have made history with wins in a season.
5. 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers
Regular Season: 68-13 | Playoffs: 11-4
A team that was basically unstoppable at the time, the 1966-67 76ers had the best winning percentage in NBA history at the time. This team’s 46-4 start is still tied as the best mark through 50 games ever, and, at a time when scoring wasn’t as ridiculous as it is today, they averaged 125.22 points per game, which is still the third-highest ever. This lineup boasted four Hall of Famers, including Wilt Chamberlain Larry Costello, Hal Greer and Chet Walker. Chamberlain was the league’s MVP, averaging a double-double of 24 points and 24 rebounds per game all season.
4. 1985-86 Boston Celtics
Regular Season: 67-15 | Playoffs: 15-3
The Boston Celtics have been blessed with many great teams over the years, but the 1985-86 squad might have been the franchise’s best ever. The frontcourt scoring combination of Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale is one of the toughest ever, and the backcourt included the legendary Bill Walton, who was still dominant at the end of his career.
After losing to the Lakers in the 1985 NBA Finals, this team had a fire under it, leading to a then-record 82 combined wins in the regular season and playoffs. This squad had five future Hall of Famers on its roster, which helped it to a 40-1 record at home, which is still tied for the best mark ever.
3. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers
Regular Season: 69-13 | Playoffs: 12-3
A complete team from top to bottom, the 1971-72 Lakers relied on future Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Gail Goodrich to crush the rest of the league en route to winning the franchise’s first title in Los Angeles. Several records this team broke still stand nearly 50 years later, including the best average point differential per game ever at +12.3 and a 33-game winning streak during the regular season. This squad’s 69-13 record was the best in league history for 24 seasons. They were so good they crushed a New York Knicks team loaded with Hall of Famers 4-1 in the NBA Finals.
2. 2016-17 Golden State Warriors
Regular Season: 67-15 | Playoffs: 16-1
As you’ve seen from this list, the Steph Curry-era Warriors were already immensely talented, but the addition of Kevin Durant in 2016 made them virtually unbeatable. The 2016-17 Warriors broke a ton of NBA records on their way to a 16-1 playoff record, which is the best playoff winning percentage in history.
This team clinched its playoff berth on Feb. 25, the earliest any team has ever done it, which is remarkable when you consider how good the Western Conference was. This team was truly scary and could end up having at least four Hall of Famers on its roster. In 2018, ESPN called them the best NBA team in history — but we’ll say one squad could beat them.