The Oklahoma City Thunder have found themselves in a tough spot. Being down 0-2 in an NBA Playoff series is not a good place to be.
In the history of the NBA, only 14 teams have comeback from a 0-2 deficit to win a playoff series. Three times it happened in the NBA Finals, three times it happened in the Conference Finals and three times it happened in a 5-game series.
The Thunder will have to do just that against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals if they don’t want their season to end.
The problem is that the Spurs are playing like the best team in the NBA right now. They’ve won 20-straight games, which is tied for the third most ever in the NBA, and haven’t lost since April 11.
But it has happened before and if there is one thing you can say about the Thunder it is that they never give up and stop fighting.
How do teams come back from a 0-2 deficit? What usually happens?
The Thunder can look at a couple of teams that may show them a possible blue print.
2007 ECF: Cavaliers beat the Pistons 4-2
LeBron James and Cleveland lose the first two games 79-76 each time in Detroit. Those weren’t fun games to watch.
Then LeBron makes the leap. He has the memorable 48-point game five and it feels like the NBA will never be the same because LeBron is becoming the most unstoppable force ever.
The Cavaliers would lose to the Spurs in the NBA Finals but LeBron gave us a glimpse of just how talented he could become.
Kevin Durant has a chance to do exactly what LeBron did in 2007 in this series. It’s time for him to step up and have a huge playoff series. Only once in his career has he averaged more than 30 per game in a playoff series.
Durant may need to suddenly jump to another level of greatness for the Thunder to win.
2006 Finals: Heat beat Mavericks 4-2
Dallas proves why they are a much better team than Miami in Games 1 and 2 then Dwyane Wade and the referees take over the rest of the series.
Wade shoots 739 free throws in the final four games of the series and puts up historic NBA Finals numbers.
The Thunder are a team with a ton of bogus-foul calls potential. Couldn’t you see Durant, Westbrook and Harden start flailing their bodies into the Spurs over the next four games and getting every call?
Doesn’t David Stern and the NBA want to see LeBron vs. Durant in the Finals? Let’s make this happen.
1993 ECF: Bulls beat Knicks 4-2
The Thunder are reminiscent in many ways of the late-80’s, early-90’s Chicago Bulls teams. They may not have a Michael Jordan but overall they look comparable from time to time.
The Bulls lost the first two games on the road to the Knicks in this 1993 series. Those games were physical and the Bulls were not in their usual rhythm until they returned home and showed why the more talented team won the series.
The Thunder and Spurs games haven’t been especially physical but the Thunder have been out of rhythm so far in the series and haven’t been playing to their potential yet.
There is a ton of potential for this series to look a lot different when it gets to OKC on Thursday and that could propel a Thunder comeback.
It is possible but very unlikely for an NBA team to come back from a 0-2 deficit in a playoff series. It is even harder when you are playing a team as good as the Spurs.
But if you were going to pick a team to do this wouldn’t it be a team like this Thunder team? A team on the rise who shows tons of potential but not all the time? A team with the best player in this series who is on the verge of “making the leap?”
There’s still hope.
Tags: 0-2 Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Dallas Mavericks Detroit Pistons Dwyane Wade James Harden Kevin Durant LeBron James Miami Heat Michael Jordan NBA Finals NBA Playoffs Nba Teams To Come Back From A 0-2 Deficit New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook San Antonio Spurs Western Conference Finals