Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Draymond Green have a chance to accomplish something no NBA team has ever done. (Getty)
The Golden State Warriors have a chance to do something no team in NBA history has done. With just one more victory the Warriors would be the only NBA team to win a championship with no playoff losses.
Prior to the Warriors 2017 run, the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers were one of the few NBA teams that came closest to perfection. The 76ers won the championship with a 12-1 playoff record. Their lone loss came to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Philadelphia went on to sweep the Lakers in the finals.
The Lakers have gone into the finals undefeated two times in their franchise’s history. According to SB Nation, Los Angeles entered both the 1989 and 2001 NBA Finals with a perfect record.
The 1989 Lakers ended up getting swept by the Pistons. Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars proved to be too much for the Lakers to handle.
Things went a lot differently for the 2001 Lakers who only lost one game on their way to the championship. The Lakers lost the opening game of the finals to the Sixers but went on to win four straight games.
Michael Jordan’s 72-win Bulls lost three games in the 1996 playoffs before winning the championship. Fans remember what happened to last year’s 73-win Warriors who were trying to go down as the greatest team in NBA history. Golden State blew a 3-1 lead and lost to the Cavs in the finals.
This year’s team is different with the addition of Kevin Durant. While Golden State is far from a lock to win the next game, they have all the pieces needed to win a championship.
The Warriors already had one of the best trios in the league in Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. The addition of Durant has made the Warriors offense virtually unstoppable in the playoffs. Golden State is also one of the best defensive teams in the league making things very difficult for their opponent.
Golden State fell short of 73 wins this year going 67-15. The Warriors would no doubt take a few less wins if it meant a championship was part of the final chapter.
Last year, the Warriors made history in the playoffs for all the wrong reasons. This time, they are looking to do something no NBA team has ever accomplished.
Here’s highlights of some of the greatest teams in NBA history:
NBA Champions: 1983 Philadelphia 76ersThe Sixers raced through the regular season, finishing with a league-best 65-17 record. Heading into the Finals, Malone was asked for his prediction and responded with the classic "Fo', fo' fo'." Philadelphia came close to living up to Malone's prediction of an unblemished playoff record, sweeping New York, beating Milwaukee 4-1 and then sweeping a Los Angeles Lakers team weakened by injuries to Norm Nixon and Bob McAdoo in the NBA Finals. Philadelphia's 12-1 playoff record is the best in NBA history, and an amended version of Malone's prediction was engraved on the players' championship rings: "Fo', five, fo'."2008-05-08T03:11:59.000Z
Shaq & Kobe: 2001 Postseason HighlightsAfter winning it all the previous year, the LA Lakers went into the 2000-01 season trying to repeat. Shaquille O'Neal was ordered by Phil Jackson to take it easy during the offseason so his body could rest and he'd be ready to go the following year. Shaq was never known for having a great work ethic so this was certainly detrimental to the start of the season as he came into training camp out of shape. Kobe on the other hand had been working all offseason to become a better player and wanted to show off his talents. The two stars had had their rifts ever since becoming teammates back in 1996 when Bryant was nicknamed "showboat" due to his perceived selfish playing style but now things were really coming to a head. It was clear that Kobe wanted to be the #1 option but Shaq wasn't willing to give up his position. Understandable considering he'd just come off of arguably the most dominant season and playoff run in the history of the league. The feud would continue through the season and as a result the Lakers' chemistry and record suffered. Some people were calling Kobe the best player in the game, while others were calling him selfish due his high volume shooting. To make matters worse Shaq missed some games in February and in the same month, during an interview, Phil revealed information from a private conversation he'd had with Kobe which affected their player/coach relationship. In mid February Shaq returned but a few weeks later Kobe missed some games after sustaining multiple injuries. This became the turning point of the season. With Shaq carrying more of the load offensively, he was finally able to get in shape and with Kobe out the team's offense ran more fluidly. A win in San Antonio which saw 7 different Lakers score in double digits made Kobe realize he needed to become more of a team player when he returned. The Lakers' chances of repeating started to look better towards the end of the season as they ran off a season high 8 straight victories. As the Lakers entered the postseason, Shaq picked up where he'd left off in the 2000 playoffs by destroying opposing frontlines and Kobe became a superstar. Commentators like John Thompson and Doug Collins marveled at Kobe's balance and efficient scoring. Instead of forcing the issue, he was now letting the game come to him, trusting his teammates more and hitting clutch shots. The team would get also get an extra boost from it's supporting cast as Derek Fisher returned to the lineup after missing 62 games due to a stress fracture in his right foot. While Shaq & Kobe dominated on offense, the team pulled together on defense and stifled the Blazers, Kings, Spurs and Sixers by forcing them to shoot a combined .408%. They ended up going 15-1 which still stands as the best postseason record in history. Shaq and Kobe also averaged a combined 59.8 ppg which is the highest scoring average in playoff history by a duo on a championship team.2013-12-05T03:50:03.000Z
Unstop-A-Bulls – The Chicago Bulls 1995-96 Championship SeasonThe Chicago Bulls 1995-96 Championship Season documentry (72-10)2013-04-08T12:34:55.000Z