The 2004 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2003-04 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. Chauncey Billups was named NBA Finals MVP.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, after missing the playoffs their first 7 seasons and losing in the first round the next 7, won their first two playoff series in 2004 before losing to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. As of 2012, the Timberwolves hold the longest active streak without a playoff berth, having missed the playoffs 8 straight years since.
The Indiana Pacers made the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since their NBA Finals run in 2000, after which they significantly changed the makeup of their team (yet still made the playoffs every year). Game 2 of the series with the Pistons was pivotal, as Tayshaun Prince blocked a lay-up by Miller late in the game to preserve the victory; the Pistons won 4–2.
The 2004 playoffs was the first appearance for the Memphis Grizzlies in their 9-year history which began in Vancouver. However, they failed to win a single game in their first 3 playoff appearances (2004, 2005, 2006) until 2011, they got their first playoff victory.
This was the last playoff appearance for the New York Knicks until 2011, when they would be swept in the first round.
The Portland Trail Blazers missed the playoffs for the first time since 1982, while the Utah Jazz missed the playoffs for the first time since 1983.
This was the Denver Nuggets' first playoff appearance since 1995.
The New Orleans Hornets made their final postseason appearance as a member of the East. They would not make the playoffs again until 2008, as a member of the West (the result of a realignment with the addition of the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004–05 NBA season). Their playoff series with the Miami Heat, led by Dwyane Wade, was the last playoff series where the home team won all 7 games until 2008's Boston-Atlanta and Boston-Cleveland playoff series.
2004 was the first time in 14 years that all Texas teams made the playoffs, and the second time (first in 10 years) that all former ABA teams made the playoffs.
... The two teams met again in 2004, with the Lakers the favorite to win the NBA championship ... It was the only playoff meeting between Yao and Shaq ... The Rockets won Game 3 led by Steve Francis' first-ever playoff triple-double ...
... Auburn Hills, Detroit Detroit 100, Los Angeles 87 ABC 900pm Last Playoff Meeting 1989 NBA Finals (Detroit won 4-0) ...