Lowest Seeds to Win a NBA Championship

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Winning an NBA Championship is the highest claim to fame for all 30 teams to achieve. With 75 NBA Champions, 53 of those champions were the #1 seed and 12 came from the #2 seed. Nobody ever talks about the 10 low seeds that won a championship in the NBA’s history

A low seed historically has had a tough road just to make it to the NBA Finals over the years and especially in today’s climate. In today’s article, I will tell you about the lowest seeds that took the long way in winning a championship and etched their names in the history books. Here are the Lowest Seeds to ever win an NBA Championship.

#3 Seed: 2011 Dallas Mavericks

This Dallas Mavericks squad had a few names like Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, and Tyson Chandler. The Mavs were tied with the #2 seeded Los Angeles Lakers but the Lakers won the Pacific Division and tiebreaker. Their road to the NBA Finals was surprising.

In the first round, Dallas overcame a 2-2 tied series to win 4-2 over the Portland Trailblazers, in the second round, the Mavs were the first team to sweep a Phil Jackson-led team in history by beating the Lakers in four. In the Western Conference Finals, the Mavs defeated the young Oklahoma City Thunder to advance to the NBA Finals. Against a Heat team that had the Big 3 (Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh), the Dallas Mavericks defeated Miami in six games and solidified Nowitzki as one of the all-time greats.

#3 Seed: 2004 Detroit Pistons

The reason why this squad made this list is that nobody gave them a chance in 2004. The media had the Los Angeles Lakers super team winning it all. No disrespect to Detroit but unlike the Lakers, the Pistons had no guaranteed first-ballot Hall of Famers. The road to the NBA Playoffs for Detroit was rough.

In the playoffs, the Pistons defeated Milwaukee in six, held off New Jersey in seven, and defeated the #1 seeded Indiana Pacers in six games to advance to the NBA Finals. The matchup was set, the Los Angeles Lakers vs the underdog Detroit Pistons, the media basically gave the Pistons no chance to bring the title to the Motor City. It took five games for the Pistons to win a title and make a lot of people lose money in Vegas. A team that featured Ben and Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, and Tayshaun Prince brought the first title for the Pistons since the 1989-90 NBA season.

#4 Seed: 1969 Boston Celtics

The last title in the illustrious career of Bill Russell came with a Boston Celtic squad that was not supposed to even be a contender, being the last seed in the Eastern Conference. You wouldn’t think that based on a 4-1 and 4-2 series victories respectively. What stands in the way of the 11th title for Bill Russell was a Los Angeles Lakers team that had Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain as starters.

Imagine if this was like the Avengers vs Thanos and his army from the Avengers: Endgame movie. The home team won Games one through six, with each team dropping haymakers and giving everything that they have to win a championship. In Game 7, the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-106 to spoil the Lakers early celebration and became the first and only #4 seed to win an NBA Championship.

#6 Seed: 1995 Houston Rockets

The year was 1995, the Houston Rockets used a midseason trade that involved Clyde Drexler to try and get them over the hump from the previous year’s exit. Unfortunately, the Rockets were the sixth seed in the Western Conference and had to go through the gauntlet. The Rockets went through the third-seeded Utah Jazz, second-seeded Phoenix Suns, and the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs to advance to their second straight NBA Finals.

In the NBA Finals, Houston took on a young Orlando Magic team led by Shaquille O’ Neal and Penny Hardaway, and after a Game 1 which was intense in regulation with missed free throws and three-pointers, the Rockets swept the Magic in four games. With their title victory, it gave Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler their only championship together. Also, this title victory made the Houston Rockets the first and only 6th seed ever to win an NBA Championship.

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