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NBA Teams Down 2-0 in Seven-Game Playoff Series Have a Brutal History

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 3, 2018 in Oakland, California.

In the NBA, establishing a strong presence early in a playoff series is vital to any team’s success. That’s because according to recent history, it’s incredibly hard to battle back when you’re in a hole.

The Cavaliers are +1350 underdogs to come back and win the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

NBA teams that go up 2-0 in a best-of-seven round are 282-20 in the series all-time. Only six squads have prevailed since 2012 when down 2-0 – the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Western Conference final, the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2017 playoffs and the Cavs in the Eastern Conference final in this year’s playoffs.

Since the second round of the 2018 postseason, the New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and the Cavaliers have found themselves in that spot. Cleveland proceeded to win four of the next five against Boston to dispatch the Celtics in the Eastern Conference final. After dropping the first two games to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, the Cavs are once again in a 2-0 hole in the NBA Finals.

Think the Cavs can come back? Bet on NBA Series Prices here

According to oddsmakers, Cavs are in an extremely tough spot

While back-to-back opening losses is daunting, three setbacks in a row is downright frightening. No team in the Association has ever won a series when trailing three games to none.

Do you think the Cavs can pull off a comeback? Cleveland is +1350 to win the series at BetOnline, according to our series price page.

Here’s a look at the NBA clubs that came back after going down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series:

NBA teams that have won the series after trailing 2-0
YearSeries winnerSeries loserRound
1969BostonL.A. LakersNBA Finals
1969L.A. LakersSan FranciscoWestern Division semifinal
1971BaltimoreNew YorkEastern Conference final
1977PortlandPhiladelphiaNBA Finals
1993ChicagoNew YorkEastern Conference final
1994HoustonPhoenixWestern Conference semifinal
1995HoustonPhoenixWestern Conference semifinal
2004L.A. LakersSan AntonioWestern Conference semifinal
2005DallasHoustonWestern Conference first round
2005WashingtonChicagoEastern Conference first round
2006MiamiDallasNBA Finals
2007UtahHoustonWestern Conference first round
2007ClevelandDetroitEastern Conference final
2008San AntonioNew OrleansWestern Conference semifinal
2012Oklahoma CitySan AntonioWestern Conference final
2013MemphisL.A. ClippersWestern Conference first round
2016PortlandL.A. ClippersWestern Conference first round
2016ClevelandGolden StateNBA Finals
2017BostonChicagoEastern Conference first round
2018ClevelandBostonEastern Conference final