NBA Playoffs 3-0

NBA Playoffs: 3 and Ohhhhhhhh

By Rockin’ Reese

151 teams have trailed 3-0 in the NBA Playoffs

In the 76 years that the NBA has existed, 151 teams have trailed 3-0 in the playoffs. Of the previous 150, none of them have won. The most recent being the Los Angeles Lakers, who were swept in the western conference finals by the Denver Nuggets.

Out of these 150 teams, 92 were swept, 44 lost in game 5, 11 lost in game 6, & 3 of them lost in game 7. However, one team is trying to change that statistic.

The Boston Celtics have been in this position on 6 previous occasions. In the 1967 eastern division finals, they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in 5 games. In the 1983 eastern conference semi-finals, they were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. In the 2003 ECSF, they were swept by the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets.

NBA Playoffs

In the 2004 eastern conference quarter-finals, they were swept by the Indiana Pacers. In the 2013 ECQF, they lost to the New York Knicks in 6 games. In the 2015 ECQF, they were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, they’re hoping to do what the Knicks couldn’t do in the 1951 NBA Finals, the Nuggets couldn’t do in the 1994 western conference semi-finals, & the Portland Trail Blazers couldn’t do in the 2003 western conference quarter-finals…win a game 7, after trailing 3-0.

The team that they’re trying to do that against is the Miami Heat. About a week ago, the Heat were looking like they were heading to Denver for a showdown. Now, they’re looking to avoid the wrong side of history. The Heat are 9-0, when they have 3-0 lead in a series. In 2005, they swept the Nets in the ECQF & the Washington Wizards in the ECSF.

In the 2011 ECQF, they defeated the 76ers in 5 games. In the 2012 ECQF, they defeated the Knicks in 5 games. In the 2013 ECQF, they swept the Bucks. In the 2014 ECQF, they swept the Charlotte Bobcats. In 2020, they swept the Pacers in the ECQF & defeated the Bucks in 5 games. However, they entered Tuesday with a chance to sweep at home & didn’t get the job done.

They had a chance to close out in Boston, on Thursday…they failed again. Last night, they had a chance to end this series at home, again…they came up for a 3rd time. Now, they have to hope that they don’t have a collapse of historic proportions, tomorrow night.

Boston has been associated with overcoming a 3-0 comeback. We all remember the 2004 American League Championship Series, when the Boston Red Sox were on the verge of being swept by their nemesis, the New York Yankees.

Boston Red Sox come back from a 3 games to none hole vs the New York Yankees in 2004

Then, the unthinkable happened…they won 4 straight games to advance to the World Series, where they ended their 86-year championship drought by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Celtics are hoping that they will be the 2nd Boston team to pull of that comeback. When they try to do it, they will have something that the ’51 Knicks, ’94 Nuggets, & ’03 Trail Blazers didn’t have…home court.

In the history of NBA game 7s, home teams are 112-35. The Celtics are 22-5 at home in game 7, with their most recent win being in the ECSF against the 76ers (2 weeks ago). Their most recent game 7 loss was to the Cavaliers in the 2018 ECF.

Bad news for the Heat…they’re 0-2 as a game 7 road team. They lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2009 ECQF & the Toronto Raptors in the 2016 ECSF. Tomorrow night, one team will join the Nuggets in the NBA Finals. The other will have an off-season of tough questions.

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