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Stephen Curry, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, NBA Finals

5 luckiest NBA championship winners in league history

Winning an NBA championship is no easy feat. It’s why many franchises don’t have any titles in organizational history, let alone Finals appearances.

To win the whole thing, you need to have some luck on your side as well as talented players and coaches.

With that said, let’s take a look at the five luckiest championship teams in NBA history.

5. 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs

The 2006-07 Spurs championship team had a relatively easy run through the 2007 Western Conference playoffs.

San Antonio lost just four times throughout the first three rounds of the postseason. The Spurs took out the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the West playoffs in five games, defeated the Phoenix Suns in the second round in six games and eliminated the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Finals in five games to reach the 2007 NBA Finals.

In the Finals, the Spurs swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The King was the only star on the Cavs and the Spurs made easy work of Cleveland, with Tony Parker winning Finals MVP. Had LeBron had another superstar with him, the series could have been a lot tougher for the Spurs.

4. 2011-12 Miami Heat

The second year of the “Big 3” era featuring James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh netted the Heat a championship, which was the first of LeBron’s decorated NBA career.

Miami won 46 games during the 2011-12 lockout campaign. The South Beach franchise made easy work of the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2012 East playoffs, taking out Carmelo Anthony’s crew in five games. The Heat then defeated the Indiana Pacers in the second round in six games and took out the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games.

LeBron and the Heat didn’t have to deal with Chicago Bulls superstar point guard Derrick Rose in the 2012 East playoffs since the 2011 NBA MVP tragically tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Most pundits believe Rose and Chicago would have given James and the Heat a run for their money in the conference finals since the two met at that stage the prior year.

In the 2012 NBA Finals, the Heat went up against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden were really young and playing in their first NBA Finals. Meanwhile, James, Wade and Bosh already had that Finals experience.

The Heat defeated the Thunder in five quick games, with James winning his first Finals MVP.

3. 1994-95 Houston Rockets

Behind Hakeem Olajuwon, the Rockets won 47 games in the 1994-95 regular season. To reach the ’95 NBA Finals, Houston took out the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs.

In the 1995 Finals, the Rockets faced the Orlando Magic, who were led by Shaquille O’Neal, Horace Grant and Penny Hardaway. Houston swept the Magic easily.

The Rockets are fortunate that Michael Jordan wasn’t his “GOAT” self in the ’95 playoffs. His Airness played in only 17 games during the 1994-95 regular season due to his baseball leave and later NBA comeback and wasn’t able to get his legs and body right for the playoffs, where the Bulls lost to the Magic.

2. 2018-19 Toronto Raptors

Kawhi Leonard had a legendary one-year run with the Raptors. He guided the franchise to its first title in franchise history and won his second Finals MVP.

To get to the 2019 NBA Finals, Toronto had to beat the Orlando Magic, Sixers and Milwaukee Bucks. Leonard hit one of the biggest shots in NBA history in Game 7 against the Sixers in the second round, although some will say it was a lucky shot since it bounced around the rim forever.

In the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, the Raptors erased a 2-0 series deficit against the Bucks to reach the Finals. There wasn’t too much luck involved with that, as Leonard simply outplayed MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

However, Toronto received a lot of help in the NBA Finals. Golden State Warriors superstar small forward Kevin Durant didn’t play in Games 1-4. He played a little in Game 5 before tearing his Achilles tendon. Warriors guard Klay Thompson also tore his ACL in Game 6.

Odds are the Warriors defeat the Raptors if Durant doesn’t get hurt against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the West playoffs. KD suffered a calf injury, which ultimately led to his Achilles tear.

1. 2014-15 Golden State Warriors

In Steve Kerr’s first year as head coach, the Warriors won 67 games during the regular season and secured the best record in the NBA. Stephen Curry won his first MVP award by averaging 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists.

In the 2015 West playoffs, the Dubs beat the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Rockets to reach the NBA Finals. Golden State trailed the Grizzlies 2-1 before winning three straight to advance to the conference finals.

Memphis point guard Mike Conley, though, only played in five games due to a serious facial injury.

The 2015 NBA Finals featured the Warriors taking on James and the Cavs. James played Games 2-6 without All-Star teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Irving hurt his knee in Game 1 of the Finals, while Love dislocated his shoulder earlier in the postseason against the Boston Celtics.

Golden won the series in six games. However, had LeBron had Irving and Love by his side, the title could have been Cleveland’s, which would come to be in the following Finals.