The Heat officially become just the second No. 8 seed ever to make the NBA Finals following their conference finals win over the Boston Celtics. The first team to achieve the feat was the 1999 New York Knicks, who went on to face the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio would go on to win the Finals 4-1.
Coincidentally, that Knicks team knocked out the then-No. 1 seed Heat for their own first-round upset. New York would then sweep the No. 4 Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals, then finally knock out the No. 2 Indiana Pacers in six games to win the Eastern Conference Finals.
While the Heat become just one of two teams to play for an NBA championship as an eight-seed, they join a handful of teams to upset their respective No. 1 seeds in the opening round of the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets were the first No. 8 seed to win a series when they defeated the then-Seattle SuperSonics in 1994.
In 2011, the “Grit and Grind” Memphis Grizzlies fended off the Spurs, and in 2012, after the Chicago Bulls lost Derrick Rose due to injury, the No. 8 seed Philadelphia 76ers won the series to advance to the East semifinals.