Wednesday, July 17, 2024

NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final could both be sweeps for the first time since 1995


The Boston Celtics have dominated the Dallas Mavericks in the opening three games of the NBA Finals and hold a 3-0 series lead. Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup Final hasn’t been much different as the Florida Panthers have a 3-0 series lead against the Edmonton Oilers.

If the Celtics and Panthers are both able to come away with wins in their respective Game 4s, it would mark the first time since 1995 that both the NBA and NHL seasons ended with a sweep in the championship round. In 1995, the Houston Rockets swept the Orlando Magic to win the NBA title, while the New Jersey Devils ousted the Detroit Red Wings in four games.

The 1995 NBA Finals were more closely contested than the series sweep may indicate. While the Rockets did win Games 2 and 4 by double-digits, the Magic put up quite a fight. 

Orlando took Houston to overtime in Game 1 before losing 120-118. Rockets star big man Hakeem Olajuwon earned NBA Finals MVP honors after averaging 33.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks throughout the 1995 postseason.

Meanwhile, the 1995 Stanley Cup Final wasn’t super close throughout the series. After the Devils tallied a 2-1 win in Game 1, New Jersey won each of the final three games by at least two goals. Devils forward Claude Lemieux won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league’s playoff MVP after he scored a playoff-high 13 goals and tallied three assists. 

If the Panthers finish off the Oilers in four games, this would be the first time that the NHL has seen a Stanley Cup Final sweep since 1998 when the Red Wings swept the Washington Capitals. In terms of the NBA Finals, it would be the first sweep since the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games in 2018.

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