Here Are The Best Comebacks In NBA Finals History

Through the first two games of the 2018 NBA Finals, the series sits where most people predicted, 2-0 Warriors. The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the finals as one of the largest underdogs in NBA Finals history. This year’s version of the Cavaliers has the worst supporting cast LeBron James has carried to the finals in all nine of his trips. So, it comes as no surprise the Cavs will take the court for game 3 down 0-2.

There is still hope for the Cavs fortunes to take a turn in their favor. Yes, even after the “JR Smith Game”, the Cavs can still write a winning script. As much as JR’s unforgivable blunder sucked seemingly all the air out of the Cavs sails, a series does not begin until one team loses at home.

Now, don’t get me wrong the odds drastically favor a team up 2-0, there is no debate there. But, when the best player in the world is playing at such a level that LeBron is currently playing at, the impossibility of beating a super team, becomes possible.

Throughout all the history of the NBA Playoffs, there have been 19 teams to have rallied back from a 2-0 deficit and won a best of seven series. When you dwindle that list down to only included NBA Finals’ series, that number drops to four. Clearly, the Cavs face a herculean daunting task staring them right in the eyes taunting and testing the dedication and will of each Cleveland role player, because we all know LeBron is up for the challenge.

Of those four teams to pull off the 0-2 comeback in the NBA Finals, one of those instances included this exact finals matchup. As I’m sure, many of us remember the epic 2016 NBA Finals that saw LeBron lead the Cavs back down 3-1 against these very same Warriors. To this date, that finals comeback is the greatest feat of LeBron James’ storied career, but if he can march this Cavs team back in 2018, it will rival all great playoff runs of years past.

Let’s take a look at the four teams to pull off the 0-2 comeback in the NBA Finals.


1969: Boston Celtics defeat L.A. Lakers 4-3

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The 1969 NBA Finals fit the “the series isn’t over until the home team loses” narrative to a “T” all the way down, to game 7. The home team won the first six games of the series. The Lakers jumped out winning both of their home games to take a 2-0 series lead heading to Boston. The Celtics held homecourt and brought the series back to 2-2. The two teams split games 5 and 6 at their respective home courts. Then the Celtics reversed the away team curse and won game 7 in Los Angeles 108-106.


1977: Portland Trailblazers defeat Philadelphia 76ers 4-2

The Philadelphia 76ers opened the NBA Finals taking a commanding 2-0 series lead. Dr. J had the Sixers cruising, but game 2 would be the last time the 76ers were victorious in the ’77 NBA Finals. The Portland Trailblazers would go on to sweep the next four games of the series. Portland finished Philly off in game 6 in Portland 109-107.


2006: Miami Heat defeat Dallas Mavericks 4-2

The 2006 NBA Finals was the first for both the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. Thanks to Jason Terry’s 32 point effort in game 1 and Dirk Nowitzki’s 26-point, 16-rebound performance in game 2, the Mavs took control of the series 2-0. From then on it was the Dwayne Wade finals. The Miami Heat went on to sweep the next four games and win the series 4-2. D-Wade was named Finals MVP, and the win gave Shaquille O’Neal his fourth NBA Championship.


2016: Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Golden State Warriors 4-3

In the second consecutive season, the Cavaliers and Warriors met in the NBA Finals. The Cavs were looking for revenge from 2015 that saw both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving go down with injuries and ultimately Golden State would win in six games. The Warriors started the 2016 Finals right where they left off in 2015, cruising to a 2-0 series lead. The Cavs would take game 3 in Cleveland, but subsequently, dropped game 4 to go down 3-1 in the series. Key Warriors player Draymond Green got suspended for game 5, and Cleveland won 112-97. The game 5 victory was the first of a 3-game sweep to end the finals completing the 3-1 comeback series victory. LeBron won Finals MVP after averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists.


 

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