The Golden State Warriors are heading to their fifth consecutive NBA championship after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference Finals. And in doing so, Steve Kerr’s squad has achieved a feat which hasn’t been done since the 1960s and has never happened since the NBA’s realignment.
Since the league changed to two conferences during the 1970-71 season, no team has won more than four consecutive conference championships. As NBA Crazy Stats revealed on Reddit, a total of five teams since that point have advanced to the NBA Finals four straight times.
- Los Angeles Lakers: 1982-85
- Boston Celtics: 1984-97
- Miami Heat: 2011-14
- Cleveland Cavaliers: 2015-18
Before the Warriors defeated the Blazers, they were also on this list, but now stand alone as the only team to win five consecutive conference titles since the realignment.
It’s worth noting that the Boston Celtics were on another level from 1957-66, although that came before the league was split into the Eastern and Western Conferences. Regardless, they won 10 consecutive conference championships, taking home nine NBA championships over that stretch as well.
Warriors Dominance During Historic Stretch
While the outcome of the 2018-19 postseason is yet to be determined, the Warriors have a chance to win their fourth NBA championship in five years. Even before advancing and winning their fifth-straight conference title, they had more NBA Finals victories than any of the other four teams listed above who won four in a row.
The Warriors won the championship in 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18. During the lone season in which they didn’t win the title, Golden State tallied a record-setting 73 victories during the regular season but lost in the finals. Their run of dominance has been well-documented, and a win in the NBA Finals this year would place them next to more elite company in the record books.
Warriors Can Join Elite Group With 2019 NBA Finals Win
When looking back in history, there have only been five occasions in which a team won three or more consecutive NBA championships. The aforementioned Celtics won eight straight from 1959-66 and hold a big edge over the other four teams. Beyond that, it’s four impressive groups which won three-straight titles.
- Minneapolis Lakers: 1952-54
- Chicago Bulls: 1991-93
- Chicago Bulls: 1996-98
- Los Angeles Lakers: 2000-02
If the Warriors are able to get the job done this year, it will mark their third championship in a row, moving them into a tie with the four teams above. If not for the loss in the 2015-16 NBA Finals, Golden State would already be there and could be attempting to build off that mark. Regardless, this Warriors group has been on a level of their own since the start of the 2014-15 season, posting a regular-season record of 322-88.
As far as Golden State’s playoff dominance goes, the team has gone 75-24 in postseason play during the same five-year stretch. This includes six series sweeps and six additional matchups in which the Warriors lost just one game.