I have always been a great fan of the NBA finals. I mean, who can forget the special players that always shine in the course of the finals. For example, I have had the opportunity to watch the great Michael Jordan playing for the Chicago Bulls, LeBron James for Miami Heat, Shaquille O’Neal for the Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird for the Boston Celtics. While some of these players turned out for higher seeded teams, it is not surprising to find lower seeded teams making the NBA finals. I will have a look at some lowest seeded teams to reach the NBA finals.
Take a look at my list of the lowest seeded teams to make the NBA finals.
Many pundits have observed that the NBA enjoys a fair playoff system. This view is mostly attributed to the impartiality of the playoff system which endeavors to compensate the better team. Because of this system, lower seeded teams usually have a great chance of making the NBA finals.
Without any further delay, I present to you my list of some of the lowest seeded teams to reach the NBA finals.
1. New York Knicks (1998-1999)
In the 1998-99 season, the Knicks managed to reach the NBA finals as eighth seeds. Their journey began with a victory over Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Miami Heat was the top-seeded team in the Playoffs. In the second round, the Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks who were the 4th seeded team. The final game of the Playoffs saw the Knicks face off with the Indiana Pacers whom they also beat.
The Knicks faced off with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals. However, Tim Duncan and company led the San Antonio Spurs to victory over the Knicks.
2. Houston Rockets (1994-1995)
The 1994-95 Rockets reached the finals as sixth seeds. On their way to the finals, the Rockets beat the 3rd seeded Utah Jazz in the Playoff’s first round. The Rockets then faced off with the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs semis. The Rockets beat the Suns, who were the second seeds. In the finals of the playoffs, the Rockets faced off with the San Antonio Spurs and won. This victory earned them a spot in the NBA finals where they faced off with Orlando Magic. They won the NBSA finals by beating Orlando Magic in four straight games en-route to winning the team’s second consecutive championship.
3. Houston Rockets (1980-1981)
The 1980-81 Houston Rockets team reached the NBA finals while seeded sixth. The Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference first round and semifinals respectively. In the conference finals, the Rockets beat the fifth-seeded Kansas City Kings and took the series 4-1.
The Rockets, however, lost the NBA finals 4-2 to the Boston Celtics.
4. Seattle Supersonics (1977-1978)
The Sonics reached the NBA finals awhile seeded 4th. Although the Sonics began the season in disappointing fashion, things looked up after the appointment of Lenny Wilkens as coach. The Sonics managed to defeat Portland Trail Blazers, who were the defending champions, in the semifinals of the Western Conference.
However, the Sonics lost the NBA Finals to the Washington Bullets who were the better side over the seven games of the series.
5. Boston Celtics (1968-69)
Seeded 4th in the 1968-69 season, the Celtics managed to reach the NBA finals in what was the team’s 23rd season in the NBA. The Celtics ended the season as champions by beating the Lakers 4-3 in the series.
In the NBA, all teams endeavor to not only make it to the finals but also win the championship. The lowest seeded teams that made it to the NBA finals shows us that with determination and hard work, any team can make it to the finals and become champions.