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 HawksWhen 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.