Recent years have not been kind to the Philadelphia 76ers, as despite having great regular-season teams, they've come up short in the playoffs time and time again. With James Harden having one foot out the door and Joel Embiid soon to be 30, time is running out for the Sixers to capitalize on this window.

That's not what we're here for today, though. Despite a rough past two decades, the Sixers have a long and proud history as one of the NBA's oldest franchise. With three titles and several NBA Finals appearances, Philadelphia has plenty of success throughout its storied history.

Today, we're here to look back on some of the best teams in franchise history and compare them against each other. These are the 10 best teams in Philadelphia 76ers history.

10. 1980-81

The Sixers have made the NBA Finals nine times in their history. Under that criteria, all of those teams had to make the list. That leaves just one spot remaining, which belongs to the 1980-81 team as the best of the rest.

To be fair, this team is sandwiched between two Finals teams that we'll see later, but it was still exceptional on its own. The 80-81 Sixers finished the regular season at 62-20, which was tied for the best in the NBA and better than their record the year before or after. However, they wound up as the third seed in the Eastern Conference due to the NBA's old playoff format and the Boston Celtics winning the division in a tiebreaker. The Sixers swept the Indiana Pacers in a best-of-three and beat the Milwaukee Bucks in seven before falling to the Celtics in seven in the conference final.

Hall of Famer Julius Erving had arguably his best season in Philadelphia, averaging 24.6 points and winning MVP. His supporting cast included the likes of Darryl Dawkins (14 PPG) and Bobby Jones (13.5 PPG). The Sixers finished No. 5 in offensive rating and No. 7 in defensive rating.

9. 1953-54

Now we can get into Sixers teams that actually made the Finals, well, almost. This team, and a couple others later on, predate the Sixers' move to Philadelphia, coming from their time as the Syracuse Nationals.

This team finished with a seemingly unspectacular record of 42-30, but that was good enough for third in the Eastern Division. Syracuse went 4-0 in a Round Robin to determine seeding, then beat Boston 2-0 in the Division Finals. However, the Nationals' run came to an end with a seven-game loss to the Minneapolis Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Dolph Schayes, one of the first greats in franchise history, had an outstanding season with 17.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. By his side was Paul Seymour, who averaged 13.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. The Nationals finished No. 4 in offensive rating and No. 1 in defensive rating, albeit out of just nine teams.

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8. 1949-50

Another team from the franchise's early history in Syracuse, although this one is particularly special. This is actually the first season of the NBA as we know it today, following the merger of the BAA and NBL. With the NBA considering the BAA its true origin point, and the Nationals beginning life in the NBL, this technically marks the first NBA season for this franchise.

Needless to say, the Nationals wasted no time in their debut season. Syracuse finished with the best record in the league at 51-13, including a stellar 31-1 mark at home. The Nationals then defeated the Philadelphia Warriors (weird I know) 2-0 and the New York Knicks 2-1 in the playoffs, advancing to the NBA Finals. Once again (or for the first time?), though, Minneapolis ended Syracuse's run with a 4-2 NBA Finals victory.

Schayes, then the youngest player on the team at 21, led Syracuse in scoring with 16.8 points per game. Bill Gabor and veteran Al Servi were the top two complementary scorers, each averaging over 10 points a game.

7. 1976-77

Now we return to the Sixers teams that are actually known as the Sixers, who would've thought. Honestly, this could be a case of recency bias, as there's an argument for the previous team over this one. However, the 1976-77 Sixers are more than worthy of this spot as well.

This team finished 50-32, good for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. After a first-round bye, the Sixers defeated the Celtics in seven and the Houston Rockets, who were in the East for some reason, in six. Their run ended with a six-game defeat against the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Finals.

Erving was the leading scorer at 21.6 points per game, but Doug McGinnis was right behind him at 21.4. Doug Collins (18.3 points per game) and World B. Free (16.3 points) headlined a strong supporting cast. Philadelphia finished No. 6 in offensive rating and No. 4 in defensive rating.

6. 1981-82

If you read the No. 10 entry, then congratulations, this team will look very familiar to you. This year's Sixers squad finished 58-24, slightly worse than the year before but still good for third in the East. Philadelphia beat the Atlanta Hawks 2-0 in Round 1, the Bucks 4-2 in Round 2 and the Celtics 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Final. The Sixers were once again the bridesmaid and not the bride, losing in six to the now-Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Erving was once again the star of the show, averaging 24.4 points per game. Five other players scored in double figures, including Andrew Toney with an average of 16.5 points. Philadelphia finished No. 5 in offensive rating and No. 7 in defensive rating.

5. 1979-80

Another team from the same era that hit much of the same beats. This Sixers squad finished 59-23 and once again third in the East. They then steamrolled their way through the Eastern Conference playoffs, defeating the Washington Bullets 2-0, the Hawks 4-1 and the Celtics 4-1. However, they ran into the Lakers yet again in the Finals, also losing in six.

Erving averaged 26.9 points per game, his highest average in Philadelphia. Six other players averaged double-digit points, including Dawkins at 14.7. The Sixers finished No. 13 in offensive rating and No. 1 in defensive rating.

4. 2000-01

Now we arrive at what may be the most iconic Sixers team. This squad finished 56-26, earning the top seed in the East for the first time in nearly 20 years. The Sixers then beat the Pacers (3-1), Toronto Raptors (4-3) and Bucks (4-3) en route to the NBA Finals. There, though, and stop me if you've heard this one before, they lost to the Lakers in five (this is the last time I promise).

Maybe this team didn't match some of the highs of previous seasons, but it had award winners galore. Allen Iverson won MVP after averaging 31.4 points per game, Dikembe Mutombo won Defensive Player of the Year with an average of 11.7 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, Aaron McKie won Sixth Man of the Year with 11.6 points per game and Larry Brown won Coach of the Year. Plus, this team was just plain fun to watch with Iverson at his best. Philadelphia finished No. 13 in offensive rating and No. 5 in defensive rating.

3. 1954-55

We've made it to the pinnacle of this franchise, the three teams who have climbed the highest mountain of basketball. First off, we return to the Nationals days for the team's best season in Syracuse. This squad finished at just 43-29, but won the Eastern Division and took full advantage of the postseason opportunity. The Nationals defeated the Celtics 3-1 in the Division Final and the Fort Wayne Pistons 4-3 in the NBA Finals.

Schayes and Seymour were the stars of this team, averaging 18.5 and 14.6 points respectively to lead the franchise to its first title. The Nationals finished No. 7, second to last, in offensive rating, but No. 1 in defensive rating.

2. 1982-83

The top two teams on this list are both spectacular, and each could've easily been No. 1. In the end, though, the 1982-83 Sixers come in at No. 2.

This team was fantastic all around, finishing the regular season with by far the best record in the league at 65-17. Then in the playoffs, Philadelphia had its most dominant postseason run ever with a sweep over the Knicks and five-game victory over the Bucks. Finally in the NBA Finals, the Sixers swept their boogeyman in the Lakers for an extremely satisfying way to win their third and most-recent championship.

Many of the same players from teams in this era were still great this season, including Erving and Toney. However, the difference-maker was Hall of Famer Moses Malone, who averaged 24.5 points and 15.3 rebounds to win MVP in his first year in Philadelphia. The Sixers finished No. 5 in both offensive and defensive rating for one of their most dominant showings ever. Still, there's one team that just barely beats out this one in terms of dominance.

1. 1966-67

It was an extremely close contest, but the 1966-67 Sixers ultimately claim the honor of best team in franchise history. This squad finished with a simply outstanding record of 68-13, the best in league history at the time. The Sixers then cruised their way through the playoffs, defeating the Cincinnati Royals 3-1 and the Celtics 4-1. They then capped off their dream season with a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Warriors in the NBA Finals.

While Wilt Chamberlain, who won MVP after averaging 24.1 points and 24.2 rebounds, was the headliner, this Sixers team was stacked from top to bottom. Some of the players around him included Hal Greer, Chet Walker and Billy Cunningham, all Hall of Famers who averaged over 18 points a game this season. Philadelphia finished No. 1 in offensive rating and No. 3 in defensive rating.