NBA Playoffs: 10 Biggest Upsets in NBA Playoff History

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NBA Playoffs: 10 Biggest Upsets in NBA Playoff History
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The 2012 NBA playoffs are upon us.

The NBA playoffs have been the stage for some of the most iconic and memorable moments in all of sports, as well as some of the most intense team and individual matchups ever.

Magic Johnson's baby sky hook to sink the Celtics.

Michael Jordan's heroic performance in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.

Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain.

Michael vs. Magic.

Lakers vs. Celtics.

The list goes on and on.

Mixed in with all these epic moments have been some equally epic upsets.

While they may not be as commonplace as in the NHL playoffs, for example, upsets in the NBA playoffs still happen from time to time.

It is hard to say why upsets in the NBA playoffs are not quite as frequent as in the NHL, but there are a few factors that come to mind.

One is that home-court advantage actually matters in the NBA playoffs. A road win in the NBA playoffs can be a series-changing event.

Another factor to consider is that the gap in talent between the No. 1 seed and the No. 8 seed is noticeably more significant in the NBA playoffs than in the NHL playoffs.

It is not unheard of for a sub-.500 team to make the NBA playoffs as a No. 8 seed—only to be absolutely crushed by the No. 1 seed, very often an elite squad that is going to challenge for the NBA championship.

Another factor to consider is that the NBA playoffs, and the matchups being played, are not as prone to fluky events that change the course of a series—or even a season.

How many times have we seen an NHL playoff series completely change course due to a crazy deflection, erratic bounce off the boards or something along those lines?

That does not really happen in the NBA playoffs. Usually, the better team wins. The series might go seven games, and it might have enough drama that the fans and players can hardly take another moment, but the cream usually rises to the top in the NBA playoffs.

It is because of this that when a real upset occurs, a true eye-opening, jaw-dropping stunner, it resounds through the sports world like a bomb exploding.

Recently I wrote an article on the 10 biggest upsets in NHL playoff history. With the NBA playoffs about to get going, it only seemed natural to look at the history of basketball's premier tournament and rank the 10 biggest upsets in the history of the NBA playoffs.

Which stunners made the list?

Let's find out.

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