NBA Power Ranking Week 11: Every Team’s Best Moment from the Decade
(Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports)
The unofficial 11th week of the NBA has drawn to a close, along with the 2010s decade.
As we reflect on the past 10 years, let’s look back at every team’s best moment from the past decade… as well as where they rank in today’s NBA.
- Milwaukee Bucks – Record: 29-5 – Previous: 1
Giannis winning MVP was the moment the Bucks and everyone around the NBA officially knew: the Greek Freak is going to be one of the greats.
Best moment: Giannis wins MVP
- Los Angeles Lakers – Record: 26-7 – Previous: 2
In his final game as a pro, Kobe Bryant gave the Lakers’ fans what they deserved by dropping 60 points in a vintage performance en route to a win over the Jazz.
Best moment: Kobe’s Farewell
- Denver Nuggets – Record: 23-9 – Previous: 3
The Nuggets don’t necessarily have one great outlying moment. Jokic earning All-NBA confirmed how great he was.
Best moment: Jokic earns All-NBA team honors
- Miami Heat – Record: 24-8 – Previous: 6
BANG! Ray Allen’s game-tying three in Game 6 sends the game to overtime. The Heat would end up winning that game and game seven as well to win the 2013 NBA Finals.
Best moment: Ray Allen’s three-pointer in Game 6
- Los Angeles Clippers – Record: 23-11 – Previous: 5
This choice was a toss-up between retro Blake Griffin dunks and retro Deandre Jordan dunks. However, this dunk by Jordan on Brandon Knight stands alone as one of the best of all time.
Best moment: Deandre Jordan ends Brandon Knight
- Boston Celtics – Record: 22-8 – Previous: 4
The Boston Celtics fan base will forever love Isaiah Thomas. Following the tragic death of his sister, IT dropped 53 points in game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to beat the Wizards. Truly one of the gutsiest and most emotional performances of the decade.
Best Moment: IT drops 53 for his sister
- Philadelphia 76ers – Record: 23-12 Previous: 7
This game was the moment when the 76ers fans, after years of watching terrible basketball, realized their team finally had a bright future.
Best moment: Joel Embiid’s Debut
- Houston Rockets – Record: 22-11 – Previous: 10
In arguably the best ankle-breaker moment of the decade, James Harden dropped Wesley Johnson in a rivalry game against the Clippers.
Best moment: Harden drops Wesley Johnson
- Toronto Raptors – Record: 22-11 – Previous: 9
Is this even a question? Kawhi Leonard hit one of the greatest shots of all-time in game seven to beat the Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors won their first NBA Finals that year, too.
Best moment: Kawhi Leonard ends Philadelphia
- Utah Jazz – Record: 20-12 – Previous: 11
With limited playoff success throughout the decade, I had to get creative here. This tip-in shot from Trevor Booker is one of the coolest shots from the entire decade.
Best moment: Trevor Booker tip-shot
- Dallas Mavericks – Record: 21-11 – Previous: 8
Going up against a loaded Miami Heat roster, Dirk Nowitzki put the team on his back and won a championship for the Mavericks.
Best Moment: Dirk Brings a Championship
- Indiana Pacers Record: 21-12 Previous: 12
In my opinion, this was the greatest in-game dunk in NBA history. In Vince Carter fashion, PG, on a breakaway, pulled off an incredible windmill, reverse-360 dunk.
Best Moment: Paul George Windmill 360
- Oklahoma City Thunder – Record: 17-15 – Previous: 14
In one of the most emotional and heart-touching moments of the decade, Kevin Durant dedicated his MVP award to his mom, who always had his back when he struggled as a kid.
Best Moment: KD’s MVP Speech
- Brooklyn Nets – Record: 16-15 – Previous: 13
For almost the entire decade, the Nets had been the laughing stock of the NBA. By acquiring Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Nets are in an excellent position to win a championship in the 2020s.
Best Moment: Signing KD and Kyrie
- San Antonio Spurs – Record: 13-18 – Previous: 16
With Kawhi Leonard emerging as a star, the Spurs won the 2014 NBA Finals and their fifth total under Greg Popovich.
Best Moment: 2014 Championship
- Portland Trail Blazers – Record: 14-19 – Previous: 15
Good-Bye Westbrook. Damian Lillard pulled up from 39 feet to beat the OKC Thunder in game 5 of the 2019 playoffs. Lillard is the only player to hit multiple series-winning shots in NBA history.
Best Moment: Lillard ends the Thunder
- Chicago Bulls – Record: 13-20 – Previous: 17
At age 22, Derrick Rose became the youngest player in NBA history to win an MVP award. One of the saddest injury stories of the decade, Rose could have been one of the greatest of all time.
Best Moment: D-Rose wins MVP
- Orlando Magic – Record: 14-18 – Previous: 19
Another team with limited playoff success, the Magic don’t have too many moments to choose from. D.J. Augustin’s game-winner last season gave Orlando a 1-0 lead in the first round of the playoffs against Toronto.
Best Moment: D.J Augustin Game-Winner
- Memphis Grizzlies – Record: 13-21 – Previous: 20
For as much as I criticize David Fizdale, this rant was one of the greatest of all time. It will be interesting to see if Fizdale can earn another head-coaching job in the NBA.
Best Moment: Take that for Data!
- Detroit Pistons – Record: 12-21 – Previous: 22
While it hasn’t led to playoff success, the trade for Blake Griffin gave Pistons fans hope, something they hadn’t had in a long time.
Best Moment: Acquiring Blake Griffin
- Charlotte Hornets – Record: 13-22 – Previous: 21
Playing against prime D-Wade and Chris Bosh on the roster, Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson carried the Hornets to a surprisingly heavily-contested first-round playoff series against the Heat.
Best Moment: Taking Miami to seven in 2016
- Phoenix Suns – Record: 12-20 – Previous: 23
For almost the entire decade, this franchise was a complete joke and horrible at drafting. Devin Booker, however, was a steal. He dropped 70 in a game against the Celtics in 2017, the most by anyone in the 2010s decade.
Best Moment: Devin Booker drops 70
- Sacramento Kings – Record: 12-21 – Previous: 18
While out of the league now, Tyreke Evans was once one of the most exciting young players in the NBA. This half-court winner from Evans as a rookie gave Kings’ fans a spark of hope.
Best Moment: Tyreke Evans game-winner
- New Orleans Pelicans – Record: 11-23 – Previous: 27
Anthony Davis did not yield a deep playoff run. Still, somehow winning the lottery to pick Zion Williamson was an incredible moment for the franchise and will likely keep them from going into a full-blown rebuild.
Best Moment: Winning the lottery
- Minnesota Timberwolves Record: 11-20 Previous: 25
Minnesota had all of one playoff win throughout the decade. However, D-Rose dropping 50 was one of the more emotional and exciting performances to watch of the decade.
Best Moment: D-Rose drops 50
- Cleveland Cavaliers – Record: 10-22 – Previous: 26
Is this even a question? Lebron James rallied the troops from down 3-1 in 2016 to take down the 73-9 Warriors and give Cleveland its first NBA Championship.
Best Moment: LeBron brings the championship
- Golden State Warriors – Record: 9-25 – Previous: 30
Instead of picking between 3 separate championships, I’m going with the shot that made Steph Curry one of the most well-known players around the world. Mike Breen’s call on this shot makes it all that much more legendary.
Best Moment: Curry’s Shot vs OKC
- New York Knicks – Record: 9-24 – Previous: 28
The Knicks have been a joke for a while and did not advance far with Carmelo Anthony. However, in February 2012, Jeremy Lin was the talking point of the NBA.
Best Moment: Linsanity
- Washington Wizards – Record: 9-22 – Previous: 24
One of the best quotes from the decade:
Reporter: “Did you call bank?”
Paul Pierce: “I called game!”
This quote came in response to Pierce’s hitting a buzzer-beater with the Wizards against the Hawks in the 2015 playoffs.
Best Moment: “I called GAME!”
- Atlanta Hawks – Record: 6-27 – Previous: 29
In a pivotal game five against the Wizards in 2015, Al Horford put back a layup with under two seconds to play to give the Hawks the win and to go up 3-2 in the series.
Best Moment: Al Horford Game-winner