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Best teams besides 2012—1997, 2005, 2006, 2011.
Franchise rank: 1st
The Miami Heat are a relatively young NBA team as they joined the league in 1988. Since then they went on to win one title (2006) in two Finals appearances.
Last season in Miami was meant to be an experiment and not many expected them to be as successful as they were in the first year on the Big Three. They went on to win 58 games and lost in the NBA Finals in six games.
This season, the stakes were bigger and anything short of an NBA Championship would be a failure. Miami has lived up to the hype and in the lockout shortened offseason they have become a force in the NBA and have improved their team all around from last year.
LeBron James is still the best player in the NBA and Dwyane Wade is somewhere in the top 5. Their defense is elite and their fast breaks are unstoppable. Few teams match up with the Heat’s starting line and their bench, while sub bar has improved considerably from last season.
That takes care of the last two years, but what about 1997, 2005, 2006? Their 1997 team owns the best record in franchise history, but were built very similar to the current Denver Nuggets.
They did not have a star and relied on an all around attack as well as great defense in order to win games. Without a star a team has a very big disadvantage and the 1997 Heat lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Chicago Bulls in five games.
2005 was a great year for the Heat and the duo of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal was amazing to watch. The rest of the team however, was below average save for the solid output from Udonis Haslem.
They were also defeated in the Eastern Finals by the Detroit Pistons in a seven game series.
The only reason I included the 2006 team was because they won the title. Dwyane Wade had an amazing year where he averaged 27-7-6 and carried that team. Shaq was aging and struggling with injuries and only appeared in a total of 59 games.
Looking at the roster today, it’s shocking to think that this team won the title because they were not as good as the name “NBA Champions” would suggest.