Why Nikola Jokic is the best Center in the league.
Over recent years the best center in the league has come down to 2 young stars in Joel Embiid and Karl Anthony Towns, while it was a fair debate in recent years it’s come clear that neither are better than the Joker. While Towns has a career 3 point % of almost 40% (39.6%) and a career 22 ppg player he doesn’t have elite defense like Embiid and if we look at the time Towns made playoffs he performed very poorly averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds shooting 27% from 3. Towns can improve. He is a player who can roll off screens or be used for pick and pop situations, he is also quick for size. Towns is an average defender who still has time to improve. Joel Embiid is an elite interior defender making all NBA defense teams and receiving defensive player of the year votes and is the closest person in the debate for best Center in the league. He is a good rebounder and a career 24 ppg player and has finished top 10 in MVP voting. Continue reading here
NBA teams create dynasties building a roster so powerful and great they dominate for seasons and compete for the championship. This isn’t done overnight. It can take years to draft the right players, bring in the right superstars and role players, and find the perfect coaching staff. I will be ranking different dynasties some of these lasted longer than others and some of these were in different eras, regardless at some point these teams were at the top of the NBA and dominated.
10. Bad boy Pistons late 80s – early 90s
The bad boy Pistons, known for their physical defense had a short sweet dynasty that at one point in history was the most hated NBA team. You can say it started in 1986 and ended in 1992 through this time they had a record of 372-202 (64.8% win percentage) each of these seasons at least made the playoffs and conference finals except 86 and 92. This team had players like Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill lambieer, Dennis Rodman , Mark Aguirre, James edwards as well as Vinnie Johnson important all stars and role players. The Pistons won 2 championships back to back winning in 1989 and 1990. Although having an impressive record and making playoffs they were a short dystany only able to secure 2 championships, they made finals in 1988 and lost to the Magic’s Lakers, 87’ they were knocked out by a tough Celtics and ultimately in 1991 they lost to the Bulls who had superstar Michael Jordan the series that ultimately ended the Pistons.
9. Miami Heat big 3
Another villainous NBA team that lasted 2010/11-2013/14. While Miami big 3 of LeBron, Wade and Bosh is impressive and gave some really good highlights ultimately this team looked much better on paper, When LeBron took his talents to south beach he promised multiple titles saying “not two. Not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” but they only secured 2 titles in 4 years while 4 straigtht finals and a back to back championship is impressive. The talent on this team could’ve been better than it did. The big 3 had a record of 224-88 (71.8% win percentage) this team was spectacular to watch selling out games on the road and at home they also have one of the longest winning streaks of 27 consecutive games. 2011 they lost to the Mavericks in the finals and ultimately the Heat didn’t play their best, 2012 and 2013 they beat the Thunder and Spurs respectably winning 2 rings and eventually in 2014 lost to the Spurs ending the dynasty. The Heat may have had superstars they also had important role players like Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers and others which shouldn’t be ignored, while individually LeBron had MVP seasons this team could’ve been so much more and dominated longer.
8. Kobe and Shaq Lakers
Kobe and Shaq dominated the end of 90s and early 00s 1999-2000-2003-04 they were impressive and did what’s almost impossible winning 3 peats under Phil Jackson while on the court they were an unstoppable duo off the court there were major problems and wedge was driven between them. 5 year span they had a record of 287-123 (70% win percentage) winning championships in 2000-2002, in 2003 they were bounced by Spurs and in 2004 Lakers lost to the Pistons in the finals, while they were impressive winning 3 peats a lot of issues between these 2 only forced 5 seasons together maybe if these stars didn’t push each other out there could’ve been more winning seasons between them. They aren’t the best laker dynasty but their consistency and greatness will always be remembered.
7. 1980s Celtics big 3
This was very hard to decide and rank this team above the Kobe and Shaq Lakers. But this big 3 dominated most of the 80s (1981-1987) with players like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish and others. This team was dominant and they had a record of 432-142 (75.3% win percentage) in 7 seasons they made the finals 5 times only winning 3 titles, losing both times to the Lakers. However 6 of their 7 seasons they had 60+ wins and in 1985-86 they had a record of 40-1 at home and the following season they were 39-2 the best home record of a single NBA season in history. This team dominated the 80s making it out the tough east to make playoffs while it is all different eras 1986 Celtics is one of the best NBA seasons for a team.
6. Minneapolis Lakers
1949-1954 the Minneapolis Lakers dominated the NBA this team led by the first ever greatest player ever George Mikan, the Lakers in 6 seasons won 5 rings and in 49 their debut as a franchise they won a championship. This Lakers team had a record of 273-131 (67.6% win percentage) while in the early years they didn’t play 82 games a season and have games of 7 in playoffs and have 30 NBA teams this team success shouldn’t be knocked this may have been early era but this team domination is impressive regardless of differences to now and the 90s etc
5. Golden State Warriors 2014-2019
Hampton Five or Death lineup the Warriors became a villainous team as players like Green, Curry and Durant got hate but before 2017, in 2014 the warriors had Klay, Curry, Green, Barnes and Iguodala. A tremendous small ball lineup doing great things 5 seasons they made finals 5 teams winning 3 titles, they have a record of 322-88 (78.5% win percentage) 2015-16 is one of the best NBA seasons for a team they had a whopping record of 73-9 which is crazy, they have the longest win streak in regular season of 24 (however at the end of 14-15 they won 4 games and ended up winning 24 the following season so it is noted as 28 wins) While they won 3 titles they blew a 3-1 in 2016 to LeBron James Cavs and lost to the Raptors in 2019, in 2016-17 with the addition of Kevin Durant the Warriors hold the longest playoff win streak with 15 games. Warriors changed the game with small ball and the volume shooting of 3s often people look up to the shooting ability of Steph, Klay and Durant. This team has dominated the strong west for a long time and definitely a top 5 dynasty of all time.
4. Showtime Lakers 1980-89
Showtime Lakers home to 2 of the best 2 players in their position (debatable) Kareem and Magic Johnson. Now Kareem retired in 1989 but the old aging showtime managed to keep up and make finals again in 1991 but once Kareem retired it was an end to the chapter. Throughout the 80s it was the Lakers and Celtics rivalry that really revived the NBA. The Lakers had a record of 591-229 (72.1% win percentage) in 10 seasons they made finals 7 times and won 5 titles, 5 seasons having more than 60+ wins and ALL 10 seasons they had more than 54 wins. This is the definition of greatness and domination. They killed teams on the fast break changing basketball with the crazy outlet passes this run and gun style of basketball changed things, the iconic skyhook and Magic insane passing ability/playmaking was displayed every night. While I had Celtics higher up this showtime Lakers was ultimately the better team in the 80s and won more rings while making it out to the finals more times and getting the better of the Celtics twice. This team has to be in your top 5 NBA dynasty team.
3. San Antonio Spurs 1999-2016
Staying completely unbiased as a Spurs fan, only 3 NBA teams have a playoff streak of 22 seasons, this long and this streak is still active to this day. 22 seasons and they have not missed a playoff game yet that is ridiculously crazy, 1998 is when it all changed and the Spurs began this long stretch, The big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu, Ginobili with the help of numerous players like David Robinson and Kawhi Leaonard. The Spurs have a record of 1072-438 and in their 19 years as a dynasty they have 5 championships in 3 different eras. Only Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Bill Russell’s Celtics have won more titles as a group. They have never gone below a 50 win season apart from 1999 when the NBA had a lockout season, 5 60 win seasons and 6 finals appearances with 5 wins this Spurs dynasty changed the way basketball was played with late 90s early 00s dominant defense and as time went on fundamental basketball great passing and playmaking to dominate in recent eras, you can see why this team has to be put into the top 5.
2. Chicago Bulls 1990s
Okay I know you must be thinking Bulls 2nd best dynasty are you crazy? I might be but regardless of eras and league size and players in the league this was tough to rank and at number 1 there was only 1 team that was more impressive. However, the Bulls dominated the 90s and cruised past everyone with ease. MJ’s Bulls had a record of 388-104 (78.9% win percentage) this is excluding the 2 years he left to play baseball but if do include those 2 years Bulls has a record of 490-166 which is still impressive. The Bulls had done the impossible and won the title 3 years in a row TWICE! Up until that point only 2 teams had done a 3 peat that was Bill Russell’s Celtics and Minneapolis Lakers. The Bulls have 6 finals appearances and won all 6 finals. The Bulls also had one of the best seasons of all time in 1995-96 they had a record of 72-10. This Bulls team had the greatest scorer of all time MJ and everyone in the arena was there to see MJ takeover and score. This team had one of the best coaches and a very good front office
1. Celtics 1950s
From 1956-57 to 1968-69 Boston Celtics dominated in 13 years they won 11 championships and 10 consecutive finals from 1957-1966 this 13 year of stretch of dominance is unmatched this Boston team had a record of 716-299 ( 70.5% win percentage) Boston Celtics won 8 championships in a row technically they done what is truly impossible getting an 8peat but regardless of the era you cannot deny the strength and dominance this team posed in the 60s it takes a lot of will to have a strong winning steak that runs for consecutive years. No other NBA has come close to matching or beating this Celtics dynasty. The C’s had a playoff record of 108-59 which is not the greatest considering the amount of teams in the league however they did make 10 straight finals and this Boston team should never be forgotten.
2014 The Spurs beat Miami Heat by a margin 14.5 points per game, the most in NBA finals history. The Spurs won their 5 title with beautiful basketball beating the Heat big 3 in 5 games. Let’s take a look back at this historic great finals win for a small market team.
Every NBA fan loves seeing the prospects that will be coming into the league and hoping their team drafts a good young prospect, having a good rookie season is a glimpse of what these young players can do, winning rookie of the year is the ultimate goal for most rookies fresh out of college or overseas. For today we will be talking about some of the craziest rookie seasons.
Luka Doncic was a sensational player to watch in the Euro league he became pro at the age of 15 and became one of the top prospects early on and his NBA rookie season was even better. Luka averaged 21.2 points 7.8 rebounds and 6 assists he is only 1 of 5 rookies to average 20/5/5 Luka is the second youngest player in NBA history to get a triple double, Luka ranks 3rd in most triple double by a rookie he notched 8 in rookie season and is behind Ben Simmons and Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. Luka was undoubtedly rookie of the year and narrowly missed out on an all star selection
Scoring is one way of assessing how good a player is. Scoring/points per game and points in total is often the most looked at statistic as the aim of the game is to score in order to win. I think we can all agree that scoring is something we all enjoy to see watching we love it when players drop 30+ points it’s a joy to watch
For today’s list I will attempt to rank 10 of the best scorers in NBA history current and past players. This definitely was a hard list to put together
Before we start here are some Honourable mentions :
George Gervin 4x NBA scoring champion, Larry Bird 2x 50/40/90 club, Karl Malone 2nd All time most points scored with 36,928, Dirk Nowitzki 6th All time most points scored, part of the 50/40/90 club and was a blueprint for stretch bigs we see today. Shaquille O’Neal 2x NBA scoring champion, 8th All time most points scored, the most dominant paint player of all time.
Jerry West, one of the most iconic NBA scorers of all time, The only man to win finals MVP on the losing side, Jerry West was ahead of his era taking mid range shots unlike his fellow players, West for his career averaged 27 points per game in the regular season and in the playoffs West averaged 29 points per game and in the 64-65 playoffs he averaged 40 points. West had 4 seasons averaging 30 points, West ranks 5th for career points per game. He had a killer jump shot and if the 3 point line had been introduced back then he could’ve gotten a lot more points.
The Sacramento Kings were a dominant side in the early 2000s with the likes of Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojaković, Doug Christie and Vlade Divac. 2001-02 was possibly their best chance at winning a ring. The 2001-02 season the Kings ended with a 61-21 record, they had the 2nd most team points per game (104.6). Ranked 3rd in offensive rating (109) and ranked 6th in defensive rating (101.1) and had the best Net rating in the NBA with +7.9. The Kings made it to the western conference semifinals and had to take on the Lakers with Shaq and Kobe, game 6 the Kings lead the series 3-2. After 3 quarters the Kings and Lakers were tied 75 a piece, Lakers had 27 free throw attempts converting 21 of those, Lakers also had only 5 field goals made. The Kings on the other hand only had 27 points and lost. Of course in Lakers fashion they would win game 7 and go on to win the finals. This series ultimately broke the Kings, they were still strong competition finishing with a strong record and making conference semifinals twice and losing then losing in the first round in 04-05 and 05-06. Injuries to Chris webber and the trade of Vlade (he was getting older) hurt this team including him coming back and expecting to the star player he once was before injury while not all the blame should be put on Webber he came back into this team expecting to be the all star and driving force of this team.
The Sixers have had a rocky season. They are currently 6th seed with a 37-25 record. On the road the sixers have a 9-23 record, the worst road record of the 8 teams in the playoffs. This entire season Sixers have been attacked by not only the media but fans of the NBA saying Embiid and Simmons do not work well together and cannot win a ring. Ben Simmons 23 only in his 3rd season, Joel Embiid 26 this year in his 4th season they are a young duo who have made the playoffs for 2 consecutive years. Brett Brown has recently said “Do your homework and look at pairings that have won and when they win. You aren’t going to see many that are 23 and 26,” Brown also said. “Sometimes it takes a little bit of time.” While it is easy to agree with this statement how long must we wait
Small ball, is it the new meta for NBA teams? Mike D’Antoni pace and space small ball offense with the Phoenix Suns was the prototype for the offense we see today. In D’Antoni first season Suns made the playoffs and in the regular season they were attempting and making the most 3s in the 04-05 season. This team was exciting to watch but also a team to fear. Nash a 2x MVP, Stoudemire 6-10 big man able to knockdown 2s and pick and roll to the basket, Shawn Marion the forward able to guard both small and power forward, run the floor and knock down 3s. What went wrong well for starters Mike D’Antoni has said himself they should’ve doubled down on the pace and space system.
As of 07/02/20 the San Antonio Spurs have a record of 22-29. The Spurs have a home record of 14-12 and an away record of 8-17. Compared to the record they had in 2017-18 they were 3rd in the Western Conference with a 35-21 record, only allowing 97.7 points per game. So what has changed in the 2 years for the San Antonio Spurs to go from a top playoff team to barely even making the playoffs? Taking it back to the season of 2017-18 Kawhi unhappy and sitting out due to injury only playing 9 games that season the Spurs fell to 7th and lost to the Warriors in the first round. The Spurs were dead set with Kawhi being the future and building a team around him with 2 young exciting guards Dejounte Murray and Derrick White and LaMarcus Aldridge, however Kawhi forced his way out SA and was eventually traded to Toronto with Danny Green for Poeltl and DeMar DeRozan and a protected first round pick.