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Spurs vs Lakers
Spurs Vs Lakers a History of Rivalry
Spurs and Lakers have played each other in the NBA since 1981, an intense rivalry began between the two teams 18 years after their first game in 1999 when the Spurs beat the Lakers completing a four-game sweep of the Western Conference semifinal series.
The teams rivalry went up a notch after the Lakers hired former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson just before the 99/00 Season. Jackson had been outspoken against the Spurs win of the 98/99 Season claiming the championship took place during a lockout-shortened season he said:
"Everybody knows what kind of year it was here in the NBA last year--it was a 50-game season,"
"Roger Marls had an asterisk season: He played 162 instead of 154. It's the same. Asterisk seasons are not the same, that's all. So there's a difference. There is a difference."
Jacksons comments may have been motivated by the fact that the previous reigning champions the Chicago Bulls team had been dismantled before they were able to defend their championship title. This was Jacksons Team.
In the following season, with a new coach the Lakers finished with the league's best record and the NBA Championship, in contrast the Spurs struggled after Duncan suffered a knee injury and they were defated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round.
Although the Lakers won the Championship, there was plenty of speculation that if they had faced the Spurs in the second round, they would have lost.
In 2001 the Lakers silenced their critics by beating Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the game left no doubt that the Lakers beat Spurs. They also went on to win the NBA again.
In 2002 they faced each other again in the Semifinals and Lakers again beat Spurs, less convincingly this time. The Lakers went on to increase their winning streak by winning their third NBA Title in a row.
In 2003 the Spurs and Lakers faced each other in the Semifinals, this time Spurs ended Lakers winning streak and then went on to win the NBA Finals.
In 2004 Spurs and Lakers faced each other in the Semi Finals, Lakers beat Spurs in an intense game, The Lakers then won the season but lost the NBA Finals.
A number of team member changes during 2005 to 2007 changed the Lakers fortunes, and the Lakers missed the 2005 playoffs and they lost the first round in 2006 and 2007. The Spurs were defeated in the second round in 2006 and won the championship in 2007.
In 2008 Lakers and Spurs played the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers won beating the defending Champions.
In the following season the Lakers and Spurs did not play each other, Spurs were eliminated in the first round and the Lakers went on to win the NBA Championship.
As you can see, with both teams being so successful and a bit of controversy you can see why such an intense rivalry exists between these teams.
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