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Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals & Win A Title

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Post#1 Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:33 am by HotRocks34

So, I did some research about which teams made The Finals and won an NBA Championship with the worst regular season records.

It was actually the same franchise. So give yourself 5 extra bonus points if you already know the answer.

The information for the team that made the NBA Finals but didn't win the title is a bit outdated. I'll explain that below.

Yes, this information is for Lakers fans, to give them some hope.

1. TEAM WITH THE WORST REGULAR SEASON RECORD TO MAKE THE NBA FINALS

1980-81 Houston Rockets -----> 40-42 ---- 6th seed in the West

This is when there were only 23 teams in the NBA. There were only 6 teams from each conference to make the playoffs. Houston beat the Lakers (#3 seed), the Spurs (#2 seed), and the Kansas City Kings (#5 seed) to make The Finals. They lost in The Finals to the Boston Celtics.

To help put into perspective how weak the Rockets were in the regular season, they were just 14-19 through their first 33 regular season. This year's Lakers are currently 15-18 through their first 33 games.

Of course, there are now 30 teams in the league and the Western Conference is a lot tougher now than it was then. 40 wins isn't likely to cut it.

2. TEAM WITH THE WORST REGULAR SEASON RECORD TO WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP

1994-95 Houston Rockets -----> 47-35 ---- 6th seed in the West

(Edit: This is incorrect; see DavidSterned's post below. Rockets were the lowest-seeded team to ever win the NBA Title, but they were not the team with the worst record to ever win an NBA Title)

The defending NBA Champions won their second consecutive title behind the play of Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, and others.

The Rockets started well that year. They were 22-11 through their first 33 regular season games. But they only went 25-24 the rest of the way in the 82-game schedule.



So, if you are a Lakers fan, those are probably the two best examples you could hang your hat on.

The 2002-03 Lakers, 3x defending NBA Champions, started the season 13-20, or two games worse than LA's current mark of 15-18. That 2003 squad then went on a tear, finishing the regular season at 50-32 after going 37-12 (.750+) to close out the 82-game marathon. The Lakers lost that year in the second round of the 2003 playoffs, to the #1-seeded Spurs.

I guess this may all be moot with the injuries to Howard, Gasol and Hill. Still, it has been done before and these would probably be the best teams to emulate if the Lakers are going to try to climb that mountain and make a run.




REFERENCES:
============

1980-81 Houston Rockets schedule and results -- Basketball Reference
http://bit.ly/ZADLT5

1981 NBA Playoffs and seedings -- Wikipedia
http://bit.ly/VM4Tsp

1981 NBA Finals -- Wikipedia
http://bit.ly/TI3lBz

1994-95 Houston Rockets schedule and results -- Basketball Reference
http://bit.ly/VArKY7

1995 NBA Playoffs and seedings -- Wikipedia
http://bit.ly/TZP5Dd

1995 NBA Finals -- Wikipedia
http://bit.ly/UFmGSK

2002-03 LA Lakers schedule, results and record by game -- ESPN
http://es.pn/VM1V6H
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Post#2 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:44 am by DavidSterned

Not to take a dump all over your research or anything but the 1977-78 Bullets won the title with a 44-38 record.
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Post#3 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:46 am by HotRocks34

DavidSterned wrote:Not to take a dump all over your research or anything but the 1977-78 Bullets won the title with a 44-38 record.


Ah, I blew it. Got a bad research article. (Edit: Article was good, my reading comprehension was bad)

Thanks for the correction!

That gives the Lakers fans even more hope! :)
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Post#4 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:48 am by HotRocks34

DavidSterned wrote:Not to take a dump all over your research or anything but the 1977-78 Bullets won the title with a 44-38 record.


I know what I got wrong: 1995 Rockets were the team with the LOWEST SEED (#6) to win the NBA Finals. Not the worst-ever regular-season record for an NBA Champion. My bad. :oops:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_ ... ampionship


The Bullets were the #3 seed in the 1978 playoffs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_NBA_Playoffs#Bracket
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Post#5 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:56 am by GrandTheftRondo

I'd give the Lakers a chance in the East if they were there, not in the West though.
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Post#6 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 2:57 am by DavidSterned

1978 was a weird season. Seattle started the season 5-17 and made the Finals and Portland started the season 50-10 but missed the Finals due to injuries. And then Washington won as a 44-38 team.

If you want to go really far back then the 1958-59 Lakers made the Finals with a 33-39 record. Pretty bad but there were only 8 teams back then.
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Post#7 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 3:03 am by HotRocks34

DavidSterned wrote:
1978 was a weird season. Seattle started the season 5-17 and made the Finals and Portland started the season 50-10 but missed the Finals due to injuries. And then Washington won as a 44-38 team.

If you want to go really far back then the 1958-59 Lakers made the Finals with a 33-39 record. Pretty bad but there were only 8 teams back then.


Nice, nice. Good research! :)
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Post#8 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 3:11 am by Volcano

Lakers don't have a player on Hakeem's level though..although I guess Kobe with his best season makes up for about half of Hakeem and Dwight coming back healthy can make up for the other half.
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Post#9 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 3:22 am by TwentyOne920

Volcano wrote:Lakers don't have a player on Hakeem's level though..although I guess Kobe with his best season makes up for about half of Hakeem and Dwight coming back healthy can make up for the other half.


They don't have a dominant big a la Hakeem even if they have a great scorer/playmaker on the wing in Kobe/Drexler. They need a Horry type though and Jamison is not that guy.
bertrob wrote:Any casual fan saying anything about Tim Duncan is usually wrong


bobly wrote:Kobe locked up his All Defensive Team this year after he blocked Lebron in the all-star game.
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Post#10 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 4:06 am by IMHO

There's a reason Houston is Clutch City
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Post#11 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 4:18 am by Young_Star11

I can just infer which 2012-13 team could fit the title of this thread...

FWIW, The LA Kings won the Stanley Cup from the 8-seed.

When you think about it, it really is about form coming into the playoffs. You'd think that without HCA you would be presented with at least an opportunity to pinch one on the road, and then it depends if you can win out at home. Sounds so simple though.
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Post#12 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 7:00 am by TwentyOne920

Young_Star11 wrote:I can just infer which 2012-13 team could fit the title of this thread...

FWIW, The LA Kings won the Stanley Cup from the 8-seed.

When you think about it, it really is about form coming into the playoffs. You'd think that without HCA you would be presented with at least an opportunity to pinch one on the road, and then it depends if you can win out at home. Sounds so simple though.


The NFL/NHL playoffs lend themselves to upsets more easily than the NBA...
bertrob wrote:Any casual fan saying anything about Tim Duncan is usually wrong


bobly wrote:Kobe locked up his All Defensive Team this year after he blocked Lebron in the all-star game.
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Post#13 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 10:22 am by te887848

Looks like there's still hope for the Lakers to reach the Finals. With the disgusting level of talent on that team, anything short of a loss to Miami in the Finals is an embarrassment of a season imo.
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Post#14 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 10:28 am by Massamba

GrandTheftRondo wrote:I'd give the Lakers a chance in the East if they were there, not in the West though.

THe playoffs in the East are harder. They have no chance against Mimai New York . In the West they have no chance against OKc that's all.
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Post#15 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 10:29 am by Massamba

te887848 wrote:With the disgusting level of talent on that team

Oh boy... :o 100K salaries...
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Post#16 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 7:02 pm by huskerdu

Massamba wrote:
GrandTheftRondo wrote:I'd give the Lakers a chance in the East if they were there, not in the West though.

THe playoffs in the East are harder. They have no chance against Mimai New York . In the West they have no chance against OKc that's all.


ROFL

The hell? The Lakers have less than a 10% chance to beat even Spurs, Clipps, or Grizzlies.

Even facing Denver or Houston would be a very tough series for them.
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Post#17 Re: R: Teams With Worst Records To Make Final
Tue Jan 8, 2013 11:02 pm by Alienware

Massamba wrote:
GrandTheftRondo wrote:I'd give the Lakers a chance in the East if they were there, not in the West though.

THe playoffs in the East are harder. They have no chance against Mimai New York . In the West they have no chance against OKc that's all.


Even if that was true, it's still easier to get to the playoffs in the east since the midpack teams are weaker.
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Post#18 Re: Teams With Worst Records To Make Finals &
Tue Jan 8, 2013 11:28 pm by Ming Kong!

Lets be realistic, the Lakers are almost at midpoint in the season with 34 games played, and they are 4 games behind the 8th seed in the West. To make matters worse, Denver and Utah who are both ahead of them fighting for the lower seeds (atleast for now), have had arguably the most difficult schedules in the league, as they are the heaviest in road games, while the Lakers have played 2 more home games than road games. Want to make matters MUCH worse? The Lakers are piling up the injuries.

Not sure what the Rockets or Bullets had to overcome, but the Lakers have a coach that is just a terrible fit. Howard and Gasol are NOTHING like prime Stoudemire and Marion, then Kobe has been a player that has played his whole career with Fisher in a triangle offense, he's an ISO player, not a 3pt speacialist, which is usually the role of a SG for Mike D'Antoni. Then there is Nash's age.

I really think that Mike Brown would of figured it out by now, Phil Jackson would probably have them in the 5 in the league, or close, and would have them finish up there, but the second they got D'Antoni, I knew this was a disaster.
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