Monthly Archives: July 2015

2006: Heat versus Mavericks Round One (D-Wade has Arrived)

Background With the acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal in 2004, the Miami Heat became immediate contenders. The franchise had previously lost in the 1997 and 2005 Eastern Conference Finals, but in 2006–with the return of Pat Riley to the bench as … Continue reading

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2005: Spurs versus Pistons (Duncan’s Third Finals)

Background After winning the 2003 NBA Finals, the Spurs looked well on their way to repeating the next season before Derek Fisher’s game-winner with 0.4 seconds left in game five of the Western Conference semifinals put San Antonio in a … Continue reading

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2004: Pistons versus Lakers Round Three (Motown Shocks the World)

Background The Pistons underwent a complete roster re-haul in the ’90s after winning the 1990 NBA Finals. The team attempted to rebuild around young All-Star Grant Hill, but the forward left in free agency in 2000. In a sign-and-trade with … Continue reading

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2003: Spurs versus Nets (Duncan at his Peak)

Background After winning the 1999 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs had emerged as one of the elite teams in the league. Despite their regular season success, they couldn’t reach the NBA Finals due to a rivalry with the Lakers, … Continue reading

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2002: Lakers versus Nets (The Three-Peat is Complete)

Background Coming off their win in the 2001 NBA Finals and unparalleled 15-1 record in the playoffs, the Lakers were looking to “Three-peat,” but improvement around the league would make it a tougher feat. Despite the competition they won 58 … Continue reading

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2001: Lakers versus Sixers Round Three (David versus Goliath)

Background The Lakers were eager to repeat as champions in 2001, but the regular season was fraught with turmoil and injuries. Shaquille O’Neal beginning the season out of shape and Kobe Bryant‘s individual improvement caused major conflict between the two … Continue reading

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2000: Lakers versus Pacers (The Lakers are Back)

Background After Magic Johnson’s retirement in 1991, the Lakers struggled to contend. In 1996, they signed All-Star center Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal to a lucrative deal and drafted high-flying guard Kobe Bryant out of high school. The team returned to contention … Continue reading

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