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Best NBA Team of All Time? It’s Up for Debate as History Repeats Itself

(Photo: Stephen Curry in a game against the Washington Wizards in February 2016. (Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

Stephen Curry in a game against the Washington Wizards in February 2016. (Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

By Heavenlee Blue

Current Bulls LogoThe Golden State Warriors have matched the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls with 72 regular-season wins, but there are still people including most former Bulls players declaring Chicago superior.

But who is truly the better team?

The Warriors must win their final game of the season at 10:30 p.m. EST today against the Memphis Grizzlies to set a new wins record. The Bulls’ record was thought to be unbreakable as recently as a few months ago, even as the Warriors raced off to a historic start of 24-1. (Below is a chart examining every game played by the Golden State Warriors this year and by the Chicago Bulls in the 1995-1996 NBA season.)

When looking at overall team stats, the Warriors would technically win, because they outscored the Bulls 115 to 105 on average (based on their average points per game each respective season). However, the two teams are nearly equal in field goal percentage and nearly equal in rebounding. While Michael Jordan’s offensive dominance made the headlines, it was his work on the defensive end that formed the body of the Bulls’ dynasty.

As for the Warriors, who currently rank fifth in defensive efficiency, their lone all-defensive player is Draymond Green. So, while both teams can score, the Bulls were more defensive minded and could stop the ball better.

A lot of people compare the two teams solely off the record. If you look at what the Warriors have done so far this year, they seem to be a bit ahead of the ’96 Bulls. On top of the record, they are the first team in history to go the entire NBA season without losing to the same team twice. They will finish the season without losing back-to-back games, something the Bulls didn’t accomplish. Also, by winning for the first time in 34 tries on the road in San Antonio, they became the only team in the NBA this year to beat the Spurs on their home floor.

Despite the incredible accomplishment, the Warriors have shown that they are human this season, losing four times to teams below .500 (Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves). Similarly, the Bulls demonstrated how difficult it is to be at your best every night by losing to two .500 teams (Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets) during the 1995-96 season).

The debate about who is the greatest NBA team of all time won’t conclude tonight, regardless of the result of the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies in the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Either way, April 13, 2016, will be remembered as a time when the Warriors had a chance to place a stamp in history.

 

2015-16 Warriors vs. 1995-96 Bulls

Comparing the seasons
How the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors’ record matches up game-by-game with the 72-win Chicago Bulls of 1995-96.
Warriors result Record Game Number Bulls result Record
111-95 W vs. Pelicans 1-0 1 105-91 W vs. Hornets 1-0
112-92 W vs. Rockets 2-0 2 107-85 W vs. Celtics 2-0
134-120 W @ Pelicans 3-0 3 117-108 W vs. Raptors 3-0
119-69 W vs. Grizzlies 4-0 4 106-88 W @ Cavs 4-0
112-108 W vs. Clippers 5-0 5 110-106 W vs. Blazers 5-0
119-104 W vs. Nuggets 6-0 6 94-88 L @ Magic 5-1
103-94 W @ Kings 7-0 7 113-94 W vs. Cavs 6-1
109-95 W vs. Pistons 8-0 8 109-94 W vs. Nets 7-1
100-84 W @ Grizzlies 9-0 9 108-102 W @ Mavericks (OT) 8-1
129-116 W @ Timberwolves 10-0 10 103-94 W @ Spurs 9-1
107-99 W vs. Nets (OT) 11-0 11 90-85 W @ Jazz 10-1
115-110 W vs. Raptors 12-0 12 97-92 L @ Sonics 10-2
124-117 W @ Clippers 13-0 13 107-104 W @ Blazers 11-2
106-94 W vs. Bulls 14-0 14 94-88 W @ Grizzlies 12-2
118-105 W @ Nuggets 15-0 15 104-98 W @ Clippers 13-2
111-77 W vs. Lakers 16-0 16 101-94 W vs. Knicks 14-2
135-116 W @ Suns 17-0 17 106-87 W vs. Spurs 15-2
120-101 W vs. Kings 18-0 18 118-106 W @ Bucks 16-2
106-103 W @ Jazz 19-0 19 112-103 W vs. Magic 17-2
116-99 W @ Hornets 20-0 20 127-108 W @ Hawks 18-2
112-109 W @ Raptors 21-0 21 108-88 W vs. Lakers 19-2
114-98 W @ Nets 22-0 22 123-114 W @ Celtics 20-2
131-123 W @ Pacers 23-0 23 114-101 W vs. Mavericks 21-2
124-119 W @ Celtics (2 OT) 24-0 24 113-104 W vs. Raptors 22-2
108-95 L @ Bucks 24-1 25 100-86 W vs. Jazz 23-2
128-103 W vs. Suns 25-1 26 103-97 L @ Pacers 23-3
121-112 W vs.Bucks 26-1 27 120-93 W vs. Pacers 24-3
103-85 W vs. Jazz 27-1 28 95-93 W vs. Hawks 25-3
89-83 W vs. Cavs 28-1 29 100-86 W vs. Rockets 26-3
122-103 W vs. Kings 29-1 30 117-93 W @ Hornets 27-3
114-91 L @ Mavericks 29-2 31 113-84 W vs. Bucks 28-3
114-110 W @ Rockets 30-2 32 113-87 W vs. Sonics 29-3
111-108 W vs. Nuggets (OT) 31-2 33 120-93 W @ Sixers 30-3
111-101 W vs. Hornets 32-2 34 116-109 W @ Bullets 31-3
109-88 W @ Lakers 33-2 35 116-104 W vs. Sixers 32-3
128-108 W @ Blazers 34-2 36 92-89 W @ Raptors 33-3
128-116 W @ Kings 35-2 37 111-96 W @ Pistons 34-3
111-103 W vs. Heat 36-2 38 99-79 W @ Knicks 35-3
112-110 L @ Nuggets 36-3 39 104-84 W vs. Grizzlies 36-3
116-98 W vs. Lakers 37-3 40 102-80 W vs. Heat 37-3
113-95 L @ Pistons 37-4 41 93-82 W vs. Suns 38-3
132-98 W @ Cavaliers 38-4 42 98-87 W @ Rockets 39-3
125-94 W @ Bulls 39-4 43 105-85 W @ Kings 40-3
122-110 W vs. Pacers 40-4 44 99-84 W @ Lakers 41-3
120-90 W vs. Spurs 41-4 45 105-99 L @ Nuggets 41-4
127-107 W vs. Mavericks 42-4 46 106-96 L @ Suns 41-5
108-105 W @ Sixers 43-4 47 99-95 W @ Warriors 42-5
116-95 W @ Knicks 44-4 48 111-98 W vs. Bullets 43-5
134-121 W @ Wizards 45-4 49 112-109 W @ Pistons (OT) 44-5
116-108 W vs. Thunder 46-4 50 103-100 W @ Timberwolves 45-5
123-110 W vs. Rockets 47-4 51 110-102 W @ Pacers 46-5
112-104 W @ Suns 48-4 52 106-72 W vs. Cavs 47-5
137-105 L @ Blazers 48-5 53 96-91 W @ Hawks 48-5
115-112 W @ Clippers 49-5 54 113-104 L @ Heat 48-6
102-92 W @ Hawks 50-5 55 111-91 W vs. Magic 49-6
118-112 W @ Heat 51-5 56 120-99 W vs. Timberwolves 50-6
130-114 W @ Magic 52-5 57 110-87 W vs. Warriors 51-6
121-118 W @ Thunder (OT) 53-5 58 107-75 W vs. Celtics 52-6
109-105 W vs. Hawks (OT) 54-5 59 115-106 W vs. Bucks 53-6
121-106 W. vs. Thunder 55-5 60 102-81 W vs. Pistons 54-6
112-95 L @ Lakers 55-6 61 104-72 L @ Knicks 54-7
119-113 W vs. Magic 56-6 62 103-86 W vs. Bullets 55-7
115-94 W vs. Jazz 57-6 63 108-87 W vs. Nuggets 56-7
128-112 W vs. Blazers 58-6 64 97-93 W @ Nets 57-7
123-116 W vs. Suns 59-6 65 98-94 W @ Sixers 58-7
125-107 W vs. Pelicans 60-6 66 89-67 W vs. Kings 59-7
121-85 W vs. Knicks 61-6 67 107-86 W vs. Knicks 60-7
130-112 W @ Mavericks 62-6 68 109-108 L @ Raptors 60-8
87-79 L @ Spurs 62-7 69 111-80 W vs. Hawks 61-8
109-104 W @ Timberwolves 63-7 70 106-85 W vs. Clippers 62-8
114-98 W vs. Clippers 64-7 71 110-92 W @ Heat 63-8
128-120 W vs. Mavericks 65-7 72 100-92 W vs. Heat 64-8
117-105 W vs. Sixers 66-7 73 126-92 W @ Hornets 65-8
102-94 W vs. Wizards 67-7 74 90-86 W @ Magic 66-8
103-96 W @ Jazz (OT) 68-7 75 98-97 L vs. Hornets 66-9
109-106 L vs. Celtics 68-8 76 113-100 W @ Nets 67-9
136-111 W vs. Blazers 69-8 77 112-82 W vs. Sixers 68-9
124-117 L vs. Timberwolves (OT) 69-9 78 98-72 W @ Cavs 69-9
112-101 W vs. Spurs 70-9 79 86-80 W @ Bucks 70-9
100-99 W @ Grizzlies 71-9 80 110-79 W vs. Pistons 71-9
92-86 W @ Spurs 72-9 81 100-99 L vs. Pacers 71-10
vs. Grizzlies (April 13) 82 103-93 W vs. Bullets 72-10

Via Nba.com

 

 

April 13, 2016

About Author

Heavenlee Blue

Heavenlee Blue is a reporter for TruthBeTold.news and a public relations major at Howard University.