This is George Karl’s 20th appearance as a coach in the NBA playoffs.
He’s taken five teams this far.
But the Denver skipper isn’t so successful when staring at an 0-1 hole.
Karl-coached teams are 2-13 when losing the first game of a series.
The Thunder currently has a 1-0 lead on Karl’s Denver Nuggets. Game 2 is Wednesday night inside Oklahoma City Arena.
Karl hasn’t coached a team out of an 0-1 hole since the 1997 playoffs, when his Seattle SuperSonics defeated Phoenix in three of the next four games to take the best-of-five series. Karl’s only other climb out of an 0-1 deficit came in 1987, when his Golden State squad staved off elimination against Utah by winning three straight after falling down 0-2.
Karl teams are 0-4 in their attempts to recover from an 0-1 deficit since the NBA went to a best-of-seven series in the first round in 2003.
What does this all mean? Nothing if you aren’t a believer in history repeating itself. But there are some who believe Karl simply isn’t a great playoff coach. And the numbers appear to certainly back their claims.
GEORGE KARL’S FIRST-ROUND PERFORMANCE WHEN LOSING GAME 1
SEASON TEAM OPPONENT ROUND RESULT
1984-85 Cleveland Boston First round Lost, 3-1
1986-87 Golden State Utah First round Won, 3-2
1986-87 Golden State L.A. Lakers Conference Semis Lost, 4-1
1991-92 Seattle Utah Conference Semis Lost, 4-1
1992-93 Seattle Phoenix Conference Finals Lost, 4-3
1995-96 Seattle Chicago NBA Finals Lost, 4-2
1996-97 Seattle Phoenix First round Won, 3-2
1996-97 Seattle Houston Conference Semis Lost, 4-3
1998-99 Milwaukee Indiana First round Lost, 0-3
1999-00 Milwaukee Indiana First round Lost, 3-2
2000-01 Milwaukee Philadelphia Conference Finals Lost, 4-3
2002-03 Milwaukee New Jersey First round Lost, 4-2
2005-06 Denver L.A. Clippers First round Lost, 4-1
2007-08 Denver L.A. Lakers First round Lost, 4-0
2008-09 Denver L.A. Lakers Conference Finals Lost, 4-2
2010-11 Denver Oklahoma City First round ??????????