NBA Playoffs 2011: The Most Uninspired Games in Lakers Franchise History

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIMay 16, 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011: The Most Uninspired Games in Lakers Franchise History

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 21:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks down after losing to the Denver Nuggets 106-103 in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 21, 2009 in Los Angeles, Californ
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Since Kobe Bryant joined the Lakers in 1996, he has helped the team win five NBA championships.

    In the process, Kobe has not only been anointed as one of the greatest Lakers of all-time, but he has established himself as one of the best players in league history.

    However, including the series ending embarrassment to the Mavericks last week, the Lakers have suffered some very lopsided playoff losses during Kobe’s tenure with the franchise.

    Here are the seven most uninspired playoff games since Kobe Bryant joined the team.

    Or as I like to call them: the un-magnificent seven.

7. 1998 Western Conference Finals: Game 1

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    8 Jun 1998:  John Stockton and Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz talks about their game  against the Chicago Bulls during a press conference at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    In Shaq and Kobe’s second year with the Lakers, it appeared as though the young duo were on their way to making their first NBA Finals appearance.

    After beating Portland and Seattle in the first two rounds, the Lakers faced the battle-tested Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Finals.

    The Jazz proved in Game 1 the Lakers still needed to go through some growing pains, as they convincingly won by 35 points.

6. 2003 Western Conference Semifinals: Game 6

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    SEATTLE - DECEMBER 19:  Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Seattle SuperSonics on December 19 2003 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. DIGITAL IMAGE NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    On their journey to win four straight championships, the Lakers ran into a hungry, Tim Duncan-led Spurs team in the conference semifinals.

    The first five games of the series were competitive, just what fans would expect from two powerhouses battling in a playoff series.

    Game 6 was a different story, as the Spurs beat the Lakers by 28 points to clinch the series.

5. 2004 NBA Finals: Game 5

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    DALLAS - DECEMBER 6:  Chauncey Billups #1 of the Detroit Pistons is on the court during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on December 6, 2004 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Pistons won 101-85.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    In one of the biggest upsets in NBA Finals history, the Pistons beat the Lakers in five games. In the fifth and final game, the Pistons embarrassed the Lakers, 100-87.

    Also, it was the last game Kobe and Shaq would play as teammates.

4. 2006 First Round: Game 7

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns calls a time out against the Sacramento Kings during an NBA game at Arco Arena December 16, 2006 in Sacramento, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Lakers held a 3-1 series advantage against the Suns in the first round of the 2006 playoffs, before losing the series in seven games.

    Game 7 had people wondering if the 3-1 advantage wasn’t a fluke, as the Suns beat the Lakers, 121-90.

3. 2008 NBA Finals: Game 4

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    PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 30:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics  takes a break against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden on December 30, 2008 in Portland, Oregon.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading a
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    The Lakers led by as much as 24 points in Game 4 of the 2008 Finals, before the Celtics made a valiant comeback. Instead of squaring the series at two games each, the Lakers blew their big lead and fell in a 3-1 hole.

    It was the largest comeback in an NBA Finals game since 1971. After this choke job, it was just a matter of when, and not if, the Lakers would lose the series.

2. 2011 Western Conference Semifinals: Game 4

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Forward Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks gets the slam dunk against Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Before the series started, few expected Dallas to have a chance against the defending champions. I guess the Mavericks didn’t get the memo.

    After the first three games of the series, the Mavericks held a commanding 3-0 lead. With the Lakers’ pride on the line, the team got trounced by 36 points, 122-86.

    The Lakers showed little class during the embarrassing defeat. Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected for their respective cheap shots on Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea.

    As a basketball fan, it was hard watching Phil Jackson end his career on such a sour note.

1. 2008 NBA Finals: Game 6

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    BOSTON - DECEMBER 15: Head coach Doc Rivers goes over a play with Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics  of the Utah Jazz on December 15, 2008 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Jazz 100-91. NOTE TO USER: User expres
    Elsa/Getty Images

    With their season on the line, the Lakers came out in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals and proceeded to get creamed by the Celtics.

    The Celtics not only celebrated winning the championship, they did so by beating the Lakers by 39 points. It was the second biggest margin of defeat in NBA Finals history.


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