This list contains the ten most disappointing NBA teams of all time. These teams have been found to lack effort and consistency in their play, failing to match expectations for a number of reasons.
The “nba superteams that failed” is a list of 10 NBA teams. The list includes the “73 Knicks”, the “76ers”, the “77 Blazers”, and more.
Superteams have existed for years before LeBron James joined the Miami Heat in 2010. The main distinction is that some superteams were created in the United States. LeBron has been the trigger for players joining superteams, since he was the first to do so. With that stated, there have been teams in the NBA’s history that have possessed an abundance of skill yet have failed to win the championship.
This season, two teams satisfy that criterion. Kyrie Irving (if he plays), Kevin Durant, and James Harden form a superteam for the Nets, while LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis form a superteam for the Lakers. Despite their poor start, many league observers feel the Lakers can win the title if they start to gel as a unit.
On paper, we’ve seen some extremely excellent squads. The issue is that it’s on paper, and games aren’t won on paper. Executives have taken decisions in the hopes of propelling their club to the top, but in fact, they are headed for a first-round playoff exit. These ten superteams fell short of expectations and failed to win the title.
Mentions of Merit
2003-2004 Indiana Pacers
Reggie Miller, Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Al Harrington are among the stars.
61-21 in the regular season
Playoff record: 2-4 in the Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons.
The Pacers were better than the rest of the Eastern Conference clubs. The Pacers outscored their opponents by seven games. The Pacers also had the most wins in the league. Reggie Miller was nearing the end of his spectacular career, but he had some serious help in the form of Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Al Harrington, an unappreciated big man.
With 21 points and 14 rebounds in Game 1, O’Neal led the Pacers to victory, but the Pistons held Indiana to to 67 points in Game 2. Following a loss in Game 3, O’Neal and Artest both recorded double-doubles in Game 4. To finish out the series, the Pistons employed stout defense to hold Indiana to 65 points in Games 5 and 6.
The Pacers were a difficult team, but they were up against an even harder opponent in the Detroit Pistons, who included Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton, and Ben Wallace as its core. Miller had spent much of his youth losing against Michael Jordan and the Bulls, and he was unable to win against the Pistons as well. That meant Miller had never won a championship in his 18 years in the league.
2007-2008 Phoenix Suns
Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Shaquille O’Neal are among the stars.
57-27 in the regular season
Playoff record: 1-4 in the first round against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Suns had the league’s greatest overall offense. Nash earned the MVP in 2005 and 2006, and he was still the finest point guard in the NBA. Grant Hill had an unappreciated season, averaging 13.1 points on 50.3 percent shooting. Shaq was older when he was moved from the Heat to Phoenix, but he was no slacker. Shaq averaged 12.9 points and 10.6 rebounds in 28 games.
The Suns were let down in Game 1 as Tim Duncan scored 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 117-115 victory. The Spurs then won Game 2 102-96, despite Stoudemire’s 33 points. Tony Parker’s 41 points led the Spurs to victory in Game 3. The Spurs were unable to complete the sweep after being blasted out in Game 4, but Parker led all scorers with 31 points in Game 5 to lead his team to a 92-87 triumph.
During Nash’s playing days, the Spurs and Suns had a lot of back-and-forth fights. In 2010, the Suns advanced to the Conference Finals before losing to the Lakers. These were some fairly good Suns teams, but it only goes to show how good the Lakers and Spurs were at the time.
2009-2010 Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Antawn Jamison, and Mo Williams are among the stars.
61-21 in the regular season
2-4 in the Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics.
The Cavaliers finished the season with the best record in the NBA. With 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists in what would be LeBron’s last season in Cleveland before moving to Miami, he earned MVP. Shaq had a career-high 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in his second-to-last season. Antawn Jamison was a seasoned NBA veteran, while Mo Williams was fresh off his first All-Star appearance.
While this may not be considered a superteam by some, the players on this squad are all well-known. The Cavaliers have no business falling in the second round against the Celtics. The Celtics did, after all, reach the NBA Finals. LeBron James may not have left Cleveland if the Cavaliers had won the series.
LeBron led the Cavaliers to a 2-1 lead with 35 points in Game 1 and 38 points in Game 3. Rajon Rondo had his best postseason performance ever in Game 4, scoring 29 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. Despite LeBron’s 27 points and 19 rebounds in Game 5, the Celtics stormed over Cleveland 120-88 in Game 6 to win the series.
From 2011 through 2017, the Los Angeles Clippers were the tenth best team in the NBA.
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan are the players to watch.
313-163 in the regular season (6 Seasons)
The Best Playoffs: 3-4 loss to the Houston Rockets in the Conference Semifinals (2015)
The Clippers had been a relevant franchise for six years before trading for Chris Paul. One of the most interesting brands in the game was the establishment of “Lob City.” Paul was a genius at devising games. He was so outstanding that when he departed the Clippers, he was the team’s all-time assist leader.
The core never advanced to the Conference Finals, although they did reach the second round three times. The Clippers had their finest season in 2015, when they forced the Rockets to play seven games. Before James Harden went on a rampage to lead Houston over Los Angeles, the Clippers had a 3-1 lead. The Clippers would have advanced to their first-ever Conference Finals and faced eventual NBA champion Golden State if they had won.
The Clippers seemed to be in command as well. Game 3 was won by the Clippers 124-99, while Game 4 was won by the Clippers 128-95. Then, in Game 5, Harden led a blowout with 26 points. Harden scored 31 points to send Houston to the Conference Finals after failing to finish off Game 6.
From 2001 through 2004, the Sacramento Kings were ranked ninth in the NBA.
Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, Vlade Divac, and Doug Christie are among the stars.
225-103 in the regular season (4 Seasons)
The Best Playoffs: 3-4 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals (2002)
Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, Vlade Divac, and Doug Christie formed a playoff-contending core for the Kings. Bibby didn’t join the Kings until 2001, while Webber and Stojakovic started their partnership in 1999. Bibby was a member of the 2006 Kings squad that made the playoffs.
In 2001-2002, Webber was on fire, averaging 24.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. For the first time since 1951, the Kings had a chance to play in the NBA Finals. Robert Horry stepped into a buzzer-beating three-point jumper in Game 4 to give the Lakers a one-point win against the Kings. It has remained one of the most memorable moments in the team’s illustrious history.
Following the defeat, the Kings rallied back to win Game 5 92-91, due to Webber’s 29 points. The Kings had a 3-2 lead but were never able to reduce the gap. Game 6 of this series is still recognized as the most contentious playoff game two years later. Tim Donaghy, the disgraced referee, accused the Game 6 officiating team of rigging the game. This “superteam” was essentially homegrown, winning 61 games this season but failing to win a title. In Game 7, Kobe Bryant and Shaq combined for 65 points to help the Lakers win 112-106 and end the series.
From 1993 to 1995, the Orlando Magic were the eighth best team in the NBA.
Shaquille O’Neal, Anfernee Hardaway, Dennis Scott, and Nick Anderson are among the stars.
167-79 in the regular season (3 Seasons)
The Best Playoffs: Losing 0-4 in the NBA Finals to the Houston Rockets (1995)
When you consider the 1995 Orlando Magic, you can’t help but think about the 2015 Warriors. For starters, the front staff drafted Nick Anderson, Penny Hardaway, Dennis Scott, and Shaquille O’Neal all from inside the organization. In 1994-1995, the previous No. 1 overall selection, who averaged 29.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks, may have been the greatest of the choices.
The Magic were so good that they beat the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. This squad was the genuine thing, but they were defeated by one of the league’s teams. Hakeem Olajuwon absolutely seized control in the NBA Finals to lead the squad to victory. In the Finals, the Rockets swept the Magic. Shaq then left the small market Magic to join the Lakers in Hollywood a year later.
In these Finals, Olajuwon was unstoppable, topping all scores in each of the four games. Olajuwon scored a total of 31 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 points, 34 He had 14 and 15 rebounds in the past two games, respectively, to lead all rebounders. The Magic gave the Rockets a fight in the first two games, losing 120-118 in the first and 106-103 in the third. In the end, Olajuwon won his second championship in a row.
The Brooklyn Nets were ranked seventh in the NBA in 2013-2014.
Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez are the players to watch.
44-38 in the regular season
Playoff record: 1-4 in the second round against the Miami Heat.
Brooklyn was decimated by the deal for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry, and the organization had to go on a seven-year reconstruction. The Nets’ present shambles were nothing like they were back in the day. On paper, the transaction seemed to create a true superteam in Brooklyn, but it only lasted a year and cost the Nets years in the future.
Garnett had one of his poorest seasons, scoring only 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Pierce had a 13.5 point and 4.6 rebound per game average. The Nets anticipated getting the prime-time version of these Hall of Famers. Instead, they received an older, watered-down version, and the club fell in five games to the Heat.
LeBron James made his opponents look dumb in this series after some hard-fought fights between the Heat and Celtics. In the first four games, LeBron led all scorers with 22, 22, 28, and 49 points. With 34 points, Joe Johnson almost led the Nets to a Game 5 victory, but the Heat claimed the series with a 96-94 triumph.
Oklahoma City Thunder, 6th place, 2017-2018
Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony are the stars of the show.
48-34 in the regular season
Playoff record: 2-4 in the first round against the Utah Jazz.
Before this season, Paul George had no desire to be a part of the Indiana Pacers’ offseason. He demanded an exchange and pushed his way out the door. Carmelo Anthony was going through a difficult breakup with the New York Knicks. Looking back on both circumstances, you’d have to accept that some big errors were made.
There was a lot of excitement leading up to the season. Russell Westbrook was coming off an MVP season in which he became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961 to average a triple-double. Anthony was still excellent enough that you had faith in his ability to score anyplace. George, on the other hand, was in his mid-twenties and a quality two-way player. This strategy failed miserably, as the Thunder were eliminated in the first round, while Kevin Durant earned his second straight Finals MVP award.
George scored 36 points to lead OKC to a victory in the opening game, but the Jazz went on to win three consecutive games. Donovan Mitchell, a young rookie, topped all scorers in Games 2 and 4 with 28 and 33 points, respectively. In Game 5, Westbrook scored 47 points to keep the Thunder alive. In Game 6, Westbrook scored 46 points, but the Jazz won 96-91 thanks to 38 points from Mitchell.
5. 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest are among the stars.
45-37 in the regular season
Playoff record: 0-4 in the first round against the San Antonio Spurs.
This had to feel familiar if you were a fan of the Orlando Magic. Shaquille O’Neal wanted out leave Orlando in the 1990s because the market was too small. He joined the Lakers and won three NBA titles alongside Kobe Bryant. In 2009, Dwight Howard led the Magic to the NBA Finals, but they were defeated by the Lakers. He wanted out of the local market for bigger pastures after three seasons of failure.
Howard’s one season in Los Angeles was so chaotic that even a photo of Howard and Bryant on social media couldn’t mislead the public. The combination between Bryant and Howard just did not work. Steve Nash had reached the end of his career and was no longer in his peak. This pairing barely missed the playoffs and was further abused when the Spurs swept them in the postseason.
The Spurs were just a stronger overall squad because to Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. In Game 1, the Spurs overcame Howard’s 20 points and Pau Gasol’s 16 rebounds to win by double digits. Parker then topped all scorers in Game 2 with 28 points. The Spurs won Game 4 after Duncan scored 26 points in Game 3 and Parker scored 23 points in Game 4. The Spurs won all four games by double digits.
Houston Rockets, fourth place, 1998-1999
Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, and Scottie Pippen are among the stars.
31-19 in the regular season
Playoff record: 1-3 in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers.
For the first time in his career, Scottie Pippen sought a new club when the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty ended. Pippen joined the Rockets, who had Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the finest players in the league. Charles Barkley was nearing the end of his career, yet he still managed to score 16.1 points and 12.3 rebounds a game.
Game 1 ended in a 101-100 loss for the Rockets, despite Glen Rice’s 27 points. The Rockets lost the second game, but Pippen’s 37 points in Game 3 kept them alive in the series. However, Shaq, who scored 37 points in the deciding Game 4, outscored Olajuwon and Barkley on the inside.
These three Hall of Famers may have looked fantastic on paper, but when it came down to it, they weren’t good enough. The club enjoyed a tremendous regular season in the shorter year, but Shaq and Kobe Bryant took them down a peg in the playoffs.
2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers
Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton are among the stars.
56-26 in the regular season
Playoff record: 1-4 in the NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons.
This squad is renowned on paper. Gary Payton was, for starters, one of the best defensive players of the 1990s. Karl Malone has the NBA’s second-highest point total. From 2000 to 2002, Kobe Bryant and Shaq joined together to lead the Lakers to a three-peat. What more could you want from a group? This club had four Hall of Famers on the roster and won 56 games during the regular season.
Malone joined the Lakers late in his career in order to win a championship. Michael Jordan refused him twice, while Payton was denied once. The club, however, was unable to deliver, falling to the underdog Detroit Pistons. In three of the five games, Ben Wallace led a defense that held the Lakers to 80 points or less. This includes Game 3, in which the Lakers only managed to score 68 points.
Currently, the Pistons have just one Hall of Famer from that squad, but the Lakers had four. When everything is said and done, the Lakers should have won, but they were put to the test in five games, proving that the underdog can never be counted out.
2. Miami Heat during the 2010-2011 season
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are the stars of the show.
58-24 in the regular season
Playoff record: 2-4 in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
Do you recall LeBron’s promise of seven championships? LeBron James didn’t even stay in Miami for seven years. LeBron was a glorified villain throughout the NBA landscape in his first year with the Heat. Leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for a superteam did not sit well with the rest of the community. Needless to say, when the Heat came up empty, there was a sense of relief that spread over the whole planet.
The Heat didn’t even earn the Eastern Conference’s top seed, yet they still defeated the Chicago Bulls. Despite possessing a youthful phenom in MVP Derrick Rose, the Bulls couldn’t handle the combo of these three Hall of Famers.
The Dallas Mavericks rely on a plethora of veterans to upset their way to the NBA Finals. By upsetting the Heat in the Finals, they proved to be the biggest upset of all time. Dirk Nowitzki was named Finals MVP, while Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Tyson Chandler each received their first ring. When you consider LeBron’s history, he arrived to town to win a championship, and he ultimately won two rings, but his first year was a tremendous disappointment.
1. 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are the players to watch.
73-9 in the regular season
Playoff record: 3-4 in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The biggest disappointment was witnessing the best regular-season team lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors were headed by the NBA’s first ever unanimous MVP. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have already shown themselves to be champions. They were hungry for more, and they eventually broke the Chicago Bulls’ record of 72 victories in a season. However, NBA fans all around the world are quick to point out that since they didn’t close out, these Warriors will never be remembered as the best team in NBA history.
The 2016 NBA Finals have the potential to be the best Finals ever. The Cavaliers won their first title after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. You had Kyrie Irving’s late-game heroics. You had LeBron James’ block over Andre Iguodala. You heard about LeBron James going home to assist his hometown win their first title. The Warriors were unable to produce in the end.
The Warriors’ lethal three is still a dynasty today, but this superteam had a chance to become the best in NBA history back then. Instead, they failed, and their 73 victories will always be accompanied by an unofficial asterisk. Given the 1996 Bulls’ triumph, the argument over whether team is the best of all time will continue until a team wins 74 games and a championship in the same year.
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The “super teams that didn t win” is a list of the 10 most disappointing NBA superteams of all time. The list includes the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers, the 1994 Phoenix Suns, and the 2007 Miami Heat.
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