Damian Lillard

NBA Playoffs First Round Could be Historic

The NBA is often labeled as a league that lacks parity. Before the postseason even started you likely heard the self-appointed NBA expert of your office ramble on about how the playoffs are pointless, claiming the commissioner may as well hand the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Golden State Warriors right away and save the time and effort of playing the games.

But in the midst of a wild first round, three teams are quietly on the verge of making history, and they’re far from the usual suspects.

The Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers don’t feature starry names like Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but they are making some serious noise right now. All three clubs found themselves in an 0-2 hole to start their respective series and each one has battled back to even things up at two games apiece.

It’s incredibly rare to see this kind of effort. Including those recent victories, NBA teams are 22-254 all-time after trailing 0-2 in a best-of-seven series. Only two squads have accomplished the feat since 2008, and three teams have never done it in the same playoffs, let alone the same round.

I’m not trying to put a jinx on Celtics, Hornets and Blazers fans, but it’s certainly worth noting how impressive these comebacks are. So much for imparity.

Here’s a list of every other franchise that overcame the deficit after going down 2-0.

NBA teams that have won the series after trailing 0-2
Year Series Sportsbook Series loser Round
1969 Boston L.A. Lakers NBA Finals
1969 L.A. Lakers San Francisco Western Division Semifinals
1971 Baltimore New York Eastern Conference Finals
1977 Portland Philadelphia NBA Finals
1993 Chicago New York Eastern Conference Finals
1994 Houston Phoenix Western Conference Semifinals
1995 Houston Phoenix Western Conference Semifinals
2004 L.A. Lakers San Antonio Western Conference Semifinals
2005 Dallas Houston Western Conference first-round
2005 Washington Chicago Eastern Conference first-round
2006 Miami Dallas NBA Finals
2007 Utah Houston Western Conference first-round
2007 Cleveland Detroit Eastern Conference Finals
2008 San Antonio New Orleans Western Conference Semifinals
2012 Oklahoma City San Antonio Western Conference Finals
2013 Memphis L.A. Clippers Western Conference first-round