Remembering Some of the Most Decisive Shots in NBA Finals

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NBA Basketball

The NBA is still a couple of months away from the finals, but you might already be checking the NBA finals odds to see who the sportsbooks think will win the championship. The season has been full of drama as always, and you can expect more drama in the playoffs and the finals.

The NBA finals have been the scene of games and moments that have gone down in association history. Who can forget Chicago vs Phoenix Game 6 in 1993, in which the Bulls walked away with their third title by finishing a point ahead? Who can forget moments in which a last gasp effort has clinched a game or even the championship? Michael Jordan snatching the title out of the hands of the Jazz with the final shot in 1998 for the Chicago Bulls is just one example.

Below is a look at dramatic moments in NBA finals that have included deciding shots.

Michael Jordan vs the Utah Jazz

Michael Jordan was the go-to guy in the last minutes of any major game… the guy the team would want to get the ball out to. He presided over one of the most famous moments in NBA history in 1998. Game 6 was the deciding game of the finals between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls. Jordan scored on a drive when the Bulls were trailing by three points and there was just a minute left on the clock. Then he stripped Karl Malone of possession at the defensive end and put away the game-winning shot, which was a 20 footer and just 5.2 seconds to go. The Bulls took the game 87-86 and also the championship.

It’s well known that Jordan he worked on his weaknesses and turned them into strengths. He wanted to be the perfect player, so off season, he worked five hours a day, five days a week, on his skills.

He also trained hard to be at his best physically for the game. He improved his core and his lower and upper body strength, and also performed lots of agility exercises. This training helped him to leap high, move with lightning pace and travel impressive distances in the air.

Robert Horry vs the Detroit Pistons

In 2005, the San Antonio Spurs were going head to head with the Detroit Pistons and were neck and neck in the series at 2-2. As everyone had expected, it was a nailbiter of a series and just 5.8 seconds from the end of Game 5, the Pistons were leading the Spurs in overtime. Robert Horry had other ideas, however. A gaffe by Rasheed Wallace left Horry open to shoot his fifth three pointer of the evening, allowing the Spurs to win the match 96-95 and go ahead 3-2.

Winning this game was the turning point in the series. The Spurs would then win Game 6, Game 7 and, consequently, the series. Horry had a reputation for shooting big shots, and had Wallace not made the colossal error of leaving Horry free, things could have looked so different for the Pistons.

Ray Allen vs the San Antonio Spurs

It was the 2013 finals and the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat were into their sixth game, with the Spurs leading 3-2. In this decisive game, LeBron James had missed a three pointer that would bring the Miami Heat level with the Spurs, but Chris Bosh out-jumped two Spurs to collect the offensive rebound and get the ball out to Allen. With just 5.2 seconds left on the clock, Allen backpedaled to shoot the ball for a three pointer, ty the game and push the Spurs into a deciding seventh game. The Heat would win the seventh game and the championship.

Ron Artest vs the Boston Celtics

In 2010, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers were tied 3 games apiece in their series, so it all rested on Game 7. With a minute left to play and the late Kobe Bryant struggling with his shooting in the game, Ron Artest hit a three pointer that no one in the building or outside would ever have predicted because he’d been struggling with long range the whole season. This timely three pointer was a career-defining moment and, as Artest had been the main figure in a brawl between Detroit Pistons fans and the Indiana Pacers in 2004, also a redeeming one. The shot resurrected Artest’s image, transforming it from one of a villain into one of a hero.

The NBA finals always produce plenty of drama, and this year’s finals will likewise match the previous ones in excitement. It will be interesting to see who walks away with the championship this year.

 

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