Category Archives: 1980s

NBA Finals: 1980-1989

1980s: Review

Teams in the Finals The 1980s for the NBA was a top-heavy decade. Only five different teams appeared in a championship series, and only four different teams won a title. The Los Angeles Lakers were by far the most successful … Continue reading

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1989: Pistons versus Lakers Round Two (Kareem’s Final Season)

Background Coming off their heartbreaking loss in the 1988 NBA Finals, the Detroit Pistons entered the 1989 season on a mission. They ripped through the Eastern Conference, winning a franchise-best 63 games en route to the number one seed in … Continue reading

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1988: Lakers versus Pistons Round One (The Lakers Repeat)

Background After Coach Pat Riley promised a repeat during the 1987 victory parade, anything short of a championship for the Lakers would be considered a failure. Nevertheless, Los Angeles won a league-best 61 games in the regular season and looked … Continue reading

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1987: Lakers versus Celtics Round Three (Larry’s Last Finals)

Background 1986 was only the second time during the decade that the Los Angeles Lakers would miss the NBA Finals. In 1987, the Lakers made a resurgence in the regular season after trading for former number one overall pick Mychal … Continue reading

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1986: Celtics versus Rockets Round Two (The Twin Towers)

Background In 1986, the Celtics looked to retool their bench, a major weakness in the 1985 NBA Finals against the Lakers. They traded aging forward Cedric Maxwell to the Los Angeles Clippers for former MVP Bill Walton and traded backup … Continue reading

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1985: Lakers versus Celtics Round Two (L.A. Wants Revenge)

Background The Lakers ran away with a Western Conference best 62 wins. In the playoffs, Los Angeles swept Phoenix, defeated Portland in five games, and took five games to beat the upstart Denver Nuggets–a team playing in its first Western … Continue reading

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1984: Celtics versus Lakers Round One (The Rivalry Rekindled)

Background In 1984, the Celtics returned to the NBA Finals three years after their championship in 1981. Led by league MVP Larry Bird, Boston won 62 games in the regular season and defeated the Washington Bullets in five games, the … Continue reading

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