The Golden State Warriors capped a historic 16-1 playoff run Monday night with a 129-120 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to capture their second title in three seasons.
The Warriors are the first NBA team to win 15 straight post-season games en route to the championship, but it’s not the first time in major sports that a team has been seemingly untouchable. And even though every great team from the NBA’s past thinks they could beat this Warriors team, you have to respect the greatness of Golden State’s accomplishment.
It boasts four possible future Hall of Famers, and all of them play both sides of the ball. The Warriors had the best offensive rating (115.6), while their defensive rating was second best at 104.0. Golden State scored more than 100 points in all 15 games during this historic run, and won four games by 25 or more.
All that contributed to the greatest playoff record the NBA has ever seen.
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But was Golden State’s run the greatest across the Big 4 major sports?
In the NHL, a pair of Original Six teams crushed the competition in the pre-expansion era. The 1952 Detroit Red Wings and 1960 Montreal Canadiens stand out as the only teams to go undefeated in the post-season.
The ’76 Habs lost only one game en route to the Stanley Cup, and although that doesn’t sound as impressive as an immaculate playoff record, it was the start of something special in Montreal. The next year, the Canadiens put together one of the best regular season records in NHL history, losing only eight times in 80 games.
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The 1976 Cincinnati Reds were the MLB’s most dominant playoff team. They went 103-59 in the regular season behind Pete Rose’s 215 hits. They are also the only team in league history to lead in every major offensive category from home runs to RBI to stolen bases.
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The 1972 Miami Dolphins have been toasting champagne for the past 45 years as the only NFL team to complete a perfect season, and it’s proving to be one of the untouchable records in all of sports.
Led by quarterback Bob Griese, the ’72 Dolphins throttled the competition right from the onset. Their offence and defence were ranked No. 1 in the league, they had two 1,000-yard rushers in Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris and they averaged just over 200 yards on the ground per game.
A perfect 3-0 record in the playoffs earned them the Super Bowl.
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