The 1981 NBA Finals was the Championship Series of the 1980-1981 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Eastern Conference and Western Conference The Boston Celtics led by Larry Bird and future Hall of Fame coach Bill Fitch, defeated the Houston Rockets led by Moses Malone and Ralph Sampson, four games to two.
The 1980 NBA Finals was the best in a long time. It was the first time that there were 3 teams with a chance to win it all.
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In the 1981 NBA Finals the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers four games to two. The Key Players on the Celtics were forwards Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell, and center Robert Parish The Lakers had a high-powered offense which revolved around center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and forwards James Worthy and Magic Johnson This was the first Finals appearance for Johnson, who joined the team just prior to the season.
In the 1981 NBA Finals the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics faced the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers This was the Celtics’ 16th appearance in the NBA Finals their 13th appearance in the finals in 14 years, and their ninth consecutive appearance in the finals. The Lakers made their 11th Finals appearance, including nine straight appearances.
The 1981 NBA Finals was the Championship Series of the 198081 NBA season The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2. The series was played between May 12 and May 26, 1981.
Celtics forward Cedric Maxwell was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). The victory was the Celtics’ first NBA Championship since 1976 and marked the first time since 1967 that an NBA Finals game had been played on Memorial Day as Game 3 fell on that holiday. It was also the sixth title in franchise history.
The 1981 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s 198081 season, and the culmination of that season’s playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2. The Celtics clinched their 16th NBA Championship in game six, played on June 9, 1981 at Houston’s The Summit. It was their first title since 1976, and capped a remarkable turnaround for a team that had finished with a league-Worst Record only two years before.
This was also the first NBA Finals appearance for the Rockets in franchise history. The two teams would meet two more times in the Finals (1986 and 1987), with each winning one title. These two teams would meet again in 1984, but by then both had changed conferences.
This series was Larry Bird’s debut in the NBA Finals andMagic Johnson’s first appearance since his rookie year in1979. More notably, it featured what many consider one of themost important games ever played, “Game Five.” With the scoretied three games apiece and 10 seconds left to play in overtime of what has been called “the greatest game ever played”, Gibson madea running bank shot to give Loyola a 6360 victory.
The 1981 NBA Finals in Review
The 1981 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s 19801981 season, and the culmination of that season’s playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2. The Celtics were led by small forward Larry Bird who averaged 21.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.33 steals per game en route to being named Finals MVP he became the first player in Finals history to capture that honor without also being one of his team’s leading scorers during the regular season or playoffs. Also contributing to the Celtics’ cause were fellow All-Stars Cedric Maxwell and Kevin McHale Maxwell averaged 18 points per game while McHale added 16 points and 8 rebounds per contest off the bench. Second-year point guard Nate Archibald chipped in with 14.5 points and 5 assists per game as well as defensive stalwart Dennis Johnson with 11 points and 5 assists per game as well as fine all around play including steals and blocks throughout the series on his way to being named to the All Defensive First Team for that season.
The Top 10 Moments of the 1981 NBA Finals
The 1981 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s 198081 season, and the culmination of that season’s playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2, in a best-of-seven series. It was Celtics’ 13th NBA Championship and first since 1976. The victory came at a cost for the Celtics, as forward Cedric Maxwell suffered an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the series. Center Artis Gilmore also missed Game 3 with a sprained ankle
The 1981 Finals was also notable because it marked the first appearance by a rookie in an NBA Finals game since Earl Monroe in 1967. Celtics forward Larry Bird became just the second rookie (after Wilt Chamberlain) to be named NBA Finals MVP
1) The Top 10 Moments of the 1981 NBA Finals
1) Game 1 – Maxwell’s Injury
2) Game 2 – Bird’s 48 Points
3) Game 3 – Gilmore’s Return
4) Game 4 – Tatum’s Clutch Shot
5) Game 5 – Bird’s Block on Olajuwon
6) Game 6 – closing seconds
7) postgame celebrations
The 1981 NBA Finals A Look Back
The 1981 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s 198081 season, and the conclusion of that season’s playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2. Boston’s Larry Bird was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The series was anticlimactic compared to the previous year’s championship series between the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers which went to a full seven games and saw several lead changes and a dramatic finish. Both teams’ starting lineups remained intact from 1980, with Cedric Maxwell again serving as Boston’s sixth man
This series ultimately proved that the young Rockets were not yet ready to win an NBA championship although they would return to the Finals in 1986 and nearly upset the Celtics before losing in six games. In contrast, this was Boston’s first title since 1976, and started a streak of three consecutive championships for the Celtics.
The Greatest Game Ever Played?
In what many call the greatest game ever played, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers met in game seven of the 1981 NBA Finals The Celtics were led by future Hall of Famers Larry Bird Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, while the Lakers featured Rookie of the Year Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and All-Star guard Norm Nixon. The Celtics had won the first two games of the series, but the Lakers won games three and four to even the series. The teams then traded wins in games five and six, setting up a dramatic game seven showdown.
The Lakers took an early lead in game seven, but the Celtics fought back to take a one-point lead at halftime. The Lakers then took control of the game in the third quarter, building a ten-point lead heading into the fourth quarter The Celtics responded with a furious rally, taking a one-point lead with just seconds remaining. However, Lakers guard Byron Scott hit a jump shot with two seconds left to give the Lakers a 102-101 victory and their first NBA championship in franchise history.
The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and are one of the most successful and storied franchises in NBA history The Celtics currently own the best record in the NBA, and are on pace to win their seventeenth NBA Championship
In 1981, the Celtics were facing off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals The Lakers were a young, up-and-coming team led by Magic Johnson Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and James Worthy The Celtics were a seasoned veteran team led by Larry Bird Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson. The series was tied at two games apiece heading into Game 5.
In Game 5, with the score tied at 102 and less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Dennis Johnson hit a jumper to give the Celtics a 104-102 lead. The Lakers then had one final chance to tie the game or win it outright, but Magic Johnson’s half-court shot bounced off the rim as time expired, giving the Celtics a 4-2 series victory and their fourteenth NBA Championship
However, what if Magic Johnson’s shot had gone in? What if the Lakers had won Game 5? Would they have gone on to win Games 6 and 7? Or would the Celtics have fought back to win their fourth straight NBA Championship? We’ll never know for sure, but it’s fun to imagine what could have been.
The 1981 NBA Finals A Look Ahead
On June 3, 1981, the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets will face each other in the NBA Finals This will be the first time these two teams have met in the Finals since 1981, when the Celtics defeated the Rockets in six games.
The Celtics are led by small forward Larry Bird who is averaging 21.3 points per game and Power Forward Kevin McHale, who is averaging 19.4 points per game The Celtics also have a strong bench, which includes forwards Cedric Maxwell and Scott Wedman.
The Rockets are led by center Moses Malone, who is averaging 18.6 points per game and guard Robert Reid, who is averaging 16.4 Points per game The Rockets also have a solid bench, which includes forward/center Rodney McCray and guard Allen Leavell.
Both teams are strong defensively. The Celtics are allowing 101.1 points per game while the Rockets are allowing 100.8 points per game.
The keys to the series will be rebounding and defense. The team that can control the boards and get stops on defense will win the series.