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YouTube Finds: Knicks @ Rockets, Game 7, ’94 Finals

Posted by Neil Paine on November 11, 2009

Thanks to loyal commenter Jason J, here's the game I was actually looking for yesterday... This one's for you, John Starks!

(more after the jump...)

Also, you can read more about that Rockets team here.

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17 Responses to “YouTube Finds: Knicks @ Rockets, Game 7, ’94 Finals”

  1. Chris Says:

    I wasn't old enough to watch this series.. so I bought it on DVD. These NBA Finals were great because it could have gone either way.. not to mention that the matchups were very even between each team.

  2. C Says:

    The game was better with hand-checking!

  3. Jason J Says:

    I kind of like the game better without all that perimeter shoving (some of that stuff would start a fight in a pick up game), but I grew up watching it, and I still have trouble accepting the rules as they are. It feels like player aren't scrapping hard enough sometimes, when of course they are working even harder to try to stay in front without being able to handcheck.

  4. C Says:

    I meant chiefly because it stopped the dribble-move from dominating the game, and so entry passes and off-the-ball movement were not options but necessities.
    You make a fair point: the new rules are harder on defenders.

  5. Romain Says:

    These finals were really tough for Knicks fans because Ewing was completely crushed by Olajuwon, and yet the Knicks were just one shot away from winning it all in 6 (remember the Starks 3 pointer blocked by Olajuwon !)

    What's amazing is that neither team won by more than 9 points nor scored more than 93 pts in a game!!

    I think it's also quite unique because it's one of the very rare years when the championship team had only one real All-Star caliber player (at least since 1980, I'm too young for the years before). The only other year I can think of is 2003, when Duncan carried the Spurs to the title: Robinson was then past his All-Star status, and TP and Gino were clearly not there yet.

  6. P Middy Says:

    I think the rule change did a good job of balancing the scales once again. Size and athleticism has increased in the league to a point where defense could be absolutely stifling. Though I grew up watching that 90s ball, I really like the pace and flow of the game much more now. I mean in the early 2000s, watching a Spurs game was like getting teeth pulled.

  7. AdamPS Says:

    Where are all the tattoos?

  8. Jason J Says:

    Rodman had a tattoo monopoly back then.

  9. C Says:

    The 1993 Bulls-Suns Finals 'flowed' well enough, and the scoring was higher for that series than 2009 Lakers-Magic, even forgetting the 3-overtime game. I don't know why the NBA changed the rules, one can hardly blame Pat Riley or TV ratings, but I assume that it was commercially motivated, something to do with shorter skilled players being more widely 'marketable' perhaps.

    Here is my completely uninformed guess -
    There are reasons, aside from arrested development, that O'Neal and Howard try to sell themselves as comic book heroes - it is because you'll never be 6'10 with decent proportions, agility, coordination, stamina and strong joints. It is virtually unreal. You might grow to 6'1 or 6'4, and so it's not impossible that you could be an Iverson, a shorter Jordan, an Isiah Thomas. They began to free up the passage of play for these players, starting in the late 1980s, and by the time Iverson and Marbury entered the league, the first and best option for a 6' point-guard was a cross-over dribble down the middle of the lane.

    Frankly I think you would see more, and not less, of Nash's or Paul's ingenuity if they were being hounded, although their stats would suffer.

  10. P Middy Says:

    Flow was not a problem in the early 90s. But later on in the decade it gets pretty brutal.

    League average last year for PPG - 100 (8 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    96-97 - 96.9 (5 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    97-98 - 95.6 (4 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    98-99 - 91.6 (strike shortened, 1 team with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    99-00 - 97.5 (4 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)

    Defensive changed were being implemented from 97-99 . . . the big difference to me is the # of winning teams scoring 100ppg+. Generally get 14-16 teams with a winning average each year. So few broke the 100 mark on a regular basis. And these are the teams that get televised the most.

    I think it totally had to do with marketing the game. That's no reason to gripe, IMO. You can't have developments in athletics training and in coaching strategy and not tweak the game to keep things balanced.

  11. P Middy Says:

    Here's a fuller chart. If I recall correctly, early to mid 00s where when the Spurs and Pistons were makin it fugly.

    96-97 - 96.9 (5 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    97-98 - 95.6 (4 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    98-99 - 91.6 (strike shortened, 1 team with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    99-00 - 97.5 (4 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    00-01 - 94.8 (4 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    01-02 - 95.5 (3 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    02-03 - 95.1 (3 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    03-04 - 93.4 (2 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    04-05 - 97.2 (6 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    05-06 - 97.0 (3 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    06-07 - 98.7 (6 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    07-08 - 99.9 (8 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    08-09 - 100 (8 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)
    09-10 - 98.7 (10 teams with a winning record scoring more than 100ppg)

  12. thetruthsports Says:

    You gotta love John Starks facial expressions throughout the game.

  13. C Says:

    You can see that the decline comes only after the defensive rule changes. The basketball people in the league were so upset with what had happened that they got rid of the illegal defense call in 01-02 and replaced it with the 3 in the key rule, which they knew could only REDUCE scoring averages and DISCOURAGE the one-on-one game. This makes no sense at all if you contend that the defences were becoming too stifling and the league wanted to raise the scoring averages. Why not keep the old rules and accept that the league was diluted by expansion and excessive contracts? If you want strategy, make it difficult to get to the basket. Stern is a lawyer and would never admit liability.
    Please don't take offence at this argument, I'm just having a bit of fun, I realise that most people prefer the last few years of the league to what happened from 1994 onwards. When I started watching, teams wanted to fast-break because it was the least difficult way to score. A lot of teams feel that their best option now is to clear out for a 2 guard and let him score or draw a foul, and by playing in the half-court, they can 'control the clock', giving them a greater chance of an upset. It's not for me.

  14. P Middy Says:

    I'm not so much interested in being right, as I am getting it right, C!

  15. Sophomore Says:

    I started watching hoops in the 1980s, and the decline in flow and fun in the game during the 1990s made it almost unwatchable. Big, clumsy guards would just put their hands on quicker opponents and prevent them from making the spectacular plays they were capable of. Forwards would pound the ball into the ground and bump their way toward the hoop. It was just hideous - all collisions, all the time, and big musclebound players getting the rules tilted in their favor to allow them to compete with quicker players with better ballhandling and faking skills. So glad that era is dead and buried.

  16. Winfred Clover Says:

    there's a bug with the site on OPera the footer is buggy :/

  17. Neil Paine Says:

    Thanks, we'll look into that.