With the NBA Playoffs in full-swing, it’s time to take a look at the ALL-TIME BEST 10 NBA PLAYOFF SERIES
10. Bulls/Jazz (1998 NBA Finals)-Bulls win 4-2
The most iconic shot by the most iconic player in NBA history…just in case you’ve been living in a shoe for the last two decades, it’s Michael Jordan. Something tells me Byron Russell’s epitaph will read “He pushed off.”
9. Bulls/Celtics (2009 Eastern First Round)-Celtics win 4-3
Try this on for size: four overtime games in this series, including a three OT affair in game six! Ultimately though, the Celtics were just a bit too much for the young Bulls.
8. Thunder/Grizzlies (2014 Western First Round)-Thunder win 4-3
So this one had four OT games also…but they happened in a row! In the end, the Thunder had too much for the Grizz, especially without Zach Randolph and pulled away in game seven.
7. Spurs/Mavs (2006 West Semis)-Mavs win 4-3
Ah, the NBA playoffs…where two 60-win teams can meet in the second round. Well, they did and it was a classic. Honestly, the Mavs did everything to blow this one. Blow a 3-1 series lead? Check. Blow a 20 point lead in game seven? Check. They did have this dude named Dirk though, who got them to OT and ultimately salvaged the series.
6. Lakers/Blazers (2000 West Finals)-Lakers win 4-3
Just like the Mavs six years later, the Laker blew a 3-1 series lead. Unlike the Mavs, they were down 15 after three quarters in game seven. In the fourth, Shaq went crazy and the Blazers went ice cold. The third Laker dynasty was born.
5. Celtics/76ers (1981 East Finals)-Celtics win 4-3
A common theme here, the Celtics got down 3-1 in the series before a monumental rally by Bird & co. While Bird vs. Dr. J was top billing, the Celtics depth stole the show and the series.
4. Lakers/Pistons (1988 NBA Finals)-Lakers win 4-3
Showtime vs. the Bad Boys. You couldn’t ask for more of a contrast in styles. Magic and Isaiah were incredible, but it was James Worthy’s game seven triple-double that sealed another title for the Lakers.
3. Celtics/Lakers (1984 NBA Finals)-Celtics win 4-3
Two of the greatest players of all-time. Two of the greatest teams of all-time. The greatest rivalry in NBA history. seven games. Goodness, how was this one not going to make the list? The Celtics and Lakers were so dead-even that they would trade NBA titles for years to come, but the Celtics got the better of them in this one.
2. Pacers/Knicks (1995 East Semis)-Pacers win 4-3
This was the classic Reggie Miller-Spike Lee series that saw the two inseparably linked after the Pacers vanquished the Knicks in seven games. The most memorable moment of the series was undoubtedly Reggie Miller’s ridiculous eight points in nine freaking seconds to win game one.
1. Knicks/Lakers (1970 NBA Finals)-Knicks win 4-3
Just when you though Jerry West’s 3/4 court shot to tie game three was iconic, enter Willis Reed. Yep, in game seven he hobbled his way on to the Garden floor and lead the Knicks to an NBA title. What’s really amazing is that this was one was never made into a movie.
Tomorrow, be on the lookout for the ALL-TIME BEST 10 PREAKNESS PERFORMANCES