NBA playoff underdog teams


The NBA finals will end on June 18. The finals featured a number of lower ranked teams coming out on top leaving it hard to make predictions of who could take home the trophy.

Constantine Donahue

The 2023 NBA playoffs have been nothing short of exciting. There has already been history made just in the first round.

“The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks series shocked me. I think I could speak for a lot of people in thinking that the Bucks would’ve won, but Miami won easily. Jimmy Butler put on a masterclass performance, he’s just that guy,” said junior Rudra Thakkar. 

Miami, the No. eight seed in the playoffs, beat the No. one seed, the Bucks. This was the first time in NBA history that a play-in team beat a one seed. 

The Heat won in just five games, being the second team to advance to the second round. The first team being the Philadelphia 76ers, winning their series in four games against the Brooklyn Nets.

Another “underdog” team that advanced to the second round was the No. seven seed, the Los Angeles Lakers. They matched up against the No. two seeded Memphis Grizzlies. 

“I honestly expected the Lakers to win,” said sophomore Caleb Grim. “The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russel is pretty solid.”

This series wasn’t nearly as much of a shock to the NBA world as the Miami and Milwaukee series, but it’s not too often a seven seed beats a two seed.

“I wasn’t surprised,” said sophomore Jack Robertson. “They were injured all year, so that’s why their record dropped, but I hate the Lakers,” he added.

Thakkar, a diehard 76ers fan, has high hopes for Philadelphia’s second round matchup against the Boston Celtics. “James Harden went ballistic in game one, if he continues to do that, I think they can win the series. But when he’s not having that kind of performance, everyone else needs to step up,” he added. 

Harden accumulated 45 points in game one, winning in Boston.

“It’s a tough place to play, Boston’s fans are ruthless, but it would be huge if the Sixers could steal another game there. I think that could be a key in winning the series,” Grim added.

So far, these playoffs have been extremely interesting. In the second round, we have multiple series’ going to a seventh game. This is arguably one of the greatest playoff years we’ve ever seen.