Robert Horry recently sat down with Time Warner Cable SportsNet to reflect on his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, which included three straight NBA championships. Big Shot Rob went on record to name the 2000-2001 team -- the team that won 11 consecutive playoff games, sweeping three of their four opponents -- as the best of their three championship teams. Here's Horry's explanation:
"The 2001 team was probably the best," Horry said. "We went [15-1], which will never be accomplished again. You should have looked at us after we lost that first game [against the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals], we were so disappointed. We were so hurt that we didn't sweep everybody in the playoffs, because that was our goal."
The full segment can be seen here, and a tip of the hat to the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus for bringing attention to the quote.
Horry's statement begs the question, though. Was the '00-01 team their best group? Here's a look at the advanced stats for all three teams:
The '99-00 team put together the best record along with best net rating per 100 possessions through the regular season, but didn't have the playoff excellence of the latter two squads. It was also the best defensive Lakers team through the regular season during the three-peat era. The '01-02 team had a monstrous 110.1 offensive rating during the regular season, but the team dropped to 106.9 points per 100 possessions on offense during the playoffs, the lowest mark of the three-year span.
That leaves Horry's pick, the '00-01 Lakers. The 15-1 record during the playoffs, along with insane 13.8 net rating per 100 possessions they notched, make it hard to argue against. It was the worst regular-season team of the three championship teams, but they turned it on in the postseason. The Lakers swept the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs before losing their opening game against the Philadelphia 76ers. They went on to win the next four games, hoisting their second Larry O'Brien trophies in as many years.
Which was your favorite team of the three-peat era? Vote below and let us know.
Oh. and here's a nice video package highlighting the 2001 NBA Finals for the road: