We've seen countless dominant NBA teams throughout the course of history. The 1986 Boston Celtics, the 1988 Detroit Pistons, the 1996 Chicago Bulls, or the 1987 Los Angeles Lakers. The league has seen it all.
Even so, some NBA fans disregard what those legendary teams did, as they claim the league is way more competitive nowadays and that the 2010 decade was the greatest era in professional basketball history.
Whether that's the case or not, it's not for us to decide. But, what we can deny is the fact that the '10s had some of the most iconic and entertaining teams we had ever seen. That's why today, we're going to put together the ultimate ranking of the top 10 NBA teams of the last decade.
10. 2011-12 Miami Heat
Record: 46-20, 16-7 Playoffs
The 2011-12 Miami Heat were coming off a heartbreaking defeat in the Finals at the hands of Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks, so they made sure that they got the job done during the upcoming shortened season.
LeBron James had an MVP campaign and it seemed like he finally learned how to coexist with Dwyane Wade. The Heat's Big 3 dominated from the jump and then beat the Knicks, Pacers, and Celtics in the East, later taking down the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals to give the King his first NBA Championship.
9. 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks
Record: 57-25, 16-5 Playoffs
The 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks are one of the biggest underdogs in sports history. This team had personality, grit, grind, and a huge heart. That's what led them along the way, as well as the lack of confidence so-called experts had on their ability to upset the best teams in the league.
Dirk and the Mavericks got past the Blazers, then swept Kobe and the Lakers, and then beat the Thunder in the WCF. They finished the job by coming back to spoil LeBron James' welcome to the Miami Heat and won their first-ever Championship.
8. 2014-15 Golden State Warriors
Record: 67-15, 16-5 Playoffs
The 2014-15 Golden State Warriors were coming off disappointing performances in the playoffs until Steve Kerr came along and Stephen Curry's ankles were fully healed. This team took the league by storm and they just never knew what hit them. The Splash Brothers finally introduced themselves to the world.
Draymond Green also slid to the starting lineup and gave this team another playmaker and versatile defender and the rest is history. They beat the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Rockets in the playoffs and then spoiled LeBron James' homecoming by beating him in 6 games in the Finals.
7. 2017-18 Golden State Warriors
Record: 58-24, 16-5 Playoffs
The Golden State Warriors entered the 2017-18 season as the team to beat. They were equally loved and hated around the league and there just wasn't a way to stop that three-headed monster of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. Especially with Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green also locking down in defense.
The Warriors even took some nights off as they were only focused on the playoffs. Their stars were barely needed in 4th quarters throughout the season and it showed later on. They beat the Spurs, Pelicans, and Rockets, and later swept LeBron James in the Finals, putting an end to his second stint with the Cavaliers.
6. 2018-19 Toronto Raptors
Record: 58-24, 16-8 Playoffs
The 2018-19 Toronto Raptors entered the season as a dark horse. They pulled off one of the riskiest moves in NBA history by trading away DeMar DeRozan for a one-year rental on Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, who was coming off two injury-riddled seasons and openly admitted his desire to play in Los Angeles.
Needless to say, that move paid off big time. Kawhi proved his doubters wrong and demonstrated that he was the best two-way player on earth, leading them to their first Finals appearance ever. They beat the Magic, Sixers, and Bucks in the playoffs and then put an end to the Warriors dynasty in the Finals.
5. 2012-13 Miami Heat
Record: 66-16, 16-7 Playoffs
LeBron James had finally won his first ring but he was nowhere near satisfied. He was determined to take the 2012-13 Miami Heat back to the ultimate stage and their Big 3 never took their feet off the gas during the regular season, posting the second-best offense in the world.
Miami was just too overpowered with three superstars in their prime. They beat the Bucks, Bulls, and Pacers and a heroic three from Ray Allen helped them overcome a 3-2 hole in the Finals vs. the San Antonio Spurs. Some claim that shot salvaged LeBron's legacy forever, as he would have been 1-3 in the Finals.
4. 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers
Record: 57-25, 16-5
The 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers were the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, now that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were healthy once again. They were fresh off a loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals and even though they weren't favored to beat them this time, they weren't going down without a fight.
The Cavaliers didn't sweat in the playoffs by sweeping the Pistons and Hawks in the first two rounds. They later beat the Raptors and had the tough task to beat the 73-9 Warriors in the Finals. Kyrie and LeBron brought their A-Game and led them to 3 straight wins after falling 3-1 and beat the most unstoppable team in NBA history.
3. 2015-16 Golden State Warriors
Record: 73-9, 15-9 Playoffs
The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors were one win away from becoming the greatest team in basketball history. They broke the regular-season record of the 1996 Chicago Bulls and looked poised to win back-to-back Championships behind Stephen Curry's second-straight MVP season. But hey, it doesn't mean a thing without the ring.
The Warriors just crushed their rivals. They were merciless and had the best offense and the fifth-best defense in the league. They beat the Rockets, Blazers, and Thunder in the West, and were up 3-1 in the Finals vs. the Cavaliers. That was until LeBron James unleashed the Kraken and Cleveland became the first team to overcome that deficit in NBA Finals history.
2. 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs
Record: 62-20, 16-7 Playoffs
The San Antonio Spurs let their 5th ring slip right through their fingers in the 2012-13 Finals. They weren't going to let that happen again next year and played with a chip on their shoulder all season long, dominating their way through the regular season.
The Spurs' Big 3 was clearly aging but they turned back the clock in the playoffs, beating the Mavericks, Blazers, and Thunder to get a shot at revenge vs. the Miami Heat. Then, Kawhi Leonard introduced himself to the world by guarding LeBron James in the Finals and they put an end to their Big 3 era with a dominating 4-1 series win.
1. 2016-17 Golden State Warriors
Record: 67-15, 16-1 Playoffs
All things considered, the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors should be the best team of the past decade. They signed Kevin Durant in the offseason and turned their offensive juggernaut into a two-way monster. They had the best offense and second-best defense in the league.
There was just no stopping the Dubs in 2017. They didn't even sweat in the playoffs as the Cavaliers were the only team to take one game away in the Finals after sweeping the Blazers, Jazz, and Spurs. Durant proved that he wasn't getting a free ride to the Finals and won his first-ever championship.