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2000 NBA Finals

2000 NBA Finals

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The 2000 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1999-2000 National Basketball Association season
1999-2000 NBA season
-Statistics leaders:-NBA awards:*Most Valuable Player: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers*Co-Rookies of the Year: Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls; Steve Francis, Houston Rockets*Defensive Player of the Year: Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat...

. The Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 of the Western Conference
Western Conference (NBA)
Below is a list of current Western Conference NBA team rosters.-Western Conference:There are a total of 15 teams in the Western Conference. The current leading team of the Western conference are the Dallas Mavericks....

 took on the Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

 of the Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference (NBA)
The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of fifteen teams, organized in three divisions of five teams each.The three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their records, with all...

 for the title, with the Lakers holding home court advantage
Home team
In team sports, the term home advantage describes the advantage–usually a psychological advantage–that the home team is said to have over the visiting team as a result of playing in familiar facilities and in front of supportive fans...

. The series is played under a best-of-seven format, so the first team to collect four game victories wins the series.

The Lakers won the series 4 games to 2. Lakers center
Center (basketball)
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

 Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal , nicknamed "Shaq" , is a former American professional basketball player. Standing tall and weighing , he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA...

 was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. Until 2008
2008 NBA Finals
The 2008 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2007–08 NBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Boston Celtics, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, four games to two in a...

, this was the last NBA Finals where both number one seeds from each conference faced off.

Los Angeles Lakers


The Lakers were one of the most talented teams in the NBA, but despite this, they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

 in the 1999 NBA playoffs. Twenty-four days after being swept by the eventual NBA Champion, the Lakers signed Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson
Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson is a retired American professional basketball coach and player. Jackson is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association . His reputation was established as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 through 1998;...

 as head coach. Jackson, who coached the 6-time champion Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

 would build his triangle offense around Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. General Manager Jerry West
Jerry West
Jerry Alan West is a retired American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . His nicknames include "Mr...

 surrounded Shaq and Kobe with role players such as Glen Rice
Glen Rice
Glen Anthony Rice is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA. The 6'8" tall Rice was a three-time NBA All-Star guard/forward, ranking 11th in NBA history with 1,559 three-point field goals made during his 15-year career. As a player, Rice won an NCAA Men's Division...

; Ron Harper
Ron Harper
Ronald "Ron" Harper is a retired American professional basketball player whose career spanned from 1986 to 2001 with four teams in the NBA. At 6 ft 6 in , his position was shooting guard/point guard.- Collegiate career :...

, who had experience with Jackson's triangle offense as part of the '96-'98 Chicago Bulls; and A. C. Green
A. C. Green
A.C. Green, Jr., is a retired American NBA basketball player who played in more consecutive games than any other player in NBA and ABA history. With 1,192 straight games played, he earned the nickname "Iron Man". He played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat...

, a member of the last two Laker championship teams.

Along with these starters, the Lakers also had a strong bench lineup. Robert Horry
Robert Horry
Robert Keith Horry Jr. is a retired American basketball player and current sports commentator. He played 16 seasons in the National Basketball Association , winning seven championships, the most of any player not to have played on the 1960s Boston Celtics...

 has had championship experience with the Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being...

, and was a threat at the perimeter as well as a defensive star. Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher
Derek Lamar Fisher is an American professional basketball point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . His NBA career has spanned more than 14 years, during which he has won five NBA Championships...

 was a point-guard defender who had long range shooting. Rick Fox
Rick Fox
Ulrich Alexander "Rick" Fox is a Canadian television actor and retired professional basketball player who last played for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers in 2004.-Early life:...

, who was from the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

, was the sixth man of the Lakers. With a healthy Shaquille O'Neal, the Lakers dominated the regular season, hitting winning streaks of 11, 16, and 19 en route to a 67-15 record, tying the 1992 Chicago Bulls and 1986 Boston Celtics as the fifth best record in the NBA.

The Lakers were expected to make a trip to the Finals, but the road would be a rocky one. In the first round the Lakers took the first 2 games against the Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

, only to drop 2 in Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, in the United States of America.Sacramento may also refer to:- United States :*Sacramento County, California*Sacramento, Kentucky*Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta...

. The Lakers then easily dispatched Sacramento in Game 5 to face the Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

. The Lakers clobbered the Suns, winning the series 4-1 with the only defeat by a massive 30 point margin in Game 4, and would face the Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

. In Game 1, Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Abdul Wallace is a retired American professional basketball power forward and center who played from 1995 to 2010 in the National Basketball Association...

 was ejected because of 2 technical fouls, and the Lakers took advantage and won. The Trail Blazers stormed back in Game 2, giving the Lakers their worst home loss in the season (106-77). This did not affect the Lakers as they took the next 2 in Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, gaining a 3-1 series lead. The Lakers, however, then underestimated the Trail Blazers, who took the next 2, forcing a Game 7. After Dick Bavetta made several questionable calls against Arvydas Sabonis, Portland suffered a meltdown as the Lakers rallied back from a 75-60 4th quarter deficit with a 25-4 run en route to the NBA Finals.

Indiana Pacers


In the 1997-1998 NBA season, Chicago Bulls were nearly defeated by the Indiana Pacers in 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals, concluding one of the greatest Pacers seasons ever. The 1999 NBA season was a lockout season, where the Pacers would also see their season end at the Eastern Conference Finals, this time to the New York Knicks
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. The 1999-2000 season would see many changes to the Pacers, including a new arena, the Conseco Fieldhouse
Conseco Fieldhouse
Conseco Fieldhouse is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Opened in November 1999 to replace Market Square Arena, it is home to the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association...

. Another change is trading their veteran big man, Antonio Davis
Antonio Davis
Antonio Lee Davis is a retired American National Basketball Association player. Davis is also the former president of the NBA Players Association .-College career:...

 for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Jonathan Bender
Jonathan Bender
Jonathan Rene Bender is an American professional basketball player who most recently played for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association .-Career:...

. Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose
Jalen Anthony Rose is a retired American professional basketball player, who currently works as a sports analyst for the sports television network ESPN...

 would be put into the starting line up, winning the NBA Most Improved Player award, while Austin Croshere
Austin Croshere
Austin Nathan Croshere is a retired American professional basketball player and current analyst for Fox Sports Indiana broadcasts of Indiana Pacers games.-Education:...

 replaced him as the sixth man.

The Pacers would start the season 7-7, barely even making a playoff run, but would eventually finish with a 56-26, the best in the east. In the season, the Pacers would win 25 straight in their new arena, a franchise record. The Pacers, like the Lakers, would struggle in the playoffs. They needed a Travis Best
Travis Best
Travis Eric Best is an American former professional basketball player, who played in the NBA and in Europe.-High school career:...

 three-point clutch play to dispatch the Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

 in 5 games. They faced the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

 in the second round, dispatching them in six games. The Pacers would face their rival Knicks, but unlike the previous year, they ended up victorious. The Pacers would enter the NBA Finals for the first time, to face the Lakers as well as being the second former ABA
American Basketball Association
The American Basketball Association was a professional basketball league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.-League history:...

 team to make the NBA Finals.

2000 Indiana Pacers



Series summary

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 Wednesday, June 7 Los Angeles Lakers 104-87 (1-0) Indiana Pacers
Game 2 Friday, June 9 Los Angeles Lakers 111-104 (2-0) Indiana Pacers
Game 3 Sunday, June 11 Indiana Pacers 100-91 (1-2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 4 Wednesday, June 14 Indiana Pacers 118-120 OT (1-3) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 5 Friday, June 16 Indiana Pacers 120-87 (2-3) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 6 Monday, June 19 Los Angeles Lakers 116-111 (4-2) Indiana Pacers


The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. The NBA, after experimenting in the early years, restored this original format for the Finals in 1985. As of yet, the other playoff series are still running on a 2-2-1-1-1 site format.

This was the second time a Finals game was played on a Monday night since the NBA switched to the Wednesday-Friday-Sunday rotation in 1991. In the previous five series ('92-'94, '96, '98) that needed a Game 6, the game was played on a Sunday. In this series, however, the NBA chose to play the game the Monday night after Father's Day. The previous Finals game played on a Monday night was Game 3 in 1999
1999 NBA Finals
The 1999 NBA Finals was the championship round of the shortened 1998–99 NBA season or the 1999 season. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference took on the New York Knicks of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Spurs holding home court advantage...

.

Game 1



The Lakers dominated from the start. The Lakers shot 15-20 in the first period while the Pacers shot only 7-20. Reggie Miller would miss all of his shots in the first quarter to give the Lakers a 15 point lead. Austin Croshere came off the bench to keep the Pacers alive in the 2nd quarter, scoring 9 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in the quarter. Although the Pacers attempted a comeback in the 2nd quarter, they were still down by 12. In the 3rd quarter, it would be Mark Jackson who led the Pacers to a comeback, cutting the Lakers lead by 2. Reggie Miller also hit his first field goal in the 3rd quarter, though it would be his last. The Lakers destroyed the Pacers in the final quarter, with a 13-2 run winning by 17 points. Shaquille O'neal scored 43 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

Game 2



Los Angeles and Indiana were evenly matched for the first period, both scoring 28. But Los Angeles suffered a major setback when Kobe Bryant left the game in the 2nd quarter due to a sprained ankle and did not return. Ron Harper went in for Bryant and scored 21 points for the game. Desperate to try to gain the lead, Larry Bird resorted to the "Hack-a-Shaq
Hack-a-Shaq
Hack-a-Shaq is the name commonly ascribed to a basketball defensive strategy initially instituted in the National Basketball Association by former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson to hinder the scoring ability of the opposing team by deliberately fouling one of its opposing players, the player...

" strategy. Shaq shot 39 free throws, making only 18, an NBA record for most free throws in a Finals game. Despite this low percentage, Shaq made 9 of 16 in the 4th quarter to keep a Lakers lead. The Pacers cut the lead to 99-96 and were looking to foul Shaq, but when Shaq got the ball he passed to Robert Horry who converted not only the layup, but the foul shot as well giving them a 102-96 lead en route to a 111-104 Laker victory.

Game 3



Due to Kobe Bryant's ankle injury, Indiana was able to get back into the series. Kobe's absence was felt as the Pacers had an 11-2 run in the first quarter to take an 8-point lead. Austin Croshere once again had another huge 2nd quarter, scoring 8 points as the Pacers scored 61%. The Lakers tried to make a run to get back into the game, but once they did Indiana answered with 12 straight points and led by 17. The Lakers were desperate and attempted another run to get within 3 points but Reggie Miller nailed all his free throws at the end of the game to give Indiana a 9-point win.

Game 4



The Pacers took a quick 9-2 lead due to Rik Smits hitting his first four shots. Kobe Bryant attempted to play with his sore ankle, but only managed to score 6 points in the first half. Even though Bryant and O'Neal were in foul trouble in the first half (each picking up number 3 with 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter), Indiana could not take advantage and did not extend their lead. This would be a problem as Kobe Bryant scored 10 points and the Lakers took a 62-60 lead due to a Glen Rice three-pointer. The game remained close going into the fourth quarter, when O'Neal and Reggie Miller scored 14 and 13 points respectively, sending the game into overtime. Midway through overtime, O'Neal committed his sixth foul but 21-year-old Bryant delivered three clutch shots, as the Lakers were able to overcome back-up center John Salley
John Salley
John Thomas "Spider" Salley is a retired American professional basketball player, actor and talk show host. He was the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises....

's inability to effectively defend Smits. Smits and Miller scored all 14 of Indiana's OT points, but it was not enough to overcome as Miller missed a last-second three-pointer, and L.A. was able to pull one out in Indianapolis.

Game 5



Reggie Miller and the Pacers dominated the game from the start in what would be Larry Bird's last game as a coach in Indiana. Reggie Miller came out and made 5 straight shots including a 4-point play. The Pacers would have a 20 point lead in the 2nd quarter, and eventually won by 33 - it was the worst Lakers NBA Finals loss since the 148-114 loss to Boston in the 1985 NBA Finals
1985 NBA Finals
The 1985 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1984–85 NBA season.The Boston Celtics were looking to repeat as NBA Champions for the first time since the . The Celtics had homecourt advantage for the second year in a row as they finished the regular season with a 63-19...

, known as the "Memorial Day Massacre."

Game 6



The Pacers came into Game 6 having plenty of confidence in their ability to force a Game 7. Indiana held the lead for much of the game as Reggie Miller, Jalen Rose, and Austin Croshere all connected from three-point range and Dale Davis provided 20 points and 14 rebounds. However, in the 4th quarter, things started to fall apart as Robert Horry provided 8 quick points off the bench and the dynamic duo of Shaq and Kobe took over. The Lakers outscored the Pacers 37-27 in the final period and clinched their 12th NBA title. They would go on to win championships in the next two seasons to become just the fourth franchise to pull off a three-peat.

Aftermath


This was the first NBA championship for the Lakers since . It was also the first major professional sports championship for the city of Los Angeles since the Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 won that year's World Series
1988 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 15, 1988 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CaliforniaBecause of using ace Orel Hershiser in Game 7 of the NLCS, the Dodgers had to open with rookie Tim Belcher in Game 1. Meanwhile, Oakland sent a well-rested Dave Stewart to the mound. Both pitchers, however, would have...

.

The Lakers went on to score a 'three-peat' when they won the NBA championship in and . However, the Lakers were unable to score home-court advantage throughout the playoffs in the latter two, yielding them to the San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

 and Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

, respectively. However the Lakers were able to beat both of them in the Conference Finals. They won the championship over the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

 and New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

, respectively.

The series would be the Pacers' last finals appearance to date. The Pacers would rebuild in the subsequent season. Retiring center Rik Smits
Rik Smits
Rik Smits is a retired Dutch professional basketball player who spent his entire professional career with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. The 7'4" center was drafted by the Pacers out of Marist College with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft...

 was replaced by future NBA All-Star Jermaine O'Neal
Jermaine O'Neal
Jermaine Lee O'Neal is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics. The 6 ft 11 in , 255 lb forward-center had a successful high school career and declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA Draft straight out of high school...

, acquired from Portland
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

 in the deal for Dale Davis
Dale Davis (basketball)
Elliott Lydell Davis is a former American professional basketball player who played center and power forward. He is 6'11" and weighs 252 pounds....

. Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson (basketball)
Mark A. Jackson is a retired American professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He played point guard for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets in the NBA in a career...

 and Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin (basketball)
Christopher Paul Mullin is a retired American basketball player and former general manager of the NBA's Golden State Warriors. He has also been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame....

 both left as free-agents, and Larry Bird
Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA's most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish...

 resigned as head coach. Bird would resurface as President of Basketball Operations in . The Pacers continued to make the post-season until 2006
2006 NBA Playoffs
The 2006 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2005–06 season. The Miami Heat won the first championship in the history of the franchise by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the 2006 NBA Finals...

, the year after Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller
Reginald Wayne "Reggie" Miller is a retired American professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association career with the Indiana Pacers...

retired.

External links