1983 NBA Playoffs

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The 1983 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1982-83 season. This was the final postseason using the 12-team format, before the NBA expanded the postseason to 16 teams the next season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals. Moses Malone was named NBA Finals MVP.

Malone made a famous prediction about the Sixers' chances prior to the playoffs, saying "Fo', fo', fo'" – predicting that the Sixers would sweep every series. They came close; they only lost once to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Sixers set a record for highest winning percentage in the playoffs that was not broken until the Lakers went 15–1 in 2001. The Lakers' mark, however, came after the expansion to the current 16-team, four-round playoff format, which was first implemented in the 1984 playoffs, while the Sixers avoided the first round by virtue of their top seeding.

It was the third time in four years that the Lakers and 76ers had met in the NBA Finals, with the Lakers winning the previous two series.

After missing the playoffs the previous year, the Blazers began a string of 21 straight playoff appearances in 1983 lasting until 2003. They made the playoffs 25 out of 26 years from their title-winning season of 1977–2003. The record was just one season shy of the 22-year playoff run set by the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers from 19501971.

The Celtics were swept out of the playoffs for the first time in team history, losing 4–0 to the Bucks in the second round. However, they won the next 3 playoff meetings over the Bucks in (1984, 1986, and 1987).

Until 1995, this was the Spurs' last appearance in the Conference Finals. However, for players such as George Gervin and Artis Gilmore, the 6-game loss to the Lakers was the closest they got to reaching the NBA Finals, let alone an NBA Championship (Gilmore did return to the conference finals with the Celtics in 1988, but played sparingly).

Bracket[edit]

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
        
  1  Los Angeles 4  
    5  Portland 1  
4  Seattle 0
5  Portland 2  
  1  Los Angeles 4  
Western Conference
  2  San Antonio 2  
3  Phoenix 1  
6  Denver 2  
  6  Denver 1
    2  San Antonio 4  
      
        
  W1  Los Angeles 0
  E1  Philadelphia 4
        
        
  1  Philadelphia 4
    5  New York 0  
4  New Jersey 0
5  New York 2  
  1  Philadelphia 4
Eastern Conference
  2  Milwaukee 1  
3  Boston 2  
6  Atlanta 1  
  3  Boston 0
    2  Milwaukee 4  
      

Western Conference[edit]

First Round[edit]

(1) Los Angeles Lakers and (2) San Antonio Spurs have first-round byes.

(3) Phoenix Suns vs. (6) Denver Nuggets: Nuggets win series 2–1

(4) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers: Blazers win series 2–0

Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers: Lakers win series 4–1

  • Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 118, Portland 97
  • Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 112, Portland 106
  • Game 3 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland: Los Angeles 115, Portland 109 (OT)
  • Game 4 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland: Portland 108, Los Angeles 95
  • Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 116, Portland 108

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (6) Denver Nuggets: Spurs win series 4–1

Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (2) San Antonio Spurs: Lakers win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 119, San Antonio 107
  • Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: San Antonio 122, Los Angeles 113
  • Game 3 @ HemisFair Arena, San Antonio: Los Angeles 113, San Antonio 100
  • Game 4 @ HemisFair Arena, San Antonio: Los Angeles 129, San Antonio 121
  • Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: San Antonio 117, Los Angeles 112
  • Game 6 @ HemisFair Arena, San Antonio: Los Angeles 101, San Antonio 100

Eastern Conference[edit]

First Round[edit]

(1) Philadelphia 76ers and (2) Milwaukee Bucks have first round byes.

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Atlanta Hawks: Celtics win series 2–1

  • Game 1 @ Boston Garden, Boston: Boston 103, Atlanta 95
  • Game 2 @ The Omni, Atlanta: Atlanta 95, Boston 93
  • Game 3 @ Boston Garden, Boston: Boston 98, Atlanta 79 (In this game, Hawks center Tree Rollins and Celtics guard Danny Ainge started a melee on the Boston Garden floor in which Rollins bit Ainge's finger.)

(4) New Jersey Nets vs. (5) New York Knicks: Knicks win series 2–0

Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) New York Knicks: 76ers win series 4–0

(2) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (3) Boston Celtics: Bucks win series 4–0

  • Game 1 @ Boston Garden, Boston: Milwaukee 116, Boston 95
  • Game 2 @ Boston Garden, Boston: Milwaukee 95, Boston 91
  • Game 3 @ The MECCA, Milwaukee: Milwaukee 107, Boston 99
  • Game 4 @ The MECCA, Milwaukee: Milwaukee 107, Boston 93 (First time the Celtics were swept in a playoff series.)

Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (2) Milwaukee Bucks: 76ers win series 4–1

  • Game 1 @ The Spectrum, Philadelphia: Philadelphia 111, Milwaukee 109 (OT)
  • Game 2 @ The Spectrum, Philadelphia: Philadelphia 87, Milwaukee 81
  • Game 3 @ The MECCA, Milwaukee: Philadelphia 104, Milwaukee 96
  • Game 4 @ The MECCA, Milwaukee: Milwaukee 100, Philadelphia 94
  • Game 5 @ The Spectrum, Philadelphia: Philadelphia 115, Milwaukee 103

NBA Finals[edit]

Main article: 1983 NBA Finals

(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (1) Los Angeles Lakers: 76ers win series 4–0

  • Game 1 @ The Spectrum, Philadelphia: Philadelphia 113, Los Angeles 107
  • Game 2 @ The Spectrum, Philadelphia: Philadelphia 103, Los Angeles 93
  • Game 3 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Philadelphia 111, Los Angeles 94
  • Game 4 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Philadelphia 115, Los Angeles 108

References[edit]

External links[edit]