1980sBasketballBoston CelticsBrent MusburgerCBSDick StocktonHighlightsInterviewsLarry BirdLew Alcindor / Kareem Abdule-JabbarLos Angeles LakersMagic JohnsonNBANBA FinalsNBA Hall of FamePregame ShowsRobert Parrish

NBA – 1987 – Finals Game 4 Lakers Vs Celtics PreGame Show – With Musburger + Stockton + Heinsohn

Thanks to the 1984 trade of Gerald Henderson and the subsequent fall of the Seattle SuperSonics, at the end of 1985–86 the Celtics were not only the best team in the NBA….but also owned the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft…..when they chose Len Bias with the pick and had high hopes that the presence of the young Maryland Terrapins star would ensure that the franchise would remain a powerhouse after Bird, McHale and Parish retired. Unfortunately, Bias died 48 hours after being drafted….after using cocaine at a party and overdosing.

The Celtics finished the regular season with a 59–23 record, best in the Eastern Conference….and despite retaining the core of the team that won the championship a year earlier….Boston endured numerous injuries to its roster….as their bench, an asset of the previous year’s team, was decimated by injuries to Scott Wedman and Bill Walton.  With limited options, head coach K. C. Jones was forced to give his starting five of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge extended minutes….but the lengthy playing time took its toll on the players’ health….and by the start of the playoffs, the Celtics were a roster full of walking wounded.

After sweeping the Chicago Bulls in the first round, the Celtics were pushed to a Game 7 in the next two rounds by the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons….while advancing each time. Still, the Celtics’ health became a question mark as they entered the Finals.

The Lakers finished the regular season with a league-best 65–17 record….as head coach Pat Riley made a strategical move by shifting the offensive focus to Magic Johnson….plus, the Lakers acquired center Mychal Thompson via trade midway through the season. Both moves helped alleviate the load off of the aging Kareem Abdul-Jabbar….who turned 40 during the playoffs….as A. C. Green supplanted Kurt Rambis in the starting lineup.  

The Lakers’ path to the Finals proved to be smoother….wherein they swept the Denver Nuggets in the first round….defeated the Golden State Warriors in five games during the second round….and swept the Seattle SuperSonicsin the conference finals. 

As usual, the NBA on CBS crew of Brent Musburger, Dick Stockton and Tom Heinsohn do an outstanding job of setting the stage for Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals….which makes this video well worth watching.

 

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