Our partners over at The Whistle have come up the 5 BEST NBA teams of the new millennium. One thing all five teams have in common, their opponent never won more than two games in the NBA Finals.
#5 2004 Detroit Pistons
– Defeated Lakers in NBA Finals, 4-1 –
Between Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and the Wallaces (Ben and Rasheed), this team didn’t have a true superstar, but Detroit also didn’t lack talent. The Pistons reminded NBA fans that hard-nosed defense and teamwork are still the keys to success in the Association. Four Hall Of Famers (Shaq, Kobe, Gary Payton, Karl Malone) could do nothing but stand and watch as the Pistons brought Detroit basketball back to life.
#4 2014 San Antonio Spurs
– Defeated Heat in NBA Finals, 4-1 –
This Spurs team was just like the 2004 Pistons team, but better. They had three HOFers in Manu Ginobilli, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan, as well an emerging star in Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. San Antonio utterly demolished a LeBron-led team that looked destined for a three-peat and earned revenge for their loss in last year’s Finals.
#3 2012 Miami Heat
– Defeated Thunder in NBA Finals, 4-1 –
Coming off an embarrassing Finals loss in 2011, this Heat team was on the verge of elimination in the 2012 Conference Finals against the veteran Boston Celtics. But LeBron James put up an astounding 76 points and 27 rebounds over the next two games (45/15 in Game Six, 31/ 12 in Game Seven) and willed Miami to victory. Though the Thunder put up a valiant effort, OKC was nothing more than a bump in the road for LeBron, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.