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A Little Reminder About The Bucks
Four and a half months ago, right before the regular season became the most irregular season, the Bucks had a winning percentage (.815) that put them among the 15 best regular season teams in NBA history.
So in case you have forgotten how historically great the Bucks have been, in case you need a reminder about what the Bucks will be building on when they get going in Orlando, below are 10 teams that the Bucks ranked ahead of in terms of regular season winning percentage. Point is, the Bucks have a chance to be champions, and beyond that, to be in a strata of champions that would make them legends. Not bad.
1970–71 Bucks (.805)
The one and only championship team in franchise history (so far…), this squad ranked first in the league in both offense and defense, a 23 year-old Kareem put together the best season in franchise history (stay tuned for someone making a run at this, this year…), and the Bucks went on to run roughshod (roughshod!) in a 12–2 playoff run that culminated in a Finals sweep.
1988–89 Pistons (.768)
The first of back-to-back championships by the Bad Boys, who knocked out an ascendant Jordan (who won his third straight scoring title, and was more “ascendant” than anyone has ever been) in the Eastern Conference Finals and then swept Magic (who had won MVP) and the Lakers in the Finals.
2007–08 Celtics (.805)
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce, the ‘Ubuntu’ Celtics were born, and they were a fire. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they took out the Pistons and took their mantle once and for all as the most devastating defensive unit in the world. Then in the Finals, they put out Kobe and the Lakers in six.
1997–98 Bulls (.756)
This was The Last Dance Bulls, the Jordan last shot Bulls. What else to say that has not recently been said?
2012–13 Heat (.805)
The peak of the Heatles. They reeled off 27 in a row in the regular season, at the time the second-longest in league history. Then they followed that up with arguably their greatest achievement: Defeating the Bucks in 6 Bucks in a clean sweep. Oh, and that Ray Allen corner three in the Finals against the Spurs, which you may recall. This may have been the best regular season of LeBron’s career (31.6 PER, all-around insanity), which “says something” as they say.
1982–83 Sixers (.793)
The ‘fo-fi-fo’ Sixers were led by MVP Moses Malone, which meant Dr. J was the number two guy, which was not a bad number two guy to have, especially considering there were two additional Hall-of-Fame guys on the team (Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones)… and an All-Star (Andrew Toney). After 65 wins in the regular season, they went 12–1 in the playoffs, including a Finals sweep of the defending champion Lakers.
1969–70 Knicks (.732)
They started 23–1, they scored an 18-game winning streak, and they were led by Willis Reed, who won MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and Finals MVP… and there is a case to be made that he wasn’t even the best player on his own team (Walt Frazier). Anyway, in an iconic moment for the ages, Reed limped back for Game 7 of the Finals to help the Knicks beat Wilt and the Lakers.
1986–87 Lakers (.793)
Often regarded as one of the greatest teams of all-time, this was prime Magic, prime Worthy, prime Byron Scott, prime Michael Cooper, and a still-killing 39 year-old Kareem. They dispatched a fella named Larry Bird and the rival Celtics, the defending champs, in the Finals.
1959–60 Celtics (.787)
Brought a pretty legitimate point guard (Bob Cousy) and big man (Bill Russell) combination, and they were not the only two All-NBA guys on the team (Bill Sharman). They won the Finals for the second time in a row… and then they won the next six Finals in a row.
2013–14 Spurs (.756)
Merely the team that obliterated (and ended) LeBron’s Heat. I have scarcely seen a team so hitting on cylinders as this Spurs team was in the aforementioned finals, in which they blitzed the Heat in five games, and it wasn’t as close as 4–1 sounds: The Spurs won those four games by a combined 72 points.