2002 NBA Playoffs
The biggest dunks, the hardest fouls and three-point bombs are all part of the action of basketball's NBA Playoffs. Here's a look at what to expect from basketball's most exciting games.
The West is Best... The East is Least.
The 2002 NBA title will be staying in the Western Conference. No matter who wins the weak Eastern Conference, they will be eaten alive and spit out by the Western champs. The LA Lakers, the Sacramento Kings, the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs could all crush the New Jersey Nets, the Detroit Pistons or any of the other playoff-pretenders in the East. The Lakers have to be considered the favorites because they're the defending champions and have Shaq and Kobe. During the regular season, the Lakers sometimes played like they didn't care - but they will flick the switch once the playoffs start. Look for them to be challenged by the high-octane Kings who are armed with Chris Webber, Peja Stoyakovich and Mike Bibby.
Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the rest of the LA Lakers will be trying to become the fifth team to three-peat as NBA Champions. The last team to win three straight NBA titles was the Chicago Bulls who won from 1996 to 1998.
Not Enough Fingers
Phil Jackson, the coach of the LA Lakers, has an NBA Championship ring for each finger. He won two as a player with the New York Knicks, six as the coach of the Chicago Bulls and two as the coach of the Lakers. Phil won't start to wear rings on his toes if the Lakers win in 2002. He only wears his rings during the NBA Playoffs, when he wears one of his 10 rings each game.
Unfortunately, we won't be seeing any mind-blowing playoff performances from Michael Jordan in the 2002 NBA Playoffs. MJ's Washington Wizards never made the playoffs and Michael is injured anyway. He still holds the record for most points scored in an NBA Playoff game when he poured in 63 while playing for the Chicago Bulls in a 1986 playoff game against the Boston Celtics.
For a complete look at NBA playoff scores, schedules and matchups, click here.