With the 2010 Finals upon us a competitive Finals may be at hand. The fantastic four take on Gasol and Kobe. Nice. On a scale of 1 to 100 I give a pre-finals assessment of awesomeness score of 85.
Twenty years ago in 1990 the Pistons beat the Blazers. Dennis Rodman was at his defensive best and Bill Laimbeer was controlling the paint, with force. Mark Aguirre was on fire as a shooter and so was Vinne "Microwave" Johnson and James Edwards and John Salley were good on defense. There was also Joe Dumars who shot well and Isiah Thomas led the Bad Boys all the way. Score - 92
In 1991 Jordan and the Bulls finally took out the Pistons in the east and the faced Magic and the Lakers in the NBA Finals. With Jordan at his determined best he nearly averaged a triple double had some crazy moves over the older Lakers. I give this one - 99.
Game one in 1992 says it all. Jordan was on fire and unstoppable as he hit six three pointers before halftime, scoring 35 points before halftime. The Blazers had no answer for Jordan as they threw Ainge, Drexler, Terry Porter, Cliff Robinson and Jerome Kersey at him, to no avail. Nobody ever, was or will be greater than Jordan in this series.The Bulls won in six. Score - 90
1993 saw NBA MVP Charles Barkley get stomped on by a Bulls team, that on paper, should have lost. The Suns had an awesome team with Kevin Johnson, Chuck, Richard Dumas, Oliver Miller, Danny Ainge and Tom Chambers. The Bulls had Jordan, Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright and John Paxson. Jordan scored 55 in one game and the Bulls toughed it out. Score - 95
In 1994, with Jordan retired, after a third straight Finals MVP, the Rockets came out on top in the west and the Knicks beat the Bulls without Jordan and played a tight Finals series. The Knicks finally lost in game seven, thanks to poor shooting, mostly by John Starks. This finals had some awesome players like Ewing, Oakley, Horry, Cassell, Kenny Smith, Olajuwon and Mario Elie. Score - 90
In 1995 the Rockets won again by sweeping the Magic and Shaq. The Magic had ended Jordan's late season comeback out of retirement with nice O and D, but failed completely to capitalize in the finals. Score - 75
By 1996 Jordan was back in full force. He was the NBA scoring leader at 30.4 pts per game, at age 33! He led the Bulls to the greatest record ever with 72 wins and 10 losses. He was NBA MVP and Finals MVP, as if GP and Kemp and the Sonics ever had a chance. Score - 75
In 1997 the Bulls won it all again and went an amazing 69-13, this time against Stockton and Malone and the Jazz. Jordan was routinely NBA scoring leader, but the season MVP went to Malone. It should have gone to Jordan. Jordan's game one buzzer beater to win it set the tone for the series. Score - 86
In 1998 Jordan, at age 35, won his 10th scoring title! He won his fifth NBA MVP award. The Bulls went 62-20 and Jordan was Finals MVP as the stomped the Jazz again. Jordan was sickening in game 6 as he stole the ball from Malone took the ball down the court and hit the game winner, for probably the most memorable shot in Finals history. Complete mastery. He then retired. Score - 95
In 1999 Jordan was gone and the league basically freaked out. The player strike settled some financial issues and the regular season was only 50 games. In the end, the Spurs beat the Knicks in a Finals that represented a true league turnaround. Duncan and Robinson were victorious. Score - 80
The new millennium rang in with NBA MVP Shaq leading the Lakers to the NBA title. Reggie Miller made his only finals appearance here and didn't really do what he was known for in the big games. It was sad to watch. The Finals were competitive but thanks to Reggie, not as good as it could have been. Score - 85
Ready for a repeat Shaq and Kobe and Co. took it all again in 2001 in a finals that wasn't really even close. The Lakers' big tow totally dominated the smaller 76ers and Iverson proved he was in need of major help to win it all, which never happened. Shaq, for the second time, was unstoppable and also Finals MVP for the second time. Score -65
Another non-close Finals as the Lakers toyed with the Nets and Jason Kidd in 2002 for the three-peat. With Kobe maturing and Shaq as unstoppable as ever, the Lakers took it all with Shaq once again as Finals MVP. Score - 79
In 2003 the Spurs took out the Lakers and then beat the Nets in the Finals in about the same way the Lakers did the year before. Score- 79
In 2004 the amazingly team focused Pistons somehow beat what should have been the greatest team, at least on paper, ever. The 2004 Lakers boasted four hall of famers in the starting lineup with Shaq at center, Karl malone at PF, Kobe at sg, and gary Payton at pg. They lost badly 4 games to 1. Stars for the pistons were Billups, Rasheed and Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton. Score- 100
In 2005 the Spurs won it all again by beating the Pistons. They matched their team effort and with Ginobili, Parker and Duncan they were unstoppable. Score - 95
Shaq went to Miami the year before and they won it with in his second with the team. Wade was Finals MVP in 2006 and the Dallas Mavericks tried but lost. Score - 84
In 2007 the Spurs demolished the Cavaliers and dashed LeBrons hope of winning a title. Score - 75
In 2008 The Lakers lost to the Celtics. In a dominating performance, the Celtics made the greatest comeback ever and beat the Lakers so bad it was almost comical. Kobe was held to 40% shooting and he was unable to stop players like Pierce, Garnett, Rondo and Allen. Score - 85
Last year the Lakers pulled it out by beating a pethetic Orlando team , with a coach who changed what was working (Alston) to put in Nelson, and they lost. Kobe was Finals MVP in this boring series. Score - 65.
The Celtics vs. the Lakers in 2010 should be good as the team concepts of both collide. I choose Boston because although many people hope and wish...Kobe is not MJ...and the Lakers will lose.