The 2014–15 NBA season was the 69th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA draft took place on June 26, 2014, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Andrew Wiggins was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, when the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hosted the first game against the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The 2015 NBA All-Star Game was played on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with the West defeating the East 163-158. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook won the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. The regular season ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 and the playoffs began on Saturday, April 18, 2015 and ended with the 2015 NBA Finals on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to win their fourth NBA title and first since 1975. The Charlotte Bobcats played their first official game as the Charlotte Hornets since 2002.
The regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, with the defending NBA champions San Antonio Spurs hosting the first game against the Dallas Mavericks. The regular season ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Christmas Day games were played on Thursday, December 25, 2014. The NBA is mulling a week-long All-Star break in February 2015, and the full schedule was released during a one-hour schedule release special on August 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. EDT on NBA TV.
The San Antonio Spurs made their 18th straight playoff appearance, while the Atlanta Hawks (eighth straight playoff appearance) and the Golden State Warriors (third straight playoff appearance) entered the playoffs as the first seeds of their respective conferences. The Warriors and Hawks advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1976 and 1970, respectively.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made their first postseason appearance since 2010, the final season of LeBron James' first stint with the Cavaliers. They also made their first Conference Finals appearance since 2009, where they lost 4–2 to the Orlando Magic, and their first Finals appearance since 2007, when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. On the other hand, James' former team, the Miami Heat, missed the playoffs after making the previous year's Finals, becoming the first team to do so since the 2005 Lakers. Miami had qualified for the playoffs for six consecutive seasons before missing this year, also reaching the NBA Finals four consecutive times.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers were conference finalists a year ago but failed to make the playoffs. Oklahoma City and Indiana were tied with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Brooklyn Nets with 45 and 38 wins, respectively, but missed the playoffs due to tiebreakers.
Despite starting their respective seasons in a rebuilding mode, both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence. Bucks head coach Jason Kidd became the first head coach to lead two teams to the playoffs in his first two seasons, having led the Nets to the playoffs the previous season.
The first round of the playoffs saw a record six teams take a 3–0 lead in their respective series, the first time it had happened since the first round expanded to a best-of-seven series in 2003.
The fifth seed defeated the fourth seed in both conferences for the third straight year.
Game 7 between the Clippers and Spurs ensured a 16th straight postseason in which at least one Game 7 was played; 1999 was the last postseason to not feature a Game 7.
The San Antonio Spurs became the first defending champions to be eliminated in the first round since the 2011–12 Dallas Mavericks. This was only the second time it had happened since 2000.
With the Spurs being eliminated in the first round, none of the eight teams remaining at the beginning of the Conference Semifinals had previously won an NBA championship in the 21st century. After the first round of the playoffs, of the teams who had previously won an NBA championship, the Chicago Bulls had the shortest drought at 17 years, having most recently won an NBA championship in 1998, while the Atlanta Hawks had the longest overall drought at 57 years, having won their only previous championship in 1958 when the franchise was based in St. Louis.
For the first time since 1970, the Hawks made the Conference Finals (then called the Division Finals). Since 1970, they had lost all 15 Division or Conference Semifinal series they participated in. The Warriors made their first conference finals appearance since 1976, and the Houston Rockets made their first conference finals appearance since 1997. These three were the NBA teams which had been waiting for the longest time for a return to the conference finals.
For the second straight year, the No. 1 seed faced the No. 2 seed in the Conference Finals, and for the fourth time since 2000.
In the second round, all teams that held a 2–1 series lead within the first three games of their respective series had gone on to lose that series.
The Rockets became only the second franchise to twice come back from 3–1 series deficits to win the series by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in the Semifinals. They had first achieved that goal 20 years ago against the Phoenix Suns. The Boston Celtics are the only other franchise to twice make this comeback, doing it in 1968 and 1981. Overall, eleven teams have achieved the feat, with the Warriors doing it in the Conference Finals and Cavaliers doing it in the NBA Finals the year after.
For the first time in NBA playoff history, both conference finals teams, the Warriors of the West and the Cavaliers of the East, held commanding 3–0 series leads. Cleveland went on to the finals, sweeping the Atlanta Hawks 4–0 while Golden State won their series 4–1 defeating the Houston Rockets.
For the first time since the inaugural Basketball Association of America season in 1946–47, two rookie coaches, David Blatt of the Cavaliers and Steve Kerr of the Warriors, met each other in the NBA finals.