10.23.2014

The Predictive Power of Regular Season Matchups

 
 
Season      Regular Season Result          NBA Champion
2008-09        Lakers Sweep              Lakers defeat Magic
2007-08        Celtics Sweep             Celtics defeat Lakers
2003-04        Lakers Sweep              Pistons defeat Lakers
2001-02        Celtics Sweep             Lakers defeat Nets
2000-01        Lakers Sweep              Lakers defeat Nets
1999-00        Lakers Sweep              Lakers defeat Pacers
1990-91        Split                     Bulls defeat Lakers
1988-89        Split                     Pistons Sweep Lakers
1987-88        Lakers Sweep              Lakers defeat Pistons
1986-87        Lakers Sweep              Lakers defeat Celtics
1985-86        Celtics Sweep             Celtics defeat Rockets
1984-85        Split                     Lakers defeat Celtics
1983-84        Lakers Sweep              Celtics defeat Lakers
1982-83        Celtics Sweep             Sixers Sweep Lakers
1981-82        Split                     Lakers defeat Sixers
1980-81        Celtics Sweep             Celtics defeat Rockets
1979-80        Lakers Sweep              Lakers defeat Sixers
1975-76        Celtics Sweep             Celtics defeat Suns
1973-74        Split                     Celtics defeat Bucks
1971-72        Celtics 4-0               Knicks defeat Lakers
1970-71        Lakers 4-1                Lakers defeat Knicks
1969-70        Lakers 4-2                Knicks defeat Lakers
1968-69        Lakers 4-2                Celtics defeat Lakers
1967-68        Lakers 4-3                Celtics defeat Lakers
1965-66        Celtics 7-3               Celtics defeat Lakers
1964-65        Celtics 7-3               Celtics defeat Lakers
1963-64        Celtics 6-3               Celtics defeat Warriors
1962-63        Lakers 5-4                Celtics defeat Lakers
1961-62        Celtics 6-3               Celtics defeat Lakers
1960-61        Celtics 8-2               Celtics defeat Hawks
When the Celtics and Lakers faced off in the 1984 NBA Finals, my brother, the Lakers' fan, fired this opening salvo: you know how it works. Whoever wins the season series wins the NBA championship. "Christ, I thought to myself. We're screwed." Turned out it wasn't true, even in the early days of the Magic v. Bird Era, which is the era my brother was talking about.

Still, it is interesting to see if there has been any karma-connection between the pre-season duels and the Finals victor. I'll let you make the call. But I would say that at least during the 1980s, a sweep by either team was reflective more often than not as to whom would take home the ring.

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