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View Full Version : ESPN: Greatest Conference Finals (Top 10)



JordansBulls
03-04-2009, 09:06 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=list/nba_conffinals

Top 5 listed below



5. Slugout in the sauna: Bird leads Celtics over Pistons
Eastern Conference, 1987

The seventh game of this series was a classic in the ultra-hot Boston Garden, a tight 117-114 win that wasn't over until it was & well, over. And even then, the Celtics had to recover from what had been one of the most physical playoff series of all time. It included a Bird-Bill Laimbeer brawl in Game 3, a Robert Parish three-punch rebuttal in Game 5 (no call, but a fine and one-game suspension from the league), a brilliant Bird steal/pass (Boston Herald: "STEAL OF THE CENTURY") to Dennis Johnson underneath with one second left to give Boston a one-point win to go ahead 3-2 in the series, a tough win by Detroit to send the series to Game 7; and an incredible 1:05, six-shot Celtics sequence capped by a Danny Ainge 3-pointer with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter that put Boston ahead, uncomfortably, but for good. Game temperature inside Boston Garden for the finale: 88 degrees.

4. Miller and Bird push the Bulls to the brink
Eastern Conference, 1998

During their 1990s dynasty, few teams challenged the Bulls enough to take them to a seventh game. But the Pacers, led by Reggie Miller and coached by Larry Bird, almost -- but not quite -- ended Chicago's chance at a second three-peat.

The Bulls won the first two games at the United Center, but then the series shifted to Market Square, and it was Miller time. Reggie was spectacular in the final minutes of Game 3, scoring 13 points (including three 3-pointers) in the final four minutes to lead Indiana to a 107-105 win. In Game 4, Miller did it again, hitting a game-winning 3 with 0.7 left to even the series at 2-2. The Bulls blew out the Pacers in Game 5, but Indiana even the series at 3 when Jordan fell and lost the ball before he was able to get off a last-second shot that could have tied the game.

MJ guaranteed a win in Game 7, but things didn't look good for Chicago as Indiana raced off to a 20-7 lead and was still ahead 79-77 with less than six minutes left. But the Bulls finally took the lead for good when Jordan sunk two free throws and Scottie Pippen followed with an 18-foot jumper. Final score: 88-83.


3. "It was not their time" -- The Shaq pack wins the West in Sacramento
Western Conference, 2002

What a series. The Lakers were trying to three-peat, but it looked like Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, and Mike Bibby just might lead the Kings past their rivals with the advantage of playing Game 7 at home.

The series had lots of turning points, but the most dramatic, before the last game, was Robert Horry's game-winning 3-pointer from the top of the key with six-tenths of a second left in Game 4. In Game 7, Bibby was brilliant, scoring 29 points, including a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.

But the Lakers had been down by as many as nine points in the second half and not only forced the only seventh-game OT in conference finals history, but utterly dominated the extra period, scoring the last eight points for a 112-106 win. "They felt it was their time," O'Neal said when it was all over. "It was not their time."


2. Lakers blaze Blazers in ultimate comeback
Western Conference, 2000

There weren't a lot of close games in this series -- the tightest finish came in the Lakers' 93-91 Game 3 victory -- but what a ride, what a battle, what a slugfest, what a wrestling match. The Blazers, facing elimination in Games 5 and 6, won both, and went into the rubber game in L.A. with two straight Staples Center wins under their belts, an amazing accomplishment considering Shaq, Kobe, Phil & Co. were virtually unbeatable on their home turf.

But still, the Lakers were happy to be at home for Game 7. Maybe they shouldn't have been. The Blazers shut down the Lakers for the first 38 minutes, and held a 75-60 lead with 10:28 remaining. But that was it for Portland. Their next 10 FG attempts were thwarted, and the Lakers went on a 15-0 run and outscored the Blazers 25-4 to stage the greatest fourth-quarter Game 7 comeback in playoff history.

The capper came when Bryant drove and threw one up high, in just the perfect spot for an awesome Shaq slam that put the Lakers ahead 85-79. The final score was 89-84.

Phil Jackson's game summary was also classic. "Game 7s are interesting games, aren't they?" he said. "I've never seen one quite like that before."



1. Bird and Boston edge Philadelphia
Eastern Conference, 1981

The Celtics became only the fourth team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series, and they did it in the most dramatic fashion. The 76ers had a chance to wrap up the series in Game 5, but they blew a four-point lead with less than a minute to play as the Celtics pulled it out, 111-109. More swarming Celtics D shut down Dr. J and erased 76ers leads of 17 points in Game 6 and 11 points in Game 7.

In the series finale, Bird's bank shot with 1:03 remaining gave the Celtics a 91-89 lead. Maurice Cheeks had a chance to tie the game at 91 with 29 seconds left, but missed the first of two free throws to give the Celtics the game and series victory.

Final scores: Philly 105, Boston 104; Boston 118, Philly 99; Philly 110, Boston 100; Philly 107, Boston 105; Boston 111, Philly 109; Boston 100, Philly 98; Boston 91, Philly 90.

"The last few minutes of the last three games are worth getting films of, running clinics on, putting in the Hall of Fame," said Chris Ford. "You can't play better team defense."

ARMIN12NBA
03-04-2009, 09:22 PM
#2 and #3 have a special place in my heart, which is why I would probably rank them 1a and 1b. Truthfully, I am biased in this opinion. Although, I'm sure many share the same opinion and are not affiliated with the teams involved in those two games. Anyways, those were downright amazing games that came down to the wire. In one game, the Lakers had to go to OT to get a hard fought win and the other, they had to come from 15 behind in the fourth to snatch a victory. Definitely very gutty wins and it exhibited the true force and will by Shaq and Kobe.

KobeIs
03-04-2009, 09:48 PM
#2 and #3 have a special place in my heart, which is why I would probably rank them 1a and 1b. Truthfully, I am biased in this opinion. Although, I'm sure many share the same opinion and are not affiliated with the teams involved in those two games. Anyways, those were downright amazing games that came down to the wire. In one game, the Lakers had to go to OT to get a hard fought win and the other, they had to come from 15 behind in the fourth to snatch a victory. Definitely very gutty wins and it exhibited the true force and will by Shaq and Kobe.

^ +1

i wasnt old enough to see 1 and 5 but 2-4 were amazing games.

JordansBulls
03-04-2009, 10:57 PM
I'm surprised the Bulls/Pacers ranked higher than the Celtics and Pistons series.

still1ballin
03-04-2009, 11:03 PM
#2 and #3 have a special place in my heart, which is why I would probably rank them 1a and 1b. Truthfully, I am biased in this opinion. Although, I'm sure many share the same opinion and are not affiliated with the teams involved in those two games. Anyways, those were downright amazing games that came down to the wire. In one game, the Lakers had to go to OT to get a hard fought win and the other, they had to come from 15 behind in the fourth to snatch a victory. Definitely very gutty wins and it exhibited the true force and will by Shaq and Kobe.

Horry! .... For the win!!!


YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


:chills:

Big E
03-04-2009, 11:06 PM
I think the Lakers/Kings should be ranked higher than Lakers/Blazers.
otherwise good list

Beno7500
03-05-2009, 01:14 AM
3. "It was not their time" -- The Shaq pack wins the West in Sacramento
Western Conference, 2002

What a series. The Lakers were trying to three-peat, but it looked like Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, and Mike Bibby just might lead the Kings past their rivals with the advantage of playing Game 7 at home.

The series had lots of turning points, but the most dramatic, before the last game, was Robert Horry's game-winning 3-pointer from the top of the key with six-tenths of a second left in Game 4. In Game 7, Bibby was brilliant, scoring 29 points, including a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.

But the Lakers had been down by as many as nine points in the second half and not only forced the only seventh-game OT in conference finals history, but utterly dominated the extra period, scoring the last eight points for a 112-106 win. "They felt it was their time," O'Neal said when it was all over. "It was not their time."
Yet they don't mention game 6...

still1ballin
03-05-2009, 01:17 AM
Yet they don't mention game 6...

Still hurts doesn't it?

JordansBulls
03-05-2009, 01:26 AM
Yet they don't mention game 6...

I'm sorry but you can't bring up game 6 when you have HCA in game 7 and when your team shoots like 50% ft and when you have the 3 point champ shoot an airball with less than 10 seconds left in the game and he is wide open.
I could sypathize with you if they shot better from the foul line and had Peja hit the shot, but the Kings had plenty of opportunities to win that series and that game 7.

Raidaz4Life
03-05-2009, 02:02 AM
To me number 2 will always be the greatest bar none.... I still get chills thinking about it. We were destiny's darlings that year and it still gives me chills thinking about my 10 year old self sitting on my parents bed watching the game with my little heart about broken when were were down 15 in the fourth quarter. I still remember praying that I would do anything to see us come back and win then seeing that Kobe to Shaq ally oop rocked my world

Tblaze
03-05-2009, 08:03 AM
I'm sorry but you can't bring up game 6 when you have HCA in game 7 and when your team shoots like 50% ft and when you have the 3 point champ shoot an airball with less than 10 seconds left in the game and he is wide open.
I could sypathize with you if they shot better from the foul line and had Peja hit the shot, but the Kings had plenty of opportunities to win that series and that game 7.

They might've had oppurtunities to win that series yes, but it shouldn't have been a contest in the first place. I don't see how it was one of the 5 best wcfs as the referees alone ruined it for me (and I'm not even a fan of either team). That outcome was as fake as wrestling.

JordansBulls
03-05-2009, 09:29 AM
They might've had oppurtunities to win that series yes, but it shouldn't have been a contest in the first place. I don't see how it was one of the 5 best wcfs as the referees alone ruined it for me (and I'm not even a fan of either team). That outcome was as fake as wrestling.

Well game 6 I can agree about, but when you still have game 7 at home, I don't see how anyone can give any excuses with a loss.

Tblaze
03-05-2009, 09:47 AM
Well game 6 I can agree about, but when you still have game 7 at home, I don't see how anyone can give any excuses with a loss.

I understand what you meen, but I don't think it's equal to a normal 7th game at home if you've just been screwed like that the game before. The lakers clearly came out with a boost because of that game 6 which eventually caused the kings to collapse in game 7 too. I agree they could've still taken control in game 7, but it doesn't make it any less unfair for their matter. That series should've ended in the 6th, and the kings thought they would end it there.. and if you end up having to play another game then it's just a big slap in the face which will be hard to overcome.

JordansBulls
03-05-2009, 11:37 AM
I understand what you meen, but I don't think it's equal to a normal 7th game at home if you've just been screwed like that the game before. The lakers clearly came out with a boost because of that game 6 which eventually caused the kings to collapse in game 7 too. I agree they could've still taken control in game 7, but it doesn't make it any less unfair for their matter. That series should've ended in the 6th, and the kings thought they would end it there.. and if you end up having to play another game then it's just a big slap in the face which will be hard to overcome.

I see your point, however you can't change what has already happened. The Kings in game 7 blew their chances. Can't come out and shoot 50% from the foul line and expect to win. The Lakers were playing like they had nothing to lose and the Kings were playing with the actitud of "not to lose" instead of playing to win the game.

JordansBulls
03-05-2009, 06:22 PM
To me number 2 will always be the greatest bar none.... I still get chills thinking about it. We were destiny's darlings that year and it still gives me chills thinking about my 10 year old self sitting on my parents bed watching the game with my little heart about broken when were were down 15 in the fourth quarter. I still remember praying that I would do anything to see us come back and win then seeing that Kobe to Shaq ally oop rocked my world

I don't see how that series is better than the Kings and Lakers series. In the Kings and Lakers series neither team had more than a 1 game lead over the other. Lakers were up 3-1 on the Blazers and then lost the next 2 and was down 15 in the 4th at home. People say the Blazers choked, but the Lakers blew that 3-1 lead as well. Sure they ended up winning but they should never have been in that situation in the 1st place.

IversonIsKrazy
03-05-2009, 07:31 PM
i was surprised to not c any Spurs-Lakers series, but those ones are REALLY good.

JordansBulls
03-06-2009, 12:17 AM
i was surprised to not c any Spurs-Lakers series, but those ones are REALLY good.

I believe they used series that went 7 games.

Kings Faithful
03-06-2009, 12:40 AM
I hate when people say Kings fans can't complain about game 6 because we had a chance in game 7. Thats BS. There shouldn't have been a game 7 period. Next time one of your teams leads 3-2 in a series then is subject to the worst officiating in NBA history causing a game 7 only to lead to losing your chance at the first championship in 50+ years for your team then come criticizing us, until then shut the hell up.