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Unprecedented, Lopsided “Semis”

May 22, 2023

Certainly the (3-0) series leads of the Western Conference top seed, Denver Nuggets and mind blowing Eastern Conference, “8,” the Miami Heat, are unprecedented.

True, in 1957 both “semis,” ended in 3 game sweeps as the Celtics in route to their first crown, swept the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76ers) and the then St. Louis Hawks swept the then Mnneapolis Lakers.

Coincidentally the trailing (3-0) NBA semis teams this year are the Celtics and Lakers, since 1961, the L.A. Lakers.

Meanwhile both NHL semi-final series stand at (2-0), all 4 games decided in overtime with another South Florida technically an “8,” the Panthers and sixth years Las Vegas Golden Knights, the former at Carolina (the Hurricanes have lost 10 straight “semis” games, dating back to ’09, 6 of the losses at home) and the latter at home vs the Dallas Stars.

Someone do the research and we shall see how these semis end but for now I found only one instance (1977) when all 4 semis stood at (2-0).

Then in the NBA, eventual champion, Portland (Trail Blazers) swept the Lakers, who by the way entered this semi (32-9) all-time in such entities, while the Sixers up (2-0) and (3-1) vs Houston (Rockets) won in 6, before losing in that number to Portland’s only title in their 53 NBA seasons.

In the ’77 NHL semis, Boston involved then but not with the Celtics swept the Philadelphia Flyers, having won the first two games in overtime at Philly.

The great, great Montreal Canadiens (60 wins, 8 losses and 12 old fashioned ties) built a (3-1) series lead but needed 6 games to advance vs an eventually great, 4 straight crowns, Islanders’ team.

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