Each Franchise's All-Time Best Team

Was (Not Wasdin)

family crest has godzilla
SoSH Member
Jul 26, 2007
1,831
The Short Bus
We did this a few years ago, old thread is here http://www.sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/all-time-greatest-franchise-teams.3799/#post-737646

Thought it might be good to revisit given all the player movement and young talent that has come into the league over the last few years.

Some guidelines (not really rules):

-follow the official franchise continuity structure-so Charlotte Hornets/Charlotte Bobcats, N.O. Hornets/N.O. Pelicans, Royals/Kings,etc.
-if a guy played for a team, you can put him on that team. But you get what he did with that team, so if you want to put Shaq on the Celtics you can, but you get the 2010-2011 Shaq
-structure the team however you want-bigs/wings/shooters, G/F/C, 1,2,3,4,5 whatever.
-guys don't have to be locked into their traditional positions-if you think Kareem could play PF while Shaq played center for the Lakers, make your case.

I'll start with a team that adds a couple of players from the last few years that really bump them up-the Houston Rockets

Bigs: Yao, Hakeem, Young Moses, Elvin Hayes, Ralph Sampson, Barkley,
Wings: T-Mac, Harden, Drexler
Guards: Chris Paul, Kenny Smith, Steve Francis, Calvin Murphy

The frontcourt can hang with just about any other team, and Hakeem and Yao on the back end should help cover up for some of their defensively challenged teammates. T-Mac and Harden will score on anybody. The guards are not a strong point, but adding a passable Chris Paul to the others strengthens it up some. I think adding Harden and Paul puts Houston's all time team right up there with some of the elite franchises.

Have at it.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,528
Bucks:

Starting 5
Oscar
Ray Ray
Marques Johnson
Giannis
Kareem

6th man
Big Dog Glenn Robinson

Rest of 2nd unit
G Moncrief
G Ricky Pierce
F Dandridge
C Sikma

11th and 12th men
Khris Middleton
Terry Cummings
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,528
Sixers

Starting 5
Cheeks (need a floor general and defender here with offense in front court)
Greer
Dr. J
Barkley
Wilt

6th man
Iverson

Rest of (scary) 2nd unit
SG Andrew Toney
SF/player coach Billy Cunningham
PF/C Moses Malone
PF/C Dolph Shayes


11th and 12th men (scary here too)
Chet Walker
Joel Embiid
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,352
NYC
Warriors 2.0. (Crazy to look back at that 2014 all-time Warrior team and see how much it has changed...)

First Team
Curry
Thompson
Barry
Durant
Chamberlain

Second Team
Hardaway
Iguodala
Mullin
Green
Thurmond/Cousins/Bogut

Could be a pretty tough team to handle, even for the all-time Celtics or Lakers.
 
Last edited:

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,528
We did this a few years ago, old thread is here http://www.sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/all-time-greatest-franchise-teams.3799/#post-737646

Thought it might be good to revisit given all the player movement and young talent that has come into the league over the last few years.

Some guidelines (not really rules):

-follow the official franchise continuity structure-so Charlotte Hornets/Charlotte Bobcats, N.O. Hornets/N.O. Pelicans, Royals/Kings,etc.
-if a guy played for a team, you can put him on that team. But you get what he did with that team, so if you want to put Shaq on the Celtics you can, but you get the 2010-2011 Shaq
-structure the team however you want-bigs/wings/shooters, G/F/C, 1,2,3,4,5 whatever.
-guys don't have to be locked into their traditional positions-if you think Kareem could play PF while Shaq played center for the Lakers, make your case.

I'll start with a team that adds a couple of players from the last few years that really bump them up-the Houston Rockets

Bigs: Yao, Hakeem, Young Moses, Elvin Hayes, Ralph Sampson, Barkley,
Wings: T-Mac, Harden, Drexler
Guards: Chris Paul, Kenny Smith, Steve Francis, Calvin Murphy

The frontcourt can hang with just about any other team, and Hakeem and Yao on the back end should help cover up for some of their defensively challenged teammates. T-Mac and Harden will score on anybody. The guards are not a strong point, but adding a passable Chris Paul to the others strengthens it up some. I think adding Harden and Paul puts Houston's all time team right up there with some of the elite franchises.

Have at it.
are we doing 12 or 13 on an active roster?
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
9,573
Somewhere
Sonics/Thunder

G Westbrook
G Payton
F Durant
F Kemp
C Sikma

G Allen
F Schrempf
F Lewis
G McMillan
G Brown
C Perkins
F Chambers

It's a pretty crap team, you have to admit.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

family crest has godzilla
SoSH Member
Jul 26, 2007
1,831
The Short Bus
are we doing 12 or 13 on an active roster?
Sonics/Thunder

G Westbrook
G Payton
F Durant
F Kemp
C Sikma

G Allen
F Schrempf
F Lewis
G McMillan
G Brown
C Perkins
F Chambers

It's a pretty crap team, you have to admit.
I actually thought Seattle was pretty good, but I agree they are weak up front. I'd probably go with Dennis Johnson and Gus Williams as the guards off the bench, and maybe add in Ibaka for some defense.
 

PC Drunken Friar

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 12, 2003
9,381
South Boston
Suns-

G- Nash
G- Westphal
F- Barkley
F- Marion
C- Stoudemire

Bench:
G- Johnson
G- Kidd
G-Thunder Dan
F- Larry Nance
F- Tom Chambers
F- Connie Hawkins
C- Shaq
 
Last edited:

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,352
NYC
Braves/Clippers, provisionally...

CP3
Randy Smith
Griffin
McAdoo
DJ

Jamal Crawford
JJ Redick
Danny Manning
Elton Brand
Swen Nater / Montrezl Harrell (??)

Probably should put Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette on there somewhere, but I'm too scarred by his time on the Warriors...
 

Just a bit outside

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 6, 2011
3,502
Monument, CO
Blazers-

G-D Lillard
G-C Drexler
F-S Pippen
F-R. Wallace
C-B Walton

Bench
G-D Stoudamire
G-B Roy
G-T Porter
F-L Aldridge
F-M Thompson
F-M Lucas
C-A Sabonis

Those team would have to run through the center position. Severely lacking at small forward.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

family crest has godzilla
SoSH Member
Jul 26, 2007
1,831
The Short Bus
As much of a homer as i am for the Celtics, the Lakers team is nuts

G: Magic, Kobe, West, Scott
F: Worthy, Cooper, Elgin Baylor, Pau Gasol, LeBron*
C: Kareem, Shaq, Wilt

Yikes *even without LeBron.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
9,537
Warriors 2.0. (Crazy to look back at that 2014 all-time Warrior team and see how much it has changed...)

First Team
Curry
Thompson
Barry
Durant
Chamberlain

Second Team
Hardaway
Iguodala
Mullin
Green
Thurmond/Cousins/Bogut

Could be a pretty tough team to handle, even for the all-time Celtics or Lakers.
What snub for Pitchin' Paul Arizin and Jumpin' Joe Fulks.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,352
NYC
What snub for Pitchin' Paul Arizin and Jumpin' Joe Fulks.
Haha, yeah, not to mention Neil "ol Hoss" Johnston (currently #4 in all time Warrior win shares, after Wilt, Arizin, and Steph, just ahead of Rick Barry).

Of course, after recently watching most of Game 7 of the '69 Lakers-Celtics Finals — which 6'-2" Jerry West dominated with basically one right-handed dribble move, and lumbering Don Nelson won with a shot that would make a rec-leaguer blush — I'm more dubious than ever that any pre-80s guys would be able to compete today. Wilt and Russell were well past their primes in that '69 game, but from what I saw I'm pretty confident that neither of them would have any idea what hit them if they ran into a guy like Giannis, Embiid, or Towns.
 
Last edited:

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
9,573
Somewhere
What is the best "all time" team with the least amount of corresponding postseason success? I'm going to go with the Sixers (3 championships) who feature an absolutely ridiculous all-time squad (well, frontcourt at least).

I would also consider Bobby Jones and Iguodala on the Sixers bench.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
9,537
Haha, yeah, not to mention Neil "ol Hoss" Johnston (currently #4 in all time Warrior win shares, after Wilt, Arizin, and Steph, just ahead of Rick Barry).

Of course, after recently watching most of Game 7 of the '69 Lakers-Celtics Finals — which 6'-2" Jerry West dominated with basically one right-handed dribble move, and lumbering Don Nelson won with a shot that would make a rec-leaguer blush — I'm more dubious than ever that any pre-80s guys would be able to compete today. Wilt and Russell were well past their primes in that '69 game, but from what I saw I'm pretty confident that neither of them would have any idea what hit them if they ran into a guy like Giannis, Embiid, or Towns.
I'm teasing; but I think it's a really un-fun argument because obviously the players today are better than those of the past, but in these All-Time Teams the entertainment factor is comparing players across the entire spectrum, even if the current Celtics would wipe the floor with the Russell/Cousy Celtics.

Also, don't dismiss West and his 6'8" wingspan and how much better he would be with the three-point shot. I think he's the second-best 2 guard of all-time.
 

nolasoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 11, 2004
3,172
Displaced
What is the best "all time" team with the least amount of corresponding postseason success? I'm going to go with the Sixers (3 championships) who feature an absolutely ridiculous all-time squad (well, frontcourt at least).

I would also consider Bobby Jones and Iguodala on the Sixers bench.
Bobby Jones for sure.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,668
Santa Monica, CA
Cousy
Sam Jones
Bird
McHale
Russell

Bench:

Havlicek
Parish
Cowens
Pierce
Garnett
Jojo White
DJ

That's ignoring the very recent guys, which include Kyrie, IT, Horford, etc.

This is a great team.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,352
NYC
I'm teasing; but I think it's a really un-fun argument because obviously the players today are better than those of the past, but in these All-Time Teams the entertainment factor is comparing players across the entire spectrum, even if the current Celtics would wipe the floor with the Russell/Cousy Celtics.

Also, don't dismiss West and his 6'8" wingspan and how much better he would be with the three-point shot. I think he's the second-best 2 guard of all-time.
Agreed. I think it's more in the spirit of this game to think of them each relative to their own eras than to try to imagine the old-timers actually transported into the present. Or if we want to imagine the old-timers transported to the present it should be with physical and skillset upgrades proportional to that of the average replacement player from then to now.

West was amazing in that '69 Game 7 — and yeah, he was a "big" 6-2 — but I gotta say I was disappointed with his lack of a left hand relative to a guy his size today (Steph or Kyrie e.g.) He "ran around his forehand" a lot, like guys you play with at the playground. Of course, a better left hand would be one of West's upgrades when goes in the transportation device.

For fun, here's some footage of Arizin:

 
Last edited:

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
2,158
Saint Paul, MN
Cousy
Sam Jones
Bird
McHale
Russell

Bench:

Havlicek
Parish
Cowens
Pierce
Garnett
Jojo White
DJ

That's ignoring the very recent guys, which include Kyrie, IT, Horford, etc.

This is a great team.
Why are you ignoring the recent guys in this?

And my starting 5 would be

Kyrie Irving
John Havlicek
Larry Bird
Kevin Garnett
Bill Russell

With Pierce, Cousy, Allen, McHale, Jones, Parrish, Cowens
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
9,537
Why are you ignoring the recent guys in this?

And my starting 5 would be

Kyrie Irving
John Havlicek
Larry Bird
Kevin Garnett
Bill Russell

With Pierce, Cousy, Allen, McHale, Jones, Parrish, Cowens
I feel like if you think Kyrie is superior to Cousy, you would also have to think that Pierce is superior to Havlicek.
 

amarshal2

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
4,591
McHale > the Celtics version of Garnett, and it's not close.

Also, Havlicek off the bench because he's Havlicek, not because he ouldn't start.
Post injury, sure, but the 2007 verson of KG? He won DPOY, was first team all-nba, and 3rd in MVP voting. His scoring dipped because he had guys around him. He probably deserved to finish 2nd in MVP voting as he was better all around than Kobe and CP3, who finished ahead (at that point LeBron was underrated, finishing 4th).
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,528
Braves/Clippers, provisionally...

CP3
Randy Smith
Griffin
McAdoo
DJ

Jamal Crawford
JJ Redick
Danny Manning
Elton Brand
Swen Nater / Montrezl Harrell (??)

Probably should put Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette on there somewhere, but I'm too scarred by his time on the Warriors...
No way Harrell or Jamal Crawford, IMHO. There has to be someone better. Norm Nixon, Cassell, Mark Jackson, Baron Davis all better than Crawford.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,528
Cousy
Sam Jones
Bird
McHale
Russell

Bench:

Havlicek
Parish
Cowens
Pierce
Garnett
Jojo White
DJ

That's ignoring the very recent guys, which include Kyrie, IT, Horford, etc.

This is a great team.
No need to "ignore" IT or Horford. They're not sniffing this team.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,528
Give me an 9 man rotation with C's and I'd take on everyone except Lakers.

PG Cousy
SG Sam Jones
SF Bird
PF KG
C Russell

G DJ
Wing1 Pierce
Wing2 Havlicek
Big McHale

if I had to go 12, would add
Heinsohn
Cowens
probably Kyrie but he hasn't really been here long enough.

Also this would be a fun all-coaches lineup:
PG KC Jones
SG Chris Ford
SF Satch Sanders
PF Tom Heinsohn
C Bill Russell

Bench:
Don Nelson
Don Chaney
Dave Cowens
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,283
What is the best Cs team to compete with today’s style of play?

KI, Allen, Bird, Garnett, Russell?

That’s 3 guys that could bomb threes, KI can drive, Garnett can pop or post, could run inside out with Russell.

This 5 gets a lot of boards and can D up decently,


Heat could run out Dragic Wade LBJ Bosh and Shaq. That’s pretty good.

Bulls ever have a good center because Rose, MJ, Pippen and Rodman is an incredible 4.

I’m having trouble thinking of the most cohesive Pistons grouping. The Bad Boys plus the early aughts team and now Blake and Drummond makes me think you could put out a team that would only allow 80 points a game.
 

jmm57

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,286
Bob Cousy was at .446 TS% for his career. For comparison, Marcus Smart is at .497.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
5,134
Bob Cousy was at .446 TS% for his career. For comparison, Marcus Smart is at .497.
I don’t understand exactly why, but it’s generally accepted that the game was very different back then and you can’t compare shooting percentages across eras.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
14,257
Bob Cousy was at .446 TS% for his career. For comparison, Marcus Smart is at .497.
beyond how different the game was, the most obvious difference is that 3pt shots didn't exist, so any guard before the 3pt era is going to have uglier TS%.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
9,573
Somewhere
I don’t understand exactly why, but it’s generally accepted that the game was very different back then and you can’t compare shooting percentages across eras.
No three point line
Fewer defensive restrictions
More team fouls allowed
Fewer refs
Much higher threshold for fouls

I mean virtually every rules change in history has favored the offense.
 
Last edited:

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,668
Santa Monica, CA
Post injury, sure, but the 2007 verson of KG? He won DPOY, was first team all-nba, and 3rd in MVP voting. His scoring dipped because he had guys around him. He probably deserved to finish 2nd in MVP voting as he was better all around than Kobe and CP3, who finished ahead (at that point LeBron was underrated, finishing 4th).
McHale at his peak was better than any of the Garnett we saw in Boston. Garnett had "guys around him" in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. McHale shared the ball through his whole peak with Robert Parish, Larry Bird, and Dennis Johnson. In '87 he averaged 26 ppg, shot 60% from the floor, 83% from the line, blocked 2.2 shots per game, and grabbed 9.9 rebounds. Plus he could defend three positions and was entirely unstoppable with the ball in the post.

Having watched both of their entire careers in Boston, this is an easy call IMHO.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,668
Santa Monica, CA
True - but his FG% is pretty pedesatrian even by 1950's standards
Looking at one year at random in his prime - he was 16th in the league in FG% in 1957. That would be 52% territory in 2019. The game has changed a ton - look at the FG% leaders from those years. These days all of the leaders, short of a few exceptions, are bigs who shoot from the paint. In the 50s, you had guards and forwards all over the top 20.
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
2,158
Saint Paul, MN
Looking at one year at random in his prime - he was 16th in the league in FG% in 1957. That would be 52% territory in 2019. The game has changed a ton - look at the FG% leaders from those years. These days all of the leaders, short of a few exceptions, are bigs who shoot from the paint. In the 50s, you had guards and forwards all over the top 20.
He finished top 20 only twice - so while you may have picked a random year, you picked a very positive one for him :)
 

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,928
Twin Cities
McHale at his peak was better than any of the Garnett we saw in Boston. Garnett had "guys around him" in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. McHale shared the ball through his whole peak with Robert Parish, Larry Bird, and Dennis Johnson. In '87 he averaged 26 ppg, shot 60% from the floor, 83% from the line, blocked 2.2 shots per game, and grabbed 9.9 rebounds. Plus he could defend three positions and was entirely unstoppable with the ball in the post.

Having watched both of their entire careers in Boston, this is an easy call IMHO.
I don't think this is that easy a call. Peak McHale was absolutely a better offensive player than Boston KG (and maybe better than any KG). But saying McHale could guard 3 positions is a bit of an overstatement. He could not handle quick 3s (his perimeter D was pretty limited) and he had some issues with a few of the more bruising, more athletic 5s. If McHale could guard 3 positions, then KG could guard 4.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,668
Santa Monica, CA
I don't think this is that easy a call. Peak McHale was absolutely a better offensive player than Boston KG (and maybe better than any KG). But saying McHale could guard 3 positions is a bit of an overstatement. He could not handle quick 3s (his perimeter D was pretty limited) and he had some issues with a few of the more bruising, more athletic 5s. If McHale could guard 3 positions, then KG could guard 4.
Easy was probably overstating it. But McHale could absolutely guard wings - he covered Bernard King, he covered Dominique, and he did a good job on those guys. Who were these bruising and athletic centers that McHale struggled with? He was a first-team all-defense guy just like KG.
 
Last edited:

jmm57

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,286
There were also 8 teams, so top 20 isn’t that impressive compared to a 30 team NBA.

In fairness, there weren’t many guards ahead of Cousy in TS%.

Sorting 1946-1970 there are 64 players classified a G, G-F or F-G who played 400 games. Cousy was 41st out of the 64 in TS.

Limit it to 1960 and he’s 9 of 22.
 
Last edited: