This is a bit of an abnormality, as Bill Russell's Boston Celtics managed to eight-peat.
Despite the need to look over eight seasons, there aren't any major ways to detract from this squad. It finished at No. 1 in terms of SRS during each of those campaigns, with absolutely no exceptions. Then again, the top squad in these rankings also managed to achieve the same feat, so more analysis is necessary.
Only twice did the C's manage to finish with at least 60 wins, topping out with a 62-18 record during the 1964-65 season. On top of that, the league was in a much different place during the 1950s and '60s.
There were only nine teams in the NBA, and the lack of player movement led to the creation of powerhouses that spanned decades, not just a handful of years. It was a different time, and while Boston can't do anything about that, it certainly doesn't help its case for the No. 1 spot.
Category Rank: No. 2 (four points)
These Celtics receive a boost for the sustained excellence, but it's shocking how much trouble they had dispatching weaker opponents during individual series.
With a 35-19 pre-Finals record, Boston boasts a winning percentage of 64.8 percent, one that trails every other team in these rankings by a wide margin. The Miami Heat had the second-worst pre-Finals winning percentage, and they checked in at 76.6 percent.
It's also worth noting just how few games the team had to play. Yes, that's 54 contests, but they came over the course of eight seasons. Miami played 47 in only three years.
Despite the lackluster winning percentage, Boston suited up in only 6.75 games per playoff appearance heading into the Finals. Only the Minneapolis Lakers played fewer (6.33), and the second Chicago Bulls three-peat (13.33) checks in next.
That's a huge discrepancy.
On average, Boston did away with its Finals opponent in 5.75 games—one sweep, three seven-games series and a bunch in between—and that's a very respectable mark. Only the Los Angeles Lakers and the first Chicago three-peat were able to win the final series in quicker fashion.
Category Rank: No. 5 (15 points)
When you think of dynasties in American sports, the early Celtics have to be one of the first franchises that come to mind.
Russell remains basketball's greatest champion—though not its best player; there's a big difference—and Boston is the standard bearer behind all ring-chasing pursuits. Eight titles in a row? That's almost inconceivable nowadays, though the construction of the league also helps make it an impossibility.
Between John Havlicek stealing the ball in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals, the battles against Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit and the other stars of that time and the unsurpassed stretch of victorious basketball, this was an unforgettable period of dominance.
And it helps that so many names resonate with today's basketball fans, even if some have become underrated (cough Sam Jones cough) over the years. Between Russell, Hondo, Jones, K.C. Jones, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, Tom Heinsohn, Red Auerbach and so many more, these teams basically became a walking Hall of Fame.
Perhaps the coolest part of this dynasty, though, is how much change it underwent without succumbing to defeat.
During the 1958-59 season (the first title-winning year of this run), the C's were led by Russell, Cousy, Sharman, Heinsohn, Ramsey, Sam Jones and Jim Loscutoff. During the 1965-66 season (the final year), only Russell and Jones were still there.
Category Rank: No. 2 (10 points)