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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).