10 Things to Know About These NBA Finals, Using Facts From The Past

by Joel Held

1) Since 1950, only seven teams who lost in the previous year’s Finals won the next year, and only one (the Lakers in 2009) has done so in the past 20 years. As you may recall, Miami was runner-up last year.

2) Since 2000, 9 of 12 teams who have won Game 1 of the NBA Finals ultimately won the series. Miami has been involved in two of those three series: last year and in 2006.

3) The Thunder only have three players (Derek Fisher, Nazr Mohammed, and Kendrick Perkins) who have played in the Finals before, yet all three of them won championships. The Heat have two players with rings (Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem).

4) Since 1950, 25 Finals have gone to six games. 18 have been sweeps, while 17 each have gone either five or seven games.

5) Both franchises have a .500 in their games played in the Finals. The Thunder are 9-9 (all as the Sonics), with a 6-3 home record. The Heat are 6-6, with two road wins.

6) Each team has lost one game more than their prior series. If this holds true, the Thunder would win the Finals, 4-3.

7) This is the fifth time since 1967 a scoring champion (Kevin Durant) has faced off against an MVP (LeBron James) in the Finals. The scoring champ has won three out of the past four.

8) This will be the third time since 1980 that the #2 seeds from each conference reach the NBA Finals. Both times the West won (’94 Rockets, ’05 Spurs).

9) This is the first time since 1990 a team not from Texas or coached by Phil Jackson has made the Finals. The record of those past teams? 18-3. It’s been mighty hard to pick against the West lately.

10) This is the first Finals in NBA history (or any Big 4 sport, actually) that features two teams whose name does not end in an “s.” In fact, the letter also isn’t found in either city.