Ranking the Top 10 Biggest Chokes in NBA History

    Imagine your favorite team putting on a hugely successful performance during a tournament. a sudden turn of events during an important stage leads to the disastrous conclusion that your team is defeated. it is like in a battle between a lion and a deer, the latter turns out to be the winner.

    No one would think of such a phenomenon even in their strangest dreams. The simplest way to make a meaningful prediction would be to check Playorbet Casino for every game your favorite team is playing. however, this happens to a strong team. isn’t it excruciatingly painful to witness?

    Reading: Biggest chokes in nba history

    in the nba such encounters take place in abundance. a team delivers exceptional performance throughout the season. during the most important phase, a sudden lack of coordination or performance causes the game or series to completely change in favor of the weaker team.

    Let’s now look at some of the moments we learn about the greatest NBA chokes of all time.

    #10. chicago bulls, 2011 eastern conference finals

    Ending the regular season with a 62-60 winning margin of defeat, the Bulls sealed their first berth in the Eastern Conference finals since 1998. Loaded with the power and vigor of rising star Derrick Rose, he was meant to be a ride. in the park for the boys in red.

    However, things often don’t go our way. the qualifiers, playing their best basketball in this series, prevented the raging bulls from advancing in the competition. Honestly, I won’t deny it, Rose put up quite a fight with extreme vigor and acrobatics straight out of the Olympics. However, that wasn’t enough to scare or even move the star-studded lineup from the playoffs that pulled off one of the biggest chokes in the NBA. playing in their stadium, dwayne wade and lebron james pumped up the crowd with those big hits and powerful blocks.

    The Bulls pulled off an early win with Derrick Rose flying down the court at Quicken Loans Arena in the first game. However, the iconic duo of Wade and James planned to tear apart the Bulls’ defense on home soil. True to their word, they drilled the Bulls for the next 4 games unless they had kicked Chicago out of the championship.

    the bulls had a chance to win game 6 and force a seventh. Even though they played well in the first three quarters of Game 6 and built a 12-point lead, they couldn’t hold it. the last 4 minutes of the game was a complete carnival with him and james flying around the arena. the momentum had somehow faded from the bulls’ bench. even though his game was close, it just wasn’t his night. we can’t call this suffocation, this is absolute annihilation.

    #9. washington bullets, 1975 nba finals

    this is debatable, the ‘first chokehold’ in nba history. the bullets had set an amazing regular season winning record and were hoping to win the title outright. Boasting future Hall of Famers Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes, the bullets seemed confident and determined. however, the warriors of the golden state led by rick barry had other plans.

    How many times have you been faced with a situation where you had no idea what exactly hit you? Put in perspective, this was exactly the state of bullets in the past. his fantastic form with unseled as the formidable center was plucked and distributed in the assimilated crowd.

    The noisy crowd had gone numb as the warriors shattered the bullets, utter devastation. Rick Barry, along with the entire team, was playing with the first seed bullets. In response to the confused bullets, a fan of a warrior wrote on a poster, “god is a fan of warriors.”

    Despite securing a decent lead of 16 and 13 points in the first two games respectively, the warriors snatched victory from the capital boys. It’s embarrassing to see Wes Unseld playing Rick Barry around the 3-point line. Without a doubt, Barry was awarded the MVP of the finals with 35 points per game. the warriors established the belief that no team is invincible by a 4-0 bullet sweep.

    #8. portland trail blazers, 2000 western conference finals

    This game brought the best party to town. Promising a matchup between Kobe and Pippen, there weren’t any vacant seats at the Staples Center. Fans came out in support of their hometown star Kobe Bryant and star center Shaquille O’Neal. The Portland Blazers, riding off a comfortable season, were determined to make it to the Finals and Pippen, one of the NBA’s most underrated players, was determined to win his next ring.

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    after a comfortable victory in the first game, the next three only saw shaq and bryant along with fisher, a dominant trio in the nba, through the net. they were just unstoppable. things took a turn for the worse in game four as the lakers had secured a 3-1 lead by then. however, the Bulls managed to push through game 6 and also game 7 only to face further humiliation.

    it was sad to see how michael jordan’s teammate pippen was criticized in such a way. Kobe and Shaq weren’t the only players to fly. in fact all you could see were yellow shirts jumping around hitting one here, dousing another there. Shaq and Kobe’s historic alley-oop featured in the final 40 minutes of this game sealing it for the Lakers. Although Rasheed Wallace played remarkably well, Pippen’s confidence in Game 1 faded in Game 7.

    #7. los angeles clippers, 2015 western conference semifinals

    With chris paul, blake griffin and deandre jordan in the same lineup, this clippers team was poised for glory. however, glory is achieved through regular, not periodic, efforts, and that’s something hardened led rockets got right.

    There’s not much to talk about besides the 4-3 score reading. it’s just another “I don’t know what hit us” story. Game 6 and Game 7 were held for the sole purpose of humiliating the season-leading Clippers. A deathly silence settled over the center of the Staples as the Rockets played with the Clippers leading up to a 12 point win in Game 6.

    game 7 was a james harden show to which all of houston was invited. An entirely one-man performance with Houston holding a comfortable 20-point lead for most of the game, it seals the series 4-3. Although the cutters did their best to hold on to the last lines of hope, harden’s blows only add insult to injury.

    #6. dallas mavericks, 2006 nba finals

    The Mavericks were very confident after leading the season’s top seeds. with aspirations to win the title, they played their best game of the year. however, you cannot avoid the fact that the rivals play a much better game than yours.

    the miami playoffs charged with the energy of a younger dwayne wade and star center shaquille o’neal along with payton make up the scariest lineup on this list of the biggest chokes in nba history. If you give him the chance, then there’s no stopping wade.

    o’ neal, one of the best and tallest centers in the game couldn’t be defended. If you have a shaq attack coming your way, fight your way through or face the consequences. Blowing a comfortable 2-0 lead in Game 3, the Mavs had trailed to a 3-2 lead in Game 6. however, there was no turning back and all that lay ahead was defeat and dejection.

    the series did not have game 7 and the playoffs won the championship in game 6, resulting in a score of 4-2. Not forgetting, Mourning Alonso’s cracked defense in Game 6 that led to the crucial blocks. however, before mentioning anything else, wade’s performance deserves a standing ovation.

    #5. oklahoma city thunder, 2016 western conference finals

    Appearing on the list for the second time, steph curry’s warriors have smothered several teams in crucial stages of the championship. Here’s the iconic matchup between Steph Curry and legend Kevin Durant that lands him on this list of the biggest chokes in NBA history. This playoff series had not only pure b-ball action but also a lot of drama like the fight between Draymond Green and Steven Adams and also Kevin Durant’s last plays for OKC.

    okc got off to a very promising start by winning the first 3 games. however, they seemed to have lost that inspiration somewhere while traveling and never managed to get it back. they lost the last 4 games against a team of warriors dominated by clay thompson and stephen curry, one of the most efficient point guards in the nba. although game 6 was a shared effort by these two, to seal a tie against okc by forcing game 7, it was a different story.

    game 7 of this series was a fair of currying 3-pointers and humiliation for okc amidst the crowd at oracle arena. warriors held a proper 10-point lead almost the entire time. The growing frustration was evident in visible OKC players fighting each other, leading to another biggest chokehold in NBA history. Games 6 and 7 have been won in close, tight final moments by crucial clutch points grabbed by either Curry or Thompson and have been iconic ever since. Such an exciting finish is what I aspire to in an NBA game.

    #4. miami heat, 2011 nba finals

    this playoff series was an excruciating blow to the careers of many great players like lebron james, dwayne wade and chris bosh. lined up as the big three against mere mavericks, this series was supposed to be a walk in the garden for the playoffs. however, fortune favors the brave.


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    star, dirk nowitzki was a talent I was hoping to unleash and what better opportunity than this to set you free. Heats were left wondering what hit them. After facing and ousting the Chicago Bulls from the championship, they faced one of the most humiliating losses of his career. dirk nowitzki hitting those crucial 3-pointers and terry retiring the mavericks in the third quarter of game 6 led them to be the 2011 nba champions.

    What’s more of a slap in the face is the crushing form of the loss where the playoffs couldn’t even force a seventh game with the mavs winning 4-2. these are an explanation that no team is invincible and if you dedicate yourself enough, nothing can stop you from reaching your goal. from underdogs to champions, mavericks had climbed a long way and deserved it indefinitely.

    #3. dallas mavericks, 2007 first round

    This playoff game wasn’t lucky enough to have a nail-biting Game 7. It was more of an easy walk in the park for the season’s underdogs, the Golden State Warriors. The Dallas Mavericks looked quite promising until they faced the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

    baron davis shone with wonderful numbers with 33 points 14 rebounds and 8 assists throughout the course. With such input, the Warriors comfortably win their third game against the Mavericks. Although Dallas had gained the momentum at first, once he lost it, he never noticed it again.

    Games 5 and 6 had been 3-point practice for the Davis Jackson duo, as the Mavs were clueless. the warriors electrified the roaring arena of the oracle and hit the visitors hard in their homeland. The Warriors pulled off this big choke in the NBA, setting an example to all who watched that the Warriors are on their way to being a great team in the future.

    #2. seattle jetsons, 1994 first round

    In the past, there were no 7-game playoff series. rather, it was a 5-game playoff by most wins rules. although the sounds began to fly, they soon lagged behind and, when it came time to clutch, they were ineffective.

    nuggets came as the most unexpected shock to the extremely promising sounds of 94′. By winning their first two games at home, the Sonics took an early lead in the series. they traveled to the capital expecting a massacre. however, the nuggets waged a war. When the Nuggets won both of their home games and came to Seattle for the final game, the momentum was in their favor. already under immense tension, the sonics squandered a certain victory and the nuggets qualified for the next round. The Nuggets became the first such team to be an 8-seeded team but to beat a 1-seeded team in the NBA playoffs.

    #1. golden state warriors, 2016 nba finals

    this is arguably the biggest chokehold in nba history. the wounds of this on any warrior buff are so fresh that it would still pain him to read about it. the epic rivalry of james curry at last. let me make it clear now, the cleveland cavaliers had a much better team than the warriors. honestly, the warriors should work as a team and not a one-man show team.

    Qualifying with a record 73 wins, the Warriors underestimated the Knights. the price they paid was high. you can’t keep scoring triples. you would have to infiltrate and break through the defense. although curry and thompson put in splendid form, they were never able to grab those crucial spots.

    lb james’ fantastic blocks and irving’s agility near the basket made a deadly combination. To add an icing to that cake, Jr Smith kept hammering the 3-pointers. Although the game was close with both teams biting each other, Stephen Curry failed to jam a long 3-pointer from Irving and also failed to grab a last-minute clutch opportunity, gifting the championship to the Knights. The Warriors lost the Finals to the Cavaliers 4-3 and became the biggest choke in NBA history.

    It’s not surprising to see an underdog ‘rise from the ashes and get the glory’. dedication and discipline within the game is what makes the best teams, the best players, not numbers. If an entire team plays as one, you’re sure to get results, whether it’s the top or bottom seeded team.

    Did I miss a game? let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer you.

    Until then, keep playing.

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