Playoff Sweeps: Some Are Worse Than Others.

What were the most competitive playoff sweeps of the last 20 years?  The table below displays them, as measured by average margin of victory.


Aside from the 1994 Bulls-Cavs series, an argument can be made that all these series were won because of the experience difference between the winning and losing team.  The talent gap between the winning and losing team was small, hence the close games, but the experience difference was astounding and allowed the winning team win every game of the series.  The 2000 Knicks-Raptors series was the most competitive.  That series was notable for a number of reasons; it marked the beginning of the end of the Knicks’ early to late 90s run, it was the last time the Knicks won a playoff game at the Garden, and it was the series that got Tracy McGrady his Orlando Magic max contract. 
Now we take a look at the least competitive playoff sweeps of the last 20 years as shown by the table below.


There seems to be no common rhyme or reason for these series, aside from the fact the Hawks and Heat combined to lose six of them and the Bulls seemed to have one every year of the championship run.  The Bulls did not play around with inferior teams in the first round; they knocked those teams out of their misery pretty quickly. Another notable is the Hawks playoff losses in 2009 and 2010; they were dominated by the Cavs and the Magic, respectively.  That stat and this year’s series against Orlando may speak volumes about the difference between Mike Woodson and Larry Drew.

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