A few months ago, we took a look at the All-2000s team and some of the other notable issues of the decade. Now ESPN.com is turning to the end of the decade and has its own poll of its burning questions of the 2000s. Just for fun, let’s run through our choices, as limited by ESPN’s ballot:
1) Which is the franchise of the decade?
We addressed this question in the summer and previously chose the Lakers, even though they weren’t as consistently good (the Spurs average 58 wins per season and the Lakers averaged 53). The tie breaker was that Spurs never could beat the Lakers when L.A. was at full strength. The Lakers destroyed the Spurs in the playoffs in 2000-01 and 2001-02, when both teams were at full strength. The Lakers also upset the Spurs in 2003-04 (on the crazy Derek Fisher shot), as well as in 2007-08, when the Lakers were clearly better. Still, there is some merit to the fact that the Spurs had no lulls like the Lakers did mid-decade. This is really a coin-flip but the fact that the Lakers were better at their peak makes me choose L.A.. Continue reading We Take ESPN’s 2000s Poll…
We now turn to the 1980s, the first huge decade for the NBA in terms of popularity. The decade is remembered as the time the Lakers and Celtics battled toe-to-toe for the title every year and Magic and Bird ran the show. This isn’t an incorrect perception but is it really that simple? Wasn’t there more to it? Well…maybe. Let’s take a closer look at the 1980s and see.
-Team of the Decade: While not as dominant as the Bulls in the 1990s, the Lakers do seem like the best of the 1980s, winning five titles and going to eight NBA Finals. Boston, of course, isn’t far behind, as they won three titles and went to five Finals. But the Celts had their share of competition, getting beat up by the 76ers in the early part of the decade and by the Pistons near the end of the decade. In addition, the Bucks were fairly tough the entire decade too. So, let’s take a look at the teams who made the most noise during the playoffs in the decade and their average wins during that time:
Since there isn’t much going on in NBA land and we had so much fun picking the team of the 00s, I thought that we could do the same thing with the other decades. Working backwards, we’ll start today in the 1990s. Remember from last time, that our decade spans from 1989-90 through 1998-99. So let’s go through the analysis:
-Team of the Decade: Unlike the 00s, the team of the 1990s has no debate. The Bulls dominated the field, going 6-0 in the NBA Finals and looking pretty good in the other years too (except for the puke bad 1998-99 post-Jordan team). Who is number two for the 1990s? An interesting question. The Pistons won the first title of the decade but proceeded to suck for most of the rest of the decade. The Rockets were good for the most part and won the 1993-94 and 1994-95 titles but didn’t have any real dominating seasons. The Spurs were very good and won the title in 1998-99 but had some disappointing playoff finishes and their own crappy season (1996-97). A few non-titlist were quite good for almost the entire 10 year span too (Knicks, Pacers, Blazers, Jazz, Suns, and Sonics). Well let’s look at how the franchises did in average wins per season (the 50-game lockout schedule in 1998-99 will be pro-rated to an 82-game season):