It’s been a while since Sports List of the Day has hit the presses but the 2016 Golden State Warriors and Western Conference Finals have re-inspired some old writing and statistical passions.
Well, the Warriors just became only the 10th team in NBA postseason history to come back from a 3-1 deficit (and the first ever in the Western Conference Finals, in fact – now how about that). It has happened three times in the Eastern Conference Finals, but still never in the NBA Finals.
And just to note, no NBA team has ever come back from three down (3-0) to win four straight. It’s happened in other sports, though.
Back in 2013, when Sports List of the Day first took a look at 3-1 NBA postseason comebacks, only eight teams had achieved the feat. Since then, the 2015 Houston Rockets and this season’s Warriors have joined the list.
Let’s take another look at all 10 comebacks, and add a dose of statistical fruit to feed your head…Follow @VinGetz
|WINNER (SEED)||LOSER (SEED)||YEAR||ROUND||GAME 7 SCORE|
|10.||Golden State Warriors (1)||Oklahoma City Thunder (3)||2016||Western Finals
|9.||Houston Rockets (2)||Los Angeles Clippers (3)||2006||Western Semis
|8.||Phoenix Suns (2)||Los Angeles Lakers (7)||2006||Eastern Round 1||121-90|
|7.||Detroit Pistons (1)||Orlando Magic (8)||2003||Eastern Round 1||108-93|
|6.||Miami Heat (2)||New York Knicks (3)||1997||Eastern Semis||101-90|
|5.||Houston Rockets (6)||Phoenix Suns (3)||1995||Western Semis||115-114*|
|4.||Boston Celtics (1)||Philadelphia 76ers (2)||1981||Eastern Finals||91-90|
|3.||Washington Bullets (1)||San Antonio Spurs (2)||1979||Eastern Finals||107-105|
|2.||Los Angeles Lakers (2)||Phoenix Suns (3)||1970||Western Semis||129-94|
|1.||Boston Celtics (2)||Philadelphia 76ers (1)||1968||Eastern Finals||100-96*|
* Underdog (by seeding) and so won Game 7 on the road: the 1968 Boston Celtics and 1995 Houston Rockets
There have now been
The loser will have to take the series to seven games and win the final two in order to hoist the Cup.
The upshot? According to history, no matter who wins tomorrow night, it’s a coin flip (50-50) to call the winner.Follow @VinGetz
|STANLEY CUP FINAL||WINNER||LOSER|
|1.||1942**||Toronto Maple Leafs||Detroit Red Wings|
|2.||1950||Detroit Red Wings||New York Rangers|
|3.||1964||Toronto Maple Leafs||Detroit Red Wings|
|4.||1971||Montreal Canadiens||Chicago Black Hawks|
|5.||2001||Colorado Avalanche||New Jersey Devils|
|6.||2004||Tampa Bay Lightning||Calgary Flames|
|7.||2009||Pittsburgh Penguins||Detroit Red Wings|
|8.||2011||Boston Bruins||Vancouver Canucks|
Out of 109 completed World Series, about half – 53 – started out with one team going up two games to none over the other.
Of those, only 11 times has the team down 2-0 come back to win the championship. And of those, four – that is only four times (!) – has the team with home field advantage come back to win it all.
Let’s check the percentages on all this. Down 2-0? Then, actually not too bad considering the circumstances – you’ve got a 21 percent chance of winning the World Series.
However, if you lose those first two games at home, things dwindle to a 5.7 percent chance (three of 53). I’m not including 1921, because back then teams alternated playing at home with the home field advantage team getting Game 7.
The upshot is, if the Kansas City Royals (who gained home field advantage thanks to the American League winning the All-Star Game) lose again tonight, things won’t be looking good at all for a title. Then again, they didn’t look good in 1985, either. The Royals happened to be one of those home teams.Follow @VinGetz
|1.||1921||New York Giants*||New York Yankees||5-3|
|2.||1955||Brooklyn Dodgers||New York Yankees||4-3|
|3.||1956||New York Yankees||Brooklyn Dodgers||4-3|
|4.||1958||New York Yankees||Milwaukee Braves||4-3|
|5.||1965||Los Angeles Dodgers||Minnesota Twins||4-3|
|6.||1971||Pittsburgh Pirates||Baltimore Orioles||4-3|
|7.||1978||New York Yankees||Los Angeles Dodgers||4-2|
|8.||1981||Los Angeles Dodgers||New York Yankees||4-2|
|9.||1985||Kansas City Royals*||St. Louis Cardinals||4-3|
|10.||1986||New York Mets*||Boston Red Sox||4-3|
|11.||1996||New York Yankees*||Atlanta Braves||4-2|
* home field advantage