WhatIfSports 2015 NBA Championship Power Rankings

How would the Warriors fare against past NBA champions?

Mark J. Rebilas/Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Using our NBA simulation engine, we placed the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors in a round-robin tournament featuring every NBA champion from the past 25 years. Every team in the tournament played every other team 51 times. The simulation generated each team’s winning percentage (Win %), average points per game (PF) and average points allowed (PA).

To simulate these games or any other theoretical matchups of your choosing, try the WhatIfSports.com NBA SimMatchup tool.

2014-15 Golden State Warriors vs. Last 25 NBA Champions
Rank Team Win % PF PA Simulate vs. Warriors
1 2014-15 Golden State Warriors 65.9 101.5 95.8 NBA Champions!
2 2012-13 Miami Heat 64.8 97.7 93.9 SimMatchup >
3 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 61.0 97.7 93.9 SimMatchup >
4 1996-97 Chicago Bulls 58.8 95.9 92.7 SimMatchup >
5 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs 57.3 95.8 93.5 SimMatchup >
6 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers 57.3 100.1 97.9 SimMatchup >
7 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs 56.9 99.3 96.6 SimMatchup >
8 1991-92 Chicago Bulls 56.7 101.3 99.5 SimMatchup >
9 1990-91 Chicago Bulls 54.2 101.8 100.6 SimMatchup >
10 2004-05 San Antonio Spurs 53.5 93.7 92.8 SimMatchup >
11 2007-08 Boston Celtics 53.2 95.5 94.0 SimMatchup >
12 1994-95 Houston Rockets 52.8 102.0 101.0 SimMatchup >
13 1992-93 Chicago Bulls 52.6 98.6 97.8 SimMatchup >
14 2011-12 Miami Heat 48.6 95.7 96.7 SimMatchup >
15 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers 47.7 98.7 99.5 SimMatchup >
16 2005-06 Miami Heat 47.6 98.7 99.4 SimMatchup >
17 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers 46.9 97.3 98.4 SimMatchup >
18 1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers 46.6 95.6 97.1 SimMatchup >
19 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks 45.1 98.5 99.4 SimMatchup >
20 1989-90 Detroit Pistons 41.9 96.4 99.4 SimMatchup >
21 2009-10 Los Angeles Lakers 41.0 94.3 96.4 SimMatchup >
22 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs 40.7 91.7 95.2 SimMatchup >
23 1997-98 Chicago Bulls 40.7 92.0 95.3 SimMatchup >
24 1998-99 San Antonio Spurs 40.3 91.7 95.0 SimMatchup >
25 1993-94 Houston Rockets 35.8 95.9 100.3 SimMatchup >
26 2003-04 Detroit Pistons 32.1 90.7 97.3 SimMatchup >

The Golden State Warriors captured the franchise’s second NBA title, and first since 1975, besting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though occasionally struggling in the postseason – the Warriors trailed both the Memphis Grizzlies and Cavaliers two games to one before rallying to win each series in six games – Golden State submitted one of the most dominant seasons in NBA history. The team was first in the NBA in numerous categories: points per game (110.0), point differential (+10.1), field goal percentage (.478), field goal percentage allowed (.428) and three point percentage (.398), among others.

But how would Steph Curry and co. fare against past NBA champions? Using our NBA simulation engine, we put the 2014-15 Warriors into a tournament featuring the last 25 teams to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy, dating back to the 1989-1990 Detroit Pistons. The Warriors took top billing in the tournament, winning 65.9 percent of contests. At 101.5 points per game, Golden State had the simulation’s third-best offense. Its defense ranked 10th, allowing 95.8 points per game.

Among the teams dethroned by the Warriors were six Chicago Bulls champions. The best of the bunch was the 1995-96 Bulls, which won an NBA-record 72 regular-season games and placed third in the simulation. The San Antonio Spurs were also well-represented with five teams in the tournament. The 2006-07 Spurs, which won the franchise’s fourth championship, finished a team-best fifth in the simulation.