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Two Teams That Remain Still Looking For First NBA Title

The Timberwolves and Pacers are both seeking their first NBA title.

There are now just four teams remaining in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. The Eastern Conference Finals begin Tuesday between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics. The following day, the Western Conference Finals tip off between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. When it comes to most storied NBA franchises, the Celtics (and Los Angeles Lakers) sit atop the list. The Celtics 17 NBA championships are tied for the most in league history with the Lakers. Boston last took home the title in 2008.

While the Mavericks’ history pales in comparison to Boston, they have finished as the last team standing in the past. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. Both Indiana and Minnesota are still looking for their first NBA championship in franchise history.

Two Teams That Remain Still Looking For First NBA Title

ABA Titles But Not NBA For The Pacers

Prior to joining the NBA, the Pacers were one of the ABA franchises. They were one of the dominant teams in the now-defunct league. They were crowned ABA champs three times in 1970, 1972, and 1973. Indiana’s first season in the NBA came in 1976-77. In their 48 seasons as an NBA team, they are still looking to duplicate the championship success they had in the ABA.

The Pacers have been a playoff team in more than half of their seasons in the NBA (28 of 48). This is their ninth time reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana has only advanced to the NBA Finals once in their previous eight times reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. That came in the 1999-00 season. Led by Reggie Miller, they battled valiantly but lost to the Lakers in six games. That was the first of three straight NBA titles from a dominant Los Angeles team led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Not Much Success in Minnesota’s History

If NBA teams were listed by most success in their history to the least, the Timberwolves would be at or near the bottom. Their inaugural season came in 1989-90 making this Minnesota’s 35th season in the league. This year was their 12th season qualifying for the playoffs meaning they have reached the postseason barely more than one-third of the time. In 10 of those playoff appearances, the Timberwolves were eliminated in the first round.

Prior to this season, the only other year that Minnesota won a playoff round was in 2004. That year, they disposed of the Denver Nuggets in five games in the opening round before taking out the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Semifinals in seven games. Minnesota’s playoff run came to a close when the Lakers defeated them in six games in the Western Conference Finals.

The Pacers are huge underdogs in their series with the Celtics while the Timberwolves are smaller favorites over the Mavericks.


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