In the 2000 Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers faced off against a Los Angeles Lakers squad featuring Kobe Bryant alongside Shaquille O’Neal, and despite an initial loss to the Lakers, the series ended up going to a Game 7 due to the depth of the Trail Blazers. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggests that this series is the most compelling playoff series for the Trail Blazers because of the way they held off the Lakers.
The Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant combo was cheat-code dominant. Whenever the Lakers went into a series with those two, it felt like they had a free pass to the next round.
But that wasn’t the case against the Trail Blazers. Portland had pieced together one of the deepest rosters in basketball, and it had several players who could be stars for the night when needed. L.A. surely knew it was in for a battle, too, since the clubs had split their four-game season series.
The teams traded games, but the Lakers ultimately came out on top in Game 7 89-84. Rasheed Wallace led the Blazers with 30 points in the loss.
You can read all of Buckley’s picks here. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.