History is Bleak for Teams That Start Off Series 0-3

Published on June 13th, 2024 3:18 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Comeback Challenges - Luka Doncic and the Mavs are facing a Mission Impossible. Over the history of the NBA, no team has EVER come back to win a playoff series after losing the first three games.


Over the history of the NBA, 156 different teams have found themselves down 3-0 in a best-of-7 playoff series, and none have managed to win.

In the history of the NBA Finals, nine teams have been swept.


Over the history of the NBA, three teams have managed to storm back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the series, only to lose the seventh and deciding game.

They are:

1951 New York Knicks
1994 Denver Nuggets
2003 Portland Trail Blazers

The New York Knicks came close to winning Game 7, as they lost by only four points to the Rochester Royals.

The Nuggets and Trail Blazers both lost by double-digit points in Game 7.


Teams have fall behind 3-0 face a number of different issues, including:

1. Their opposition is clearly playing very well and they need to reverse the momentum

2. In most cases, teams that fall behind 3-0 have to win Game 5 and Game 7 on the road

3. Mounting a comeback from 3-0 is a Herculean task, and the teams that make it to Game 7 after losing their first three are usually out of gas by that point

4. Winning four games in a row against a team that has beaten you three times in a row is close to impossible


If your team finds itself in a 3-0 hole to start a playoff series, you might want to start your vacation early.

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