After completing a Western Conference Finals sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Golden State Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals for a fifth consecutive time.
Golden State joins elite company as it becomes just the second team in the NBA's storied history to appear in the Finals for five consecutive years; the Boston Celtics hold the all-time record as they made 10-straight Finals appearances from 1957-1966.
With both holding a unique place in history, which dynasty had the more impressive run? We asked some of our NBA.com Global experts for their take.
Golden State Warriors
I'll go with the Warriors.
First of all, I must say that this is probably unfair as the new generations didn't see that glorious team of the Boston Celtics. Comparing teams from different periods is complicated, especially when there is so much distance because you always lose the context in which wins took place in the past.
Beyond that clarification, I'm convinced that the present is the best era in the history of the NBA, and that this Warriors is the best team in the history of the NBA.
Why choose the Warriors over the Celtics?
I think that putting forth such dominance in a time where there are numerous threats to their dynasty - from LeBron James to the Houston Rockets - is impressive.
I think the achievements of the Warriors are often underestimated.
Critics often say that "winning with so much talent is easy". The talented rosters of the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder this season should be enough to debunk the myth that it's easy to win a title.
Because of their achievements and the threats they've faced, I'm going with Warriors.
- Matías Baldo ( @matiasbaldo )
For the Celtics to reach 10 straight Finals, they had to win 11 playoff series.
For the Warriors to reach 5 straight Finals, they had to win 15 playoff series.
It's almost impossible to compare accomplishments from the two eras given the stark differences in style of play, number of teams, playoff format, even the manner in which teams travelled.
But if we're going to compare, the answer most likely hinges on which numbers you think are more important: 10 > 5 or 15 > 11.
Though Golden State's accomplishment in today's league is immensely incredible, I still have to go with the Celtics. We've seen recent versions and close approximations of what the Warriors have done. The Heat recently got to four straight as did the Cavaliers. The Lakers made it four out of five seasons with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Even if none can touch Golden State, those teams were at least in the same ballpark.
That's not the case for the Bill Russell Celtics who out-lapped everyone. During that decade-long run, no team from the West made it more than two straight years. Up until that point in NBA history, only two teams - the New York Knicks from 1951 to 1953 and Los Angeles Lakers from 1952 to 1954 - had ever made in three straight. In the two decades to follow Boston's run of dominance, only one team (Lakers, again) made it to three straight.
Say what you will about the era, but if it was so easy, then someone else would have done it. That the Celtics truly had no comparison among their own contemporaries speaks to just how hard of a feat that truly was even at the time.
- Micah Adams ( @MicahAdams13 )
Golden State Warriors
Sorry, but I'm a big fan of modern basketball.
I won't say whether or not modern basketball is better than old-school basketball because the game has evolved, and deciding which era is better or worse is all relative. Instead of discussing which era is the best, we need to enjoy both.
I'm a tremendous fan of the new era of the game - I love the 3-point shooting, the athleticism, and the aesthetic of modern basketball.
For the above reasons, I'm more impressed with the Warriors 5 straight Finals appearances. In the modern game, there is a high level of competition and it is extremely difficult to dominate with so many great players and teams in the league.
There have been plenty of great players to break records and make highlights, but they ultimately did so without winning championships.
Let me be clear: I don't underestimate the Celtics 10 straight Finals appearances - it is a great record that will likely stand forever, but during the Celtics era, the level of competitiveness that we have today wasn't present.
- Carlos Herrera Luyando ( @carhluy43 )
When the Boston Celtics run began in the 1956-57 season, there were just eight teams in the NBA. In the final year of their historic run, the league had expanded by just one team as there were nine franchises in the 1965-66 season.
Still, I'm more impressed by the Celtics 10-year run.
Why? Well, despite the number of teams that were in the league during those years, there were a number of times that Boston was pushed to the limit before extended the streak when it was in jeopardy.
In five (!) of the 10-straight years that the Celtics would advance to the NBA Finals, they were pushed to the brink of elimination. This unquestioned run of dominance from the Warriors has been a sight to see, but it takes away from some of the lustre.
With a trip to the Finals on the line, it took seven games for Boston to eliminate the Syracuse Nationals in 1959, the Philadelphia Warriors in 1962, the Cincinnati Royals in 1963 and the Philadelphia 76ers in 1965.
In 1966, the Royals pushed the C's to the limit in a best-of-five series in the opening round of the postseason.
While the lack of teams in the league meant fewer rounds, it also meant most teams had an abundance of talent; these teams that nearly eliminated the Celtics featured the likes of Hal Greer, Dolph Schayes, Paul Arizin, Al Attles, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas.
Time and time again, the Boston Celtics were tried and tested by some of the greatest players the league will ever see and they found ways to emerge past them time and time again.
That, to me, is what makes their run so special.
- Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21)
Golden State Warriors
Every single piece of me wants to pick my beloved Celtics, but I just can't do it.
10 straight trips to the NBA Finals is an insane record and one that I can't see ever being broken but I cannot pick them over the Warriors for one simple reason; I never saw any of their run unfold.
I've watched clips and seen plenty of highlights, but it's just not the same.
Watching the Warriors rule the NBA landscape over the past five years has been incredible to witness. People now will continue to say they're ruining the game, but when we look back on it in 10 years time, we'll all marvel at just how historic this team and this run truly is.
It's unlikely that they reach the Celtics' mark of 10 straight trips, but making five in this day and age isn't something that should be possible. It's the Warriors, comfortably for mine.
- James McKern ( @jLmcKern )