10+ Most Regretful Mistakes NBA Players Have Made in the Playoffs
Every NBA game is interesting in its own way, but Playoffs and Finals are always more exciting. Whatever happens, those can be remembered forever, including the blunders that could become a huge blemish in a star’s career. LeBron was not always the legend he is today. Let’s find more about these basketball mistakes!
15. The no-dunks Playoffs
Fans of the NBA know that Patrick Ewing is a pretty tall guy, as he measures seven feet, and his play-style is a result of it. He often dunks the ball and can be aggressive towards his opponents in the court. However, during the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals, he did not make the play that would have won his team the game. They were only one point behind, and he made a finger roll instead of dunking.
14. Being tall is not always the best tactic in basketball
There are some moments where players just need to throw the ball around and wait for the game to end. However, trying to run the clock can distract some people, and Bill Russell made a blunder during Game 7 of the Eastern Division Finals. There were only five seconds left, and he needed to pass the ball, but he threw the ball over Wilt Chamberlain, hit the guide wire of the hoop, and it rebounded on the 76ers. Fortunately, Havlicek saved the day.
13. The unending Airballs
Young players often pull crazy moves trying to prove themselves, but they can fail. During Game 5 of the Western Conference Championship, Kobe Bryant wanted to make a great play for the Lakers. He was just 18 at the time. However, he threw four airballs and a junk ball, and the team really needed at least one to tie the game. Now, every time you miss the garbage, people yell “Kobe”.
12. Throwing away the whole series is all about Magic
The 1984 NBA Finals were awful for legendary athlete Magic Johnson, and he was really the hero of the opposing team, the Celtics. During Game 2, he seemed to give up and dribbled around until the clock ran out in the fourth quarter, although the game was tied. The Celtics won during overtime. In Game 4, he gave the ball away accidentally, and so, the game was lost as well. During Game 7, he did the same and the Celtics won another time.
11. A headache can affect the whole game
While Michael Jordan is one of the most famous NBA stars in history, real fans know that Scotty Pippen helped cement his career. They were an unstoppable duo, but in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Championship, Pippen suffered from a harsh migraine. The Bulls were playing against the Pistons, but they were not prepared for such an occurrence. They lost the game as a result.
10. Four out of five
For a professional basketball player, missing a free throw is cause for embarrassment. It is literally shooting the ball without obstruction. Unfortunately, in 1995, Nick Anderson missed four shots during Game 1 against the Houston Rockets. Luckily, he was able to make the hoop in the fifth attempt, and Orlando was ahead by three points with 111-107. Sadly, the Rockets recovered and won.
9. The battle of the giants
The Seattle SuperSonics were considered the best team in 1994, and after their first two games against the Nuggets, everyone expected them to win the quarterfinals easily. However, the following three games were bust, although they had both Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. It was the first time in basketball history that the number 8 won against a number 1.
8. A victory is never a sure thing
The Lakers learned a harsh lesson in 1969 during Game 7 against the Boston Celtics. Everyone thought they were the clear winners of the championship, and the team owner, Jack Kent, even printed flyers already celebrating the victory. However, the Celtics did not back down and earned their 11th title with Bill Russell, who retired after that season.
7. Never underestimate the power of one point
They say that every point is important, but Karl Malone learned that lesson the hard way. In 1997, during the first game against the Bulls, Karl Malone, who was known as “The Mailman”, could not make two free throws just seconds before the game ended. Malone is remembered as one of the best in NBA history, but he never won a title.
6. The infamously missed throw
Larry Bird is a huge legend in the NBA, but this mistake is still remembered by real fans. In 1987, during Game 5 of the Playoffs between the Celtics and the Pistons, Isiah Thomas gave the ball directly to his adversary, Larry Bird. Bird passed the ball right before going out of bounds to Dennis Johnson, and the Celtics won that series.
5. The aliens of ‘Space Jam’ attacked again
Manu Ginobili was a vital part of the Spurs, but during the 2013 NBA finals, he seemed to forget how to play just like some of the players in ‘Space Jam’. In Game 6, he scored nine points but turned them over eight times. The Spurs would have won against the Heat if Manu has just gotten it together.
4. All legends start somewhere
In 2010, during the Eastern Conference Semifinals, LeBron James and his team at the time, the Cavaliers, lost three games in a row against the Boston Celtics. It was one of the worst times of James’ career. Game 5 ended with the score 120-88, and LeBron left the team.
3. Intimidating opponents
The Chicago Bulls were intimidating during the Michael Jordan era, but the New York Nicks defeated them twice during the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals. Then, however, the Bulls won the next three. During Game 5, Charles Smith from the Nicks missed four shots and could not draw a foul. With 20 seconds left in the end, just one basket would have sealed the deal for the team. What was worst for the Nicks, is that Jordan made a slam dunk.
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2. Records should be good things but sometimes...
Many players want to be remembered for breaking records, but the Lakers learned that not all of them are positive achievements. During the 2008 Finals, the Lakers were off against their main rivals, the Boston Celtics. They ended up losing in Game 6 by a margin of 39 points, which is lost by basketball terms.
1. The offense is the best defense
Wilt Chamberlain is another legend of the NBA. In 1968, he topped every category and averaged 22 points per game. Unfortunately, during Game 7, while the 76ers faced the Boston Celtics, Chamberlain only took four shots. Three were during the first half and one in the second half. The Celtics ended up winning that match, and Wilt even missed the last two games. The Celtics won the series 3-1.
While we love when our favorite team wins, it is also enjoyable when mistakes like these happen. Let us know which one you think is the worst. If you liked this article, share with your friends who are true fans of the game. See you next time!
Source: Sports Casting