NBA

25 NBA Playoff Choke Jobs That Knocked Good Teams Out Of Contention

Darren - May 2, 2022
NBA

25 NBA Playoff Choke Jobs That Knocked Good Teams Out Of Contention

Darren - May 2, 2022
Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

4. Seattle SuperSonics – 1994

Seattle had some great teams in the ’90s but failed to reach their full potential. If they won a championship ring they may never have left the city. One of their biggest choke jobs came against the Nuggets. The Bulls lacked Michael Jordan and Seattle took over as the best team in the NBA.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

However, their regular-season form didn’t carry over into the playoffs. Denver knocked them out of contention with a demolition job. They carried the series 3-2 after a dramatic comeback. Seattle won the first two games but choked and the Nuggets made them pay (via L.A. Times).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

3. Brooklyn Nets – 2022

The Celtics defeated the Nets in 2022 and progressed in the NBA playoffs. But this was one of the all-time choke jobs. Not necessarily because Boston defeated Brooklyn. After all, they had a great roster and one of the league’s best players in Jayson Tatum (via N.Y. Post).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

However, most oddsmakers considered them to be the preseason favorites. In the end, they slumped their way into the playoffs. Kevin Durant failed to deliver as the Nets proved that buying a super team doesn’t always work. They spent a lot of money but didn’t reap the rewards.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

2. Dallas Mavericks – 2007

Dallas made the Finals in 2006 and had Dirk Nowitzki at the top of his game. He came off an MVP regular season and also sealed his status as the greatest European to step onto an NBA court. However, the Mavericks lost in a stunning upset against the Warriors.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

They won 65 regular-season games but crucially lost against Golden State in all of their meetings. Then the Warriors finished them again in first round. This was an exciting six-round series but the Warriors won 4-2. The ‘We Believe’ Warriors were a special team (via NBC Sports).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

1. Golden State Warriors – 2016

LeBron James finally won a title with the Cavaliers in 2016 after they overcame the Warriors. This was a major upset because Golden State had a winning machine. It should have been a formality after they took a 3-1 lead. But the Cavaliers fought their way back into contention.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

The Cavs showed immense heart and grit as they ground out a spectacular victory across seven games. There were iconic moments aplenty as the franchise ended its title deficit. Meanwhile, it provided James with redemption after he abandoned the team for Miami (via Sporting News).

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