Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won four Western Conference titles; the team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston; the Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season; the Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In the 1984 NBA draft, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics; the Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history; the Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Houston, seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals; each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, the Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding dismantling and retooling their roster; the acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards.
The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play. The Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US $1.75 million to join the NBA as an expansion team for the 1967–68 season. The NBA wanted to add more teams in the Western United States, chose San Diego based on the city's strong economic and population growth, along with the local success of an ice hockey team owned by Breitbard, the San Diego Gulls; the resulting contest to name the franchise chose the name "Rockets", which paid homage to San Diego's theme of "a city in motion" and the local arm of General Dynamics developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. Breitbard brought in Jack McMahon coach of the Cincinnati Royals, to serve as the Rockets' coach and general manager; the team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first draft pick was Pat Riley.
The Rockets lost 67 games in their inaugural season, an NBA record for losses in a season at the time. In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston. Hayes improved the Rockets' record to 37 wins and 45 losses, enough for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 1969, but the Rockets lost in the semi-finals of the Western Division to the Atlanta Hawks, four games to two. Despite the additions of Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich and the management of Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 67–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season; because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, in 1971, Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million, moved the team to Houston. The franchise became the first NBA team in Texas, the nickname "Rockets" took on greater relevance after the move, given Houston's long connection to the space industry.
Before the start of the 1971–72 season, Hannum left for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association – renamed Denver Nuggets, who joined the NBA in 1976 – and Tex Winter was hired in his place. However, Winter's clashes with Hayes, due to a system that contrasted with the offensive style
Scotty Maurice Pippen spelled Scottie Pippen, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association, winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen, along with Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls into a championship team and for popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s. Considered one of the best small forwards of all time, Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive times and the All-NBA First Team three times, he was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1994. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the 1996–97 season, is one of four players to have his jersey retired by the Chicago Bulls, he played a main role on both the 1992 Chicago Bulls Championship team and the 1996 Chicago Bulls Championship team which were selected as two of the Top 10 Teams in NBA History. His biography on the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's website states, "The multidimensional Pippen ran the court like a point guard, attacked the boards like a power forward, swished the nets like a shooting guard."
During his 17-year career, he played 12 seasons with the Bulls, one with the Houston Rockets and four with the Portland Trail Blazers, making the postseason sixteen straight times. Pippen is the only NBA player to have won an NBA title and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice, he was a part of the 1992 U. S. Olympic "Dream Team" which beat its opponents by an average of 44 points. Pippen was a key figure in the 1996 Olympic team, alongside former Dream Team members Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley as well as newer faces such as Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway and Grant Hill, he wore number 8 during both years. Pippen is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, being inducted for both on August 13, 2010. On December 8, 2005, the Chicago Bulls retired his number #33, while his college, University of Central Arkansas, retired his number #33 on January 21, 2010, as well. Scottie Pippen was born on September 25, 1965, in Hamburg, the youngest of 12 children born to Ethel and Preston Pippen.
Pippen's mother was 6 feet tall and his father was 6'1". His parents could not afford to send their other children to college, his father worked in a paper mill until a stroke that paralyzed his right side prevented him from walking and affected his speech. Pippen attended Hamburg High School. Playing point guard, he led his team to the state playoffs and earned all-conference honors as a senior, he was not offered any college scholarships. Pippen began his college playing career at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway after being discovered by then-UCA Head coach Don Dyer as a 6'1" walk-on, he did not receive much recognition in college because the school played in the NAIA. He had a growth spurt to 6'8", his per game averages of 23.6 points, 10 rebounds, 4.3 assists and near 60 percent field goal shooting earned the Central Arkansas senior Consensus NAIA All-American honors in 1987 and made him a dominant player in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference, drawing the attention of NBA scouts.
He was selected fifth overall in the 1987 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics and traded to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice and future draft pick options. Pippen became part of Chicago's young forward tandem with 6'10" power forward Horace Grant, although both came off the bench to back up Brad Sellers and Charles Oakley during their rookie seasons. Scottie made his NBA debut on November 7, 1987, when the Chicago Bulls faced the Philadelphia 76ers as their first game of the season, he finished the game with 2 steals, 4 assists and 1 rebound in 23 minutes of play. The Bulls won their season-opening game 104–94. With fellow Bull Michael Jordan as a motivational and instructional mentor, Pippen refined his skills and developed many new ones over his career. Jordan and Pippen played one-on-one outside of team practices to hone each other's skills on offense and defense. Pippen claimed the starting small forward position during the 1988 NBA Playoffs, helping the Jordan-led Bulls to reach the conference semifinals for the first time in over a decade.
Pippen emerged as one of the league's premier young forwards at the turn of the decade, recording then-career highs in points and field goal shooting as well as being the NBA's number three leader in steals. These feats earned Pippen his debut NBA All-Star selection in 1990. Pippen continued to improve as the Bulls reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 1989 and 1990, but were eliminated both times by the Detroit Pistons. In the 1990 final, Pippen suffered a severe migraine headache at the start of Game 7 that impacted his gameplay, he made only one of his ten field goal attempts as the Bulls lost 93–74. In the 1990–91 NBA season, Pippen emerged as the Bulls' primary defensive stopper and a versatile scoring threat in Phil Jackson's'triangle offense'. Alongside the help of Michael Jordan, Scottie continued to improve his game, he had his first triple-double on November 23 when the Bulls faced the Los Angeles Clippers as he had 13 points, 12 assists and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes in a 105–97 win.
He had his second triple-double against the Indiana Pacers on December 22 as the Bulls defeated the Pacers 128–118. Pippen finished the game with 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes of play, in addition to 1
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
1988 NBA Playoffs
The 1988 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1987–88 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. James Worthy was named NBA Finals MVP; the Lakers became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1969 to repeat as champions, a feat that coach Pat Riley guaranteed the previous offseason. This marked the first time since 1983 that the Celtics did not represent the East in the NBA Finals, but they did win one of the most memorable games of the 1988 playoffs, beating the Hawks 118–116 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Boston Garden. Larry Bird scored 20 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter to help Boston overcome the 47 points scored by Dominique Wilkins; the Dallas Mavericks made their first trip to the Western Conference Finals, losing in 7 to the Lakers. They would not advance that far again until 2003, would not face the Lakers again until 2011.
The New York Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 1984. They remained regulars until 2001, which included NBA Finals appearances in 1994 and 1999. On the other hand, the Washington Bullets did not return until 1997, would not win a playoff game again until 2005 as the Wizards. In the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Jordan scored 50 or more points twice—50 points in Game 1, 55 points in Game 2—becoming the first player to do so in the same series. Allen Iverson would equal that feat in the 2001 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors; this was the first time in NBA history that a game other than a Finals game was played during the month of June. Game 4 of the Hawks-Bucks series was the last game played at the MECCA known as the US Cellular Arena; the Bucks moved to the Bradley Center the next season. The Bucks played there for 30 seasons. Game 5 of the NBA Finals was the last NBA game played at the Pontiac Silverdome. Champion: Los Angeles Lakers 1st Round Los Angeles Lakers vs.
San Antonio Spurs: Lakers win series 3-0 Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 122, San Antonio 110 Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 130, San Antonio 112 Game 3 @ HemisFair Arena, San Antonio: Los Angeles 109, San Antonio 107This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first three meetings. Denver Nuggets vs. Seattle SuperSonics: Nuggets win series 3-2 Game 1 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Denver 126, Seattle 123 Game 2 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Seattle 111, Denver 91 Game 3 @ Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle: Denver 124, Seattle 115 Game 4 @ Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle: Seattle 127, Denver 117 Game 5 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Denver 115, Seattle 96This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the SuperSonics winning the first meeting. Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets: Mavericks win series 3-1 Game 1 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 120, Houston 110 Game 2 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Houston 119, Dallas 108 Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston: Dallas 93, Houston 92 Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston: Dallas 107, Houston 97 This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Rockets.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz:Jazz win series 3-1 Game 1 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland: Portland 108, Utah 96 Game 2 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland: Utah 114, Portland 105 Game 3 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 113, Portland 108 Game 4 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 111, Portland 96This was the first playoff meeting between the Trail Blazers and the Jazz. Conference Semifinals Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz: Lakers win series 4-3 Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 110, Utah 91 Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Utah 101, Los Angeles 97 Game 3 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 96, Los Angeles 89 Game 4@ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Los Angeles 113, Utah 100 Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 111, Utah 109 Game 6 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 108, Los Angeles 80 Game 7 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 109, Utah 98This was the first playoff meeting between the Lakers and the Jazz. Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks: Mavericks win series 4-2 Game 1 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Denver 126, Dallas 115 Game 2 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Dallas 112, Denver 108 Game 3 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Denver 107, Dallas 105 Game 4 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 124, Denver 103 Game 5 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Dallas 110, Denver 106 Game 6 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 108, Denver 95This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Nuggets.
Conference Finals Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks: Lakers win series 4-3 Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 113, Dallas 98 Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 123, Dallas 101 Game 3 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 106, Los Angeles 94 Game 4 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 118, Los Angeles 104 Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 119, Dallas 102 Game 6 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 105, Los Angeles 103 Game 7 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 117, Dallas 102This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first two meetings
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, are the only team in their division not based in California; the Suns play their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988. Under Johnson, after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, reached the 1993 NBA Finals.
However, the team would again fail to win a championship, entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s. In 2004, the Suns reacquired Steve Nash, returned into playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, Amar'e Stoudemire, under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, were forced into another rebuild; the Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, have the second highest winning percentage of any teams to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two Suns—Barkley and Nash—have won the NBA Most Valuable Player award while playing for the team. The Suns were one of two franchises to join the NBA at the start of the 1968–69 season, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
They were the first major professional sports franchise in the Phoenix market and in the entire state of Arizona, remained the only one for the better part of 20 years until the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League relocated from St. Louis in 1988; the Suns played its first 24 seasons at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, located northwest of downtown Phoenix. The franchise was formed by an ownership group led by Karl Eller, owner of a public enterprise, the investor Donald Pitt, Don Diamond, Bhavik Darji, Marvin Meyer, Richard Bloch. Other owners with a minority stake consisted of entertainers, such as Andy Williams, Bobbie Gentry and Ed Ames. There were many critics, including then-NBA commissioner J. Walter Kennedy, who said that Phoenix was "too hot", "too small", "too far away" to be considered a successful NBA market; this was despite the fact that the Phoenix metropolitan area was growing and the Suns would have built-in geographical foes in places like in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle.
After continual prodding by Bloch, in 1968 the NBA Board of Governors granted franchises to Phoenix and Milwaukee on January 22, 1968 with an entry fee of $2 million. The Suns nickname was among 28,000 entries that were formally chosen in a name-the-team contest sponsored by The Arizona Republic, with the winner awarded $1,000 and season tickets for the inaugural season. Suns was preferred over Scorpions, Thunderbirds, Mavericks, Tumbleweeds and Cougars. Stan Fabe, who owned a commercial printing plant in Tucson, designed the team's first iconic logo for a mere $200. However, they were disappointed with the results. In the 1968 NBA Expansion Draft, notable Suns' pickups were future Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich and Dick Van Arsdale. Jerry Colangelo a player scout, came over from the Chicago Bulls, a franchise formed two years earlier, as the Suns' first general manager at the age of 28, along with Johnny "Red" Kerr as head coach. Unlike the first-year success that Colangelo and Kerr had in Chicago, in which the Bulls finished with a first-year expansion record of 33 wins and a playoff berth, Phoenix finished its first year at 16–66, finished 25 games out of the final playoff spot.
Both Goodrich and Van Arsdale were selected to the All-Star Game in their first season with the Suns. Goodrich returned to his former team, the Lakers, after two seasons with the Suns, but Van Arsdale spent the rest of his playing days as a Sun and a one-time head coach for Phoenix; the Suns' last-place finish that season led to a coin flip for the number-one overall pick for the 1969 NBA draft with the expansion-mate Bucks. Milwaukee won the flip, the rights to draft UCLA center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, while Phoenix settled on drafting center Neal Walk from Florida; the 1969–70 season posted better results for the Suns, finishing 39–43, but losing to the eventual Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. The next two seasons, the Suns finished with 48- and 49-win seasons, but did not qualify for the playoffs in either year, did not reach the playoffs again until 1976; the 1975–76 season proved to be a pivotal year for the Suns as they made several key moves, including the offseason trade of former All-Star guard Charlie Scott to the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard
2010 NBA Playoffs
The 2010 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2009-10 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year. For the 2nd time in 3 seasons and the first time since 2008, all Western Conference playoff teams had at least 50 wins; the 7 games separating 1–8 was tied for the smallest margin from 2008. Cleveland's 61 wins in the NBA was the smallest win total for best record since the Pacers won 61 in 2004; the Cavaliers' second round playoff exit was the earliest for the top seed since the Dallas Mavericks' first round loss to the Golden State Warriors in 2007. Many teams avenged previous losses by defeating teams; the Spurs defeated the Mavericks. The Cavaliers beat the Bulls for the first time since The Shot; the Suns defeated the Spurs. The Lakers beat the Suns, who defeated them in the first round in 2006 and 2007.
The Celtics defeated the Magic, who eliminated them in 2009. And in the finals, the Lakers beat the Celtics. Game 5 of the Magic-Celtics series was the last game played at Amway Arena; the Magic, who last year upset the top-seeded Cavaliers in 6 after they went 8-0 through the first two rounds went 8-0 through two playoff series, only to suffer the same fate as the Cavaliers last year, losing to Boston in 6. The Cavs loss led to the LeBron James decision to join the Miami Heat; this was the last playoff appearance for the Cavs until 2015 when James returned to Cleveland and, along with Kyrie Irving, faced again his common rivals the Celtics and Bulls. The Charlotte Bobcats made their first playoff appearance in franchise history, the first in the Charlotte NBA team's history since 2002. However, they failed to win a single playoff game in a loss to the Magic in the first round; the Celtics-Cavaliers series marked the first time that each team lost a home playoff game by record margins: Boston lost Game 3 124-95.
The Oklahoma City Thunder made their first playoff appearance since relocating from Seattle in 2008. Games 3, 4 and 6 were the first playoff games played at Ford Center, they made the most of their debut playoff appearance, pushing the eventual champion Lakers to 6 games. The Mavericks would hold the dubious distinction of losing 3 first round series while holding the top 2 playoff seeds, they lost to the seventh-seeded San Antonio Spurs in 6. They have lost a playoff series against the Seattle SuperSonics and the Golden State Warriors; the 3 division winners and 5 other teams with the most wins from each conference qualified for the playoffs. The seedings are based on each team's record; the tiebreakers that determine seedings were: Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division Head-to-head record Division record Conference record Record vs. playoff teams, own conference Record vs. playoff teams, other conference Point differential, all gamesIf there were more than two teams tied, the team that wins the tiebreaker get the highest seed, while the other teams were "re-broken" from the first step until all ties were resolved.
Since the three division winners were guaranteed a spot in the top four, ties to determine the division winners had to be broken before any other ties. — = Not Applicable The team with the better record earned the home-court advantage through any playoff round, regardless of seeding. Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage in the NBA Finals does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record. * Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage All times are in Eastern Daylight Time This was the sixth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Bulls winning the first five meetings. This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Hornets franchise winning the first meeting.
Note that historical records of the original Charlotte Hornets franchise from 1988–2002 are with the present Hornets/Bobcats franchise since the 2014–15 season. The Atlanta Hawks took control of the series by winning the first 2 games against the Milwaukee Bucks, without star center Andrew Bogut, but the Bucks managed to take the next 3 games, including a shocking Game 5 win in Atlanta, where they overcame a 9-point deficit in the final 4 minutes. However, Atlanta managed to stave off elimination in front of a raucous Bradley Center crowd, coming away with an 83–69 Game