The league’s history is, in many ways, defined by its dynasties in a manner that other sports aren’t, and the Warriors are nothing if not the defining team of our current era. But where do they rank in comparison with those other dynastic teams from years past? Although there’s no definitively correct answer, it’s still fun to argue. So we thought we’d fact-check Golden State’s case using our Elo ratings, which are designed to measure a team’s inherent strength at any given moment.
Let’s start with the best runs of four consecutive seasons according to the method we favor for judging historical Elo seasons: a blend2 of a team’s final, peak and full-season-average ratings.3 To ensure that a team rated highly every year, I took the harmonic mean of its blended rating from each of the four seasons. Here are the all-time rankings, excluding any duplicates from the same franchise over the same span of years.
Elo’s best four-year runs
Highest average* blended Elo across four consecutive seasons for NBA franchises, 1948-18
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