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Chronz
08-11-2016, 07:02 PM
When MVP contenders clash in a playoff series, you hope for a battle of the ages. For whatever reason tho, you're sometimes left with a lopsided affair, or an unexpected outcome, this list ranks such examples.













#5 Bird vs Doc (1981)
The Story: Probably the worst way to start such a list, as this is widely regarded as one of the greatest playoff series and rivalries of All-Time but I was struggling to find many encounters of this magnitude. BTW, imagine a player roughing up a fan like this in todays NBA, does Maxwell get suspended for life? (https://youtu.be/XbNXHJcxbjc?t=3m30s)

In 1980 Doc had "upset" Bird's Celtics and vastly outplayed him in that series, strictly in terms of the matchup, Doc got the better of Bird far more than Bird got him in this series. The only reason I rank this above it is because that was a rookie Bird with his first taste of the NBA Playoffs, where he dragged an OK team to the #1 seed. Whereas in 1981, both found themselves in the middle of one of the tightest MVP races ever, the 2 were on more comparable ground with both squads winning the same amount of games. Many actually felt Bird was robbed of the MVP in favor of a "Lifetime Bid" for Doc. Through the first 4 games of the series, it looked like Julius would prove his detractors wrong,up 3-1 only to lose the following 3 games by 2, 2 and 1 point(s) respectively.

Doc played reasonably well and had his moments but for the MVP of the league, he was greatly outplayed and his production waned well below his established norms. True to the rivalry, Doc would go on to avenge this performance the following year.


The Numbers:
Erving: 19.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.1 apg on 43.3 %FG/48.8 %TS
Bird: 26.7 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 4.6 apg on 48.6 %FG/55.4 %TS

The Tape: Series Synopsis (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMp9iL8WgRA)
Bird dominates G2 with his outside touch, shoots 10-12 and goes for 23/11 in the first half alone. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQMhnYL5GJM)

Bonus Footage: Doc J getting schooled by Bird throughout the years (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugW1oJuG7eo)













#4 Zo vs Grandmama (1998)
The Story: Formerly considered building blocks for the Charlotte Hornets, the partnership was shortlived as the 2 alpha's clashed almost immediately. When Larry Johnson was showing off the ROY Leather Jacket he had recently won he reportedly told Zo "Hey, young fellow, if you play real hard you might get one of these jackets", the entire team laughed at Mourning's expense. Zo left to Miami shortly thereafter.

My favorite rivalry of the 90's, was made better when LJ joined the Knicks, sparking their annual playoff battles vs the Heat that made the 90's so awesome. The Knicks had lost the first battle in 7 games in 97, for the rematch, they would be without Ewing which propelled Larry Johnson into a greater role. Miami was a 55 win juggernaut while the Knicks were a 43 win team and to make it sweeter, it was Pat Riley vs his old staff in JVG+Thibs(IIRC).

As game 4 was coming to a close, the Knicks were about to even up the series and force a winner take all game 5, then years of animosity spilled out as LJ and Zo came to blows. The ensuing suspensions meant neither one would be available, an exchange clearly more costly to Miami. This on top of him actually outscoring Zo at this point in his career made this a total win in favor of Grandmama imo.


The Numbers: (PPG-REB-AST- ORTG)
Zo: 19.3 - 8.5 - 1.3 - 108
LJ: 20.8 - 7.3 - 1.5 - 108


The Tape: The Brawl (https://youtu.be/_05JqkoQaLM?t=6m46s)













#3 MJ vs Clyde (1992 Finals)
The Story: The media was hyping up Clyde as a true challenger to MJ's thrown, he finished 2nd in the MVP and it didn't help that Clyde himself was throwing gas at the flame with his "What does he do other than shoot more than me?" talk.

After falling short in their prior 2 Finals appearances, many felt the Blazers finally had the talent necessary to close the deal. Sadly the hype didn't live up to the billing as MJ had the infamous "Shrug game" 1 and showed just why the comparison was ludicrous. Poor Drexler was thought of in a near MJ level coming into the series and left people wondering if he was even on Pippen's level. Pippen had himself another stellar Finals


The Numbers: (PPG-REB-AST- ORTG)
MJ: 35.8 - 4.8 - 6.5 - 116
Clyde: 24.8 - 7.8 - 5.3 - 113
Pippen: 20.8 - 8.3 - 7.7 - 111


The Tape: The Shrug Game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFGj2LiEFSI)
His Shutdown D on Drexler (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY6brSaD_Wk)














#2 D-Rob vs Hakeem 1995
The Story:
Im sure most of you are already familiar with the lore here so Ill be brief. Hakeem was mad that D-Rob was hoisting "His MVP" and that his team was allegedly the underdog. Dream goes on to own Robinson to the point where his own teammates rally around the idea that he cant take them anywhere, that they have to do it as a team.
I do think this series is somewhat overblown simply because I feel like Hakeem had the better support system on top of being the better player. And personally, Hakeem dominated Ewing to a higher degree, I just dont view Chewing on that same platform the way an MVP like Robinson appeared to be. It was suppose to be an epic clash but history didn't work out that way, some of that was outside of D-Rob's control but not all.


The Numbers: (PPG-REB-AST- ORTG)
D-Rob: 24.8 - 12.3 - 2.7 - 106
Hakeem: 35.3 - 11.3 - 5.0 - 111

The Tape: You've seen the youtube mixes already
















#1 Wilt vs Russell (1967)
The Story: After years of coming up short at the hands of Russell's Celtics, Wilt now sports the healthier, more talented teammates and man did he ever wreck those C's. 4-1 with Russell putting up a meager 4PTS in the deciding game, Wilt outscored him by 25PTS, outrebounded him by 15 and had 6 more assists. This after already dropping a Quad-Double in the G1 romp and then setting the Single Game Playoff-Rebounding Record in G3.

There has never been an MVP thoroughly dismantling another MVP quite like this.

After the G.5 victory, the locker room was filled champagne and excitement, except from 1 man. Wilt reminded the team that nothing was accomplished just yet, they still needed to win 4 more games to capture the title. This Playoff run is so dominant its been my desktop background for years. Wilt averaged a triple double vs his 2 first opponents, had at least 2 Quad-Double games. Nate Thurmond and the Warriors actually presented the biggest road block for those Sixers that many deem the greatest team of all-time.


The Numbers:
Wilt: 21.6 ppg, 32.0 rpg, 10.0 apg, 6+ bpg, 56 FG%
Bill: 11.4 ppg, 23.4 rpg, 6.0 apg, 36 FG%


The Tape: Game 4 of the ECF (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yffDCHu4X0)
Heres the 2nd half of that same game, only in English (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJjBDUhbBcs)
Its the worst example I could show you as its the only game where Wilt's Sixers lose but its all I could find, in this game Russell actually clamps down on Wilt and outplays him on the boards/defensively.

McAllen Tx
08-11-2016, 07:58 PM
Wheres LBJ ownage of KD? Ownage so bad KD had to run and join a hit squad just to try and beat LBJ.

B'sCeltsPatsSox
08-11-2016, 08:44 PM
LBJ vs. Bulls

zn23
08-12-2016, 12:13 AM
LBJ vs. Bulls in 2011.

Many people thought that Derrick Rose was an undeserving MVP. LeBron thought so as well and he really dominated Rose in that series and tried to make a point.

More-Than-Most
08-12-2016, 01:19 AM
LBJ vs KD
LBJ VS Bulls
LBJ VS warriors

Honestly Lebron vs the warriors should be top 5.

PurpleLynch
08-12-2016, 05:09 AM
Doesn't crack the top five imo,but Kobe vs Pierce deserves a honorable mention. It was really intense,especially on the defensive end.

Chronz
08-12-2016, 10:12 AM
I think you guys underrate how good KD was in his Finals. Rose is a popular one too, prolly better one.


LBJ vs KD
LBJ VS Bulls
LBJ VS warriors

Honestly Lebron vs the warriors should be top 5.

KD held his own
Rose got clamped down come 4th quarter
Maybe


Doesn't crack the top five imo,but Kobe vs Pierce deserves a honorable mention. It was really intense,especially on the defensive end.

Was thinking about that one, if not for the crazy defense Kobe had to face vs Pierce abusing Vladamir and the like, I would have put it up. Though if it were a single game thread, I remember when Pierce took over Kobe duties in that comeback IIRC, and he just put the clamps on Kobe.

Scoots
08-12-2016, 10:15 AM
Not playoffs, and not a player but a team. The Spurs owned the Warriors for Timmy's entire career. Look at the record, it's absurd.

hugepatsfan
08-12-2016, 10:38 AM
Pierce and Lebron had some battles from like 2007-2011. Was always a pretty hyped matchup.

Tony_Starks
08-12-2016, 10:54 AM
Magic Johnson vs Bird 87 Finals?

Riley turns the team over to Magic as KAJ turns 40 and Magic nearly puts up a triple double for the series, leads both teams in points-assist-steals out dueling Bird, hits the game winning hook and eventually leads to Bird lamenting post game that "Magic is a great player....the best I've ever seen."

BoSox47
08-12-2016, 12:04 PM
Different sport but Habs and Bruins.

Shlumpledink
08-13-2016, 02:01 AM
Great topic

Drexler was the closest thing to Jordan athletically in the league, probably anyhow. Maybe Kemp was close too. Drexler did not have the defensive skills to hang with Jordan though. Fun match up to watch though.

I never thought of Ewing as elite either.

Bostonjorge
08-13-2016, 08:05 AM
James, Bosh and Wade vs Rose in 2011.

Bosh really dominated that series don't even think he missed a shot that whole series.

James and Wade double teaming Rose was dominate. Rose never stood a chance against the big 3.

ewing
08-13-2016, 08:07 PM
LBJ vs MTM's heterosexuality

JasonJohnHorn
08-13-2016, 11:16 PM
I gotta say. Best rivalry ever (and as a Pistons fan I'm biased) was Bad Boys and The Bulls. The Pistons, THREE YEARS IN A ROW, beat Jordan. The last two were 7-game series. Every one a nail biter. Every one the Pistons whopping the Bulls. And the pure hatred you saw on the court. CRAZY. Fights. Insults. I've never seen players make it so personal.

Then the biggest ownage, and it was painful to watch, was the Bulls sweeping the Pistons out of relevance. People say the Pistons beating the Lakers in 04 destroyed that team and pushed the Lakers to tear themselves apart. That was more Kobe/Shaq. When the Bulls wasted the Pistons 4-0, the moral of that Pistons teams was destroyed. And in game four, the Pistons walked off the court with time still on the clock and went to their locker rooms. So much bitter animosity.

Still... nobody else can say they went head-to-head against Jordan 4 times and came ahead 3 times.

That was intense. Never seen anything like it since.

JordansBulls
08-14-2016, 12:31 AM
Wheres LBJ ownage of KD? Ownage so bad KD had to run and join a hit squad just to try and beat LBJ.

Lebron 29 ppg on 47%
KD 31 ppg on 55%

More-Than-Most
08-14-2016, 12:53 AM
LBJ vs MTM's heterosexuality

Jelly because he makes me feel a way you never could? : )

More-Than-Most
08-14-2016, 12:59 AM
Lebron 29 ppg on 47%
KD 31 ppg on 55%

Durant 19 turnovers in 5 games to 11 assists
Lebron 19 Turnovers in 5 games to 38 Assists.

Do I need to get into the Rebounds/Defense or the fact in games 4 lebron had 26/12/9 and followed that performance up with a 26/13/11 triple double dagger to end the series?

HOLD_THIS_L
08-14-2016, 02:32 AM
Durant 19 turnovers in 5 games to 11 assists
Lebron 19 Turnovers in 5 games to 38 Assists.

Do I need to get into the Rebounds/Defense or the fact in games 4 lebron had 26/12/9 and followed that performance up with a 26/13/11 triple double dagger to end the series?
I agree LeBron out played him. But offensively KD was is better.

Lebron 29 ppg on 47%
KD 31 ppg on 55%


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McAllen Tx
08-14-2016, 07:46 AM
Lebron 29 ppg on 47%
KD 31 ppg on 55%
LBJ (4 - 1) KD Finals
LBJ (16-4) KD All-Time

LBJ beats KD 80% of the time, reg season or Finals = ownage.