The Miami Heat have taken the NBA by storm throughout the 2023 NBA Playoffs. They lost their first Play-In Tournament game against the Atlanta Hawks, and nearly lost their second against the Chicago Bulls, which would've knocked them out of the playoffs entirely. They held on to claim the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, but most expected them to just be cannon fodder for the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks.

As we all know, that's not what happened at all. Miami thrashed Milwaukee in five games, largely owing to some monster performances by Jimmy Butler. The Heat's run didn't stop there, as they then dispatched the No. 5 seed New York Knicks in six games in the second round. Most recently, they upset the No. 2 seed Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Heat danced through the rain in the Celtics series, but they held on to advance to the NBA Finals. There, they'll match up against the Denver Nuggets, the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

With their remarkable run, the Heat joined a very exclusive club as just the second No. 8 seed to make it to the NBA Finals. In honor of this occasion, let's look back on the only other time this has ever happened.

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Who was the first No. 8 seed to make the NBA Finals?

The only other time a No. 8 seed made the NBA Finals occurred in 1999, when the New York Knicks pulled off a similarly stunning postseason run. This lockout-shortened season had just 50 games, and the Knicks just snuck into the playoffs with a 27-23 record. They finished just one game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets in the standings, but they got to the playoffs and made the most of it.

New York first matched up against the Eastern Conference's top seed in the first round, which was, ironically enough, the Heat. The Knicks beat the Heat 78-77 in a deciding Game 5, as the NBA used a best-of-5 format for the first round until 2003. Neither team scored 100 points in a game all series, which would be a common theme in this run.

Afterwards, the Knicks matched up against the No. 4 seed Atlanta Hawks in the second round. This series was nowhere near as close, as New York won in a four-game sweep. Game 4 was a decisive 79-66 Knicks win at Madison Square Garden.

Then in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Knicks faced the No. 2 seed Indiana Pacers. Most games in this series were very close, but New York came out victorious once again in six games. The Knicks closed out the series with a 90-82 win at home in Game 6.

In the NBA Finals though, the Knicks met their match in the San Antonio Spurs, the top seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs were just the better team, winning the series in five games for their first NBA title. The lone game the Knicks won was Game 3, which they took 89-81.

Patrick Ewing was still on the team, but the then 36-year-old wasn't the main star anymore, scoring just 13.1 points per game throughout the playoffs and missing the entire Finals series. The Knicks top scorers during the postseason were Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston, averaging 20.4 and 18.5 points, respectively. However, the team's main strength was its defense, possessing the fourth-best defensive rating during the regular season at 97.5. Also notable is the fact that current Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was an assistant for this team.

The Heat now follow in the footsteps of these Knicks, but they'll look to complete the job this time. That begs the question though, who was the lowest seed to win it all if not New York?

What is the lowest seed to win the NBA Finals?

No No. 7 seeds have ever even made it to the NBA Finals, but two No. 6 seeds, the Houston Rockets in 1981 and 1995, have. While the 1981 team came up short against the Boston Celtics, the 1995 Rockets still stand as the lowest-seeded team to win an NBA title. Granted, the Rockets weren't a typical No. 6 seed, as they just won the title the year before, but that doesn't take away from their impressive playoff run.

The Rockets began their run with two series that went the distance, as they beat the No. 3 seed Utah Jazz 3-2 and then the No. 2 seed Phoenix Suns 4-3. They then dispatched the top-seeded Spurs 4-2 in the Western Conference Final before sweeping the Orlando Magic, the top seed in the East, in the NBA Finals. Hakeem Olajuwon won Finals MVP, just as he did the year before.

For now, the 1995 Rockets stand as the lowest-seeded team to win it all. However, the Heat have a chance to change that very soon.