By Andrew Fisher @AndrewFisherRS on June 3, 2014
The NBA Finals have been going on every year since 1950. There have been some classic series over the years, and in this slideshow we'll take a look at the best of the best from the modern era (1979-on, after 3-point shot was added).
Here's a look at the Top 10 NBA Finals from the past 34 years:
This series pitted the NBA's MVP, Charles Barkley, up against Michael Jordan and the Bulls, who were going for a three-peat. The Bulls took the series in six after a big shot from John Paxson, but not after a hard fought series which included a triple OT game.
The Mavs came out of the gate hot, winning the first two games at home. But the D-Wade led Heat would come back strong, winning four straight to close out the series.
This one is of course still fresh in the minds of basketball fans. If it weren't for Ray Allen's three-point skills, the outcome would have been completely different for the Heat.
This classic 90s battle pitted the Mailman against MJ, and it sure didn't disappoint. All games were closely contested, including game one which Jordan won at the buzzer, and the famous 'flu game' in game five.
In the history of the NBA it doesn't get any bigger than Celtics vs. Lakers. This 2010 rematch of the 2008 Finals was simply amazing, as it went down to the wire in game seven before Kobe's Lakers came out on top.
While common fans weren't to thrilled with this matchup, it was still basketball at its finest. It took seven games and some big shots from Robert Horry, but the Spurs finally came out on top to win their third championship since 1999.
Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Patrick Ewing in the low post -- it doesn't get much better in terms of center matchups in the 1990s. In the end it was The Dream and the Rockets edging out the Knicks in seven games. No game in the series was decided by double-digits.
Here we have what's considered to be the best Finals rematch in history. It took six games, but the Lakers were finally able to knock off the rival Celtics to win their third championship of the 1980s. However, they had only missed the Finals one time in the decade (80s) prior to this matchup.
Showtime Lakers meet the Bad Boys of Detroit, that was this series in a nutshell. The Pistons had a 3-2 lead, but couldn't win one at the Forum to clinch the series, giving Showtime its first back-to-back titles.
Not that it can't be done, but it will be hard to top the 1984 NBA Finals. Magic, Bird and company were all in their prime, which led to an epic seven game series that the Celtics took on their home court.
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