There was no doubt the 2010s decade belonged to LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors. James was able to capture three NBA titles with two different teams and Golden State won three NBA titles.
Heading into the 2023 NBA Finals, who has been the team or player to define this decade so far? How much will the winner of the 2023 NBA Finals this year sway that decision?
Who is the Team of the Decade in the Eastern Conference So Far?
The Eastern Conference has been defined by three teams in the 2020s. The Boston Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat. Each team has made an NBA Finals this decade, with the Bucks capturing an NBA Championship in 2021. But with Milwaukee being upset by the Heat again this year, are the Bucks the most successful team in the Eastern Conference so far this decade?
That will depend on what the Celtics and Heat accomplish this year. If either franchise were to win it all this year, then that team would take the crown for the Eastern Conference in the 2020s. The other team that can put their name into the conversation, is the Philadelphia 76ers. If they can capture an NBA title, they would be right there with Milwaukee for number one in the rankings.
For the long-term outlook in the East, I think Boston projects as the overwhelming favorite. They have Tatum and Brown entering their primes and a plethora of quality supporting cast players around them. The Heat and Bucks future could be in question with Jimmy Butler entering his mid-thirties and Giannis’ future in Milwaukee in-doubt. Teams like the Magic and the Pistons look to have a bright future but will have a way to go before they can contend in the East.
Who is the Team of the Decade in the Western Conference So Far?
The Western Conference has two NBA Championship so far this decade, one by the Lakers in 2020 and one by the Warriors in 2022. The Lakers are on the verge of making another Conference Finals, with another championship run likely to solidify their place at the top of the Western Conference. The other Western Conference team that has reached a Finals in the 2020s, is the Phoenix Suns. They fell short in the 2021 Finals but have a chance at redemption in 2023.
The Denver Nuggets have been in the playoffs every year this decade, making a NBA Championship a deciding factor in crowning them the team of the decade in the West. I would say the West is completely up for grabs, but another Lakers or Warriors title run would solidly either team as number one. An NBA Championship in 2023 for the Nuggets or Suns would arguably make them the most successful Western Conference team of the decade.
Some teams that could make an impact in the future in the West would be the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies. Both teams have won multiple playoff series this decade and have a generational talent to build around for the future. Other teams that could see success in the West in the future are the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Who is your NBA team of the decade so far?
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