Where the world was the last time each NBA playoff team made the Conference Finals

NBA Playoffs 2024: A journey through each team's Conference Finals history
Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
1 of 8

Looking back at the last time each NBA playoff team made the conference finals and where the world was.

The first round of the NBA Playoffs is in full swing. Sixteen teams enter the gauntlet, each looking to take home the Larry O'Brien trophy. We've seen our fair share of tightly contested matchups and some uneven box scores, regardless, playoff basketball is back. The stars are out and performing at all-time levels. It's an exciting time for die-hard and casual NBA fans alike.

The playoffs aren't for every team. It takes patience, skill, attentiveness, and a little luck to make it out of the Conference Finals and into the Finals. The final two teams standing in each conference will compete for the chance to advance to the Finals. With that being said, let's take a little walk down memory lane and revisit the last time each playoff team made the Conference Finals.

Let's start with the Eastern Conference and follow it with the Western Conference (in alphabetical order by city name). Get ready for some flashbacks!

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics last made the Eastern Conference Finals last season, in 2023, ultimately losing to the Miami Heat in seven games. It's a bit coincidental that the Heat and Celtics are first-round opponents in this year's playoffs after matching up against them in the previous two Conference Finals.

2023 was a wild time when spy balloons were all the rage, Elton John performed his last live concert, and the artificial intelligence movement fully overtook the world. Back then, times were simple. We've come a long way since then. But I digress, the Boston Celtics look to rebound from last year's disappointing ECF exit and hope to make a third straight appearance this year.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers last made the Eastern Conference Finals back in 2018. This was the last season that LeBron James was on the team. That pretty much sums up all of the reasons why the Cavs were able to not only make the Conference Finals but to win it against the Boston Celtics in seven games.

Back in 2018, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse hit box offices across America, the event that is Black Panther, took over theaters, and MIT built a self-driving car. The Cavs seemed to be in the driver's seat of this year's playoffs, but back-to-back losses against the Magic have evened the series.