Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Braden: Top 5 Most Important Championship Series in the NBA.
Ann: In this lesson, you're going to learn about the top 5 most important championships series in NBA history. We’re gonna take a more "story line" approach with this lesson.
Braden: We'll tell you the year, the teams, and the score and then tell you why it was such an awesome series.
Ann: But before we do that, here's a little background information. In basketball, the championship is called the NBA Finals. Notice that "Finals" is plural. This is because it's actually more than one game.
Braden: The NBA Finals are what's called a "best out of seven." That means whoever wins 4 out of 7 games, wins the series. For example, if one team wins the first 4 games, the series is over. The other 3 games aren’t even played.
Ann: You have to win 4 of the 7 seven games to win the NBA Finals.
Braden: And by the way, there are so many great series, we've had to limit the time frame to the period of 1980 to 2012.
Ann: Our number five in our top five NBA championships is the 1997 NBA finals between the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls.
Braden: This is one of the best basketball series I've ever personally watched. The two teams dominated during the regular season and to see them compete for the title was thrilling, to say the least.
Ann: Every game in this NBA Finals came down to 5 five points or less and three were decided by the final shot. This was also one of Michael Jordan's great moments.
Braden: Besides making several of those "final shots" there is one particular game where Jordan was sick. He had a fever and had sweat dripping from his face the entire game.
Ann: I remember he seemed barely able to stand up during time-outs and half-time, Jordan scored 38 points including the series-winning final 3 pointer.
Braden: Number four in our top five championships is 1984 NBA finals between the Lakers and the Celtics.
Ann: The rivalries between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers paired up in the NBA finals made this one of the most attention-grabbing NBA series ever.
Braden: The games were impressive to watch and entertaining.
Ann: That they were! No single player scored 38 points like Jordan did against the Jazz, but there were many tense moments, two overtimes, and a number of oddities that can't be explained.
Braden: We found in my research that during this game, Magic Johnson actually dribbled the shot clock down to zero and lost the ball.
Ann: We assume it was a strategic move but the Lakers ended up losing that game so it appears the strategy didn't work very well.
Braden: Number three in our top five championships is the 2006 Western Conference semi-finals between the Mavericks and the Spurs. This isn't actually an NBA finals series but it's worth mentioning, especially since it's recent.
Ann: These two teams had dominated during the regular season but ended up meeting in the semi-finals instead of the NBA Finals.
Braden: The series reached the famed "game 7," and five of the games were decided by 2 points at the end of the game and the other two games went into overtime.
Ann: It's also a great comeback story since the Mavericks lost 3 of the first 4 games but ended up winning the series in overtime by 1 point.
Braden: Our number two championship is a 1998 NBA finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz.
Ann: Again with the Jazz?
Braden: Yes, again. While the Utah Jazz may not typically be an important team in basketball, for a few years, they were among the best in the country.
Ann: The Jazz won game 1 in overtime but the Bulls won the next three games.
Braden: Game three in particular was odd because the Jazz lost by 42 points, the biggest loss in NBA Finals history. Every other game was won with less than 5 points to spare.
Ann: The final game, Bulls up by 2, and John Stockton took a last second 3 point shot to win the game but the ball bounced off the rim. That was an intense series.
Braden: Yes it was. And our number one championship is the 1984 NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. If you ask anyone who follows basketball about the most intense basketball series since 1980, they'd say the 1981 Boston Celtics and LA Lakers. This series had everything.
Ann: Just for some background, the Lakers and Celtics had a rivalry going back over 20 years but it was getting more intense because of an individual rivalry between Larry Bird (of the Celtics) and Magic Johnson (of the Lakers).
Braden: It only made matters worse that the new Celtics coach was a former Celtics player.
Ann: This series was the eighth time the Celtics had beaten the Lakers in the NBA Finals but not without a bit of risk.
Braden: Yes, the Celtics won the series but how do you explain losing game 3 to the Lakers by 33 points with a score of 137-104? The last four games were decided by two points or less. What's up with that? The last game was stressful even to watch because, in the last three minutes, only 2 points were scored.
Ann: That means the two teams were playing very hard defense because no one could score.
Braden: That just about does it for today. Thanks for listening!
Ann: Have a great day!