Tag: NBA Finals

Friday Flashback: 1975 NBA Finals

1975

Right now the Golden State Warriors are competing in their fourth straight National Basketball Association (NBA) finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Although the Warriors are one of the most dominant teams in the NBA right now, they went a long stretch between finals.  In the 1975 NBA finals, the Golden State Warriors was underdogs against the heavily-favored Washington Bullets.  The Bullets had rolled through the season with a 60-22 record while the Warriors got in with a record of 48-34 which was actually the best record in the Western Conference.

This was the first championship game or final in North American professional sports which feature two African American head coaches with Al Attles for the Warriors and K.C. Jones with the Bullets.

The Warriors last made the NBA Finals in 1967, when they were still in San Francisco. In the years since, they moved to Oakland, briefly lost Rick Barry to the American Basketball Association, and named Warriors great Al Attles as head coach. Before the start of the 1974–75 season they traded future Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond to the Chicago Bulls for young center Clifford Ray. They also drafted Jamaal Wilkes, then known as Keith Wilkes, out of UCLA. With Barry as the offensive leader, and with Attles using a team approach to coaching, the Warriors managed to finish the season atop the Western Conference with 48 wins. In the playoffs, they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in six games, then eliminated the Chicago Bulls in seven games to advance to the Finals.

The Bullets were led by Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes.  They defeated the Buffalo Braves and the defending champion Boston Celtics in the playoffs.

In Game One, the Bullets built a 14-point lead at the half over the Warriors at the Capital Centre. The Warriors began to storm back, with Phil Smith coming off the bench to score 20 points in 31 minutes of playing time, as Golden State took the first game, 101–95.

In Game Two, the Bullets jumped to an early 13-point lead, but Golden State battled back, led by 36 points from Rick Barry, to take a 92–91 lead in the closing seconds. Washington got the ball back with six seconds left but missed two shots and now were down 2–0.

Rick Barry poured in 38 points in Game Three while backup center George Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench to help the Warriors to a 109–101 win.

Finding themselves in an 0-3 deficit, the Bullets seemed to be on their way to staving off an unexpected sweep by the underdog Warriors, leading by 14 points early on. Bullets forward Mike Riordan was assigned to guard Barry, who had killed the Bullets in the series up to that point by averaging 35 points a game.  After a brawl following a hard foul on Barry, he immediately went on a scoring spree.  The Warriors’ pressure defense, brought them back and guard Butch Beard scored the last seven points of the game, including two free throws to make the final score 96–95.

Barry was named as the series MVP.

It has been ranked as one of the biggest upsets in NBA finals history.

 

Advertisements

Nashville Nightwatch, Luggage Shopping And Pizza

052918You won’t see it on the local sports news or the Tennessean but the Nashville Nightwatch (3-3)  stunned the Austin Sol (4-4) on Saturday 27-21 for their third straight win.  If I’m not mistaken this is the first time the team has won three straight games in their four-year history.  The Nightwatch have climbed out of the South Division cellar in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).   The Nightwatch had an amazing 95% completion rate in the game and took advantage of 21 turnovers by the Sol.  The next home game is this Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Nightwatch host division-leading Dallas (5-1).  If you haven’t seen this sport of ultimate Frisbee, you really need to try it.

I never thought it would be such a task to purchase luggage for an upcoming trip.  My wife and I know a lot more about luggage now than we did before.  Part of the task was finding the appropriate luggage that meets carry-on requirements so that we won’t have to check a bag.  The magic number this weekend was 45″ linear inches which is the carry-on limitations for Delta.  Now I know the terms such as “spinner” and “retractable handles”.  Just because they say the luggage is carry-on doesn’t exactly mean it meets requirements.   I’m learning a lot on how to be a minimal packer.  I don’t like it.  I tend to carry lots of stuff with me.  This will be an adventure for sure.

My wife and I love pizza.  We will often try different pizza places.  This weekend we tried a new Five Points Pizza which opened in West Nashville.  I took one bite and waited for my wife to take hers and we both agreed that we loved it.  It was the perfect blend of sauce and cheese.  Too many places just blob the cheese on top.  Not a fan of that.  Five Points was a hit with us.  We usually base our pizza on a place we loved when we lived in Tampa, Florida.  There was a place we loved called “Flippers” in St. Petersburg.  When we tasted the one this weekend, we both said it reminded us of Flippers.  I still haven’t found a pizza that compares to Ingleside Pizza in Macon, Georgia.  That one is my favorite so far.

President Trump is in Nashville today for a rally to support a local politician running for office.  If you have ever had a President visit your city, you can’t fully understand what a pain in the arse it can be.  It doesn’t matter if you like the President or not.  When he visits, it disrupts traffic and the entire infrastructure around where he’s visiting.  Several streets are already closed and many others will be closed temporarily around the time he rolls into downtown.  Probably right around the time for the evening rush hour.  We also have some storms headed our way about the same time.  The commute home may take a while.

We visited a couple of new places over the Memorial Day weekend which popped up on Facebook lately as places to visit.  The first one was Dunbar Cave State Park near Clarkesville, Tennessee.  Dunbar Cave is the 280th largest cave complex in the world.  During the Big Band era they used to have dances, concerts and festivals that cave’s entrance where they constructed a bandstand and dance floor.  They say it stays a constant 58 degrees year-round.  The park offers tours in the cave but we didn’t join in because we aren’t big fans of tight places.  The other place we visited was Marrowbone Lake near Joelton, Tennessee which had a large lake and featured a dam with some falls.  If you like fishing, it might be the place for you but not exactly a place to relax and enjoy the lake.  I’m not so sure I didn’t hear banjos playing in the distance.  We drove down a road and saw a Pirate’s Ship and some sort of resort complex which was gated.  Over the gate it advised that they do not call 911 they shoot.  We immediately turned around and got out of there.

For the fourth straight year, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals.  I read an article that says this is the first championship series in North America to repeat four straight years.  Other than Cleveland and San Francisco Bay area, will anyone be watching? Will viewers be burnt out on this matchup?  Most people give Golden State the overwhelming nod to win the title but Cleveland has Lebron James.  Anything is possible.  I think people will watch because this is going to be a classic rivalry that people will look back on.

In the Stanley Cup final, it’s hard to watch without the Nashville Predators being there.  I find myself pulling for Vegas.  After watching Game 1 last night, it looks like it’s going to be an exciting series.

 

 

Friday Flashback: 1980s Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers Rivalry

celtics-lakersI used to follow the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs – especially in the 1980s.  Okay, I will confess that I was actually an Atlanta Hawks’ fan but let’s just keep that between us okay?

In the 1980s, the most intense rivalry was between the Boston Celtics led by Larry Bird and the Los Angeles Lakers with Magic Johnson with “Showtime”.  The NBA finals between these two teams were always epic.  When this time of year rolls around I always think back to these games.  These two teams faced each other in three NBA finals in the 1984, 1985 and 1987.  The Lakers won two of three in these matchups.

1984In the 1984 finals,  this was the first time with the Magic Johnson–Larry Bird pair facing off in the finals. After the Lakers won Game 1, a crucial steal in Game 2 led to a tie game and the Celtics were able to win in overtime to tie the series. The Lakers won Game 3 easily and almost won Game 4, but were again thwarted. Now tied 2-2, the Lakers and Celtics each held serve at their home court to send the series to Boston for Game 7. Game 5 was a classic, with Bird coming up with a huge game in one of the (literally) hottest games ever (97 °F (36 °C)) in the non-air conditioned Boston Garden. Game 7 was also contested in hot temperatures that hovered around 91 °F (33 °C). The score was close but the contest eventually went to the Celtics. Cedric Maxwell scored 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in the decisive Game 7 victory.

  1. May 27, 1984 at Boston:  Lakers 115, Celtics 109
  2. May 31, 1984 at Boston:  Celtics 124, Lakers 121 ot
  3. June 3, 1984 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 137, Celtics 104
  4. June 6, 1984 at Los Angeles:  Celtics 129, Lakers 125 ot
  5. June 8, 1984 at Boston:  Celtics 121, Lakers 103
  6. June 10, 1984 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 119, Celtics 108
  7. June 12, 1984 at Boston:  Celtics 111, Lakers 102

(Celtics win series 4 gams to 3)

Los Angeles Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1985 NBA FinalsThe following year, the Boston Celtics were looking to repeat as NBA Champions for the first time since the 1968–69 season. The Celtics had homecourt advantage for the second year in a row as they finished the regular season with a 63-19 record while the Los Angeles Lakers compiled a 62-20 record. The Lakers looked to bounce back from the previous year’s painful loss to the Celtics in the championship series, and were still seeking to beat Boston for the first time ever in NBA Finals history.   In the series clincher the Lakers held the Celtics to just 18 third quarter points to blow open a game tied at halftime. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 29 points and James Worthy 28 as Los Angeles became the first opposing team clinch a title in the Boston Garden. Magic Johnson dished out a game-high 14 assists. Celtics’ forward Kevin McHale scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds–both game-highs–before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Larry Bird’s dismal shooting continued as he hit just 12 of 29 shots.

  1. May 27, 1985 at Boston:  Celtics 148, Lakers 114
  2. May 30, 1985 at Boston:  Lakers 109, Celtics 102
  3. June 2, 1985 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 136, Celtics 111
  4. June 5, 1985 at Los Angeles:  Celtics 107, Lakers 105
  5. June 7, 1985 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 120, Celtics 111
  6. June 9, 1985 at Boston:  Lakers 111, Celtics 100

(Lakers win series 4 games to 2)

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics - 1987 NBA FinalsAfter winning the championship over the Houston Rockets in 1986, the Celtics once again faced the Lakers in the 1987 finals and seeking to repeat.  The Lakers finished the regular season with a league-best 65–17 record. Head coach Pat Riley made a pair of strategical moves, shifting the offensive focus to Magic Johnson, while acquiring center Mychal Thompson via trade midway through the season. Both moves helped alleviate the load off of the aging Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who turned 40 during the playoffs. Also taking a greater role in the Showtime offense were A. C. Green and Byron Scott, who supplanted Kurt Rambis and Michael Cooper in the starting lineup. With a 3 games to 2 lead, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrived for Game 6 with a shaved head and a determination to close out this series. For a while, though, it appeared like the Celtics would steal it. Magic Johnson had only four points at the half and Dennis Johnson poured in 18 for the Celtics on his way to a game-high 33 as Boston led 56-51 at intermission.  The Lakers scored the first two baskets of the second half to cut it to 56-55. On the Celtics’ ensuing possession, the ball came loose toward the sideline and James Worthy gave chase. Worthy went to the floor, batted the ball inbounds to a breaking Magic Johnson, and Magic slammed home a breakaway dunk. This gave the Lakers their first lead of the game since 13-12, 57-56, and they never trailed from that point, winning 106-93.

  1. June 2, 1987 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 126, Celtics 113
  2. June 4, 1987 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 141, Celtics 122
  3. June 7, 1987 at Boston:  Celtics 109, Lakers 103
  4. June 9, 1987 at Boston:  Lakers 107, Celtics 106
  5. June 11, 1987 at Boston:  Celtics 123, Lakers 108
  6. June 14, 1987 at Los Angeles:  Lakers 106, Celtics 93

(Lakers win series 4 games to 2)

The Celtics and Lakers would not meet again in the NBA Finals until 2010.

In the 1980s, the Lakers appeared in eight NBA Finals winning five titles.  The Celtics played in five finals winning three.