Now that the sports world has digested the end of the NBA season it’s time to give some thought on which historic season brought more disappointment.
We all know in sports there has to be a winner and a loser, but when your team has the historic runs that the 2007 New England Patriots and the 2015 Golden State Warriors had, losing doesn’t seem possible.
The Patriots were dominant by all means necessary. They were able to beat their opponents anyway and from the opening kickoff, it seemed the game was already over.
The Warriors were the same way. Every game felt like watching a Youtube highlight reel. Three-point shooting parades, incredible alley-oops, lock-down defense and terrific teamwork all contributed to their 73-9 season.
Both teams were so dominant and confident that when it came to their leagues respected championship games, they choked.
Were they both too confident in their play that they didn’t think a team could stop their historic runs?
Possibly. Although the pressure of finishing off what you started only grows more and more as the seasons come to a close.
Both of these franchises rewrote the record books.
Here’s a list of the records Golden State broke:
Best ever start to a season (24-0).
Best record at the All-Star break (48-4).
Most three-point shots made by one player (Steph Curry).
Longest home court winning streak (54, dating back to the 2014-2015 season).
Most three-pointers made by a team in one season.
Fastest team to clinch a playoff birth. They clinched on February 27th, 2016.
Now here’s a list of the records the Patriots broke in 2007:
Most points scored in a single-season (589).
Single-season passing touchdowns (Tom Brady, 50).
Single-season touchdown receptions (Randy Moss, 23).
Highest point differential (+315).
Touchdown to interception ratio (Tom Brady, 6.25-1).
Single postseason game completion percentage (Tom Brady, 92.9%).
With all the records shattered and games dominated, both of these franchises couldn’t seal the deal.
It’s nearly impossible to compare the NFL to the NBA. They are two different sports (obviously). However, comparing the significance in not being able to finish what you started is possible.
When the Patriots entered Super Bowl XLII they were 18-0 and playing the New York Giants, a team they beat 38-35 in Week 17. The Pats were about to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to finish an entire season undefeated. However, they would be the first to finish 19-0 because in 1972 the NFL only 17 games including the post-season.
We all know what happened. Eli Manning escapes a sure-fire sack. David Tyree pins the football to his helmet and a few plays later Plaxico Burress hauls in the game-winning touchdown.
A little lucky? You could say that, but sometimes it takes luck to win.
After the historic run turned into a historic let-down the sports world was calling the Patriots collapse the worst in history.
Cue the 2015 Warriors.
Since 1995 the Chicago Bulls had the NBA’s best regular season record at 72-10. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and others put the stamp down as to why this team was the best in basketball.
They were even able to finish the deal by defeating the Seattle Super Sonics in six games to clinch the NBA Title.
The Warriors, eh not so much.
As stated above, the Warriors broke several records on their journey to 73 wins. However, when the post-season started “the best regular season team in NBA history” were clearly not themselves.
Golden State lost nine games during the regular season. In the post-season alone they lost nine. They found themselves in a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals. They were able to rattle off three consecutive wins, but that in itself should have screamed trouble.
Now here’s the kicker.
The Warriors were up 3-1 in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers with two games to play at Oracle Arena, an arena they had only lost twice in all season.
Three chances to win only one game with two of them being on your home court. Piece of cake.
The almighty and unstoppable Warriors became the first team to blow a 3-1 series lead in the Finals.
Was it injuries? Great play by Cleveland?
No, it was a choke.
Pressure got the best of the 2007 New England Patriots and the 2015 Golden State Warriors. It’s hard to finish off historic runs with championships, this being a reason why we don’t see many historic seasons to begin with.
When it comes to asking which loss was more disappointing, I would have to say it was the Warriors.
In the NFL the post-season is a best of one game, win and you move on, lose and you go home.
In the NBA you play a best of seven series. There is a little leeway with some of the games. If a few players don’t perform well one night than it’s not a big deal because theres always game 2, 3 or 4 to get back on track.
The Warriors had three chances to finish off Cleveland and they couldn’t. The Patriots had one game against the Giants.
If the Super Bowl was a best of three series, than there’s no doubt in my mind that the Patriots would’ve won.
One thing is certain, the 2007 Patriots now have company and don’t have to sit on top of the choke mountain alone.