TSF Tip-Off For Wednesday May 23, 2012 (Featuring Morris Day And The Time): Name Your Favorite NBA Playoff Series (Non Championship)
The 2012 NBA Playoffs have produced its share of excitement, punctuated by comebacks, last second shots and physical play. What it the playoffs haven’t given us is that classic series. Although the conference finals give us what we’ve tuned in for, I did some thinking and came upon one of the best conference semifinals in recent memory.
What is your most memorable NBA playoff series that didn’t decide the NBA Championship?
The 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors is my choice for one of my most memorable series. The Sixers were winners of the Atlantic Division and had completed a trade with the Atlanta Hawks to acquire Dikembe Mutombo. The Sixers who were 41-14 at the time of the trade were in cruise control and were able to put the division away rather easily finishing with a record of 56-26.
Allen Iverson had arguably his best season averaging 31 points per game en route to his only league MVP in the process. Larry Brown and Aaron McKie would win Coach of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year, respectively.
The Sixers would dispatch of the Indiana Pacers in four games before facing the Toronto Raptors who finished 47-35 and were led by the dynamic Vince Carter who averaged nearly 28 points per game in the regular season. The Raptors were coached by Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens
Both teams were similarly built - consisting of a primary scorer, surrounded by a supporting cast of role players and above average defenders. The series would go back and forth as Iverson and Carter exchanged 50+ point games as two of the NBA’s brightest young stars gave fans their money’s worth each night.
The series would go into the waning seconds of Game 7, Vince Carter missed an 18 – foot jumper, putting the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks in a classic seven-game series.
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