The Golden State Warriors are trying to make history this season by breaking a record many thought was unbreakable, the ’95-96 Chicago Bulls regular season record of 72-10. The Warriors are undefeated at home and are on pace to break a record that has stood for two decades. The Warriors went 67-15 last season, which nobody really talked about. They went on to win the NBA Championship and this season they seem to have gotten better than their championship team last season.
The reigning MVP Stephen Curry, who is the unanimous MVP for this season as well, is playing better than last season, which is almost impossible. Curry has already broke the single-season three-pointers made record that he set. The Warriors sent three players to the All-Star game this season with Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. When the Bulls set this record, they were in the mist of their second three-peat. The Warriors are looking like favorites to win again this season and if they keep their team together next season, they could be the first team to three-peat in almost two decades.
Everybody knows about the Bulls record and the Warriors trying to accomplish the same thing, but what about the other teams that had great seasons that nobody talks about? They may not have won 72 games in a season, but they came close. These are the teams, besides the Bulls and possibly the Warriors this season, who have had great seasons that nobody remembers, talks or even knows about.
T14. Los Angeles Lakers, 1986-87 (65-17)
The Los Angeles Lakers had been to the NBA Finals four out of the past five years, but had missed the NBA Finals the previous season after losing to the Houston Rockets in five games. This season, the Lakers went on to go 65-17 during the regular season. They were led by Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy. The Lakers also had great role players like Byron Scott, AC Green, and Michael Cooper. The Lakers cruised through the playoffs and went on to beat the Boston Celtics in six games of the NBA Finals for their third NBA Championship in six years. The Lakers only had three total losses that postseason.
T14. Los Angeles Lakers, 2008-09 (65-17)
The Los Angeles Lakers were coming off a season where they lost in the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics. Instead of feeling defeated and depressed, they came back stronger and went 65-17 during the regular season, the best record in the Western Conference. They lead the league in rpg (43.9), spg (8.8), and were second in apg (23.3). The Lakers were of course led by stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but they also had great role players in Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, and Andrew Bynum. The Lakers went to the NBA Finals for the second straight year and went on to dominate the Orlando Magic in five games.
T11. Boston Celtics, 2007-08 (66-16)
The Boston Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to go along with Paul Pierce to form the Celtics “Big 3.” In just their first season together, the Celtics went 66-16. In the previous season, the Celtics had a record of 24-58, a 42 game win difference from the previous season. All members from the “Big 3” made the All-Star game and carried the Celtics into the playoffs as the number one overall team. The first two rounds, the Celtics barely escaped by taking the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games. The Celtics went to the NBA Finals and beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games for the Celtics first championship since 1986.
T11. Cleveland Cavaliers, 2008-09 (66-16)
In 2009, the Cleveland Cavaliers finished with the best record in franchise history at 66-16. Not only was this a franchise record, but they also had the best record in the entire league this season. The Cavs were led by The King LeBron James, who had won his first MVP Award this season. James carried the weight of the whole Cavs team to their best record in franchise history. James had a team of all role players in Daniel Gibson, JJ Hickson, Zydrunas Illgauskas, Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams, and Delonte West. The Cavs went into the playoffs as the favorites to make the NBA Finals out of the East, but they were upset by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.
T11. Miami Heat, 2012-13 (66-16)
The Miami Heat were coming off of their first NBA Championship since 2006 when they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. The Heat had just come off two straight NBA Finals appearances and came back better than every going 66-16. The Heat were of course led by the “Big 3” in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. The “Big 3” along with role players such as Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and Mike Miller went to their third straight NBA Finals. The Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in seven games thanks to a big rebound by Chris Bosh and an even bigger shot by Ray Allen in game six which forced a game seven.
T9. Boston Celtics, 1985-86 (67-15)
The Boston Celtics had been to the NBA Finals the last two seasons, winning one and losing one. During the 1985-86 season, the Celtics came back and dominated again by finishing the regular season with a record of 67-15. This star filled team consisted of Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Bill Walton, and Dennis Johnson. The Celtics made it back to the NBA Finals for the third straight year and faced off against the Houston Rockets, who they went on to beat in six games. This was the Celtics second championship in three seasons.
T9. Chicago Bulls, 1991-92 (67-15)
The Chicago Bulls were coming off a season where they won their first NBA Championship in franchise history. The Bulls came back even better, going 67-15 on the season, which was the best record in their franchise at the time. The Bulls were led by none other than Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. For the second straight season and the second time in Bulls history, the Bulls made it back to the NBA Finals to face the Portland Trailblazers. The Bulls went on to win back-to-back championships after defeating the Blazers in six games.
8. Los Angeles Lakers, 1999-00 (65-17)
The Los Angeles Lakers were led by the dynamic duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers also had great role players such as Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Ron Harper, and Glen Rice. The Lakers finished the season with the NBA’s best record of 65-17 and led the league in rebounding. The Lakers went on to make the NBA Finals for the first time since 1991. The Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers in six games for their first championship since 1988.
T6. Dallas Mavericks, 2006-07 (67-15)
During the 2006-07 season, the Dallas Mavericks had an NBA record at 67-15. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and Josh Howard, the Mavericks went into the playoffs as number one overall. In the first round, the unexpected happened as the Mavericks got upset by the eighth seeded Golden State Warriors in six games. This was one of the biggest postseason upsets in NBA history. The Mavericks made up for it by winning an NBA Championship four years later.
T6. Golden State Warriors, 2014-15 (67-15)
Everybody is talking about the Golden State Warriors breaking the Chicago Bulls record of 72-10, but many are overlooking the fact that they had one of the best seasons in NBA history last year. Last season, the Golden State Warriors finished the season with a franchise best and NBA leading record of 67-15. The Warriors were led by MVP Stephen Curry, along with All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Warriors made it to the NBA Finals where an unlikely hero emerged in Andre Igoudala, who was the eventual Finals MVP, led the Warriors to their first NBA Championship since 1975.
5. Boston Celtics, 1972-73 (68-14)
This was not a Boston Celtics team that everybody is familiar with but they were better than most people know. This Celtics team went 68-14 during the regular season, the best regular season in Celtics history. The Celtics were led by players such as Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Paul Silas, Don Chaney, and Jo Jo White. The Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals but lost to the New York Knicks in a intense seven games. The Celtics made it to the NBA Finals the following season and beat the Milwaukee Bucks seven games to earn their 12th championship at the time.
4. Philadelphia 76ers, 1966-67 (68-13)
The Philadelphia 76ers from the past are NOT the 76ers that play today because the 76ers back then were actually good. The 76ers went 68-13 during the 1966-67 season, their franchise best record which holds to this day. This 76ers team was led by Wilt Chamberlin, along with other players such as Hal Greer, Chet Walker, Wali Jones, and Billy Cunningham. The 76ers made it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1955. The 76ers went on to beat the San Francisco Warriors in six games.
T2. Los Angeles Lakers, 1971-72 (69-13)
The Los Angeles Lakers had made the NBA Finals three out of the past four seasons, but came out with nothing to show for it. The previous season they lost in the Conference Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. The following season, led by Wilt Chamberlin, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Jim McMillian and Happy Hairston, the Lakers went a franchise best 69-13. The Lakers made it to the NBA Finals and beat the New York Knicks in five games to win their first championship since 1954. The Lakers had been to eight finals in between that time.
T2. Chicago Bulls, 1996-97 (69-13)
The Chicago Bulls were fresh off their fourth NBA Championship in six seasons and Michael Jordan’s first year back after a short two-year retirement. The Bulls came back and went 69-13 on the season, tied for the second best regular season record in history. The Bulls went through the first rounds of the playoffs with only two losses out of 13 games. They then went on to face the Karl Malone, John Stockton, and the Utah Jazz. The Bulls went on to win in six games behind NBA Finals MVP Michael Jordan.
1. Chicago Bulls, 1995-96 (72-10)
The Golden State Warriors are trying to break a record that many thought would never be broken, the regular season record of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls who went 72-10. This was the first season back for Michael Jordan after a brief two-year retirement. Many wanted to see if Jordan still had it or lost it by taking a break. Jordan proved that he still had it by leading his team to a record setting 72-10 record and winning his fourth regular season MVP. The Bulls entered the playoffs as the top seed and went all the way to the NBA Finals. Jordan finished his near perfect season with a NBA Championship and a Finals MVP Award. The Bulls had three losses in 18 games in the postseason. They went on to win the next two NBA Finals, winning six championships in eight years.
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