June 6, 2013 |
MIAMI - He's always answering questions, often defending himself, scrutinized for the smallest slip-up or the slightest hint of humanity. Being LeBron James can't be easy, but here we go again. James is only 1-2 in the NBA Finals, finally breaking through with a championship last season, but the same questions are haranguing him after the Miami Heat needed all seven games to get rid of Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals. With the NBA Finals starting Thursday, as the Heat plays host to San Antonio, will James somehow become the modern-day version of Jerry West, so great in so many ways but consistently unable to win often on the big stage for whatever reason?
June 2, 2010 |
Former Celtics forward Kevin McHale won three NBA championships with Boston, where he played for 13 seasons. He will be an analyst for NBA TV during the Finals. He famously delivered a hard foul to the Lakers' Kurt Rambis in Game 4 of the 1984 Finals. After McHale flung Rambis to the floor, Boston came back to win the game in overtime and the series in seven games. McHale's preview of the Finals, as told to Times staff writer Diane Pucin: The Celtics will win if Rajon Rondo can put pace in the game and attack Derek Fisher, especially in the fast break or in any kind of odd-man situation.
June 17, 2013 |
1. Call it Manu being Manu. After four consecutive blah performances that raised the prospect of retirement, Manu Ginobili made his first start of the season and showed he has something left. Quite a bit, actually. The 35-year-old buried a long jumper and a three-pointer in the first five minutes and never let up, finishing with a season-high 24 points and 10 assists during San Antonio's 114-104 victory over Miami in Game 5 of the Finals. Most impressive were a step-back jumper over LeBron James and a few hang-in-the-air-for-an-eternity floaters.
October 23, 2013 |
The 2-3-2 NBA Finals format is following David Stern out of the league. NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to return to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, believing the travel inconveniences that teams faced when Stern became commissioner nearly 30 years ago no longer exist. Beginning with the 2014 Finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds. The current format was instituted in 1985, Stern's first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Lakers and Boston Celtics frequently meeting for the championship.
May 28, 2010 |
Reporting from Boston -- Hollywood, beware. And that means you, L.A. The aging Boston Celtics have gone Benjamin Button on the NBA, a curious case of reversing the aging process as a playoff team. Looking too old and broken down the last half of the season, the Celtics are back in the NBA Finals. They ousted the Orlando Magic, 96-84, on Friday night at TD Garden to win the Eastern Conference crown. The Celtics won the NBA title in 2008 by beating the Lakers and will be playing in the championship round for the second time in three seasons.
June 3, 2010 |
Maybe there's a West Coast bias after all. If you're a Boston Celtics fan, is your head exploding? Besides watching your team be dominated by the Lakers on Thursday — the defending NBA champions won, 102-89, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals — you also got the added bonus of watching the Kobe Bryant show. After Bryant made a second-quarter layup, ABC/ESPN analyst Mark Jackson yelped, "Bryant, this is just too easy." His fellow analyst Jeff Van Gundy made up his mind early what this game was about.
June 10, 2005 |
Maybe this isn't a glamorous NBA Finals featuring big names with big mouths and unique viewpoints. The Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs simply play good team basketball. Is that good enough? Even though Game 7 of the Miami-Detroit series on TNT was the most-watched NBA playoff game on cable -- 6.75 million households tuned in -- playoff ratings are off from a year ago, when the Laker soap opera generated high drama going into the Finals. ABC went into the Finals averaging a 3.
June 3, 2002 |
Forwards: The Lakers got clutch shooting from power forward Robert Horry to win Game 4 against the Kings, but he is averaging only nine points in the playoffs. He did a credible job of defending Sacramento's Chris Webber. Small forward Rick Fox also is averaging nine points. They will be asked to muzzle the Nets' forwards, mainly Kenyon Martin and Keith Van Horn. Martin is a physical presence who has a short fuse. He will be a handful for Horry.
June 15, 2007 |
Here we go again. The television ratings for the Stanley Cup finals were dismal, and it's basically the same story for the NBA Finals. Game 3 between the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC Tuesday night got only a 6.4 national Nielsen rating, an 11 share and an average viewing audience of 9.5 million. The series' first three games averaged a 6.1/11 and 9.1 million viewers. The all-time low rating for an NBA Finals, a 6.
May 27, 2009 |
The Orlando Magic is now one win away from reaching the NBA Finals, and the Cleveland Cavaliers and their superstar, LeBron James, are one loss from having their dream season end in nightmarish fashion. Dwight Howard scored 27 points -- including 10 in the game's extra period -- and Rafer Alston had a career playoff-high 26 points Tuesday night as the Magic beat the Cavaliers, 116-114, in overtime to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.