5 Best NBA Teams from the 2010s
This decade has ushered in a rise of superteams. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh announced their decision to join forces on the 4th of July, 2010, and changed the NBA's landscape. It is up for debate whether the league changed for better or worse, but this move certainly paved the way for players in the league to be more willing to go to teams other than the ones that drafted them when they became free agents - Kevin Durant's move in 2016 would never have been possible if this All-Star, All-NBA trio hadn't decided to team up to win championships.
Although the Heat were made to eat humble pie and LeBron's 'Not two, not three....' statement has been the butt of countless jokes on the Internet ever since their loss in 2011, they did manage to put a phenomenal team together and deservedly won championships in the years after that.
Let's take a look at where that team ranks among the best of this decade:
#5 Dallas Mavericks, 2010-11
Starting lineup - Jason Kidd, DeShawn Stevenson, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler
Bench - Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal, Peja Stojakovic, Brendan Haywood, Corey Brewer,
It was a playoff run fueled mainly by the greatest European player of all time in Dirk, but all the players in the Mavs' starting lineup had a really crucial role in ensuring their first and only NBA championship victory thus far. Everyone on that lineup was a player capable of affecting the game on both ends of the floor, and they also had microwave scorers in the form of Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Corey Brewer and Peja Stojakovic who could push them ahead of opposing teams' benches.
Their run started with a 4-2 series victory over the sixth-seeded Blazers team - one that had the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Miller and Brandon Roy. They then announced themselves as Western Conference favourites with a resounding sweep of the 2-time defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The run continued with a 4-1 victory over the young and emerging Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference Finals, and this set them up for a 2006 Finals rematch with Miami. Unlike that occasion, however, the Heat came into this series as heavy favourites, with the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in their lineup.
The Heat succeeded in taking a 2-1 lead in the series, but despite being down by 17 points in Game 2 and 15 points in Game 4, the Mavericks showed doggedness and a will to win that bested the superior talents from South Beach. Dirk played Game 4 with a flu that had taken his body temperature up to 102 degrees, but he held on gamely to guide the Mavs to a W.
Games 5 & 6 were remarkable, as the likes of JJ Barea and Jason Terry put LeBron James, the 2-time MVP, out of the spotlight and nailed series-clinching shots. The title won by the Mavericks in 2011 is more valuable than any of the titles won by superteams ever since in the eyes of Charles Barkley, and I can kinda see his point on this topic. This Mavs team would not be beaten by anyone because of their sheer drive to win it all beyond all the odds.