The Golden State Warriors were victims of a fourth-quarter onslaught by the Boston Celtics Thursday, dropping Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals in a 120-108 setback. The ‘Dubs’ now find themselves down 1-0 and while the series is far from over, history is not on their side.
According to Land of Basketball, just 22 teams in the 75-year history of the NBA Finals have successfully overcome a 1-0 deficit to hoist the championship trophy. That equates to a 29.3% success rate for losers of Game 1 and while it’s far from a death sentence for Golden State’s championship aspirations, it’s certainly not a situation to want to be in.
There have been a handful of recent champions who have fully regrouped from a Game 1 loss, including the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, the 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat, the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, and last year’s Milwaukee Bucks. Other notable examples include the 1984 Boston Celtics pulling it off against the Los Angeles Lakers before the Lakers did it right back to the Celtics the following year. And the Chicago Bulls bookended their dynasty in the 1990’s by pulling it off in 1991 and 1998.
Having won three titles in the past decade, Stephen Curry and company understand the stage they’re on and know that there’s still plenty of basketball left to be played. However, the margin for error has now gotten a little bit tighter and the Warriors cannot afford another loss in Game 2 on Sunday.