The Best NBA Finals Series Match-Ups Sports Teams
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The Best NBA Finals Series Match-Ups

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22,093 views 21 items 5,794 votes 1,273 voters 8 followers 5reranks
The best NBA Finals series match-ups are the most memorable and iconic NBA Championship series in the history of the league. From the series that reignited fierce rivalries to those which pitted the best basketball players of all time against one another, these NBA Finals series stand out as some of the best ever.

If it appears that two teams appear far more frequently than others on this list, that's because the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have appeared in the NBA Finals far more than all other teams with a combined 52 appearances in the 63 seasons between 1950 and 2012. The rivalry has been fueled numerous times but was at its height in the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1989 one or both of those teams played in the finals each season with the likes of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar battling it out on the court.

As the years passed, it was the Chicago Bulls who would next dominate the league, much from the help of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson. Especially memorable was the 1993 NBA Finals which saw Jordan and company defeat the Phoenix Suns, led by Charles Barkley. Chicago would go on to win three more titles, for a total of six in eight years in the 1990s, while Barkley would play out the rest of his days without a championship ring.

Whether the best NBA Finals series match-ups are between rival teams, feature Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame players or are the ones yet to be played, each tells the story of one team who emerged victorious and another who went home disappointed. Which NBA Finals match-up do you think is the best? Vote for the series you like the most, re-rank the list as you see fit or add any we've missed below.

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List Criteria: Only NBA Finals series, not other playoff rounds

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  Name Score
  1. 1
    Up 404
    Down 71

    the people's #1 &often listed
    1984: Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers

    100
  2. 2
    Up 279
    Down 84

    most listed
    1987: Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics

    92
  3. 3
    Up 250
    Down 124

    ranked high on reranks
    1998: Chicago Bulls vs Utah Jazz

    84
  4. 4
    Up 239
    Down 86

    1980: Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics

    84
  5. 5
    Up 207
    Down 119

    1993: Chicago Bulls vs Phoenix Suns

    77
  6. 6
    Up 181
    Down 102

    1997: Chicago Bulls vs Utah Jazz

    75
  7. 7
    Up 113
    Down 103

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    1994: Houston Rockets vs New York Knicks

    74
  8. 8
    Up 192
    Down 79

    1969: Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers

    73
  9. 9
    Up 117
    Down 101

    1970: New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers

    69
  10. 10
    Up 102
    Down 94

    1976: Boston Celtics vs Phoenix Suns

    65
  11. 11
    Up 65
    Down 51

    1992 Chicago Bulls vs Portland Trailblazers

    62
    added by: Loko
  12. 12
    Up 152
    Down 120

    1988: Los Angeles Lakers vs Detroit Pistons

    61
  13. 13
    Up 12
    Down 8

    1952: Minneapolis Lakers Vs. New York Knicks

    60
    added by: DrewStiling
  14. 14
    Up 10
    Down 8

    1953: Minneapolis Lakers Vs. New York Knicks

    57
    added by: DrewStiling
  15. 15
    Up 15
    Down 6

    1959: Minneapolis Lakers Vs. Boston Celtics

    57
    added by: DrewStiling
  16. 16
    Up 135
    Down 150

    2011: Dallas Mavericks vs Miami Heat

    53
  17. 17
    Up 106
    Down 101

    2012:Miami Heat vs Oklahoma City Thunder

    50
    added by: MrTeamOnMyBack
  18. 18
    Up 11
    Down 7

    1958: St. Louis Hawks Vs. Boston Celtics

    48
    added by: DrewStiling
  19. 19
    Up 8
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    1957: St. Louis Hawks Vs. Boston Celtics

    46
    added by: DrewStiling
  20. 20
    Up 88
    Down 134

    2000: Los Angeles Lakers vs Indiana Pacers

    44
  21. 21
    Up 6
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks
    1951: Rochester Royals Vs. New York Knicks

    43
    added by: DrewStiling
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