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When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

Every sports season works towards the final goal to deem one team better than the rest of the field and crowning them champions. It is the basic essence of competition. Naturally, the NBA is no different. But while most global sports follow a league or cup format, the NBA stands out with a unique format to decide its champions.

20 of the 30 teams in the NBA go into the postseason, where there will finally be just 16 teams making up the field for the NBA Playoffs. Considering more than half of the league gets to be in the playoffs, it means a lot of teams have the chance to finally push for the title. But the seven-game format in which a team needs to win four games to qualify from a round usually means the better team comes out victorious.

Out of the 30 teams in the NBA currently, 19 teams have been champions during their existence. Out of the 11 that haven't won, 7 of them are in the Playoff field this year. Notable former champions not in the 2022 Playoffs are Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, and Houston Rockets, among others. 

So when did the former champions in the playoff grid win their last championships? Also, when have the seven teams come closest to hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy aloft? 


1. Milwaukee Bucks - 2021

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 51-31

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The reigning champions of the NBA are the Milwaukee Bucks, who won the title last season by beating the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in the Finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the team and was awarded his first Finals MVP along with his first NBA title. The Bucks are one of the favorites to repeat as champions this season, so it will be interesting to see how the 2022 Playoffs play out for the Bucks. 


2. Toronto Raptors - 2019

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 48-34

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Toronto Raptors won their only championship in franchise history in 2019 when they overcome the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Kawhi Leonard was awarded the Finals MVP trophy in his solitary season with the Raptors. The team is down 2-0 currently in the 2022 Playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers and will hope to climb out of that hole. However, with the injuries they have suffered, it seems unlikely that they will be adding another banner this year.


3. Golden State Warriors - 2018

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 53-29

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Golden State Warriors were NBA Finals regulars from 2015 to 2018. In that time, they won three championships, all of them over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After adding Kevin Durant, the Warriors were virtually unstoppable, as KD won Finals MVPs in both 2017 and 2018. 2019 saw the team littered with injuries to KD and Klay Thompson, resulting in a loss to the Raptors. GSW has a strong chance this season, with a fantastic start to the playoffs in their first 2 wins over their first-round matchup, Denver Nuggets. 


4. Miami Heat - 2013

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 53-29

Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Like the Warriors, the Miami Heat Big 3 made it to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014. However, they were only victorious twice, with their latest triumph coming in 2013 over the San Antonio Spurs. The team reached the NBA Finals in 2020 but lost out to the man that won the 2013 Finals MVP in a Heat jersey, LeBron James. They are the #1 seed in the East this season and are looking strong after their dominant win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their series. 


5. Dallas Mavericks - 2011

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 52-30

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Dallas Mavericks had a cinderella journey to the 2011 NBA Finals and emerged with the victory, behind a cohesive team performance forming a foundation for star Dirk Nowitzki to dominate and win the Finals MVP. The win came over the Miami Heat in their first year together. This season, the Mavericks have looked strong but are without Luka Doncic in their opening series against the Utah Jazz. The series is 1-1 and Doncic is expected to come back between games 3 and 5, with the Mavs looking solid without him so far.


6. Boston Celtics - 2008

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 51-31

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The only championship the fabled Boston Celtics won in this century came in 2008 when the team put their Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen together. They beat the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers in seven games, as Pierce was awarded the Finals MVP trophy. Kevin Garnett had been Defensive Player of the Year. That was the last time Boston had the DPOY, until this year as Marcus Smart has been given the honor. Their team is in one of the strongest shapes right now and they pulled off an incredible Game 1 win against the Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets to open the series. 


7. Chicago Bulls - 1998

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 46-36

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Chicago Bulls have been chasing the glory of the Michael Jordan era for decades now, as they haven't even gone back to the NBA Finals since MJ retired. Their last title came during MJ's final season in 1998, where the Bulls completed a historic second three-peat. This year's Bulls have made a good step to make the playoffs, but have many roster and injury issues holding them back for now. While they aren't expected to make a big run in the playoffs, they can be disruptors to reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round series, which the Bucks currently lead 1-0. 


8. Philadelphia 76ers - 1983

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 51-31

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Philadelphia 76ers are a team that enjoys a passionate fanbase like few others. However, those same passionate fans haven't been rewarded for their support with a championship just yet. They last won the title in 1983, when Julius Erving was named Finals MVP. In all the years since Philly has made just one NBA Finals appearance that ended 4-1 in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001, led by Allen Iverson. In 2022, they are led by scoring leader Joel Embiid and former MVP James Harden. They are 2-0 up against the Raptors but have immense pressure to finally make it to the Conference Finals again at least, with many feeling it may be a championship or bust season for the 76ers.


9. Atlanta Hawks - 1958

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 43-39

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The final team from the current playoff field to have won a title are the Atlanta Hawks. That actually isn't entirely true, as the title was won when the team was the St. Louis Hawks. In 1958, the team overcame the Boston Celtics in the Finals led by Bob Pettit. That Hawks team was the only team to have beaten the Celtics in the Finals during their run of 11 championships in 13 seasons. The Hawks would lose three Finals to the Celtics though. In 2022, the team made it into the playoffs as the 8th seed and had a dismal performance against the Miami Heat in Game 1. They reached the Conference Finals last year, but it would take a miracle and a half for the Hawks to repeat that performance this season. 


10. Phoenix Suns - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 64-18

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Phoenix Suns have never won the NBA Championship, but have reached two NBA Finals. The first came in 1993 with Charles Barkley leading them to a Finals loss to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. They got to the Finals last season but lost to the Bucks 4-2 after blowing a 2-0 lead. However, the Suns have maintained the positive momentum from last season and had a league-best record by 8 wins compared to the second-best team. The Devin Booker and Chris Paul back-court, alongside the amazing rotational players the Suns have made them a favorite to return to the Finals this year and possibly become NBA Champions.   


11. Memphis Grizzlies - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 56-26

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the few teams on this to never have even made the NBA Finals. The team is a relatively young franchise, with its first season coming in 1995. However, they were introduced alongside the Raptors, who have won their first title already. The Grizzlies were at their best during the 'Grit N Grind' era, which saw them make a Conference Finals appearance in 2013 led by players like Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, etc. In 2022, they have a franchise-best win total and a generational young star in Ja Morant. While they have started the Playoffs with a loss to the 7th seed, the team hopes to rebound and possibly make a run for the Finals. 


12. Utah Jazz - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 49-33

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Utah Jazz have been a team that is perennially competitive. Since 1984, the team has missed the playoffs just 9 times. In this run, they did make an NBA Finals appearance during the John Stockton-Karl Malone era. But just like with the Barkley-led Suns, the Jazz fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, though their loss came in 1997 and 1998. The Jazz have had a tough season and entered the Playoffs without home-court advantage. They are facing a Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks team and are currently 1-1, with a first-round exit being forecasted if Doncic returns between games 3 and 4. 


13. Denver Nuggets - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 48-34

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Nuggets are another one of the four franchises on this list to have never qualified for the NBA Finals. That is a shame considering how close they were in 2009 when the Carmelo Anthony-led Denver Nuggets made it to the Western Conference Finals before falling to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers en route to his fourth title and first Finals MVP. The Nuggets also made it back to the Conf. Finals in 2020 with their current core before losing to the Lakers again, this time led by LeBron James. This season's Nuggets may have a repeat MVP in Nikola Jokic but won't have much chance to go deep in the playoffs with their injury issues. They are 2-0 down to the Warriors in the first round and have been decisively beaten in both games. 


14. Minnesota Timberwolves - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 46-36

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Minnesota Timberwolves have never made the NBA Finals. They were brought into the NBA in 1989 but have had a very spotty qualifying record in that time. They made the playoffs 8 years in a row with Kevin Garnett, with the team making it to the Conference Finals in 2004 before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. The team is making just their second Playoff appearance since 2004 this season, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards leading the team. They are currently 1-0 up against the second-seed Grizzlies and will be hoping to surprise everyone with a historic upset.


15. Brooklyn Nets - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 44-38

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The Brooklyn Nets haven't won an NBA championship, but have made two NBA Finals appearances. Both came back to back in 2002 and 2003 when the Nets first lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and then the San Antonio Spurs. The Nets hadn't been a Finals threat again, but that changed when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant joined the team in 2019. They are the seventh seed this season and are currently 1-0 down to the Boston Celtics, but have been the bookies' favorites to win the title all season. If they can get past Boston, there is a real chance that we see a seventh seed make a run to a title. 


16. New Orleans Pelicans - N/A

2021-22 NBA Regular Season Record: 36-46

When Did 2022 NBA Playoff Teams Last Win A Championship: 7 Teams Have Never Won A Title

The New Orleans Pelicans are the youngest team on this list, being brought into the NBA in the 2002-03 season. In the last two decades of the franchise, they haven't found the right ingredients to be competitive and challenge for a title. They are the only team on this list to have never even made a Conference Finals, with their best finishes being two runs to the Conference semifinals. The first came with Chris Paul in 2008 and the second came in 2017 with Anthony Davis. It doesn't look like the team will be equalling those performances this season, as they face the Phoenix Suns in round one and have already lost the first game convincingly. But the future is bright. 


It is incredibly hard to win an NBA title, but these 16 teams will give it their best shot. Hopefully, we can see a new champion to help boost the trophy cases of the ones who have never reached the summit as compared to boosting successful teams even further. 

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