Part of what makes the NBA so entertaining is the drama that the games involve. Sometimes the underdogs shock everyone and come out on top. Sometimes the team that was expected to go all the way, fall down at the first hurdle.
Just like any sporting competition, the NBA is unpredictable and full of surprises. If you are interested in what is predicted to happen in upcoming games, checking out the odds for which team is likely to win can be helpful, here are the sportsbooks that are legal in Indiana, they should give you a strong understanding of which teams have cause to be optimistic. As these games below show, the odds are there to be upset!
So, what games or players have caused the most drama in the NBA over the last few decades - let’s take a look:
Was the 2002 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings game a setup?
Longtime NBA fans will remember the controversial game that took place in the Western Conference Finals Game 6 in 2002. As two-time champions, the Lakers avoided elimination by gaining a surprising victory over the Kings.
Critics argue that the game was entirely one-sided because of bias from the referees. The most suspicious play was when Bryant elbowed Bibby in the face. Had the ref called a foul like many argue he should have, then the Kings might have had the opportunity to score a tying basket. Strong, damning allegations were made by another referee, Tim Donaghy, who came out to the media to tell them that the game was fixed.
The game was made even more controversial as Center players Divac and Pollard were fouled out. This move was considered to be overly harsh by coach Rick Adelman.
The Kings never reached the finals, whereas the Lakers went on to secure their third NBA title in a row.
The New Jersey Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers in a surprise win in 1984
Having gone home with the title in 1983, the Sixers had everything going for them in this NBA season. They had scored an impressive 12 - 1 in the playoffs. The team’s lineup was also set to impress, with Dr. J, Maurice Cheeks and Moses Malone all on the court.
On the other hand, the Nets were yet to win a playoff game when in the first round of the series.
However, that all changed when in Game 5 of the series the Nets won the game. They beat them 101 - 98 at the Spectrum, the Philadelphia team’s home court. While not the most experienced players, the Nets were young, energetic and determined to prove themselves worthy for a place in the NBA.
The Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks in a shock win in 2007
In Game 6 of the series, Golden State Warriors beat Dallas Mavericks 111 - 86. Part of the victory was down to Golden State having acquired Stephen Jackson in January of that year. He showed that it had been a worthwhile decision, scoring 33 points and making seven straight three-pointers. This came after Jackson was traded from his previous club, the Pacers, following an incident where he discharged a gun outside of a club in Indianapolis.
This illustrates how taking a chance on a player who has a bad rap can pay off in a big way.
The win caused disbelief in the Oracle Arena that night, with fans going absolutely wild at the final whistle. Following the win, the Golden State Warriors went on to compete in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since the early 1990s.
The Suns take on the Lakers and win in 1990 at the Western Conference Semifinals
The Lakers entered the 1990 Semifinals with a confidence bordering on arrogance. Having won the three previous Western Conferences and two of the last three NBA finals. The team was led by MVP champion Magic Johnson, James Worthy and coached by Pat Riley, an NBA legend.
The Suns squad featured Tom Chambers and Kevin Johnson. The game was tense up until the final minute, the Suns held strong and finished with a respectable 106 -103 win.
Magic played an impressive game for the Lakers, with 43 points and 8 rebounds. He was still no match for the Suns’ dream team, Hornacek and KJ, who’s combined points reached 59.
Although the Suns did in fact go on to lose to the Blazers in the Western Conference finals, this game still goes down in history as one of their best.
That game turned out to be the last to be coached by Pat Riley for the Lakers.
These are just a few of the NBA's most memorable upsets and controversial moments over the last couple of decades. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for dramas in the upcoming NBA games.