14-1: LeBron, historic first
« There is a beginning to everything »: this sentence applies even to the greatest. This is the first time in his immense career that LeBron James has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. An elimination which results in another terrible stat for the « King »: he has just suffered the biggest gaps in the score in the first half of his career, during the last two meetings against the Suns. 30 points difference at half-time of game 5, 29 points difference at half-time of game 6.
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2010: last elimination in his conference for LeBron
The last time LeBron was eliminated in the playoffs by a franchise in his conference, it was in 2010. James, in the tunic of the Cavs, was eliminated in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference by Boston. In addition, this is the first time since 2010 that an NBA final will be played without LeBron James or Stephen Curry.
5: The defending champion takes the front door
This is the fifth time in NBA history that the defending champion has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers have just joined the sad lineage of the Spurs of San Antonio (in 2000 and 2015), Miami (2007) and Dallas (2012).
2007: the two finalists are out
The other finalist of the last NBA season, namely the Miami Heat, is also on vacation. Miami suffered Milwaukee’s law in the first round of the playoffs (4-0 win for the Bucks). The last time the two finalists from the previous season left the door in the first round of the finals was in 2007. At the time, Dallas and (again) Miami had failed in the first round.
A few minutes after the elimination of the Lakers, LeBron James explained this double exit of the finalists by a certain fatigue: « I still think from the moment we entered the bubble until now it’s been exhausting (…) Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally draining (…) Every team has to face it, obviously. But with Miami and us who stayed in the bubble for a long time and came back on short notice for this season, it was tiring. «
NB: In 2015, Miami, finalist of the previous season, did not pass the first round of the playoffs … since the franchise was not even qualified.
8 out of 9 chances: the champion will be a new kid
Among the teams still in the playoffs, only one (Dallas) has won the NBA in the last 37 years (this was in 2011). The other ten franchises, which shared the other titles, have already been eliminated: Lakers, Raptors, Warriors, Cavs, Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, Rockets.
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