1993 playoffs. Great and extremely interesting read.
In our next edition of this NBA lockout series, we remember how one of the weirdest and most forgotten teams of all time nearly knocked off out a future NBA champion.
"The first round of the 1993 NBA Playoffs was nuts. Five series went the distance, and another one (Celtics-Hornets) ended in a buzzer beater and a ton of controversy. Perhaps no series, though, was weirder than the one between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers. (Well, except for maybe one, but that's for another time).
This was the year the Rockets began to build the juggernaut that would win back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. On January 8, 1993, the Rockets lost to the Denver Nuggets to fall to 14-16 on the year. They went 41-11 the rest of the way to win the Midwest Division. Hakeem Olajuwon, who began the year disenchanted with the Rockets and almost certainly on his way out, played at an MVP level in carrying the club.
Then, you had the Clippers, one of the strangest teams ever assembled. The Clippers were a .500 team that swept the Knicks (East's No. 1 seed) and won three out of five against the Suns (West's No. 1 seed), but also lost twice to Sacramento (25-57 on the year) and at home to Philadelphia (26-56). During the year, there was a lot of finger-pointing going on. Star Danny Manning came out publicly and said he didn't want to play for Larry Brown. Brown, for his part, was exploring other jobs.
This was a series pitting a team who would soon win two straight titles against one that saw all five starters and all but four players go elsewhere by the beginning of the 1994-95 season. And yet, the two teams split the first four games, and the Rockets needed to scrap and claw just to escape the Clippers in Game 5. Since history forgets this series, let's pick it up right here."
Continued at.........http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/8/1/2305779/1993-nba-playo ffs-houston-rockets-la-clippers