As the final NBA game of this decade draws nearer, it's inevitable that people start thinking about the Bests of the 2000s.
The decade started off with a rocky start after the void Michael Jordan left in the NBA, but in the past few years, things have improved tremendously. Thanks in large part to the 2003 draft class (Lebron, Carmelo, Dwayne, Bosh...and Darko), the sudden increase in bona fide superstars and exciting new (and rejuvenated) rivalries have begun transforming the NBA back to its glory days of the '80s.
We had two dynasties, multiple scandals, hilarious characters, significant rule changes, new franchises, murdered franchises, and countless future Hall-of-Famers. All-in-all, the past few years have been an amazing time to be an NBA fan.
Looking back over this past decade, which teams ruled the NBA? Not just who won the most, but which teams truly dominated the basketball spectrum both on and off the court? Using a point system, I attempted to rank the teams based on their dominance, influence, consistency, and success. It's no secret who the top two teams are, but some of the rankings may surprise you.
The following are the categories, and the point values:
1. Wins - 1 pt
2. Finishing season over .500 - 5 pt
3. Making the playoffs - 5 pt
4. Playoff wins - 3 pt.
5. Over 60 wins bonus - 10 pt
6. Division Champs - 10 pt
7. Conference Champs - 30 pt
8. NBA Champs - 75 pt
9. All-stars - 3 pt
10. MVPs - 25
11. Average attendance - 0.015 pt per person
Teams 30-10 (total points in parenthesis)
30. Charlotte Bobcats (367.55) - Only team never to finish above .500.
29. Memphis Grizzlies (556.53) — Averaged the lowest attendance at 14,502.
28. Atlanta Hawks (558.53) — 2008 was their first appearance in the playoffs this decade.
27. Los Angeles Clippers (589.44) - Their surprising 2006 performance kept them from the cellar.
26. Golden State Warriors (593.09) - One of only three teams with no all-stars.
25. Chicago Bulls (686.31) - If only this was a ranking for the past two decades.
24. Washington Wizards (687.37) — Have only mustered eight wins in four playoff appearances.
23. New York Knicks (701.08) — Place that supposedly every star wants to play only had three All-stars.
22. Oklahoma City Thunder (708.34) - If Durant and Co. stay put, poised to be one of the top teams of the '10s.
21. Milwaukee Bucks (742.78) — Have settled for mediocrity the entire decade.
20. Denver Nuggets (759.80) - First real surprise. Blame it on their habit of choking in the first round of the playoffs. Six playoff appearances, only four wins.
19. Toronto Raptors (770.40) — Even the rabid Toronto fans would agree that the Raptors have severely underachieved.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (789.71) — It seems like ages since Minnesota was relevant, but Kevin Garnett was remarkable in the first half of the decade.
17. Houston Rockets (789.72) — Similar to the Nuggets, their horrendous playoff performance hurts their case. Blame it on McGrady's first round curse.
16. Orlando Magic (796.45) — McGrady's curse started here before infecting the Rockets. Howard alone will keep Magic relevant well into the 2010s.
15. Portland Trailblazers (804.67) - After making the playoffs for 20 years straight from 1983-2003 (!), the "Jail" Blazers went into the dark ages until their exciting resurgence over the past two seasons.
14. New Orleans Hornets (839.59) - Hard to imagine, but the Hornets were actually decent for a few years before Chris Paul arrived.
13. Cleveland Cavaliers (875.36) - If there is one person who is solely responsible for 95 percent of his teams ranking points, its Ricky Davis...or Lebron James. Guesses on how low the Cavs would be on these rankings without him?
12. Sacramento Kings (925.01) - One of the top teams for the early part of the decade, the Kings were only minutes away from a finals appearance and one of the most fun teams to watch (before the Suns redefined what fun really is).
11. Philadelphia 76ers (932.22) - Iverson's debacle experiment with the Pistons may tarnish his legacy, but he should go down as one of the best scorers of our generation. Carrying a sub par supporting cast to the finals was his forte before Lebron tried to one-up him in 2007.
Now it gets dramatic! Click through the slides to reveal the top 10.