5 NBA teams with best records across 82-game season feat. John Havlicek’s ‘73 Celtics

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics - Game Three
Before the 2016 Golden State Warriors, the 1973 Boston Celtics had the best season record that didn't win an NBA championship

The NBA regular season has been the barometer of how the team will perform in the playoffs. It determines your postseason position and can be critical to the team's success in aiming to win a championship.

Here, we look at the top five teams in the regular season since the league applied an 82-game format in 1968.

Note: The 1967 Philadelphia 76ers ended their season with a 68-13 record and will not be on this list because they only played 81 games.

#5 1973 Boston Celtics (68-14) - John Havlicek's best season that ended early

John Havlicek was the face of the Boston Celtics in the early 1970s and he led the team to a 68-14 record in 1973. He averaged 23.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game, while Dave Cowens was not far behind with 20.5 points along with 16.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Jo Jo White was the team's third-best scoring option with 19.7 points per night.

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However, the team didn't go all the way to the NBA Finals as it lost to the New York Knicks in the NBA Eastern Conference finals in seven games. The Knicks won the title against the LA Lakers.


#4 1972 LA Lakers (69-13) - Wilt Chamberlain's last championship

This is the winningest season in LA Lakers history. The team was led by Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. Coached by Bill Sharman, the Lakers went all the way to the NBA Finals and defeated the New York Knicks, who were led by Walt Frazier, Dave DeBusshere and Willis Reed.

This record stayed so until the 90s, when Michael Jordan returned to the league for his second three-peat.


#3 1997 Chicago Bulls (69-13) - 5th NBA championship for Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

This was the second championship of the second three-peat of the Chicago Bulls in the late 90s. Michael Jordan and the Bulls fell just a game shy from making it back-to-back 70-win seasons.

The Bulls won their fifth championship after battling the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals.


#2 1996 Chicago Bulls (72-10) - Michael Jordan's most dominant performance in the NBA

Arguably the best team ever in league history, this Chicago Bulls team came off a disappointing Eastern Conference semifinals loss against the Orlando Magic in 1995.

During the offseason, the Bulls added Dennis Rodman to form an early version of the "Big Three" with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The Bulls dominated from start to finish as they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics with Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton in six games in the finals.


#1 2016 Golden State Warriors (73-9) - The best to do it but failed to win everything

The best regular-season team without a doubt and the record speaks for itself. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were unstoppable and they set their sights on breaking the 1996 Bulls record late in the season.

Unfortunately, thie Golden State Warriors failed to bring a championship as they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. To add to that, this Warriors squad was the first team in league history to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.


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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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