The Cleveland Cavaliers quest for their first NBA Championship in franchise history doesn’t look too promising after they were dismantled by the Golden State Warriors the other night. Cleveland is now in a 0-2 hole, a feat that only three teams in NBA history have overcome. The Cavaliers are looking at a daunting task ahead of them, especially since their opponent is defending NBA Champions and might have the best team ever assembled. However, when you have Lebron James on your team anything is possible. Now, let’s take a look at the three teams that have come back from 0-2 deficit and went on to win the series!
1969 NBA Finals – Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers
These two historic franchises have been labeled the best rivalry in the NBA. They have met a record 12 times in the NBA finals and have combined for 33 NBA Championships. The 1969 NBA Finals proved to be one of the best between these two teams. Boston had won 10 of the previous 12 NBA championships but still came into the NBA Finals as the clear underdog. The Lakers had won 55 games on the season and were the top seed in a talented Western Conference. They were led by a talented duo in Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain. They both had dominating performances in first two games to help give the Lakers a 2-0 series lead. At the time, no team had ever recovered from a 0-2 series hole in an NBA Finals. However, this talented Celtics team would make history. The Celtics won three of the next four games to force a game 7. They win game seven 108-106 behind a spectacular performance from Bill Russell. West, who averaged almost 38 points a game, became the first (and only) losing player to win Finals MVP.
1977 NBA Finals – Portland Trail Blazers defeat Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers jumped out to 2-0 series lead behind the performances from Julius Erving and Doug Collins. When the Trail Blazers returned back home they gained their home dominance back as they would blow out the 76ers in games three and four to tie the series. After the Trailblazers won on the road to take a 3-2 series lead they returned home with a chance to win franchise’s first NBA title. Let’s just say their star center, Bill Walton would not let them give this opportunity away. He was named Finals MVP after a dominant 20-point, 23-rebound performance in a Game 6 win.
2006 NBA Finals – Miami Heat vs Dallas Mavericks
The Miami Heat were lead by Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and up in coming star named Dwayne Wade. This was the series that put Wade in the superstar discussion. The Dallas Mavericks took care of business in first two games at home. The series then shifted to Miami for a pivotal game three. Miami trailed most of the game and faced a double-digit fourth quarter deficit until Wade decided to take over the game. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and rallied the Heat to a 98-96 win. He finished with 42 points and 13 rebounds. This victory sparked the Miami Heat as they would go on to win the next three games and capture their first NBA title in franchise history. Wade averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 boards, 3.8 assists per game, which led him to being named Finals MVP.