Are Heat among top dynasties?

A metrics-based look at how Miami compares to NBA's all-time best

Updated: October 7, 2013, 12:25 PM ET
By Justin Kubatko | ESPN Insider

Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen and Lebron James/Dwyane WadeGetty ImagesHow do the Heat compare to the 1996-98 Bulls and other top NBA dynasties?

The Miami Heat are looking to make history in 2013-14, aiming to become just the sixth team in NBA history to win three consecutive championships. The five teams that have accomplished that feat so far are:

● 1952-54 Minneapolis Lakers
● 1959-66 Boston Celtics
● 1990-92 Chicago Bulls
● 1996-98 Chicago Bulls
● 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers

In order to assess where the Heat might fall among this group, the dynasties above were ranked using a system based on both regular-season and playoff performance.

First, each team's point differential, including both regular-season and playoff games, was adjusted for strength of schedule. Second, the standard deviation of the SRS (Simple Rating System) values from above was computed for each season. Third, a five-year moving average of the standard deviations from above was computed. (This is done to smooth out short-term fluctuations in the data.) And finally, each team's SRS was divided by the moving average from above, yielding the number of standard deviations the team's SRS was above or below average (labeled "Z" in the tables below).

Based on this system, here is a ranking of the five dynasties outlined above followed by an analysis of how the Heat stack up.


1. 1996-98 Chicago Bulls

Led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the Bulls had the most dominant three-season stretch in NBA history.