2000 NBA Finals


2000 NBA Finals

NBA Finals summary


caption =
year = 2000
runnerup = Indiana Pacers
runnerup_coach = Larry Bird
runnerup_games = 2
champion = Los Angeles Lakers
champion_coach = Phil Jackson
champion_games = 4
date= June 7 - June 19
MVP = Shaquille O'Neal
(Los Angeles Lakers)
television = NBC (U.S.)
announcers = Bob Costas and Doug Collins
HOFers = Coaches:
Larry Bird (1998, player)
Phil Jackson (2007)
radio_network =
radio_announcers =
referees_1 = Dan Crawford, Jack Nies, Terry Durham
referees_2 = Joe Crawford, Bennett Salvatore, Eddie F. Rush
referees_3 = Ron Garretson, Bernie Fryer, Hugh Evans
referees_4 = Dick Bavetta, Steve Javie, Ronnie Nunn
referees_5 = Bennett Salvatore, Jack Nies, Dan Crawford
referees_6 = Hugh Evans, Ron Garretson, Joe Crawford
ECF result = Pacers defeat Knicks, 4-2
WCF result = Lakers defeat Blazers, 4-3

The 2000 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1999-2000 National Basketball Association season. The Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference took on the Indiana Pacers of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Lakers holding home court advantage. 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 Shaquille O'Neal was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. Until 2008, this was the last NBA Finals where both number one seeds from each conference faced off.

Background

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 in the 1999 NBA playoffs. 24 days after being swept by the eventual NBA Champion, the Lakers signed Phil Jackson as head coach. Jackson, who coached the 6-time champion Chicago Bulls would build his triangle offense around Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. General Manager Jerry West surrounded Shaq and Kobe with role players such as Glen Rice, who placed second in the 1998 NBA MVP race; Ron Harper, who had experience with Jackson's triangle offense as part of the '96-'98 Chicago Bulls; and A.C. Green, a member of the last two Laker championship teams.

Along with these starters, the Lakers also had a strong bench lineup. Robert Horry has had championship experience with the Houston Rockets, and was a threat at the perimeter as well as a defensive star. Derek Fisher was a point-guard defender who had long range shooting. Rick Fox, who was from the Boston Celtics, 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, only to drop 2 in Sacramento. The Lakers then easily dispatched Sacramento in Game 5 to face the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers clobbered the Suns, winning the series 4-1 with the only defeat by a massive 30 point margain in Game 4, and would face the Portland Trail Blazers. In Game 1, Rasheed Wallace 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, gaining a 3-1 series lead. The Lakers, however, then underestimated the Trail Blazers, who took the next 2, forcing a Game 7. Much like in the 1991 Western Finals Portland suffered a meltdown as the Lakers rallied back from a 4th quarter deficit with a 20-9 run en route to the NBA Finals.

Indiana Pacers

In the 1997-1998 NBA season, the Indiana Pacers nearly defeated the Chicago Bulls 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. The 1999-2000 season would see many changes to the Pacers, including a new arena, the Conseco Fieldhouse. Another change is trading their veteran big man, Antonio Davis for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Jonathan Bender. Jalen Rose would be put into the starting line up, winning the NBA Most Improved Player award, while Austin Croshere 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 three-point clutch play to dispatch the Milwaukee Bucks in 5 games. They faced the Philadelphia 76ers 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.

eries scoring summary

The following scoring summary is written in a line score format, except that the quarter numbers are replaced by game numbers.

* denotes a game that required overtime

2000 NBA Finals Roster

2000 Los Angeles Lakers

Head Coach: Phil Jackson
Shaquille O'Neal
Kobe Bryant
Glen Rice
Ron Harper
Rick Fox
Derek Fisher
John Salley
Robert Horry
A.C. Green
Tyronn Lue
Brian Shaw
Devean George
John Celestand
Travis Knight

2000 Indiana Pacers

Head Coach: Larry Bird
Reggie Miller
Jalen Rose
Rik Smits
Austin Croshere
Dale Davis
Mark Jackson
Al Harrington
Sam Perkins
Chris Mullin
Jeff Foster
Derrick McKey
Jonathan Bender
Zan Tabak

chedule

*Game 1 - June 7, Wednesday @Los Angeles, Los Angeles 104, Indiana 87: "Los Angeles leads series 1-0"
*Game 2 - June 9, Friday @Los Angeles, Los Angeles 111, Indiana 104: "Los Angeles leads series 2-0"
*Game 3 - June 11, Sunday @Indiana, Indiana 100, Los Angeles 91: "Los Angeles leads series 2-1"
*Game 4 - June 14, Wednesday @Indiana, Los Angeles 120, Indiana 118 (OT): "Los Angeles leads series 3-1"
*Game 5 - June 16, Friday @Indiana, Indiana 120, Los Angeles 87: "Los Angeles leads series 3-2"
*Game 6 - June 19, Monday @Los Angeles, Los Angeles 116, Indiana 111: "Los Angeles wins series 4-2"

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 first 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 on a Sunday, 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.

Game 1

"Wednesday, June 7, at the Staples Center

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

"Friday, June 9, at the Staples Center"

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" 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

"Sunday, June 11, at the Conseco Fieldhouse"

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 period to take an 8-point lead. Austin Croshere once again had another huge 2nd quarter, scoring 8 points as the Pacers scored 61A%.what 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

"Wednesday, June 14, at the Conseco Fieldhouse"

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. 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 to win, and L.A. was able to pull one out in Indianapolis.

Game 5

"Friday, June 16, at the Conseco Fieldhouse

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, known as the "Memorial Day Massacre."

Game 6

"Monday, June 19, at the Staples Center

The Pacers were looking to force a Game 7 and kept the game close most of the way. Reggie Miller exploded in the third with 10 points, while Jalen Rose shot a turnaround jumper giving the Pacers a 5 point lead going into the final quarter. The Pacers were feeling they could bring this to a Game 7 until Robert Horry scored 8 points and the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy failed. The Lakers franchise won number 12, while this Lakers team would start their historic threepeat.

Trivia

*The last time the Lakers won the Finals in six games (1987 over Bird's Boston Celtics), they did so in the exact same fashion, by winning games 1 & 2 at home, game 4 on the road and game 6 at home.
*Lakers' forward A.C. Green was a member of the previous two Lakers championship teams in 1987 and 1988. The 12 years span between titles is an NBA record.
*Lakers' backup center John Salley became the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises, as he won titles in 1989 and '90 with the Detroit Pistons and 1996 with the Chicago Bulls. Robert Horry has sinced joined him.
*This was the Lakers first NBA Finals in the new Staples Center.
*The Lakers clinched all four series at home at the Staples Center.
*After closing out game 6, fans rioted outside Staples Center by making bonfires, tipping cars, breaking windows of cars and buildings, and vandalizing businesses around the area. Overall, they caused $1 million in damages. In Lakers' championship run the following year, the LAPD came out in bigger force after the Lakers won and prevented the same thing from happening again.
*Staples Center, which was a first-year building in 2000, had a very tricky shooting background and opposing teams often had difficulty shooting there. Pacers coach Larry Bird wanted to have a shoot-around in the arena the day before Game 6 to help his team shoot more consistently because they shot very poorly in Games 1 and 2. However, the Pacers couldn't practice in the building because of an Arena Football game. Bird was very upset about this, and his team had to go down to the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo.
*The two arenas in this series, Conseco Fieldhouse and Staples Center, were both first-year arenas.
*The Pacers finally advanced to the Finals after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals four times in the previous six seasons (1994, '95, '98, '99).
*The Lakers had three All-Star most valuable players in Shaquille O'Neal, Glen Rice and Kobe Bryant. Rice won his 1997, O'Neal won two in 2000 & '04, and Bryant has two of his own in 2002 & '07.

ee also

*2000 NBA Playoffs

External links

* [http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19992000.html NBA History]


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