NBA: 3 Worst Teams to Make the Finals Since 2000
Last year's NBA Finals was one of the most exciting and anticipated in years. It involved star power in players like Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Dirk Nowitzki, and was played by two very good teams.
Since 2000, there has been a few NBA finals that have gone down to the wire. However, there has also been a few that were very one sided involving one team that didn't belong.
3. 2002 New Jersey Nets
The 02’ Nets defeated a pedestrian Boston Celtics team in the Eastern conference finals to set themselves up for a matchup against the loaded Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nets combined star point guard Jason Kidd with young, role players such as Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson. Kidd was known for his flashy passes and fast break ability, and for having little star power around him.
While Martin and Jefferson were solid players, neither of them was good enough to be the second best player on a championship team. The Nets had no inside presence and were forced to defend Lakers big man Shaquille O’Neal with mediocre center Jason Collins. O’Neal dominated the series averaging an astounding 36.3 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game, as the Lakers swept the Nets in four.
2) 2001 Philadelphia 76ers
Allen Iverson was the NBA’s most valuable player during the 2000-2001 season. Iverson carried an unheralded 76ers team all the way to the NBA finals.
Besides Iverson, the team was straddled with players who had little to no scoring ability. Their second best player, Dikembe Mutombo, was a defensive stopper, with subpar offensive skills.
Iverson was forced to do everything offensively for the team and he could only score so much. Despite winning game one of the 2001 finals, the 76ers dropped the next four to the defending champion Lakers in convincing fashion.
1) 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers
The ’07 Cleveland Cavaliers may be the worst team to make the finals in NBA history. They did have a tremendous player in LeBron James, but that was about it.
LeBron had to be flawless in the eastern conference finals in order for the Cavs to even make it to the championship series.
Who was the second best player on that team? I have no clue. Was it Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Eric Snow? Booby Gibson?
The fact that any of those players are considered the fourth or even fifth best player on a finals team is scary. Needless to say the Cavs were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, and because of the lackluster talent around him, LeBron infamously fled to South Beach as soon as he hit free agency.