2009-2010 Los Angeles Lakers
The 2009-2010 Lakers were a team with an experienced starting lineup that was athletic and dominant. With players like Dereck Fisher, Pau Gasol, and Kobe Bryant who had plenty of playoff and finals experience playing alongside Shaq to win the finals together in the 2001-2002 season. This team was able to have a regular season record of 57-25 and finishing first in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. When it got to playoff time this team came together and only lost 4 games to get to the NBA Finals where they played the Boston Celtics. The Series went into 7 games were LA was able to pull through with a victory of 83-79.
2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks
The 2010-2011 Mavericks were centered around their star Power Forward Dirk Nowitzki from Germany. The Mavs were able to surround Nowitzki with guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry while also picking up Tyson Chandler a future all star to play along with Dirk in the backcourt. The Mavs had a record of 57-25 which was 2nd in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. During the playoffs Nowitzki went off scoring 26 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2 assists per game, and leading the Mavs to the NBA Finals with only three playoff losses. The Mavs faced a star full Miami Heat team in the finals but were able to overcome that series in just 6 games winning the series 4-2.
2011-2012 Oklahoma City Thunder
The 2011-2012 Thunder are the only team on this list that didn’t win the NBA Finals. Though that being said this team was stacked and had three future MVPs in James Harden, Russel Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. The Thunder went 47-19 finishing first in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. Going into the playoffs the star tandem were able to easily able to get to the Finals only losing three games to get there. They would play the Miami Heat in the Finals where they only won a single game in the series, but this team can’t be forgotten because of all of it’s talent.
2012-2013 Miami Heat
The 2012-2013 Miami Heat were the first “super team” of the decade that was started in 2010. The Heat were able to add Lebron James and Chris Bosh, while also retaining Dwayne Wade. This team won the finals the year before and had been to the past two but this team also had another edition, veteran Ray Allen. This team went on to win 66 games in the regular season putting them at the top of the Southeastern division of the Eastern Conference. During the playoffs they faced a challenge in the conference championship series but ended up winning in 7 games to make it to the NBA Finals. The Heat would go into the finals to face up against the San Antonio Spurs, who put up a fight but the Heat gained too much momentum after game 6 when Ray Allen hit a clutch corner three to tie the game and later force a game six in overtime.
2013-2014 San Antonio Spurs
The 2013-2014 San Antonio Spurs were a fundamental team with a coach in Greg Popavich who was able to connect young talent with experienced veterans. The young talent of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard were put together with veterans Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, and Tim Duncan to create a very strong center of experience. The team went 62-20 During the regular season winning the southwest division of the Western Conference. In the playoffs they faced a challenge with the Dallas Mavericks in the first round who forced a game 7. After that they had no problem reaching the Finals where they would face the Miami Heat that had beaten them in the Finals in the previous year. The Spurs had no problem this year however, being able to win the series 4-1.
2014-2015 Golden State Warriors
The 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors were a team that was secretly building a dynasty while the other top western teams were battling in the previous years. The Warriors were made up of a star front court with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson while power forward Draymond Green distributed the ball and was a monster on defense. The Warriors had a record of 67-15 Winning the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The playoffs were passed through easily by the Warriors as they would go on to play the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James. They didn’t have much problems as they were able to win the series in 6 games and mark the start of a dynasty.
2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
The 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, the season that Lebron James was able to bring a Finals win to Cleveland. The previous year Lebron James returned to Cleveland to join a young point guard Kyrie Irving, power forward Kevin Love. The team went 57-25 finishing first overall in the Eastern Conference. The first two rounds of the playoffs they didn’t lose a game and lost only two games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Going into the NBA Finals they would rematch against the Warriors after their loss in the previous year. The series went into 7 games and the Cavaliers were able to pull through thanks to a block by Lebron and a clutch shot by Kyrie both in the closing minutes of game 7 winning 93-89.
2016-2017 Golden State Warriors
The 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors had two straight NBA Finals appearances in the seasons before and this team was looking for more. They were able to acquire what was known as the “Hampton Five” of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, draymond Green Andre Iguodala, and new addition Kevin Durant. The Warriors went 67-15 Finishing first in the Western Conference. In the first three rounds of the playoffs the Warriors didn’t lose a single game to make it to the Finals. They would be playing Lebron and Kyrie for the third season in a row. Though the new addition of Kevin Durant proved to be too much as the Warriors won in just 5 games.
2017-2018 Golden State Warriors
The 2017-2018 Golden State Warriors were pretty much a mirror image of the team before it with only one distinct change of rookie Jordan Bell. The team was in a good and favored spot to start the season and was the easy favorite to win the NBA Finals. This team went 58-24 finishing second in the Western Conference. They went into the playoffs and struggled in the first rounds more they had in the past and went into a 7 game series with the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals to get to the NBA Finals. They would face yet again the Cavaliers and Lebron, but this was a team without Kyrie Irving. The Leadership of Lebron just wasn’t enough to face the Warriors as the Warriors swept the Cavs in 4.
2018-2019 Toronto Raptors
The 2018-2019 Toronto Raptors were a team that were determined to win and bring a Finals to the North and Canada. They were able to make a huge move in free agency and pick up Kawhi Leonard for a year before he went back to Los Angeles. They had a record of 58-24 finishing second in the Eastern Conference. Going into the playoffs Kawhi took a huge leadership role because of his previous playoff experience with the Spurs. They faced a challenge with the Philadelphia 76ers but won in game 7 and then beat the Bucks in 6 to get to the Finals. They would be playing a Golden State Warriors team who had injuries but was still a huge threat. The Raptors were able to come through and win the series in 6 games, essentially ending the Warriors Dynasty and finally claiming a Finals win for Canada.
By Grant Williams, Staff Writer