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Is Doncic ready to write his name in history? Only a few went from 0-2 in the NBA Finals

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 12:40:55

There have been a total of 424 times in NBA playoff history in which teams won a seven-game series when leading 2-0 after two games. Only in 34 cases did clubs manage to avoid defeat after 0-2. 92.6% versus 7.4%. The difference is colossal! In the NBA Finals, only five teams were crowned champions, losing by two games. Let’s remember them all: after all, the Dallas Mavericks, led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, lose to the Boston Celtics in the 2024 finals series with a score of 0-2.

Boston Celtics – 1969

1960s Boston Celtics with Bill Russell

Photo: Getty Images

In the 60s, the Celts only failed to become champions once: in 1967. Boston missed the NBA Finals for the first time since 1958. The legendary Bill Russell became player-coach and after the failed playoffs he corrected himself , bringing the team the championship. It is true that the 1969 NBA Finals started very badly for the Celtics: the team lost twice to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers faced the Celts six times in the biggest series of the season in the ’60s and lost each time.

Unfortunately, 1969 is no exception. The team led 2-0, then Boston tied – 2-2, after which the Lakers again took the lead – 3-2. And in the end, the Celts, led by Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Sam Jones and Don Nelson, got the rings. Mr. Logo Jerry West with Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain, transfers from Philadelphia, could not stop the most monstrous team of those years. The most offensive thing is for West, who gave his all in the NBA Finals, however, as always, he never beat Boston. He stood out so much that he was the only player in league history to become the MVP of the final series as part of the losing team.

Portland Trail Blazers – 1977

Bill Walton in a Portland uniform

Photo: Getty Images

In 1976, the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association merged. As a result of that year’s draft allocation, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired Maurice Lucas and Moses Malone with the second and fifth picks, respectively. The team’s management immediately passed on Malone and sent him away in exchange for a draft pick and cash compensation. And what a first line it could have been with Moses and Bill Walton! But that’s how that season began for the “pioneers.”

However, everything turned out much better than expected. Lucas joined the team perfectly and Walton began flirting even more with his partners. Thanks in large part to the performance of these two, Portland made it quite easily to the NBA Finals, where they faced the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers featured several future Hall of Famers, including Julius Erving, Doug Collins and George McGinnis. The Phils won their first two games in Portland, but then the Oregon team swept four straight games to become the NBA champions. Walton was named Finals MVP and the Pioneers won the only trophy in Portland history.

Miami Heat – 2006

Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal on the Miami Heat

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The next final, in which one of the teams came back from 0-2 down, had to wait almost 30 years. The Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal faced the Dallas Mavericks with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry. They were the first NBA Finals in history for both clubs. Therefore, each of them wanted to win the long-awaited trophy. “Dallas”, after defeating an incredibly strong “San Antonio” with Duncan and Parker and “Phoenix” with Nash and Stoudemire, tried the championship. And this effect was intensified after two home wins in Texas.

Of course, by that time many had already “buried” Miami, but Dee Wade and Diesel had other plans. The team, led by the legendary Pat Riley, turned the series around, winning the next four games and becoming NBA champions for the first time in history. Wade became the alpha male of the Eastern Conference, so LeBron James himself wanted to move on to him a few years later. The rest is history!

Cleveland Knights – 2016

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

LeBron’s return to Cleveland after one season in Miami immediately created a superteam in the East that included James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov, Richard Jefferson, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Channing Frye. In 2015, the Cavaliers lost to Golden State in the final, but in 2016 they intended to at least put up a fight, since Irving missed the first final, so it was not possible to impose a serious fight. Both the “cavalry” and the “warriors” easily reached the series in which the championship title was played.

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Andrew Bogut confidently won two home games: 104:89 and 110:77. After such a kick in the tail, Cleveland won the game in Ohio, but lost in game number four. Everyone literally dismissed the King and company, but not themselves. The Cavaliers gave everything and not without opportunity: the disqualification of Draymond Green after the 3-1 in favor of the Warriors. Cleveland made a historic comeback and LeBron won the first and still only title in the history of the club, which drafted the King in 2003.

Milwaukee Bucks 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue on vacation in Milwaukee

Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In the 2020/2021 season, the Milwaukee Bucks have a very decent team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, PJ Tucker and Bobby Portis. All the players knew their roles perfectly and played excellently throughout the season. Naturally, the one who stood out was Grick Freak, who had won the NBA MVP two seasons earlier. Furthermore, the role of Mike Budenholzer cannot be underestimated, who since 2018 built the team and finally led it to the final, where he had not been for almost 50 years (since 1974).

Milwaukee suffered the most in the playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets, who had Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. In the seventh game of the series, the “Networks” lost 107:109 and KD shot decisively. The star forward received the ball, turned and shot a three-pointer. Durant hit him, the stands rejoiced, but the judges saw the shovel after looking, thus depriving Brooklyn of the victory. The teams determined the winner in overtime, where Milwaukee was stronger. The New York club relented because Durant had worn shoes one size too big throughout his career. Thanks to such a surprising event, the team led by Giannis reached the final.

In the fight for the title, the “deer” had to face the Phoenix Suns. Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson are a pretty solid lineup led by Coach of the Year Monty Williams. “Sunny” started from the beginning and won two games. Then Giannis, Jrue and Chris stepped in and gave Milwaukee its second championship exactly 50 years later. In 1971, one of the best centers in the entire existence of the NBA, Lew Alcindor, proclaimed the “deer” champions, and the next day he adopted the Muslim name of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In just five NBA Finals, teams have come back from 0-2 down. Will Dallas be sixth? The broken Doncic rips and runs, but any leader needs support. Until the others gave their opinion. Of course, Boston is incredibly strong, if even with the terrible shooting percentage of one of the leaders, Tatum, the team still wins. The third game of the final series will answer many questions.

Now choose:


A difficult choice: each one is unique in its own way. Choosing the best player from Game 2 of the NBA Finals

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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