View Full Version : The Best Team Of The Last 25 Years Never To Win A Title...

11-15-2010, 07:43 PM
Best Team of the Last 25 years to never win it all

This is a thread dedicated to all those teams that came close, that had all the opportunity in the world, but couldn't get the job done. This was going to be a 'Best Team In NBA History To Never Win A Title' thread, but when I started compiling it, I came to several realizations:

1.In the 80s, outside of all the powerhouses - Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Sixers - who all won titles, there weren't really any really 'great' teams that almost did but didn't. Maybe those Rockets teams from 81 and 85, but I am not very familiar with them. There's also the Bucks of the 80s who made a career of winning 50+ games and being utterly unthreatening in the playoffs.

2.In the 70s, there was no dynasty, no powerhouse, and so a lot of different teams won titles. As a result, there weren't any teams of that calibre that didn't actually win a title in the decade.

Therefore, I've decided to make this the 'Best Team Of The Last 25 Years Never To Win A Title' Thread, rather than try to pretend I know about things that I don't. So, I've created a list of teams that ought to be considered. I've written my own comments for each - I hope you'll take the time to read. I'd like to think the more you put into a post, the more you get out of it. If I've forgotten a team I should have put, vote other and post about it. Also note that I can only put 10 options on the poll, so not all of the teams mentioned can be there. Again, you can vote other and say so. Without further ado...

1990-1992 Portland Trail Blazers

Head Coach:
Rick Adelman

C-Kevin Duckworth
PF-Buck Williams
SF-Jerome Kersey
SG-Clyde "The Glide" Drexler
PG-Terry Porter



Cliff Robinson, Danny Ainge, Alaa Abdelnaby, Robert Pack, Mark Bryant

Best Finish:

Lost 1990 NBA Finals to Detroit Pistons, 4-1
Lost 1992 NBA Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-2

Best Record:

1990-91: 63-19

My Comments:

I don't really think this team is even close to being on the top half of this list. Looking at that roster, you have to give Clyde Drexler and Rick Adelman a lot of credit. Drexler's supporting cast wasn't that great - no disrespect to Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey, who I consider good-but-not-great players. I think this Blazers team is a team that kind of came along at the right time. The Showtime Lakers were on their last legs, and the great Western teams of the 90s(Jazz, Rockets, Sonics, Suns) were still a couple years away from competing, so it was an ideal time for the Blazers to win the Western Conference twice in three years. Had they come along even two years later(than 1992), I think they would have had trouble getting by the any of the four teams I just mentioned. A very good team, but I have trouble saying they were a great team.

1992-95 Phoenix Suns

Head Coach:
Paul Westphal

C-Mark West
PF-"Sir" Charles Barkley
SF-Cedric Ceballos
SG-"Thunder" Dan Majerle
PG-Kevin "KJ" Johnson



Tom Chambers, Richard Dumas, Danny Ainge, Oliver Miller, Frank Johnson, Danny Manning(1994-95), A.C. Green(1993-94, 1994-95)

Best Finish:

Lost 1993 NBA Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-2

Best Record:

1992-93: 62-20

My Comments:

The Suns had gone four consecutive seasons prior to the 1992-93 season winning 50+ games and had reached the Western Conference Finals twice, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. They were a very good team, but they couldn't get over the hump. They were one of those 'We're a star player away from winning it all' teams. Enter Charles Barkley in the 1992-93 season. Let's be honest: The 92-93 season is the only reason why anyone outside of the Suns fanbase remembers this group so clearly today. Although it was the group's first season with Barkley, it was clearly their best. You know the story - they were the 'team of destiny'. They won 62 games and got all the way to the finals and were one John Paxson three-pointer away from forcing the Bulls into a game 7 on the road, which they very possibly could have won. Unfortunately, that group never got past the second round again...In 93-94 and 94-95 both, despite acquiring Danny Manning and A.C. Green, they fell to the eventual champion Rockets in seven games in the second round, and in 95-96, Barkley's last year in Phoenix, they weren't even good at all. The age of the group that had been together for years before Barkley arrived had caught up to them. So that 1992-93 team is the only one that really gets remembered, even though those Suns/Rockets series' are classics. Because the 92-93 team was a great team, and because those aforementioned series' were so good, this Suns team makes the top half of my list.

1992-1995 New York Knicks

Head Coach:
Pat Riley

C-Patrick Ewing
PF-Charles Oakley
SF-Charles Smith
SG-John Starks
PG-Doc Rivers



Anthony Mason, Derek Harper(1994, 1995), Greg Anthony, Hubert Davis, Herb Williams, Gerald Wilkins(1991-92), Xavier McDaniel(1991-92), Mark Jackson(1991-92)

Best Finish:

Lost 1994 NBA Finals to Houston Rockets, 4-3

Best Record:

1992-93: 60-22

My Comments:

Ah, the Knicks. Despite the current state of the franchise, they were once a fierce, proud machine, and arguably the second best Eastern team of the 90s. The kind of team you hate when they're playing but years later you look back at them with a grudging respect. They were consistently in the mix during the 90s, but they weren't a pretty team like the Bulls or the Magic or the Sonics....they were ROUGH and TOUGH. The played a kind of defense that is basically extinct in today's NBA. If you could somehow transplant that Knicks team into today's NBA, the whole team would foul out before the end of the first quarter of every game because of the rough 'real' defense they played that is no longer within the rules(note that I am referring to the 1992-1995 teams only, and not the Knicks' teams of the late 90s w/Houston/Spree/Camby/etc). They peaked in 1993 and 1994, going to the Eastern Conference Finals and the Finals respectively. As a Bulls fan, I really hated them back then, but now I think we could use a team or two like them in today's game. They commanded respect, and they had one of the great mental games in recent NBA history - they were intimidated by NO ONE. Predictably, one must give Patrick Ewing and Pat Riley a lot of credit. Ewing is a legend and was responsible for most of the Knicks' offense, whether by scoring or by drawing the defense on himself(whether inside or outside since he DID have one of the great mid-range games in the history of NBA centers), and Riley pulled off what I think is one of the great versatility acts any NBA head coach ever has, going from the flashy, running, razzle-dazzle Showtime Lakers teams to the big, rough, slow, defensive Knicks of the 90s. Props. These Knicks are near the very top of my list.

1994-1996 Orlando Magic

Head Coach:
Brian Hill

C-Shaquille O'Neal
PF-Horace Grant
SF-Dennis Scott
SG-Nick Anderson
PG-Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway



Brian Shaw, Donald Royal, Scott Skiles, Anthony Bowie, Jon Koncak

Best Finish:

Lost 1995 NBA Finals to Houston Rockets, 4-0

Best Record:

1995-96: 60-22

My Comments:

This Magic team was a flash-in-the-pan team if ever there was one. Funny how timing can be everything in sports - The Magic were just one of the new kids on the block in the NBA, a 1989 expansion team, and they went through their first three years struggling mightily. And the year they got the #1 pick just happened to be the year that Shaquille O'Neal was coming out of college. The next year they get ridiculously lucky and get the #1 pick AGAIN, which eventually ended up being Penny Hardaway(who is one of those sad cases of injury turning what looked to be a superstar for years to come into a premature cripple). And the offseason after THAT they lured Horace Grant away from the Bulls. And just like, in only their sixth year of existence, they got to the NBA finals, defeating just-returned Michael Jordan and the then-former-three-time champion Chicago Bulls on the way, no less. And the next year, they won 60 games and were considered the second best team in the East(this was the 95-96 season, the year the Bulls won 72). I remember vividly watching the final minutes of the last game of the Magic's second round series vs the Hawks that year. Up to that point, the Magic had only lost one game so far in the playoffs, and their crowd knew that the Magic had beaten the Bulls the year before. So they started chanting 'BRING ON CHICAGO, BRING ON CHICAGO'. And then the Bulls promptly swept the Magic, Shaq bolted to LA that offseason, Brian Hill was ran out of town, Penny got crippled with injuries, and all that was once right with the Magic was suddenly very wrong. In the two years that they were contenders, they were a fun, fun team to watch. Shaq was obviously something special, although in those days people questioned whether or not he could lead a team to a title, and Penny looked like he was going to be a straight stud for years to come. They truly were a team that ended prematurely. However, because they got swept by both Houston and Chicago - the two teams that combined to win 8 out the 10 championships of the 90s - I am not sure that they belong in the top half of my list.

1993-1996 Seattle SuperSonics

Head Coach:
George Karl

C-Sam Perkins
PF-Shawn "The Reignman" Kemp
SF-Detlef Schrempf
SG-Hersey Hawkins
PG-Gary "The Glove" Payton



Vincent Askew, Ervin Johnson, Frank Brickowski, Nate McMillan, Eric Snow, Kendall Gill(1994-95), Ricky Pierce(1993-94)

Best Finish:

Lost 1996 NBA Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-2

Best Record:

1995-96: 64-18

My Comments:

These Seattle SuperSonics teams of the mid-90s often don't get as much respect as their peers, the two-time champion Houston Rockets and perennial contender Utah Jazz. But I remember clearly that those teams - especially the Rockets - feared the Sonics simply because the Sonics were long and athletic and fast, whereas the Rockets and Jazz were slower, halfcourt teams. Gary Payton was the second best point guard of his generation(second only to Stockton) and one of the great defensive point guards to ever play the game, and Shawn Kemp was player who was absolutely destined to be a top 10-20 PF of all time(the way he pissed his career away is just really sad, but that's another topic) - he could block shots, rebound, run, jump, and score(he finished in traffic in a way few others have). The two of them led a team that was as smooth, balanced, and efficient on offense as it was tenacious, fast, and long on defense. The result was that they ran fastbreaks that are a thing of legend. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Detlef Schrempf, an oft-underappreciated European legend who worked beautifully as a third option on that team, the guy who would hit all the open shots when Kemp and/or Payton would get doubled. Today's Hornets remind me of those Sonics teams somewhat - all-star point guard, white european guy with long-distance range at the 3, all-star power forward(although West isn't as athletic as Kemp was), defensive-minded center, and their fastbreak isn't quite as smooth as Seattle's was. Anyway...to this day I can still go on YouTube and watch 'Shawn Kemp finishing in traffic' mixes or 'Gary Payton making defensive plays and leading fastbreaks' mixes and ooh and aah at them like a child. They were truly an entertaining team.

1995-1998 Utah Jazz

Head Coach:
Jerry Sloan

C-Greg Ostertag
PF-Karl "The Mailman" Malone
SF-Bryon Russell
SG-Jeff Hornacak
PG-John Stockton



Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson, Antione Carr, Greg Foster, Adam Keefe, Chris Morris

Best Finish:

Lost 1997 NBA Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-2
Lost 1998 NBA Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-2

Best Record:

1996-97: 64-18

My Comments:

There isn't much to say that everybody doesn't already know. Malone&Stockton are both Top 5 all time at their position, they were one of the great duos to ever play the game, they played their style of game(read: pick and roll) probably better than anyone else ever has, they had one of the great(and most underrated, underapprecated) coaches the game has ever known, they were perennial contenders all decade long, everyone respected them, and by these three seasons(don't forget that the Jazz were one game away from beating the Sonics and advancing to the Finals in 1996 as well) they had a good enough supporting cast led by Jeff Hornacak, were a well-enough oiled machine, had enough playoff experience, and just plain finally had enough luck, to be real contenders. I was a Bulls fan at the time so I had to hate them, but looking back, those two Jazz teams were really great basketball teams. It is often said that they were the toughest opponent the Bulls faced in the finals. I have a lot of respect for how good John Stockton was, and while Karl Malone the person appears to be somewhat questionable, as far as I'm concerned he's a top 2 PF of all-time(I still rank him at #1 and Duncan at #2), and is practically the proto-type for what is considered a PF in the NBA today. That Jazz team of the late 90s is my personal pick for 'Best Team Never To Win A Championship'.

1995-2000 Miami Heat

Head Coach:
Pat Riley

C-Alonzo Mourning
PF-P.J. Brown
SF-Jamal Mashburn
SG-Voshon Lenard
PG-Tim Hardaway



"Thunder" Dan Majerle(1996-2001), Kurt Thomas(1995-1997), Isaac Austin(1996-1998), Keith Askins, Clarence Weatherspoon(1998-2000), Anthony Carter(1999-2000), Rex Walters(1997-2000)

Best Finish:

Lost 1997 Eastern Conference Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-1

Best Record:

1996-97: 61-21

My Comments:

The Heat of the late 90s were quite talented, but they were a team that never quite make the leap from 'good' to 'great'. Their competition in the East was was formidable, with the Bulls, who were in their second threepeat in this Heat team's best years, the perennial contender Pacers, and of course the late 90s knicks. They lost to the Bulls twice(96 first round, 97 ECF) and the Knicks three years in a row(98 first round, 99 first round, 00 second round). Their defeat of the Knicks in the second round of the 1997 playoffs was the only time they ever defeated the Knicks OR the Bulls, and the only time they advanced past the second round(and they nearly got swept by the Bulls in the ECF). Mourning was good enough to be the fifth best center in a decade full of HOF-caliber centers(fifth after Hakeem, Ewing, Shaq, Robinson), Hardaway was a arguably the third best point guard of his generation behind Stockton and Payton(although the 2-3 years Penny Hardaway was dominating before he got hurt could push Tim to #4). Mashburn was one of the most talented wingmen of his generation. They had solid role players in PJ Brown, Voshon Lenard, old Dan Majerle, and young Kurt Thomas. They had a HOF coach in Pat Riley. But despite all of that, they just were never able to be more than 'very good', and they always had to fight hard to get as far as they did go in the playoffs. They may had a couple more years of contention had Mourning's kidney condition not arose, and knowing now how weak the East was in 2001 and 2002, they may have had a real shot at getting to the finals in those years. But still, Hardaway and Majerle, who was one of their main bench guys, were getting old, and that team was going to have to at the very least re-tool anyway even if Mourning's kidney condition never came to be, but since it did come to be, it was the beginning of a full re-build(they traded Mashburn and PJ Brown to the Hornets for Eddie Jones, they acquired Brian Grant, Hardaway left after the 2001 season, etc). They never came close to winning anything, but because they had a great amount of talent, I have to decided to give them a section here.

1994-2000 Indiana Pacers

Head Coach:
Larry Brown 1993-1997 Larry Bird 1997-2000

C-Rik Smits
PF-Dale Davis
SF-Derrick McKey
SG-Reggie Miller
PG-Mark Jackson



Antonio Davis, Travis Best, Jalen Rose(1996-2000), Chris Mullin(1997-2000), Austin Croshere(1997-2000), Al Harrington(1998-2000), Haywoode Workman(1993-1997)

Best Finish:

Lost 2000 NBA Finals to Los Angeles Lakers, 4-2
Lost 1994 Eastern Conference Finals to New York Knicks, 4-3
Lost 1995 Eastern Conference Finals to Orlando Magic, 4-3
Lost 1998 Eastern Conference Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4-3
Lost 1999 Eastern Conference Finals to New York Knicks, 4-2

Best Record:

1997-98: 58-24

My Comments:

The Pacers of the 90s didn't have a tremendous amount of raw talent. What they did have is one of the highest collective basketball IQs of any team in recent NBA history, imo. They were as fundamentally sound a basketball team as any, especially in the earlier years. This should come as no surprise since Larry Brown was their first coach. I am no Larry Brown fan, I dislike him and his personality generally leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but of all the teams he's coached, this Pacers team is easily my favorite. One should note that they became somewhat more offensively diverse when Bird took over - Chris Mullin was acquired and he replaced Derrick McKey in the starting lineup, Jalen Rose and Al Harrington were youngins that worked their way into the lineup. But Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Rik Smits, and Dale Davis remained the core. All throughout their years together, the Brown years and the Bird years alike, they just played smart, sound basketball. There's only one team in today's NBA who plays 'fundamental' basketball the way those Pacers did, and I think we can all guess which team that is. These Pacers were the most underappreciated team of the 90s, and it's not even a contest. This is a team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals five times in seven years - 94, 95, 98, 99, 00(en route to the Finals). Five times. There was only one team that went the conference finals of EITHER conference as many times, the Utah Jazz(92, 94, 96, 97, 98) and only one team that went to the conference finals of EITHER conference MORE times in the 90s, and that team is obviously the Bulls(90, 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98). Yes, it took them five tries to finally WIN the Eastern Conference Finals(and after that 2000 finals, that era of the Pacers was effectively finished as Mark Jackson left Indiana, Dale Davis was dealt for Jermaine O'Neal, and Bird quit as coach), but still five conference finals in seven years is no small feat. And yet these Pacers generally aren't that regarded today. They are as underappreciated a team as I can remember. As an aside, I always wondered why Bird quit coaching after only three years. He was good - he got to the ECF all three years.

11-15-2010, 07:44 PM

1999-2000 Portland Trail Blazers

Head Coach:
Mike Dunleavy

C-Arvydas Sabonis
PF-Rasheed Wallace
SF-Scottie Pippen
SG-Steve Smith
PG-Damon Stoudamire



Detlef Schrempf, Bonzi Wells, Brian Grant, Jermaine O'Neal, Greg Anthony

Best Finish:

Lost 2000 Western Conference Finals to Los Angeles Lakers, 4-3

Best Record:

1999-00(Well, duh, it's the only year I'm covering here): 59-23

My Comments:

This team is a story of two seasons. In the shortened 98-99 season, they got the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the eventual champion Spurs. In the offseason, they acquired six-time champion and Top 50 player Scottie Pippen, top second-tier 90s guard Steve Smith, and previously mentioned European legend Detlef Schrempf going into this season. This was added onto Rasheed Wallace and Arvydas Sabonis(although he was well past his prime when he got to the NBA, I've heard/seen a bunch of people say he was as good as Hakeem in his prime), plus Damon Stoudamire, Bonzi Wells, Jermaine O'Neal before anyone knew who he was....the team was INSANELY talented. The 99-00 team won 59 games and easily got back to the Western Conference Finals. They pushed the Lakers to the limit, and they were one fourth-quarter choke job away from a championship(they would have beaten the Pacers). Unfortunately, that loss kind of destroyed the team. They all got older, Rasheed wasn't fit to lead, Jermaine got traded for Dale Davis, and they had the bad luck of drawing the Lakers in the first round two years in a row, and Lakers owned them after the 2000 choke job. They deteriorated into the jail blazers and the rest is history. But they were good enough in 99-00 that they belong on this list, imo.

2001-2004 Sacramento Kings

Head Coach:
Rick Adelman

C-Vlade Divac
PF-Chris Webber
SF-Peja Stojakovic
SG-Doug Christie
PG-Mike Bibby



Bobby Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Scott Pollard, Gerald Wallace, Jimmy Jackson(2003), Keon Clark(2003), Lawrance Funderburke, Mateen Cleaves

Best Finish:

Lost 2002 Western Conference Finals to Los Angeles Lakers, 4-3

Best Record:

2001-02: 61-21

My Comments:

This is another team that had a ridiculous amount of talent but could never get it done. Nobody was beating the Lakers in 2001, so you can't fault the Kings for that. Their two chances at contention were 2002 and 2003. The 2002 WCF series is an all-time classic. The 6th game is the worst-officiated game I've ever seen, but the Kings still choked away the 7th game all on their own. I would imagine Robert Horry's game 4 buzzer beater is still one of the most painful shots in Kings history(they would have been up 3-1). The Kings had bad luck with injuries. Peja was hurt for most of that Lakers series and when he came back he was far from 100%. Furthermore, the following year, in the second game of the second round against Dallas, Webber blew out his knee, he had subsequent microfracture surgery, and his prime was effectively finished prematurely. He was never the same. A combination of bad luck injuries and choke jobs prevented the Kings from getting the job done. But they were undeniably one the most talented teams in recent NBA history. They were also, imo, one of the best passing teams in recent NBA history.

2001-2003 Dallas Mavericks

Head Coach:
Don Nelson

C-Raef LaFrentz
PF-Dirk Nowitzki
SF-Michael Finley
SG-Adrian Griffen
PG-Steve Nash



Nick Van Exel, Raja Bell, Shawn Bradley, Avery Johnson, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Eduardo Najera

Best Finish:

Lost 2003 Western Conference Finals to San Antonio Spurs, 4-2

Best Record:

2002-03: 60-22

My Comments:

I know this Mavs team is generally considered to be inferior to the other Mavs team, but I personally found them much funner to watch, and since they were a fundamentally different team from the other Mavs team(the only two things they had in common were Dirk and a glaring lack of mental toughness), I decided to give them their own entry here. I just loved it when they played those Raef/Dirk/Finley/NVE/Nash lineups in the playoffs...the kind of lineup that was fun as hell to watch but you knew they couldn't realistically win anything. Still, they were very good and highly entertaining team and I would still pick them over the current Mavs to watch any day, if not to win. Let's not mention the two years between this Mavs team and the other Mavs team - Jamison and Walker should never have been brought to Dallas.

2005-2008 Dallas Mavericks

Head Coach:
Avery Johnson

C-Erick Dampier
PF-Dirk Nowitzki
SF-Josh Howard
SG-Jason Terry
PG-Devin Harris



Jerry Stackhouse, Desagana Diop, Marquis Daniels(2004-2006), Keith Van Horn(2004-2006), Deavan George(2006-2008), Jason Kidd(2008)

Best Finish:

Lost 2006 NBA Finals to Miami Heat, 4-2

Best Record:

2006-07: 67-15

My Comments:

This team had/has all the talent in the world. Their best years are behind them and they failed to capitalize because they just could never learn to be really mentally tough, and in the one year they did get all the way to the Finals, they got screwed over by the refs. They've had their chances but they are over the hill now, as a team, I think. The Kidd trade could have worked out better if Avery Johnson had adjusted to it better, I don't think there's any question about it, but that doesn't change the fact that the Mavs had their best chances in 06 and 07. Sadly, I think this team is destined to be remembered more for their mental weakness than for anything else.

2005-2008 Phoenix Suns

Head Coach:
Mike D'Antoni

C-Amare Stoudemire
PF-Boris Diaw
SF-Shawn Marion(2004-07, first part of 2007-08)
SG-Raja Bell
PG-Steve Nash



Leandro Barbosa, Joe Johnson(2004-05), Quentin Richardson(2004-05), Kurt Thomas(2005-2006, 2006-07), Shaquille O'Neal(2008), Grant Hill(2007-08)

Best Finish:

Lost 2005 Western Conference Finals to San Antonio Spurs, 4-1
Lost 2006 Western Conference Finals to Dallas Mavericks, 4-2

Best Record:

2004-05: 62-20

My Comments:

I don't really need to say anything, do I? Fast-paced, showtime offense, very average defense, known to disappear in the big moments. Had their best chances in 05 and 06. They have gotten older and less deep as the years have gone by. Their time is about up, I think.

11-15-2010, 07:49 PM
The Jazz. They just kept on running into the Bulls.

The Magic or those Supersonic teams are next.

11-15-2010, 07:49 PM
I'll say the Kings because they did have their LA series fixed against them one year. They should have made it to the Finals and they likely would have won that year.

11-15-2010, 07:54 PM
wow really awesome thread... really got me thinking... Those were some really good teams and most of which i got to see play on tv... I'm gonna have to go with the sacramento kings though... The were a really awesome team who played as a team even though they had some great stars in webber, bibby & divac and arguably if the fix wasn't on they would've been nba champions... Can't vote for the sonics since they got eliminated in the first round by denver that one year... Will give an honorable mention to the two phoenix teams and the jazz... They had a big old case of the mj's...

11-15-2010, 08:00 PM

11-15-2010, 08:02 PM
The Jazz and it's not even close.

11-15-2010, 08:03 PM
This is a sick thread.... My heart says the 2005-2008 Mavs... But man those knick teams were awesome, and so were the Jazz...

11-15-2010, 08:07 PM
Kings IMO... They had no flaws

11-15-2010, 08:08 PM
It has to be the Jazz with Stockton and Malone. They definately would have won a couple titles if it wasn't for this guy named Jordan.

John Walls Era
11-15-2010, 08:12 PM
I could've gone with the Kings, but I'm not sure if they were even good enough to beat the 76ers that one year.

I think I chose Mavs, but I meant to put Jazz.

11-15-2010, 08:12 PM
Kings IMO... They had no flaws

Well they weren't the best at closing out big games

11-15-2010, 08:13 PM
I'll say the Kings because they did have their LA series fixed against them one year. They should have made it to the Finals and they likely would have won that year.

Yep, though I voted for the Knicks.

11-15-2010, 08:17 PM
great thread.. I voted for the Jazz

the Knicks and Kings were my other top choices

11-15-2010, 08:29 PM
96 Sonics

11-15-2010, 08:33 PM
Gotta go with the Jazz

11-15-2010, 08:39 PM
Those Jazz teams were great. If not for the Bulls they would have won multiple titles IMO.

11-15-2010, 08:40 PM
the mavs they won 67 games and lost in the first round

11-15-2010, 08:42 PM
The Jazz were great definitely.

Although Phoenix that one year not long ago had that 60+ win season where they seemed indestructible. If they had more luck against the Spurs with the referee's you can't help but think...

11-15-2010, 08:46 PM
I could've gone with the Kings, but I'm not sure if they were even good enough to beat the 76ers that one year.

'01-'02 Kings would have played Nets in the Finals.

11-15-2010, 09:14 PM
96-98 Jazz or 90-92 Blazers.

Gone for Blazers because they were better all-round imo.

11-15-2010, 09:14 PM
I voted for the Mavs but I think the Blazers, Kings and the Jazz should have also won a title... I also wish the Pacers were a better team so Miller could have won a title.... I hate you jordansbulls... You just made me reminisce about those disappointing series! Those were my teams! Waaaah!

11-15-2010, 09:16 PM
The Jazz and it isn't even close

11-15-2010, 09:56 PM
I can't vote for a team with Greg Ostertag starting. 90s Knicks.

11-15-2010, 10:04 PM
I voted for the 2005-2008 Suns just because of how dominant they were during the regular season only to lose each year in the post season.

wow really awesome thread... really got me thinking...

Where'd you lift this thread from JB, I know you aren't 23 :facepalm: At least give credit to whom it's due to.

11-15-2010, 10:17 PM
i want to be a homer and pick the knicks and with good reason i voted for the jazz that team was really good except they had to face jordan twice in the finals such a tragedy

South Side 95th
11-15-2010, 10:26 PM
As a bull fan the most scared I ever was with the pacers in the 98 playoffs. I beleive they were one of the most underrated teams ever. They gave the bull more of a scare than the jazz. i would put the jazz second.

11-15-2010, 10:33 PM
Mavericks are the biggest chokers of all time

11-15-2010, 10:33 PM
Those poor 90s teams. Look how many of them lost to the Bulls in the finals. The 92 Blazers, 93 Suns, 96 Sonics and the 97-98 Jazz. Not to mention the Eastern Conference teams that couldn't even make it to a finals except for the years MJ was retired. Damn the Bulls rained on a lot of peoples parades.

11-15-2010, 11:17 PM
Excellent thread I must say. I want to be a homer and say Kings but I saw everyone was agreeing that the 2001-2004 Kings were arguably the best Team in the NBA during those years. Yes Its a shame that Kings were screwed out of a title because the Nets would have been swept by the Kings in the NBA Finals. Other than that I would say the Jazz, I really think Karl Malone and John Stockton deserved a title.

11-15-2010, 11:33 PM
I can't vote for a team with Greg Ostertag starting. 90s Knicks.

haha, touche dude

11-15-2010, 11:39 PM
Utah Jazz..

11-15-2010, 11:53 PM
My vote goes to the Jazz.
The Kings are second though. If it wasn't for the refs fixing that series, they would have easily been champs.

11-15-2010, 11:58 PM
Kemp and GP!

11-16-2010, 12:03 AM
Nice thread man. My pick goes to the Jazz. Enroute to those finals they practically embarassed the talent laden LA Lakers by sweeping them twice. Yeah I know one year was 4-1 but they still dominated them. And then that classic series with Houston that went down to the wire with the Stockton shot that sent them to the finals. They put up a nice fight against the Bulls too.

People tend to forget after Jordan hit the shot over Russel, Stockton had a clean look on the next possesion that could have sent it to game 7, oh well.

11-16-2010, 12:05 AM
I voted for the 2005-2008 Suns just because of how dominant they were during the regular season only to lose each year in the post season.

Where'd you lift this thread from JB, I know you aren't 23 :facepalm: At least give credit to whom it's due to.

It was a thread done about 2.5 years ago on another site that I saved. Since I can't post info from that site it is the reason I posted the info in all quotes here.

11-16-2010, 12:27 AM
Kings hands down. Not only did they play the "mighty Lakers" but they were Royally screwed by the refs. I think its one of the greatest travesties in sports IMO. Its one thing to be beaten by the likes of Jordan; but by the refs? That one stings a lot. I can only be left to wonder how many titles were taken away.

11-16-2010, 04:56 AM
Magic or Jazz

11-16-2010, 05:58 AM
Voted for the Pacers. They had five ECF appearances over that time period, and one NBA finals appearance. They lost three of their five ECF appearances in the seventh game.

Only two teams ever took Jordan to a seventh game during the six post-seasons when he won a ring, the '92 Knicks, and the '98 Pacers. That '98 Bulls/Pacers series is still one of the best series i've ever seen. The Pacers were only six points away from pulling it out in game seven. Reggie and MJ had some unbelievable moments.

11-16-2010, 06:36 AM
Kings.. they were royally butt ****ed by hitlers zebras

11-16-2010, 06:43 AM
Jazz.. They where pretty dominant with Stockton and Malone, especially Malone's MVP season.. Kings got screwed by the league..

11-16-2010, 07:01 AM
voted Suns but i truly think it was Utah, Suns of 92-95 along with those knicks teams are a close second though.. thinking back.. I think Orlando really screwed up by not keeping Webber.. if you put a good PG around Chris and Shaq that would of been a dynasty easily..how that would change the last 20 years is amazing..perhaps no Shaq in LA...? Id say Jordan would of probably ended up with 5 instead of 6

11-16-2010, 08:41 AM
I voted for the 2005-2008 Suns just because of how dominant they were during the regular season only to lose each year in the post season.

Where'd you lift this thread from JB, I know you aren't 23 :facepalm: At least give credit to whom it's due to.

Thats like saying youd vote for the last two cavs teams too. they dominated the regular season as well but were they really that good? no and neither was pheonix. All offense and no defense means youre a glass house waiting for a rock. which is why they fell every year.

also, it asked for the best team not the team with the best shot that couldnt do it. theres a huge difference. I dont know who id vote for right now, but pheonix couldnt be one of them and neither could the pacers IMO.

11-16-2010, 09:30 AM
I say the Mavs, because they had that championship stolen from them when Wade shot 30 fts a game

11-16-2010, 09:39 AM
Voted for the Pacers. They had five ECF appearances over that time period, and one NBA finals appearance. They lost three of their five ECF appearances in the seventh game.

Only two teams ever took Jordan to a seventh game during the six post-seasons when he won a ring, the '92 Knicks, and the '98 Pacers. That '98 Bulls/Pacers series is still one of the best series i've ever seen. The Pacers were only six points away from pulling it out in game seven. Reggie and MJ had some unbelievable moments.

In fact that Bulls vs Pacers Game 7 is probably my favorite game ever with the Bulls vs Knicks Game 7 being my 2nd favorite.

11-16-2010, 10:13 AM
Mavericks are the biggest chokers of all time

When referees blantantly cost you a Finals, it doesn't qualify as a choke. The year we won 67 games, the one team we didn't want to see was Golden State(0-3 regular season), and we saw them in the first round. They were too fast for us, and combined with an overall bad series, we dissapointed big time.

11-16-2010, 10:22 AM
The Jazz teams.

11-16-2010, 10:27 AM
kings for me

then jazz

11-16-2010, 10:31 AM
When referees blantantly cost you a Finals, it doesn't qualify as a choke. The year we won 67 games, the one team we didn't want to see was Golden State(0-3 regular season), and we saw them in the first round. They were too fast for us, and combined with an overall bad series, we dissapointed big time.

I agree the refs gave Miami better treatment, but put yourself in those refs place. Does Cuban and the rest of the Mavs team constantly screaming, yelling, and crying at you make you respect them?
Cuban should have shut up, sat in the owner's box, and not gotten into his players heads, and maybe the Mavs wouldn't have had to deal with that.
The GS series, you are dead on. There couldn't have been a worse matchup for Dallas

11-16-2010, 10:31 AM
lakers when they had

by far the greatest team not to win

11-16-2010, 10:53 AM
The Jazz were great definitely.

Although Phoenix that one year not long ago had that 60+ win season where they seemed indestructible. If they had more luck against the Spurs with the referee's you can't help but think...

What do you mean with the referees? Horry was ejected.. The NBA suspended Diaw and Amar'e. Not the Refs. And technically it was the rule not to leave the bench as you saw the Suns coaches do a poor job of containing them. Now you see coaches do a much better job. But i'd hardly say it was the refs fault. I always say the league is about ratings and more fans but the Spurs trips to the finals are always amongst the lowest rated so why would they want them to win? Even in game 7 with pistons, so i dont understand some people's logic

11-16-2010, 11:07 AM
1. Jazz 2. Kings 3. Sonics.

11-16-2010, 11:14 AM
Giving that Ive only been around since 1989 and I began watching basketball seasonly around 98 or 99. Im going to go with with mavricks from 05-08.. 06 2-0 series lead lost that to the heat. 08 won 67 games then lost to golden state as a number 1 seed( Which I believe was the hypest playoff series ever) they truly had great teams never achieved come playoff time

11-16-2010, 11:38 AM
lakers when they had

by far the greatest team not to win

I think OP is going for a core roster combination that didn't win a championship at all, otherwise, the 2003-2004 Lakers are pretty beast.

The Ostertag point definitely has to be considered fractionally, but you gotta give it by a hair to the 01-02 Kings over the 96-96 Jazz. Both were Top 10 rated offensively and defensively, but the Kings were deeper and more versatile than the Jazz. The Kings weren't a team that would be devastated by the loss of a key component the way Utah would be if you lost either Stockton or Malone, which speaks to their greatness. The Kings had better interchangeable parts and a more versatile offensive system. I would equate to a football team with an unstoppable rushing attack, vs. a team with equal parts rushing/passing skill.

11-16-2010, 11:43 AM
This is why, when people contest MJ as being the greatest, all they have to do is look at these teams and see how he impacted all of them from the chance at winning a title....

No other person in NBA history has had more of an impact on the entire league than that... Not just that, he didn't do it on a team that was enshrined in basketball history...
He did it on a team that, he solely, turned into a perennial powerhouse...

No other person has ever done that...

I would give it to the Jazz... It's kind of sad that you knew the Jazz had zero chance each season they went to the finals against MJ... However, they were still the most talented team to never win a title...

I respected John Stockton's demeaner and, more notably, how he retired from basketball...

11-16-2010, 11:49 AM
Going with the Knicks... usually the 2nd best team after Jordan's Bulls. They had some of the best defensive teams of all-time.

A lot of good teams don't have banners hanging because of Jordan (Knicks could have had 2-3 without him standing in the way).

11-16-2010, 11:59 AM
Jazz fosho

11-16-2010, 12:04 PM
Really hard to decide. From the teams I actually watched, the Kings were amazing but just couldn't go all the way.

11-16-2010, 12:13 PM
Jazz, even though Blazers where probably the most talented team from one through ten.

11-16-2010, 12:21 PM
that last Jazz team was great.

11-16-2010, 12:21 PM
Jazz easily

11-16-2010, 12:25 PM
Jazz, then Pacers (only team to take Bulls to 7 games outside of MJ's comeback season)

11-16-2010, 03:11 PM
3.(92-95) Suns

11-16-2010, 03:30 PM
definitely Utah. end of poll

Ty Fast
11-16-2010, 03:44 PM

11-18-2010, 01:53 AM
It was a thread done about 2.5 years ago on another site that I saved. Since I can't post info from that site it is the reason I posted the info in all quotes here.

My mistake then... I just know you post threads from other sites from time to time and usually credit where or whom you got it from.

Nice thread :clap:

11-19-2010, 12:46 AM
definitely Utah. end of poll

Portland 1990-1992 is up there as well.

11-19-2010, 12:53 AM
(92-95) Suns Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, and Charles Barkley for me would be number one though utah 97-98 were 2, and the Supersonics in 95-96, as well as Portland 90-92

11-19-2010, 10:53 AM
Have to throw the 2003-04 Pacers out there. 61 wins that season and had an obviously young and talented core. One of the things lost in the Brawl was that the Pacers had demolished the defending champion Pistons in Auburn Hills before the fight broke out. That team had championship written all over it.

11-19-2010, 11:26 AM
Stockton/Malone. Say no more.

Da Knicks
11-19-2010, 12:00 PM
Very nice thread, The kings should of being champions if the fix wasnt in. I went with the knicks though, if Jordan and Pippen werent in the path they should of won atleast two championships in the early 90's. Feel sorry for the Blazers too, the refs came out aggresive against them too in the third quarter. For the youngsters now many of yaw know why most older fans have such reservations for the Lakers and the league...

11-19-2010, 12:17 PM
awesome thread! I'd have to go with the Jazz. the bulls were just too much for them.

11-19-2010, 12:26 PM
Look at the lists of teams again. A lot of early and mid 90s teams. Then at the end of the decade those teams faded away for various reasons and suddenly the Jazz are a legit title contender. Am I really supposed to believe that the '96-'98 Jazz suddenly jumped even though Malone and Stockton had already been playing together for over a decade and were in their 30s? It doesn't add up. I'm not even sure I'd have them in my top 3.

11-19-2010, 12:47 PM
Knicks or Pacers. People say the Jazz because they ran into the Bulls and took them to 6 games. Well the Knicks took them to 7 when Jordan was in his prime, and the Pacers blew a pretty decent sized lead in game 7 of the ECF against Chicago. Pacers are overlooked... great team balance. The funny thing is, their style of play was a lot like the Knicks even though they hated each other.

Haha when the Knicks finally beat the Bulls... they run into Hakeem Olajuwan and the Rockets who put together arguably one of the greatest and overlooked seasons in NBA history. DPOY, League MVP, Finals MVP.

11-19-2010, 05:24 PM
Has to be the Kings.

11-19-2010, 05:29 PM
Minnysota Twolves of 2002-03 with KG.

11-19-2010, 05:47 PM
My Kings were as dominant a team that you can play in 2001!

That series between us & the lakers was the NBA Championship!

11-19-2010, 05:48 PM
what about the pacers when they had.... reggie miller, artest, jermain oneal, stephen jackson, and brad miller that one should def be up there

11-19-2010, 06:52 PM
Only 2 other guys voted for Clyde Drexler's Blazers?!

11-19-2010, 07:08 PM
If they played by their time period's rules, I would go with the Knicks because of their defensive tenacity, and prowess. Overall though I would probably hafta say the Jazz team since they had 2 top 5 players of all time at PF and PG.

11-19-2010, 07:08 PM
its clearly the Utah Jazz, one of the best duos in NBA history Malone and Stockton went to two NBA Finals and lost, all the other teams listed only made the Finals once or none at all

11-19-2010, 07:13 PM
what about the t-wolves with kg the year they almost made it to the finals, good team

11-19-2010, 07:37 PM
80% of these teams are victims of MJ's teams !! look at those rosters, damn tons of HOFs and still no ring to show for it, all these players should be cursing MJ lol
i liked the suns when Barkley was all over the place !! voted Indiana though

11-19-2010, 08:12 PM
I wanted to say the Jazz straight off, because I think Stockton is the best pure point guard in the history of the league (that is not to say he is the best all-around point guard, just the best at what a point guard is ideally meant to do), and Malone is just one of the best power forwards of all time and I loved the work ethic of both players. And Sloan is a great coach, but they just always seemed to have a light bench and nothing in the middle.

So I went with Portland. I got to see that Portland team play a lot, as I had been watching basketball for a couple years by that point, and they were AMAZING! It was like watching an All-Star team. Over the course of a three or four year period, they had Clyde and Porter starting in the back court, and Kersey and Duckworth starting on the blocks, with Cliff Robinson and Buck Williams backing them up! These guys were starters as their careers progressed. And Drazen Petrovic! A guy as talented as him was starving for minutes on a team that deep. They had Walter Davis on the tale end of his career spelling the rookies (a guy who scored 20+ for most of his career). Danny Ainge, a champion with the Celtics and a great shooter. And they even had guys like Mark Bryant, Mario Elie, Robert Pack and Rod Strickland (one of the best players to never get on an All-Star team) a little later one, who were solid back ups and at times starters.

And on top of that they had one of the best coaches in the league! Rick Aldeman was a master. Like the Jazz, they got some tough calls going against them against the Bulls, but they were as talented and as deep as any championship team I can think of that I've seen play.

The other teams that stand out to me, outside of the Jazz, were the Kings (their back ups could have started: Bobby Jackson, Jim Jackson, Turkaglu, Pollard and Keon Clark, would have made a decent starting line up and likely could have one a first round series in the east, but those guys were ALL back ups to Bibby, Stojakovic, Cristie, Webber and Blade (or Miller, who with Webber made up the best passing front court the league has ever seen)) and the Suns with Barkley and company for obvious reasons.

Great thread though.

11-20-2010, 08:15 PM
what about the t-wolves with kg the year they almost made it to the finals, good team

They barely made the Conference Finals and barely won a game 7 at home against a Kings team that was much better 2 years earlier.

11-20-2010, 08:19 PM
Knicks or Jazz

11-20-2010, 08:30 PM

Geargo Wallace
11-20-2010, 08:35 PM
Kings since they were wrongfully done by the refs anyway

D Roses Bulls
11-20-2010, 08:37 PM
Im surprised some people picked the Jazz...... I thought everyone would vote for the kings or blazers cause of the short term memories

Sly Guy
11-20-2010, 09:01 PM
great thread.....I'ma have to give it some thought before responding tho.

11-21-2010, 01:58 AM
Im surprised some people picked the Jazz...... I thought everyone would vote for the kings or blazers cause of the short term memories

Jazz had two top 25 players all time and beat some outstanding teams. Knocked off a team with 3 top 30 players all time in Houston, and then beat the twin towers in San Antonio who both averaged 21/11 and 3 that year and beat 4 allstars in LA.

11-21-2010, 02:01 AM
I'm surprised the early 90's Suns have so few votes. I guess unless u follow the team at the time, it's hard to make a fair judgement. There's a lot of really good options in there.

Great thread idea.

11-21-2010, 02:28 AM
Jazz. Jordan carried the ball and pushed off. You know what I'm talking about.For a team to be that close to beating the Bulls... I was actually cheering for Utah because i wanted Stockton malone and Hornacek to get a title. They were the best team not to win one. Just kept running into the best team of all time

11-21-2010, 02:39 AM
Jazz. Jordan carried the ball and pushed off. You know what I'm talking about.For a team to be that close to beating the Bulls... I was actually cheering for Utah because i wanted Stockton malone and Hornacek to get a title. They were the best team not to win one. Just kept running into the best team of all time

Utah would still have needed to win game seven. The '92 Knicks and '98 Pacers were closer to beating the Bulls than the Jazz.

11-21-2010, 03:04 AM
the Knicks