Teams That Have Consistently Swept The First Round Of The Playoffs
The last five years have been good for them especially
The first round of the NBA Playoffs are pivotal, because it cuts down the top eight teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences in half. Sure, the same is true for all succeeding rounds, but that first go is especially crucial for all the teams and their fans. Let’s take a look at the especially talented teams that have swept the first round in the past five years.
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
By the time that the Celtics cinched their third straight win against the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, shooting guard Ray Allen was sure his team would make a sweep. True enough, his prediction came true. The fourth game ended with the Boston leading, 101–89.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
In a surprising turn of events, the Oklahoma City Thunders eliminated the defending champs in the first round of the 2012 Playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks consequently lost their shot at a two-time championship as Oklahoma sealed the deal on May 5. The score was a close 103–97.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz
A large part of what kept the Spurs in the game was the team had a severely strong offense. It left the other players in shock, because San Antonio was known most for the defensive strength. The first round of the 2012 Playoffs resulted in a sweep against the Utah Jazz, with the fourth game ending in a score of 87–81.
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Reeling from some internal team problems, the Bucks were quickly eliminated from the 2013 NBA Playoffs as Miami Heat swept their first round. LeBron James scored 30 points in that last game and the Heat was sailing with a 15–5 run on the fourth quarter. The game ended with an 88-77 score.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers
By the fourth game between the Spurs and the Lakers during the 2013 NBA Playoffs, the Staples Center was almost half empty. It signified the end to one of the darkest seasons in the Lakers’ history. San Antonio sealed the deal with a 103–82 win.
Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats
It took the Charlotte Bobcats ten years to make it to the NBA Playoffs again, but the Miami Heat quickly cut that dream short when they swept the first round in 2014. During the first half of that final game, it looked as if the Bobcats had a chance, but Miami caught up quickly in the second half. That fourth game ended with a 109–98 score.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics
Despite Kevin Love’s injury in the first quarter of the fourth game in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers had LeBron and Kyrie Irving to carry a lot of the weight. Scoring 27 and 24 points respectively, the Cavs ensured their second round participation. The game ended 101–93.
Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
The 2015 NBA Playoffs marked the first sweep in the history of the Washington Wizards. Moreover, it was then the first time since 2011 for a team to sweep without a home-court advantage. The fourth game finished with the Raptors down by 31 points.
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans
The Warriors took the first step to being crowned the champions in 2015 when they swept their first round in the playoffs against the Pelicans. Stephen Curry scored a spectacular 39 points with a notable companion in Klay Thompson, who scored 25 points. The fourth game ended with Golden State leading by 11 points.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons
During the fourth game of the Cavs and Pistons in the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Detroit put up a tough battle. It just wasn’t enough against the Cavaliers with Kyrie and LeBron leading the points. The game ended in a close 100–98.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Coming from a slew of injuries, the Grizzlies’ Playoffs participation in 2016 was quickly cut short by the Spurs. It seemed clear by the third quarter of the fourth game that San Antonio would be the first team to advance to the second round of the Playoffs. The game ended 116–95, in favor of the Spurs.
This year, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors swept their first round against the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers, respectively.