The NBA Finals are where new stars are born and new styles are formed.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: An entire year of league history is compressed into and remembered by the outcome of the NBA Finals.
2009-2010 LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics - 7 Games
The NBA needed this Finals from a business standpoint as much as anything else. Interest in the game was waining and the league was struggling financially. So what was the best recipe to get the league to be relevant and exciting again? A classic match-up between the Lakers and Celtics, which the Lakers won.
1993-1994 Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks- 7 Games
This was as grueling an NBA Finals in history. Both teams were rugged, relied on tough defense and games were low scoring. Every possession was hotly contested and featured even personnel match-ups across the board, most notably reigning MVP Hakeem Olajuwon versus Patrick Ewing. The Rockets prevailed and won back to back titles, starting with this one.
1987-1988 LA Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons - 7 Games
The Lakers won this series in the ultimate stylistic clash between the finesse "Showtime" Lakers and the physical, brutish Pistons. Between 1980-1989 the Lakers won five titles, including this series versus the Pistons.This series represented a shift in NBA style of play. Even though the Lakers won and continued their dominance in this series, the Pistons swept the Finals the following season against the Lakers and eventually won two and a row, giving birth to the "Bad Boys" and their imposing style, a style that would be picked up and empolyed by NBA teams moving forward.
1979-1980 LA Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 6 Games
This series was all about the emergence of Magic Johnson. Magic changed the NBA game forever as the Lakers "Showtime" style was born. Instead of plodding half court sets that had been the norm, the Lakers relied on the transition game and became the most dominant team of the era, changing the entire direction of the league.
1973-1974 Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks - 7 Games
This series was littered with several future NBA Hall of Fame players who not only evolved their respective positions, but brought the game to a new level. The Bucks featured Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, while the Celtics had Dave Cowens and John Havlicek. Abdul-Jabbar was so dominant the Celtics frequently triple teamed him when he got the ball. The strategy paid off as the C's prevailed in seven games.