With three championships in franchise history and a total of nine trips to the NBA Finals, the Philadelphia 76ers have had some of the best teams in NBA history. For this piece, we’ll be ranking the five best Sixers teams in franchise history. The top three will be easy to pick since they are the three Sixers clubs which won it all.
The other two choices, though, may be difficult to pick. Down the road, perhaps the 2020-21 Sixers will find their way on this list depending on how they do in the playoffs.
5. 2000-01 Sixers
Led by MVP Allen Iverson, this Sixers club won 56 games during the regular season and had the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Iverson averaged 31.1 points per game during the season. The next highest scorer on the team was Theo Ratliff, who put up 12.4 points.
The Sixers were more of a defensive juggernaut than an offensive unit. Led by Eric Snow and Aaron McKie, the 76ers gave up only 90.4 points per game. That was good for fifth in the NBA.
The Sixers began the 2001 playoffs by defeating the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Iverson averaged 31.5 points per contest.
The second round was a tough one for the Sixers. They matched up against Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors. Philly wound up winning the series in seven epic games, with Iverson and Carter putting on a show for the whole world to see.
The Eastern Conference Finals saw the Sixers take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The 76ers won that series in seven games as well to advance to the 2001 NBA Finals.
Every Sixers fan remembers where they were when Iverson led the Sixers to the Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. This was the game where Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue right in front of Los Angeles’ bench.
After winning Game 1, though, the Sixers lost four in a row. The Lakers just had too much fire-power with Shaq and Kobe. However, that 2000-01 team is still talked about even today. That group of players will never be forgotten in Philadelphia.
4. 1979-80 Sixers
Guided by head coach Billy Cunningham, this Sixers team won 59 games in the regular season, finishing third in the Eastern Conference standings.
Julius Erving led the Sixers in scoring. Dr. J averaged 26.9 points per game while shooting an efficient 51.9 percent from the field.
The 1979-80 Sixers were top 10 in offense and defense. All signs pointed toward the club going on a deep playoff run and that’s exactly what happened.
The Sixers began the 1980 playoffs with a first-round sweep of the Washington Bullets. Back then, the first round was a best of three series.
The 76ers took care of business against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round in five games, setting up a matchup against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the Conference Finals.
Erving got the best of Bird in this series. He averaged 25.0 points to lead the Sixers to a 4-1 series win. Next up were the Los Angeles Lakers, who had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson leading the charge.
Erving and Darryl Dawkins both averaged over 20.0 points in the Finals for the 76ers, but the Lakers won in six games. Still, this is one of the best Sixers teams ever. They won the fifth-most games in franchise history.
3. 1954-55 Syracuse Nationals
The Sixers were the Syracuse Nationals from 1949-1963. This particular Nationals club went 43-29 during the regular season. They were tied with the Fort Wayne Pistons for the best record in the league. There were only nine clubs playing at the time.
Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes led the team in scoring at 18.5 points per game. The Nationals began the 1955 playoffs by defeating the Celtics in the Eastern Division Finals, 3-1.
The Nationals faced off against the Pistons in the Finals, where they won in seven games. It was the franchise’s first championship.
2. 1982-83 Sixers
This 76ers team won 65 games in the regular season. They were led in scoring by Moses Malone, who averaged 24.5 points per game. Erving wasn’t too far behind at 21.4 points a night.
The 1983 playoffs began with the Sixers sweeping the New York Knicks in the Semifinals. There still wasn’t a first round of the playoffs.
The Eastern Conference Finals featured the Sixers and Milwaukee Bucks going head to head. Philly wound up winning in five games to advance to the NBA Finals, a series that featured six Hall of Famers.
Malone, Erving and Maurice Cheeks led the Sixers over Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson and Bob McAdoo. The 76ers won the title in four games, with Malone winning Finals MVP after averaging 25.8 points, 18.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
The 1982-83 Sixers have the second-most wins in franchise history during the regular season, but the title is all those players really cared about.
1. 1966-67 Sixers
This Sixers squad won a franchise-record 68 games during the regular season. They had two Hall of Famers leading the team in Wilt Chamberlain and Hal Greer. Wilt averaged 24.1 points and 24.2 rebounds, while Greer put up 22.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
The Sixers began the playoffs by defeating the Cincinnati Royals in the Eastern Division Semifinals. Philly then crushed the Celtics in the Eastern Division Finals to advance to the NBA Finals.
Chamberlain was going up against the San Francisco Warriors in the Finals, the team he began his legendary career with. The Sixers won the Finals in six games to finish off their magical season.