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Top 5 NBA teams of all time

Can one really truly determine which teams are the best in the history of the National Basketball Association?

Well, we think can.

With that and a bunch of numbers and statistics, here’s a look at the five best NBA teams of all time in reverse order.

5. 2001 Los Angeles Lakers — Before 2001, the Lakers were all about Shaquille O’neal’s dominating presence down low. But this was the season that Kobe Bryant proved that he was more than just Shaq’s sidekick. Bryant established himself as a legitimate superstar in his fifth NBA season, averaging 28.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He upped those averages to 29.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game during the playoffs, in which the Lakers only lost a single game to the Philadelphia 76ers during the NBA Finals. The only thing that could top all that in 2001, was Shaq’s rapping and Mark Madsen’s dancing during the Lakers victory parade in Los Angeles.

4. 1991 Chicago Bulls — After leading the NBA in scoring four years straight, Michael Jordan and the ’91 Chicago Bulls finally made it to the winner’s circle. It was a bittersweet accomplishment for the Bulls , who after losing to them in 1990, beat archrival Detroit, sweeping them in four games during the Conference Finals. That set up a Finals all star matchup between Magic Johnson and Jordan. But Phil Jackson’s triangle offense was too much for the Lakers, as the Bulls beat LA in five, to grab Chicago’s first championship in franchise history.

3. 1987 Los Angeles Lakers — It was a “Magic-al” year in tinsel town in 1987, as the Lakers dominated their opponents during an unforgettable playoff run. Los Angeles lost only three games that postseason, outscoring their opponents by 203 points on their way to grabbing the title from their bitter rival, the Boston Celtics, in six games. The 1986 champions looked helpless against Magic, who averaged 26.2 points, 8 rebounds and 13 assists per playoff game, while big man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar chipped in with 21.7 points 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. It was sweet revenge for the Lakers.

2. 1986 Boston Celtics — With a front court consisting of Kevin Mchale, Robert Parish and Larry Bird, the ’86 Boston Celtics were one of the best teams of all times hands down. After losing to rival LA in the Finals the year before, Bird led his team to a 67-15 record, en route to his consecutive regular season MVP trophy. The Celtics then blew through the playoffs on their way to a finals showdown with the Houston Rockets, with Bird leading the way to a 4-2 Finals victory. The future Hall of Famer, put up an average 26 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game during the Celtics playoff run —the stuff only legends are made of.

1. 1996 Chicago Bulls —Clearly a man on a mission, Michael Jordan returned to the Bulls after a two-year hiatus, and led his team on what is the greatest season run in NBA history. After finishing the regular season with a record setting 72-10 record, Jordan led Chicago in a spectacular playoff run. Outscoring their opponents by 12.2 points per game, the Bulls ran out to a 3-0 series lead in the finals before dropping two straight to the Seattle Supersonics. But the Bulls weren’t done, and led by his “Airness”, eventually closed out the series, winning 4-2.