/There Is Hope for Teams on the Bubble

There Is Hope for Teams on the Bubble

Soon, NBA teams will travel to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando to resume the 2019-20 season. In essence, players, coaches, and staff members will be in their own little bubble. They will not have much contact with the outside world.

While in the bubble, there is hope for teams that are on the bubble. You know, those 12 teams that are vying for playoff spots. For some, like Phoenix and Washington, there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance to wind up as the No. 8 seed in their respective conference. If they don’t think there is hope, they should remember the 1994 Denver Nuggets.

In the 1993-94 NBA regular season, the Seattle Supersonics set a franchise record by winning 63 games. The Sonics 63-19 record was the best in the Western Conference and earned Seattle the top seed in the playoffs. 

Seattle’s first-round playoff opponent would be the Denver Nuggets, which backed into the postseason with a 40-42 record. The Sonics were heavily favored and won the first two games in Seattle rather easily. A sweep was expected. At the very least, the series might go to five games. No eighth seed had ever won a first-round series since the NBA had adopted its playoff format in 1984.

The series would then take a dramatic turn. Denver won Game 3 110-93 and then pulled out a 94-85 overtime win in Game 4. The series was tied as it headed back to Seattle where the Sonics were 39-4 on the season.

Nuggets like Dikembe Mutombo and LaPhonso Ellis rose to the occasion. Reserve guard Robert Pack scored 23 points and Brian Williams scored 17 and grabbed 19 rebounds. Denver held Seattle star Shawn Kemp to just 19 points, six in the second half.

In the end, Denver would win 98-94 in overtime to pull off one of the greatest postseason upsets in NBA history. That should give hope to those teams on the bubble in the bubble in Orlando.

Rick Bouch