Speaking about the past playoffs every basketball fan must mention the Game Six NBA Finals 1980, Los Angeles Lakers 123 – 107 Philadelphia 76ers.
That was the most interesting season of “Magic”¯ Johnson, and this game perhaps was the game of his life. In this game Johnson “jumped the opening tap, scored 42 points, made 15 rebounds, laid on seven assists and led the Lakers to the NBA Championship, proving he truly was “Magic”¯.
The next hero of playoffs is Michael Jordan in the first round of 1986 Playoff: Game Two, Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics. Not so long before Jordan has got an injury, but in 1986 he recovered, returned to the Bulls and pressed the dominant Boston Celtics in the first round series.Ā In double overtime the Celtics won the game 135-13, however Jordan was the player number one of this game. He’s got 63 points, and this record stands today. After the match Larry Bird, another NBA player, said: “He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”¯ (by Fearon, 2009) Jordan had the significant playoffs for many times, for example, in 1998 finals, game 6, Chicago Bulls- Utah Jazz, he became the most remarkable player again. I remember that game in all the details because it is hard even imagine the more exciting final. With 40 seconds remaining there was timeout in the game, and the score was 86-83, Jazz team led. “When play resumed, Jordan received the inbound pass, drove to the basket, and hit a lay-up over several Jazz defenders to narrow the gap to one.”¯ (by Fearon, 2009)Ā Just before 5.8 seconds left Jordan hit the basket again, Chicago Bulls won the championship 87-86, and Jordan was named The Most Valuable player for the sixth time.
This story could be even more breathtaking if we remember the brilliant game of Utah Jazz just a year before. In 1997 Western Conference Finals, Game Six, Utah Jazz defeated Houston Rockets 103-100. The brilliant pair, John Stockton and Karl Malone, “played a record 1,412 regular-season games together as teammates, combining to greatest effect in Game Six of the 1997 Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets.”¯ (by Fearon, 2009) During the game the scores changed almost symmetrically. At the end of the game scores were 100-100, and that was Stockton who “fired off his improbable three-pointer, it landed as time expired and sent the Jazz to their first ever NBA Finals.”¯ (by Fearon, 2009)
With all the excitement for basketball fans, playoffs are rather contradictory by their nature. Some experts think that “the negatives of making the playoffs may outweigh the positives.”¯ The reason is the different importance of the playoffs for different teams. Sure, there are indisputable factors that force every team go to post-seasons: “long-term cap situations, valuable expiring contracts, and general feelings of progress.”¯ (Freeman, 209) Eric Freeman tells the story of the Sacramento Kings, which made playoffs in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 but they could not reach the finals. Not so long before this team had its golden era and their minds were in the prison of success. They just were “picking up wins”¯, however the next year they were forced to rebuild the team, and only this year they can accomplish the previous success. Long-term stasis is the worse fate for the team that wants to become the champion, and the Sacramento Kings proved it.
Playoff is always unpredictable; I mean the game, not the result of postseasons. There is no secret that trainers always develop different scenarios to ensure the win to the team, but the attitude of players to these scenarios is not the secret too. Most of them just ignore the handout.
“I’m going to go home and have a paper-airplane fight with my wife. That’s what I’m going to do with that piece of paper. It means nothing,”¯ forward Shane Battier said. “We’ve got to go to Dallas, we’ve got to play well and we’ve got to win.” (Mahoney, 2009)
After postseasons a lot of journalists create their ratings of the best and the worst playoffs. These ratings are the other point of interest, because a lot of emotions as for past games always make them entertaining.
Why visit playoff games
It is rather hard to say something new here. On the official site of NBA collected 1,000 reasons to love this game. Celebrities tell their reasons to love basketball. Art Garcia on the NBA official site tells:
“I welcome chaos. When you’ve been married for almost 10 years, have a complete set of two small kids (a girl and a boy) and drive an SUV, a little craziness invading the suburban splendor ain’t so bad.”¯ (Garcia, 2009)
I always loved the ads of NBA, and my favorite is “There Can Only Be One”¯. It seems to me that is reflects all the drama of postseason events including the NBA Playoffs. Everybody knows that only one team can win and it makes these games dynamic and breathtaking.