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The 2006 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2005–06 season. The 2006 NBA Champions were the Miami Heat who won the first championship in the history of the franchise. The team defeated the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the 2006 NBA Finals. The Heat's Dwyane Wade was named Finals MVP. This NBA Finals featured two teams that never made the finals in the past. The last time this happened was in 1971 when the Milwaukee Bucks met the Baltimore Bullets. This has happened 5 times in the history of the NBA, the very first of them between the Philadelphia Warriors and the Chicago Stags. This also happened between the Minneapolis Lakers & the Washington Capitols in 1949 and between the New York Knickerbockers & the Rochester Royals in 1951.

The Mavericks almost gave up a 3-1 series lead to the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals but managed to pull out a Game 7 overtime win in San Antonio to close out the series. This was just the second time in NBA history that the road team won a Game 7 in overtime; the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Sacramento Kings in the same manner in the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

The Los Angeles Clippers were one of the playoffs' biggest surprises in 2006, as they not only made the playoffs for the first time since 1997 but they advanced to the second round for the first time since 1976, when they were the Buffalo Braves. They came within one game of making it to the conference finals for the first time ever, but lost Game 7 to the Phoenix Suns.

2006 marked the playoff debut of Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who helped the Cavs eke out one-point overtime victories over the Washington Wizards in Games 5 and 6 of their first-round series to advance with his "Crab Dribble" which is a form of travelling. Against the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons, the Cavaliers were routed in Game 1 of the semifinal series and lost by six in Game 2 before coming back to win the following three games and come within one game of handing the Pistons a playoff defeat. The Pistons recovered and won the last two games of the series for a seven-game series win.

It was the Cavaliers' first playoff appearance since 1998, and they earned their first playoff series win since 1993.

With the help of Dwyane Wade, the Heat earned their first NBA Finals appearance. In the Finals, the Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks, who won the first two games at home. The Heat won all three home games, and narrowly edged the Mavs in Game 6 in Dallas to capture their first NBA Championship. They became the tenth of the eleven 1988-89 Expansion teams to accomplish this feat.

The 2006 NBA postseason was regarded as one of the most entertaining in recent memory.

Contents

Format

Consisting of 16 teams in two conferences, the playoffs involve nearly two months of play and between 60 and 105 games under the current format. The playoffs were conducted in four rounds of best of seven series. In each series, the team with the better record (or which wins a tiebreaker, in the event that teams with identical records are matched) held home court advantage, meaning that the seventh game, if played, is held in their home arena.

The first two games in each series were played in the home arena of the team with home court advantage. The third and fourth games were played in the other arena. The fifth, sixth, and seventh games alternated between the two arenas. However, in the NBA Finals, the team with home court advantage hosted the first two and last two games, while the other team hosted the middle three games.

With the addition of the 30th NBA franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, in 2004, the NBA realigned its divisions. Each conference had three divisions of five teams each, and at this point in time, the winner of each division was guaranteed a top three playoff seed, regardless of whether the team had one of the top eight records in its conference. However, the division champion was not guaranteed home court advantage; a division-leading team could be ranked third or even second but face a lower seed (that did not win its division) with a better record, which would then have the home court advantage. This was illustrated in the first round this year when the 44-win Denver Nuggets won the Northwest Division and had the third seed, yet did not have home court advantage against the sixth-seeded 47-win Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers had in fact, played the Memphis Grizzlies a week before the playoffs for the fifth and sixth seed. However, the loser of the game would have gotten the better first round match up against Denver. Fourth seeded Dallas had the second best record in the league that year. It was speculated that the Clippers lost on purpose to play Denver in the first round. However, starting in the 2007 playoffs, being a division-leading team does not guarantee a top three playoff seed. Now, the best non division-leading team is capable of gaining a higher seed than the other two division leading-teams. Also, none of the division-leading teams will be seeded lower than the four seed.

Bracket

Teams that advanced to the next round are boldfaced; those with home court advantage are in italics.

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
1  Detroit 4  
8  Milwaukee 1  
  1  Detroit 4  
 
  4  Cleveland 3  
4  Cleveland 4
5  Washington 2  
  1  Detroit 2  
Eastern Conference
  2  Miami 4  
3  New Jersey 4  
6  Indiana 2  
  3  New Jersey 1
 
  2  Miami 4  
2  Miami 4
7  Chicago 2  
  E2  Miami 4
  W4  Dallas 2
1  San Antonio 4  
8  Sacramento 2  
  1  San Antonio 3
 
  4  Dallas 4  
4  Dallas 4
5  Memphis 0  
  4  Dallas 4
Western Conference
  2  Phoenix 2  
3  Denver 1  
6  L.A. Clippers 4  
  6  L.A. Clippers 3
 
  2  Phoenix 4  
2  Phoenix 4
7  L.A. Lakers 3  

Playoff qualifying

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Eastern Conference

Best record in NBA

The Detroit Pistons clinched the best record in the NBA, and earned home court advantage throughout the entire playoffs. However, when the Pistons lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, home court advantage in the NBA Finals switched to the Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks, who had a better record than the Heat.

Clinched a playoff berth

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the East:

  1. Detroit Pistons (clinched Central division)
  2. Miami Heat (clinched Southeast division)
  3. New Jersey Nets (clinched Atlantic division)
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers
  5. Washington Wizards
  6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Chicago Bulls
  8. Milwaukee Bucks

Western Conference

Best record in conference

The San Antonio Spurs clinched the best record in the Western Conference, and had home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. However, when they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the Conference Semifinals, Dallas had home court advantage in the Western Conference Finals.

Clinched a playoff berth

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the West:

  1. San Antonio Spurs (clinched Southwest division)
  2. Phoenix Suns (clinched Pacific division)
  3. Denver Nuggets (clinched Northwest division)
  4. Dallas Mavericks
  5. Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Los Angeles Clippers
  7. Los Angeles Lakers
  8. Sacramento Kings

TV coverage

First and second round games were televised on ABC, TNT, ESPN, ESPN2 and NBA TV in the United States and on TSN, Rogers Sportsnet, The Score, and Raptors NBA TV in Canada; some games were also televised on local or regional TV networks. The Eastern Conference finals aired exclusively on ESPN and ABC, and the Western Conference finals aired exclusively on TNT; TSN and The Score split coverage of the Conference Finals. The NBA Finals aired exclusively on ABC in the U.S. and on TSN in Canada. [1]

Eastern Conference

Champion: Miami Heat

First round

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (8) Milwaukee Bucks

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(MIL-DET)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 23 Milwaukee 74 Detroit 92 0-1 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan TNT 5:30et 1
2 April 26 Milwaukee 76 Detroit 98 0-2 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan NBA TV 7:30et 2
3 April 29 Detroit 104 Milwaukee 124 1-2 Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin ESPN 8:00et 3
4 May 1 Detroit 99 Milwaukee 89 1-3 Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin NBA TV 7:30et 4
5 May 3 Milwaukee 84 Detroit 93 1-4 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan TNT 6:00et 5
Detroit wins series 4–1

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Chicago Bulls

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(MIA-CHI)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 22 Chicago 106 Miami 111 1-0 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ESPN 8:00et 1
2 April 24 Chicago 108 Miami 115 2-0 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida TNT 8:00et 2
3 April 27 Miami 90 Chicago 109 2-1 United Center, Chicago, Illinois TNT 8:00et 3
4 April 30 Miami 87 Chicago 93 2-2 United Center, Chicago, Illinois ABC 1:00et 4
5 May 2 Chicago 78 Miami 92 3-2 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida TNT 8:00et 5
6 May 4 Miami 113 Chicago 96 4-2 United Center, Chicago, Illinois TNT 8:00et 6
Miami wins series 4–2

(3) New Jersey Nets vs. (6) Indiana Pacers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NJN-IND)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 23 Indiana 90 New Jersey 88 0-1 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey TNT 12:30et 1
2 April 25 Indiana 75 New Jersey 90 1-1 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey NBA TV 7:30et 2
3 April 27 New Jersey 90 Indiana 107 1-2 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana NBA TV 7:30et 3
4 April 29 New Jersey 97 Indiana 88 2-2 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana TNT 3:00et 4
5 May 2 Indiana 86 New Jersey 92 3-2 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey NBA TV 7:00et 5
6 May 4 New Jersey 96 Indiana 90 4-2 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana NBA TV 7:30et 6
New Jersey wins series 4–2

(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Washington Wizards

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(CLE-WAS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 22 Washington 86 Cleveland 97 1-0 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio ABC 3:00et 1
2 April 25 Washington 89 Cleveland 84 1-1 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio TNT 7:00et 2
3 April 28 Cleveland 97 Washington 96 2-1 Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. ESPN 8:00et 3
4 April 30 Cleveland 96 Washington 106 2-2 Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. TNT 8:00et 4
5* May 3 Washington 120 Cleveland 121 3-2 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio TNT 8:30et 5
6* May 5 Cleveland 114 Washington 113 4-2 Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. ESPN 8:00et 6
Cleveland wins series 4–2

*Required overtime

  • LeBron James hits two game-winning shots (Game 3, Game 5)
  • Damon Jones hits the series-winning shot

Conference Semifinals

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (4) Cleveland Cavaliers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DET-CLE)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 7 Cleveland 86 Detroit 113 1-0 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan ABC 3:30et 1
2 May 9 Cleveland 91 Detroit 97 2-0 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan TNT 7:00et 2
3 May 13 Detroit 77 Cleveland 86 2-1 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio ESPN 5:00et 3
4 May 15 Detroit 72 Cleveland 74 2-2 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio TNT 7:00et 4
5 May 17 Cleveland 86 Detroit 84 2-3 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan TNT 7:00et 5
6 May 19 Detroit 84 Cleveland 82 3-3 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio ESPN 7:00et 6
7 May 21 Cleveland 61 Detroit 79 4-3 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan ABC 3:30et 7
Detroit wins series 4–3

2006 marked the first time the Cavaliers had made the playoffs since 1998 with Shawn Kemp. They came off a playoff series win vs the Wizards, while the Pistons came in off a 4-1 win vs the 8th seeded Bucks. Detroit was expected to win the series, and took a commanding two games to none lead with two wins at the Palace of Auburn Hills. James and the Cavaliers would not be intimidated however, and won their two games at home to tie the series 2–2. Coming into game 5, both teams were confident, but the Pistons were expected to pull out the win easily. The game was low scoring throughout as usual in this series, with Cleveland holding a 68 to 66 lead throughout 3 quarters. With the game tied at 84 with 26 seconds left in regulation, Drew Gooden came through and hit a layup to give Cleveland the lead that they would never squander. James led the Cavs with 32 and this brought the series to Cleveland up 3–2, quite shockingly. In the final minute of game 6, Richard Hamilton grabbed two offensive rebounds and passed the ball to Rasheed Wallace who was fouled. Detroit held on to a 2 point win to win game 6, and won game 7 at home to seal the deal.

(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) New Jersey Nets

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(MIA-NJN)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 8 New Jersey 100 Miami 88 0–1 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida TNT 8:00et 1
2 May 10 New Jersey 89 Miami 111 1-1 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida TNT 8:00et 2
3 May 12 Miami 103 New Jersey 92 2-1 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey ESPN 8:00et 3
4 May 14 Miami 102 New Jersey 92 3-1 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey ABC 3:30et 4
5 May 16 New Jersey 105 Miami 106 4-1 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida TNT 8:00et 5
Miami wins series 4–1

Conference finals

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (2) Miami Heat

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DET-MIA)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 23 Miami 91 Detroit 86 0–1 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan ESPN 8:00et 1
2 May 25 Miami 88 Detroit 92 1–1 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan ESPN 8:00et 2
3 May 27 Detroit 83 Miami 98 1–2 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ESPN 8:00et 3
4 May 29 Detroit 78 Miami 89 1–3 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ABC 8:00et 4
5 May 31 Miami 78 Detroit 91 2–3 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan ESPN 8:00et 5
6 June 2 Detroit 78 Miami 95 2–4 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ESPN 8:00et 6
Miami wins series 4–2

Western Conference

Champion: Dallas Mavericks

First round

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Sacramento Kings

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(SAS-SAC)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 22 Sacramento 88 San Antonio 122 1-0 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas ESPN 5:30et 1
2* April 25 Sacramento 119 San Antonio 128 2-0 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas TNT 9:30et 2
3 April 28 San Antonio 93 Sacramento 94 2-1 ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California ESPN2 10:00et 3
4 April 30 San Antonio 84 Sacramento 102 2-2 ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California TNT 10:30et 4
5 May 2 Sacramento 98 San Antonio 109 3-2 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas NBA TV 9:30et 5
6 May 5 San Antonio 105 Sacramento 83 4-2 ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California ESPN 10:30et 6
San Antonio wins series 4–2

*Required overtime

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(PHX-LAL)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 23 L.A. Lakers 102 Phoenix 107 1-0 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona ABC 3:00et 1
2 April 26 L.A. Lakers 99 Phoenix 93 1-1 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 10:30et 2
3 April 28 Phoenix 92 L.A. Lakers 99 1-2 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California ESPN 10:30et 3
4* April 30 Phoenix 98 L.A. Lakers 99 1-3 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California ABC 3:30et 4
5 May 2 L.A. Lakers 97 Phoenix 114 2-3 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 10:30et 5
6* May 4 Phoenix 126 L.A. Lakers 118 3-3 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California TNT 10:30et 6
7 May 6 L.A. Lakers 90 Phoenix 121 4-3 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 9:00et 7
Phoenix win series 4-3

*Required overtime

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Los Angeles Clippers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(LAC-DEN)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 22 Denver 87 L.A. Clippers 89 1-0 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California ESPN 10:30et 1
2 April 24 Denver 87 L.A. Clippers 98 2-0 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California TNT 10:30et 2
3 April 27 L.A. Clippers 87 Denver 94 2-1 Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado TNT 10:30et 3
4 April 29 L.A. Clippers 100 Denver 86 3-1 Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado ESPN 10:30et 4
5 May 1 Denver 83 L.A. Clippers 101 4-1 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California TNT 10:30et 5
L.A. Clippers wins series 4–1

(4) Dallas Mavericks vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DAL-MEM)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 23 Memphis 93 Dallas 103 1-0 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas TNT 8:00et 1
2 April 26 Memphis 79 Dallas 94 2-0 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas TNT 8:00et 2
3* April 29 Dallas 94 Memphis 89 3-0 FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee TNT 5:30et 3
4 May 1 Dallas 102 Memphis 76 4-0 FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee TNT 8:00et 4
Dallas wins series 4–0

*Required overtime

Conference Semifinals

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (4) Dallas Mavericks

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(SAS-DAL)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 7 Dallas 85 San Antonio 87 1-0 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas ABC 1:00et 1
2 May 9 Dallas 113 San Antonio 91 1-1 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas TNT 9:30et 2
3 May 13 San Antonio 103 Dallas 104 1-2 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas ABC 8:00et 3
4* May 15 San Antonio 118 Dallas 123 1-3 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas TNT 9:30et 4
5 May 17 Dallas 97 San Antonio 98 2-3 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas TNT 9:30et 5
6 May 19 San Antonio 91 Dallas 86 3-3 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas ESPN 9:30et 6
7* May 22 Dallas 119 San Antonio 111 3-4 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas TNT 8:00et 7
Dallas wins series 4–3

*Required overtime

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (6) Los Angeles Clippers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(PHX-LAC)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 8 L.A. Clippers 123 Phoenix 130 1-0 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 10:30et 1
2 May 10 L.A. Clippers 122 Phoenix 97 1-1 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 10:30et 2
3 May 12 Phoenix 94 L.A. Clippers 91 2-1 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California ESPN 10:30et 3
4 May 14 Phoenix 107 L.A. Clippers 114 2-2 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California TNT 8:00et 4
5** May 16 L.A. Clippers 118 Phoenix 125 3-2 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 10:30et 5
6 May 18 Phoenix 106 L.A. Clippers 118 3-3 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California ESPN 10:00et 6
7 May 22 L.A. Clippers 107 Phoenix 127 4-3 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 10:30et 7
Phoenix wins series 4–3

**Required double overtime

Conference finals

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (4) Dallas Mavericks

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DAL-PHX)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 24 Phoenix 121 Dallas 118 0-1 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas TNT 8:30et 1
2 May 26 Phoenix 95 Dallas 105 1-1 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas TNT 8:30et 2
3 May 28 Dallas 95 Phoenix 88 2-1 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 8:30et 3
4 May 30 Dallas 86 Phoenix 106 2-2 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 8:30et 4
5 June 1 Phoenix 101 Dallas 117 3-2 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas TNT 8:30et 5
6 June 3 Dallas 102 Phoenix 93 4-2 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona TNT 8:30et 6
Dallas wins series 4–2

NBA finals

Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DAL-MIA)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 June 8 Miami 80 Dallas 90 1-0 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas ABC 9:00et 1
2 June 11 Miami 85 Dallas 99 2-0 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas ABC 9:00et 2
3 June 13 Dallas 96 Miami 98 2-1 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ABC 9:00et 3
4 June 15 Dallas 74 Miami 98 2-2 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ABC 9:00et 4
5* June 18 Dallas 100 Miami 101 2-3 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida ABC 9:00et 5
6 June 20 Miami 95 Dallas 92 2-4 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas ABC 9:00et 6
Miami wins NBA Championship series 4–2

*Required overtime

Trivia

External links


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