1980 NBA Finals - Aftermath


The Lakers failed to defend their NBA championship in the 1980-81 NBA season. Magic Johnson missed 45 games to a torn cartilage in his knee. When he returned, the Lakers were already playing on a deliberate half-court style, which suits the team's captain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, well. Though the Lakers won 54 games that season, they lost to the Houston Rockets 2-1 in the first round, with the clash of styles an apparent reason for their demise. The Rockets would go on to make the NBA Finals that season. Lakers coach Paul Westhead was fired early in the 1981-82 NBA season, and was replaced by top assistant Pat Riley. He would guide the Lakers to the championship that year.

The Sixers won 62 games in the 1981 season, giving Julius Erving the MVP award that season. However, the Boston Celtics owned the home-court advantage because of a tie-breaker. The two teams would meet in the Eastern Conference Finals, where the Sixers owned a 3-1 lead. However the Celtics made a resounding comeback, winning the final three games to oust the Sixers. They would win the NBA title that season.

The Sixers and Lakers would later meet in the NBA Finals in 1982, 1983 and 2001, with the Lakers winning two of three.

Read more about this topic:  1980 NBA Finals

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