And the Best NBA Champion This Decade Is…


Before I reveal which team won this poll, I’d like to break with objectivity and say thank you to everyone who participated in the poll. I was surprised at how few people participated, even though there was a good amount of feedback and voting. There’s still strong support for this blog and it’s deeply appreciated.

Now, time to reveal the best NBA Champion of this decade. The winner the public chose is…

The 2017-2018 Golden State Warriors!

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The third consecutive Conference title and championship appearance for the Golden State Warriors, this one would feature two teams that would lose one game each heading into the Finals. The Warriors won 15 games in a row during their playoff run to set an NBA record, while finishing 16-1 and post the best winning percentage (.941) in NBA playoff history. They blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first two games before winning the next two out of three by a combined 14 points, averaging over 113 points per game in the series. Free agent acquisition Kevin Durant won the Finals MVP that year. In a total average of 39 minutes on the court per game, Durant put up medians of 35 points, eight rebounds and five assists (35-8-5).

Q: What made this team stand out from the rest?

A: Some of the stats mentioned above with records being set show the Warriors dominating everyone they played. This was the season where Golden State had to answer back after setting records as the best season in NBA history while also failing to win a championship against the Cleveland Cavaliers in an epic seven game collapse. There was a lot depth and star talent that made the team stand out and be in the conversation of top four team in the league. When Kevin Durant decided in early July he was going to the Bay area, there was a sense that the Warriors would be next to unstoppable to beat. There’s a good argument to be made about the reaction to when LeBron James decided he was going to go to Miami and Chris Bosh followed suit. The counter was it took them an extra season before they got their first title in the decade. The Warriors came out of the gate in the regular season well, but became their best selves in the playoffs.

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Warriors Coach Steve Kerr (with clipboard and mouth open) knew how to get the best from the 2017-2018 roster, especially in the playoffs.

The author’s choice of NBA Champion of the decade: 2017-2018 Golden State Warriors

Q: Why pick this team as supposed to the other two or other nine for that matter?

A: There are only two teams to repeat this decade: the Heat and the Warriors. Yes, the Lakers went to two titles before the 2009-2010 season, but that team was well balanced compared to what happened when LeBron went to Miami. As stated earlier, the Heat took the first two seasons with three superstars to win a championship. The Warriors won a title before Kevin Durant came to the Bay area and had a good case for winning if Draymond Green wasn’t suspended the last two games. the second championship with Durant showed they were vulnerable, but not this one.

Q: What makes this team stand out from the rest?

A: Golden State’s commitment to dominating their opponents is the biggest factor. The Warriors throttled most of their opponents, especially in the playoffs. Their first round opponent, the Portland Traiblazers, were blown out in three of the four games played. Their second round opponent, the Utah Jazz, lost every game by double digits. In the Conference Finals, San Antonio took it to Golden State in the first game, but got crushed the last three. No one in a stacked Western Conference had an answer or even a win against the Warriors.

Golden State had depth that was envied across the league. Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Matt Barnes, David West and JaVale McGee were the big names that filled in when the superstars needed rest. When this second unit got going, they left no doubt who would win.

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Andre Iguodala (9) goes for the dunk against LeBron James (23)

NBA Eastern Conference Predictions

The NBA season began October 22nd and there are a lot of expectations for teams in the Eastern Conference. Kawhi Leonard has gone back to the West after his one year championship stint with the Toronto Raptors. While Kevin Durant is out for this year, Kyrie Irving could give the Nets a boost and give them one seed bump for the playoffs. The Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat could each build off of some acquisitions last year and in the offseason. It is time to reveal who the top eight teams might be.

1). Milwaukee Bucks

Last year’s number one seed will probably repeat with most of their core intact, minus one or two players. As long as the reigning MVP is on the team, there’s a pretty good chance Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead the Bucks back to the number one seed, and improve since last playing. No dealing with Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs or conference this time.

2). Philadelphia 76ers

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(From left to right) Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris & Al Horford will be a trio to be reckoned with this season.

Adding Al Horford will make a difference and not just with height and veteran leadership. Horford brings a lot to the team when it comes to knowledge and has made every team he’s been on better in almost every facet of the game. The Sixers barely lost to the Raptors in a seven game series last year, and could be the favorites in the Eastern Conference to make the Finals. While JJ Redick going to New Orleans does hurt the shooting game a bit,  the Sixers playing physically with Horford, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will make the important games close, so it’s an even trade-off.

3). Boston Celtics

Exit Kyrie Irving, enter Kemba Walker and Tacko Fall. This year’s Celtics team looks like the real deal and scarier than in last years. Kemba played at a good level in Charolette for years, and Fall did well in college before going to the draft early. He could wind up being a draft steal considering how Boston plays better as a team under Brad Stevens’ coaching. Expect them to be much better than last year for sure.

4). Indiana Pacers

Although he was sidelined after a season-ending injury, Victor Oladipo stayed upbeat and continued being the heart and soul of the team. The Pacers proved to be the dark horse playoff team in the East that almost made a deep push.

The Pacers should feel good about this season, especially with Kawhi leaving the Eastern Conference. The Pacers could be the fourth best team in the conference if they play as hard and competitive as they did last year. If the injuries start piling up, there’s still a good culture and coaching.

5). Brooklyn Nets

While Kevin Durant is out for this season, Brooklyn’s acquisitions of Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan will still put this team in the right place to make an impact in the playoffs. Yes, Kyrie Irving has become a bit of an issue with the Nets right now, but they have to implode spectacularly in order to not make it to the playoffs. The Nets have more talent than the next three teams that will be listed, and much better depth.

6). Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic (9) helps lead Orlando past the New York Knicks in one of their few wins to start the season

Minus what happened in the last four games against Toronto, the Magic did pretty well for the season. Locking up Nikola Vucevic the way they did in the offseason will be a breather, and if Mo Bamba gets going during winter, this team has a real shot of winning the division. Additions of Al-Farouq Aminu and Michael Carter-Williams will help the bench keep them in games. Give credit to GM John Hammond for building this roster the way he has.

7). Detroit Pistons

Not a pretty pick, but Dwayne Casey worked his magic last year with Blake Griffin leading the charge. With Derrick Rose there (and running point at times with Reggie Jackson out), Detroit will have a say for the playoffs. While they’re not as good as Indiana or Milwaukee, but the Pistons have to like their chances to make the playoffs as a later seed, especially with Cleveland and Chicago bottoming out in the league and not just the division.

8). Miami Heat

Tyler Herro celebrates with Kendrick Nunn against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half on October 23. Both Herro & Nunn are rookies who could push the Heat into the playoffs.


Finally, there’s the Miami Heat. When Jimmy Butler decided to sign with them this past offseason, it put the Heat back in the playoff conversation. Erik Spoelstra has proven he can coach and develop talent well enough, and the Heat have at least eight rookies that can grow and be critical towards making the playoffs. Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Dion Waiters help with depth, something a number of the other teams on the brink don’t have.

To see who else has a realistic shot of making the playoffs in the East, look at who’s left. Mentioned above in the Detroit section was how bad the Bulls and Cavaliers will probably be, and that is 99% guaranteed. Washington and New York look to be awful as well, either because there’s no depth or the front office is a mess. The Hornets have a starting five that would make a great bench. Atlanta is still developing and putting the pieces together, and Toronto lost Kawhi Leonard and key pieces such as Danny Green in the offseason.