2005 NBA Finals


2005 NBA Finals

NBA Finals summary


caption =
year = 2005
runnerup = Detroit Pistons
runnerup_coach = Larry Brown
runnerup_games = 3
champion = San Antonio Spurs
champion_coach = Gregg Popovich
champion_games = 4
date=June 9 - June 23
MVP = Tim Duncan
(San Antonio Spurs)
television = ABC (U.S.)
announcers = Al Michaels and Hubie Brown
HOFers = "Coaches"
Larry Brown (2002)
radio_network = NBA on ESPN Radio
radio_announcers =
referees_1 = Mike Callahan, Ron Garretson, Steve Javie
referees_2 = Dan Crawford, Bernie Fryer, Jack Nies
referees_3 = Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Bennett Salvatore
referees_4 = Dick Bavetta, Joe DeRosa, Eddie F. Rush
referees_5 = Mike Callahan, Ron Garretson, Steve Javie
referees_6 = Dan Crawford, Bernie Fryer, Bennett Salvatore
referees_7 = Dick Bavetta, Joe Crawford, Eddie F. Rush
ECF result = Detroit defeats Miami, 4–3
WCF result = San Antonio defeats Phoenix, 4–2
The 2005 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2004-05 National Basketball Association season. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference took on the Detroit Pistons of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Spurs holding home court advantage. The series was played under a best-of-seven format.

The Spurs won the series 4 games to 3 in the first NBA Finals to go to a Game 7 since 1994. The games were broadcast on ABC, with Al Michaels and Hubie Brown commentating.

Background

Both teams competing were considered to be defensively-oriented. The San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons ranked first and second, respectively, in the fewest points allowed during the regular season. Although the Spurs are also considered to be capable of high-scoring games, the Pistons recorded few high-scoring games during the regular season.

This series was the first Finals to feature the previous two champions since the 1987 Finals. In that series, the Larry Bird/Magic Johnson rivalry was in full swing, and the Celtics and Lakers were able to come to a rubber match after each having won one Finals series from the other in 1984 and 1985.

Going into the 2005 Finals, the Spurs had won two championships (1999 and 2003), while Detroit had three (1989, 1990, and 2004). The 2004 Championship was often ascribed to a fluke by sportswriters, because the Lakers were at the time considered one of the league's most offensive-minded and elite teams, but were crumbling as a result of internal quabbles and selfish play. Others have countered that Detroit's defense outplayed the Lakers' offense, thereby vindicating the Detroit franchise. Further, the Detroit team-oriented offense often dominated a Lakers team ridden with selfish play and the well-publicized tension between superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

The Spurs finished five games ahead of the Pistons during the regular season. Historically, NBA teams in this position have posted a 19-8 record. Both teams, though, were ranked number two in their respective conferences, with the Phoenix Suns ranked number one in the West and the Miami Heat ranked number one in the East.

Sportswriters all across the country generally considered this one of the few "too-close-to-call" series to occur. Most picked the series to go to six or seven games.

The Spurs breezed through the playoffs with relative ease, compared to the Pistons. They defeated the Nuggets 4-1 to open the playoffs. In that series, after trailing 1-0 after a home upset, they won four straight. The SuperSonics were then dispatched in six games. Phoenix was expected by many to put up a challenge, and many NBA legends of the past predicted them to take the Western Conference title. Contrary to this, the Spurs went up 3-0, and after the Suns staved off elimination one game, even with all the fans in Phoenix in Game 5 wanting a repeat of the Boston Red Sox comeback, the Spurs rose to bring the inevitable to pass.

The Pistons had to overcome more adversity. The opening round was fairly easy, a five-game victory over Philadelphia. Next, the Pistons faced the Indiana Pacers, one of the NBA's most resilient teams. Indiana was expected by most experts to falter and miss the playoffs after the Palace melee; however, the team, led by soon-to-retire Reggie Miller, still made the playoffs, defeating the Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics. The Pacers, despite all their obstacles, put up a tough challenge, but in Game 6, it became apparent that Miller's storied career was over. A standing ovation came from the Conseco Fieldhouse crowd. Detroit next had to defeat division winner and #1 seed Miami and star player Shaquille O'Neal. After winning Game 1, they fell behind 2-1 after three games and 3-2 after five games, but rebounded in Game 6 on their home court. In game seven, Detroit overcame the odds and beat the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena and thus advanced to the NBA Finals for the second straight year.

eries scoring summary

The following scoring summary is written in a line score format, except that the quarter numbers are replaced by game numbers.:

Game Three

basketballbox
bg = #eee
date = June 14, 2005
time = 9:00 p.m.
report = [http://www.nba.com/games/20050614/SASDET/recap.html Recap]
team1 = San Antonio Spurs
score1 = 79
score2 = 96
team2 = Detroit Pistons
points1 = Parker 21; Duncan 14; Bowen 13
rebounds1 = Duncan 10; Mohammed 7; Horry 5
assist1 = Parker 4; Duncan 4; three others at 2
points2 = Hamilton 24; Billups 20; B. Wallace 15
rebounds2 = B. Wallace 11; McDyess 9 R. Wallace 7
assist2 = Billups 7; Prince 5
otherstat2 = Blocks: B. Wallace 5
place = The Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, Michigan
attendance = 22,076
referee = Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Bennett Salvatore
TV = ABC
series = Spurs lead series 2-1

Going into this game, the Pistons were looking to rebound from the deficit.

In the past, only two teams in NBA history had ever won a Finals series after facing a 2-0 deficit — the Boston Celtics in the 1969 NBA Finals and the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1977 NBA Finals — however, the Miami Heat would later accomplish this feat against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Despite the tough challenge, the Pistons pulled through, and came out with several key steals and two scoring runs in the third quarter, then netted many insurance points in the fourth to win a big game which was a "de facto" must-win. Ben Wallace was lauded and commended by many for stepping up to the challenge.

When the end of the game came, and the 96-79 final score flashed upon the screens, many Pistons fans, celebrating in jubilation, started filling the air with confetti and conducted other celebratory customs. That was the first time that the Spurs have given up more than 90 points in a Finals game.

:

Game Six

basketballbox
bg = #eee
date = June 21, 2005
time = 8:00 p.m. EST
report = [http://www.nba.com/games/20050612/DETSAS/recap.html Recap]
team1 = Detroit Pistons
score1 = 95
score2 = 86
team2 = San Antonio Spurs
points1 = Hamilton 23; Billups 21; R. Wallace 16
rebounds1 = B. Wallace 9; Prince 7; Billups 6
assist1 = Billups 6; Prince 4
points2 = Ginobili 21; Duncan 21; Parker 15
rebounds2 = Duncan 15; Ginobili 10; Mohammed 8
assist2 = Parker 5; Ginobili 3
place = SBC Center San Antonio, Texas
attendance = 18,797
referee =Dan Crawford, Bernie Fryer, Bennett Salvatore
TV = ABC
series = Detroit ties Series 3-3

Game 6 was a close game all along, and the lead kept fluctuating between the two teams. Again, the leading stars on both teams played big games. Detroit pulled away early in the fourth for an 80-73 lead with five minutes to go, but the Spurs continued to threaten them. Soon, it was back to a one-point game.

Then, Rasheed Wallace planted a three-pointer to pull away, and even with a resilient game by the Spurs, the Pistons had clinched the victory.

Nevertheless, several Pistons free throws were necessary in the final moments of the game to put a win out of reach for the Spurs.

Rasheed Wallace had a big game to atone for the mistake he made for leaving Horry open in Game 5. Despite the fact that his mistake ultimately cost the Pistons the championship, Wallace was nonchalant about the play, even commenting incorrectly that he left Horry to guard Duncan.

Billups and Prince again led the Pistons with steady, unwavering defense, which is the key, as it is often said, to victory. Although Duncan and Ginobili finished with 21 points each, neither was able to seriously threaten the strong Pistons defense enough to win the game. Detroit thus won its fifth consecutive game facing elimination. The Pistons became the first road team to force a Game 7 in the NBA Finals.

:

Game Seven

basketballbox
bg = #eee
date = June 23, 2005
time = 8:00 p.m. EST
report = [http://www.nba.com/games/20050623/DETSAS/recap.html Recap]
team1 = Detroit Pistons
score1 = 74
score2 = 81
team2 = San Antonio Spurs
points1 = Hamilton 15; Billups 13; B. Wallace 12
rebounds1 = B. Wallace 12; Hamilton 8; McDyess 7
assist1 = Billups 8; McDyess 2
points2 = Duncan 25; Ginobili 23; Horry 15
rebounds2 = Duncan 11; Mohammed 7; Ginobili 5
assist2 = Ginobili 4; Duncan 3
place = SBC Center San Antonio, Texas
attendance = 18,797
referee = Dick Bavetta, Joe Crawford, Eddie F. Rush
TV = ABC
series = Spurs win series 4-3

For the first time in eleven years, the NBA Finals came down to a decisive game. Momentum was on Detroit's side, but the Spurs had home-court advantage. The Pistons were looking to become the first team to ever win the last 2 games on the road, after being down 3-2. The stats were, as expected, heavily in favor of the Spurs. NBA teams are 74-17 all-time at home in Game 7, and 9-0 when leading 3-2 going home.

The game, like the previous two games of the series, was closely contested for the first three quarters. However, in the 3rd quarter, something interesting occurred. Twice in the quarter, a defensive foul was called on the Spurs and immediately Tim Duncan reacted with a look of shock and implicit guilt, knowing that a 5th foul would put him on the bench in the 3rd quarter of one of the most important games of his career. On both occasions, however, the foul was assessed to a different Spurs player who was nowhere near the scene of the action. These questionable non-calls led to Duncan having an incredible rest of the game, allowing the Spurs to take control in the fourth quarter and win the series. For the second time in three years, the Spurs celebrated a championship on the SBC Center floor. The Spurs won Game Seven 81-74, winning the franchise's third Larry O'Brien Trophy. For the game, Tim Duncan finished with a game high 25 points and 11 rebounds, while teammate Manu Ginobili pitched in with 23 points. Richard Hamilton, with 15 points, was the high scorer for the Pistons, who fell just short of winning back to back championships.

Tim Duncan won his third NBA Finals MVP Award. Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Bruce Bowen each received their second championship ring, while Robert Horry became only the second player in NBA history (John Salley being the first) to play on championship teams for three different franchises.

:

Trivia

*The Pistons became the first road team down 3-2 in the series to win a Game 6 since the 2-3-2 format started in 1985. The previous 7 teams to lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 at home ('86 Boston Celtics, '87 Los Angeles Lakers, '92, '96 & '97 Chicago Bulls, '00 Lakers and '03 Spurs) won the series-clinching Game 6.
*The only two other series to go seven games with the 2-3-2 format (1988 and 1994) had the home team win both Games 6 & 7. In '88 the Lakers defeated the Pistons and in '94, the Houston Rockets beat the New York Knicks.
*With the Spurs winning Game 7, no road team has won a seventh game in the Finals since the 1978 Washington Bullets, who beat the Seattle SuperSonics in that series. The previous three Finals series to go a deciding seventh game were won by the home team. The Celtics beat the Lakers at Boston Garden in 1984, the Lakers beat the Pistons at the Great Western Forum in 1988 and the Rockets beat the Knicks at The Summit in 1994.
*The Spurs became the seventh franchise to win the NBA Championship at least three times joining the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Warriors, Nationals/76ers, and Pistons in this group.
*Tim Duncan is the only player on all four Spurs championship teams (1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007).
*Tim Duncan became the fourth player in NBA history to win the NBA Finals MVP a third time joining Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal.
*Robert Horry joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen as the only non-Celtics to win at least six championships. Horry also joined John Salley as the only players to win championships with three teams. Like Jordan and Pippen, Horry was 6-0 in his first six Finals series. Horry won a seventh title in 2007 with the Spurs.
*This is the first time the current Finals MVP Trophy was used.

Broadcast notes

The games were broadcast exclusively on ABC in the US. The featured song, aired throughout the playoffs, was Rob Thomas' "This Is How A Heart Breaks."

ee also

*2005 NBA Playoffs

External links

* [http://www.nba.com/finals2005/ The Official Site of the 2005 NBA Finals]


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