Five Basketball Underdogs Who Pulled Through to Secure Unlikely Victories

Basketball is a great sport to follow and always offers lots of high-octane action and on-court drama. It is also a sport that can deliver some unlikely underdog wins and has teams who you might not expect pulling through to net awesome victories. Here are the top five basketball underdogs.

Five Basketball Underdogs Who Pulled Through to Secure Unlikely Victories

These types of underdog stories are not only great for making basketball amazing to watch. If you like to bet on leagues such as the NBA, being able to pick out the unexpected teams to win games or titles can be lots of fun. 

Just remember to find the best sportsbook to bet online first if you plan to do this and take your time to find independent reviews of them before signing up. This online sportsbook review of the Caesars platform is a perfect example of how useful it is to research where to bet and how it can help you find the best sportsbooks to wager with. 

With the current NBA season coming towards its finale, there may be a few underdog wins to savor still. But which have been the five most unlikely underdogs who have secured shocking wins in the past?

  1. Dallas Mavericks in 2011

It is fair to say that not much was expected from the Mavs before the 2011 NBA season got underway. This led to their success through that season as one of the biggest underdog stories in the sport’s history.

This was especially true in their NBA Finals series against a hotly-tipped Miami Heat team. After a first game loss, the Mavericks looked to be in trouble and unlikely to take home the championship. The second game though led to them achieving an impressive 15-point comeback to grab the win. With two wins in the last two games, the Mavs emerged for a true underdog series victory.

  1. Dennis Rodman’s path to a pro career

Although many of the most unlikely underdog stories in basketball center on teams, Dennis Rodman’s emergence as a top player is a more personal tale. His ability to overcome his childhood hardships and pull through to make it as one of the NBA’s greatest players ever is really inspiring.

After growing up in a poverty-stricken part of Dallas in a less than happy home, Rodman tried basketball at high school but did not impress. Despite this, he never gave up and eventually broke through when playing for his college team. This enabled him to move into the NBA with the Detroit Pistons and embark on a glittering career that included five championships for various teams.

  1. Pistons secure unlikely NBA win in 2004 

While the current season might provide some exciting situations, such as 2022’s race for Rookie of the Year, previous seasons have also delivered some dramatic action. Going back to 2004, the Detroit Pistons were sitting at odds of around +1,500 pre-season and hadn’t made the NBA Finals since 1990. This naturally led to them being true underdogs for championship glory.

Heading into the 2004 Finals, they had a star-studded LA Lakers team to deal with. With a stunning first game win and sweep of the middle three matches though, the team from Detroit pulled off a shocking underdog victory.

  1. Golden State Warriors in 2014/15

While they might be a well-established franchise now, 2014/15 was when the GSW dynasty was really born. At the time though, they were not a team many fans expected much from. This made their stunning form in the regular season all the more surprising and their ability to pull through for a Finals win all the better.

Although Cleveland had the big three of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving to call on in the Finals, the Warriors were not overawed. They managed to shake off their underdog status to take the series in six games and clinch a championship win which seemed highly unlikely.

  1. Raptors pull off a shocking win in 2018/19

Coming into the 2018/19 season, most bookies had the Raptors at odds of around +1,850 to win the NBA title. After all, at that time, most fans thought a Golden State Warriors championship win was assured.

Although their eventual Finals win over GSW was a great underdog tale, the best victory they pulled off from an unlikely position in 2018/19 was actually in the Eastern Conference Final. They were 2-0 down in the series against a top Bucks team before pulling through to win overall. 

Underdogs in NBA sometimes pull through 

Underdog stories are something that all sports fans love and there has been plenty to enjoy in the NBA over time. As the above examples show, this is a sport where less-likely teams can sometimes upset the odds to triumph. Who are your top five basketball underdogs?


Main Photo Credit:
Head Coach Larry Brown, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace of the Detroit Pistons pose with the championship trophy…

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