Championship Aside, the 2015-16 Warriors Weren’t As Good As the 1995-96 Bulls

The debate has raged on for an entire year. Now that we can look at both in the past tense, how close was it?

Prior to this season, most debates about the best teams of all-time would begin and end with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. They held the previous record for wins in a season with 72 -- a feat that many people thought would never be broken -- and capped it off with a championship that was almost never in doubt.

Enter the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors.

Fresh off a 67-win season and a title, the Dubs had already proven that the current iteration of their team at least belonged in the conversation as one of the best teams ever coming into this year. Then, they stepped things up a notch by beating the Bulls' previously unbeatable win record by going 73-9.

As they chased that mark this year, the debate shifted from Golden State's potentially being one of the best teams of all time to potentially being the best.

Everyone weighed in: fans, pundits, current players, former players, coaches, general managers, even Steve Kerr himself, who was a player for the former and is now a coach for the latter.

Now that the Warriors' season and playoff run is officially over, we can compare the two teams in earnest.

Of course, the debate itself -- for most intents and purposes -- is settled. Try as you might, you'll have a hard time convincing anyone that this argument comes down to anything more than this one, simple statistic:

Category 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 2015-16 Golden State Warriors
Championships Won 1 0

But let's be honest, the Warriors were damn close.

If the last few minutes of Game 7 had just gone a little differently -- if LeBron hadn't pulled off "The Block" or if Kyrie's dagger three hadn't gone down -- the conversation today would be different. We'd be arguing over the 1995-96 Bulls versus the 2015-16 Warriors instead of Jordan versus LeBron.

But here we are.

The question of which of these two teams is the best of all time looks to be answered. The 1995-96 Bulls capped off a dominant seasons with a dominant championship, while the 2015-16 Warriors can only claim one and not the other.

Still, for the sake of putting it all into perspective now that all is said and done, here are the final numbers from both teams during their historic seasons and playoff runs:

Bulls vs. Warriors

Category 1995-96 Bulls 2015-16 Warriors
Regular Season W-L Record 72-10 73-9
Regular Season W-L Percentage 0.878 0.890
Playoff W-L Record 15-3 15-9
Playoff W-L Percentage 0.833 0.625
Combined W-L Record 87-13 88-18
Combined W-L Percentage 0.870 0.830
Regular Season Margin of Victory 12.24 10.76
Playoff Margin of Victory 10.56 4.38
Longest Winning Streak 18 24
Offensive Rating 115.2 114.5
Relative Offensive Rating
(vs. league average)
7.6 8.1
Defensive Rating 101.8 103.8
Relative Defensive Rating
(vs. league average)
-5.8 -2.6
Championships Won10

Offensive Four Factors

Category 1995-96 Bulls 2015-16 Warriors
Effective Field Goal Percentage 51.7% 56.3%
Turnover Percentage 13.1% 13.5%
Offensive Rebound Percentage 36.9% 23.5%
Free Throw Attempt Rate 0.217 0.191

Defensive Four Factors

Category 1995-96 Bulls 2015-16 Warriors
Opp. Effective Field Goal Percentage 48.2% 47.9%
Opp. Turnover Percentage 16.1% 12.6%
Opp. Offensive Rebound Percentage 28.9% 24.0%
Opp. Free Throw Attempt Rate 0.222 0.208

If it weren't for LeBron and the Cavs beating the Warriors, this actually would've been a close one. Instead, we've replaced what looked like it would be a long-debated question with a definitive answer.

And with that, one can't help but let Scottie Pippen -- who has publically argued for his Bulls all year long -- get the last word: