One of them was the hottest backcourt prospect since Oscar Robertson and Jerry West in 1960. The other was actually drafted the year before, but decided to stay in college for his senior year – he was a small-town product who turned a smaller Division I school into NCAA championship material. And unlike the typical NBA superstar of the day, they were unselfish players with great fundamentals and extremely high basketball IQs to make up for their lack of elite athleticism.
The year before, the Seattle SuperSonics overcame a horrid start to make it to the NBA Finals, only to fall short against the equally surprising Washington Bullets. In 1979, both teams were no longer surprising, topping their respective divisions and facing off in a rematch of the previous year's encounter. And the Sonics would win this time around, in their 12th year in the NBA and with a very young lineup led by Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson, JackSikma and, in what should be considered a steal, power forward Lonnie Shelton acquired from the New York Knicks for Marvin "The Human Eraser" Webster.
Some called it a miracle, others called it inconceivable. No matter how you chose to define it, there is no denying that the 2011 Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) Rams Final Four run was a tremendous feat, resulting from the grit and determination of a great team and their great coach. When Shaka Smart was hired to be the head coach at VCU in 2009, he was a virtual unknown to the Rams community and college basketball fans across the country.
After missing the biggest part of the 2012-2013 season and recording career lows in shooting and points per game, Kevin Love is back and dominant this season. The versatile forward/center is putting up superb performances in his first eight games of the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
For years now, the norm around Baton Rouge has been that"football is king". In 2012, Johnny Jones was hired out of North Texas to replace Trent Johnson as men's basketball coach and hopefully change that mentality. Last year, the squad improved to 19-12 from an 18-15 record in 2011-12. That certainly marks progress, but not enough for faithful Tiger fans.
After a quick rebuilding process and transition from the Bill Russell era to that of John Havlicek, the Boston Celtics were championship material again in 1972-73, and the season thereafter, they would actually win a title, their first in five years. If you want to use history to become a better evaluator of bets on NBA game statistics, try NBA betting game lines and click here to learn more.
The 1972-73 NBA season, judging by how things went in the regular season, should have been a nice setup for the Lakers-Celtics rivalry's resumption, and while the Lakers did return to the Finals, the New York Knicks reversed the previous Finals' outcome by defeating L.A. in five games. The Knicks were strong at all five positions, with the Walt Frazier/Earl Monroe backcourt now playing up to par, Dave DeBusschere's defense, Bill Bradley's strong fundamentals and the platoon of veterans Willis Reed and Jerry Lucas at center.
Today in NCAA Basketball, all the publicity and press attention are given to flashy freshmen like Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle and showyscorers likeMarcus Smart and Marshall Henderson. Underneath all thatis where you find Doug McDermott. McDermott, now a senior on the Creighton Blue Jays, coached by his father Greg, receives little press considering he was the second leading scorer in the NCAA last season (23.1 ppg), and was a First Team All American selection.
Could the Heat make it a three-peat? They've got all they need to make it happen, and didn't make too many changes to their lineup, losing only Mike Miller among key contributors and adding Greg Oden and Michael Beasley. Even without the benefit of a 27-game winning streak like what they had last season, the Heat should be considered a good possibility to return to the NBA Finals, though whoever they face in the Eastern Conference Finals would likely make it hard for them.
You've got to give a lot of credit to Kevin McHale for making the Rockets' breakneck, transition-heavy offense work. And while last year they had some problems shutting the other team down, the addition of Dwight Howard should resolve a lot of those issues, while Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby, while only likely to start in a pinch, can also shore up that defense.
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