6. 2002-2003 Dallas Mavericks
In 2002, the Mavs team would be destined for greatness. The team started the year with a 14-game winning streak. That record is tied for the third-best start to a season.
Other highlights include Nowitzki and Nash being selected to the 2003 NBA All-Star Game and being named to the All-NBA Third and Second Teams.
The team finished the season third in the Western Conference and tied with the Spurs for the Midwest Division. Due to the head-to-head advantage, the Spurs won the division again and regained the league's top seed.
In the playoffs, Dallas got off to a hot start, as they won the first three games of the series against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, a young Zach Randolph and Portland would storm back to win their next three games. In game 7, Nowitzki led the way with 31 points as he helped Dallas move to the next round.
The Mavs faced the Sacramento Kings in the next round, where their youth and strength would be tested. In a back-and-forth matchup, Dallas won the series in seven after King forward Chris Webber went down with a knee injury.
Dallas made it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1988. Against the Spurs, the Mavs struggled to contain Duncan inside. The team won the first game of the matchup, but that would be the only highlight.
Imagine what might have happened if Nowitzki had not missed the final three games of that series.