May 17, 1998 |
First Quarter Lakers 12, Jazz 24 * Highlight Reel: Salt Lake City is a wonderful place to change planes if you're headed somewhere more exciting, such as Boise, Idaho, or Missoula, Mont. Maybe it was the lack of night life, but the Lakers came out looking as sleepy as Salt Lake City on a Friday night. OK, that's all. * What You Won't Find in the Box Score: What happened to all that great passing in the Lakers' victory over Seattle in the last round?
June 18, 2001 |
Same Laker stars, same championship, same parade, two years in a row, and you might think it would get old. You would be advised to think again. Some memories from a magical two-month journey to the intersection of 15 and 1. Shaquille O'Neal is leaving Staples Center after an early-round playoff victory, clutching his young son tight to his chest, patting the boy's head. "Teaching him to Hack-a-Shaq," he crows.
June 10, 2002 |
You might think that after playing so many extra games over the last three seasons--23 playoff games two years ago, 16 last year and 18 this year--the Lakers should be near the breaking point in terms of wear and tear. That's 57 more games, for instance, than the Clippers have played over the same period, and, more to the point, 38 more than the New Jersey Nets.
June 25, 1999 |
The New York Knicks, boorishly behaved, profoundly uncuddly but constantly displaying daunting survival skills, summoned every possible point of motivation and morsel of you-don't-believe-in-us spite Thursday as they tried to stay alive past tonight's Game 5 in Madison Square Garden. "Jeff [Van Gundy, the Knick coach] made an excellent point today," said forward Larry Johnson, the surliest Knick but also, not coincidentally, the team's emotional keystone.
June 19, 2001 |
With Tiger Woods out of contention, NBC's weekend ratings for the U.S. Open dropped dramatically while its coverage of the NBA Finals produced increased audiences. Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers had an 11.2 rating and 22 share, a 12% increase over last year's 10.0 and 20 share for Game 5 between the Lakers and Indiana Pacers. For the five-game Finals, NBC averaged a 12.1 rating and 22 share, a 4% increase over the 11.
June 8, 2001 |
All of those Laker flags sticking out of the Jeeps, Lexus coupes, Beemers and Benzes around town seemed to be flying at half-mast Thursday. What happened to the Lakers' invincibility? Why did they lose Game 1 of the NBA Finals in overtime? What next? Can Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers keep performing the way they did throughout most of Game 1, when they established air superiority with Iverson bombing away from outside, and battled in the trenches on defense? "Is it realistic?"
June 8, 2001 |
In the NBA playoffs, every seven-game series is like a chess match. Because strategy is often as important as talent, the team that makes the best adjustments between games usually gains the title as NBA champion. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Philadelphia 76ers shocked the Lakers with an overtime victory, and now it is up to the defending league champions to make the right moves.