The NBA in 1981 meant – Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Magic Johnson, Ice Man & Doctor J.
The #1981 NBA playoffs featured the same cast of eastern conference characters. Philadelphia jumped out to Another 3-1 lead on the Celtics but this time it didn’t pan out like the season before. The #BostonCeltics would advance to the NBA Finals. It was their first appearance since winning the title in 1976.
Meanwhile, out west it also seemed like a familiar story. the defending champion Lakers were sure to quickly dispose of the lowly 40 win Houston Rockets.
The Lakers were tied in the mini series 1-1 with the Rockets. Game 3 was in the Fabulous Forum and there was no way that the Lakers would lose
Unfortunately for them, Paul Westhead & Pat Riley didn’t game plan enough for role player, Mike Dunleavy
The unlikely veteran smacked LA and disposed of the defending world champions.
Now on to San Antonio, as the Cinderella tour continues.
Up next? The 52 win San Antonio Spurs. George Gervin and company look to derail the Rockets but history would be different in 1981. It was, a Cinderella season.
Through the sheer dominance of #MosesMalone, Del Harris commands the tempo early, slowing down the pace to utilize Malone’s might.
Game 1 goes to the Rockets and it seems midnight is nowhere in sight.
Reid would be pivotal 4 years later, when another Houston team would make an unlikely run. But in game 3 against the Spurs, Reid would score 33 in a losing effort.
Game 6, however, would belong to Moses. He and Reid would again muster a win in San Antonio. But it was MOSES who would lead his flock into the promised land and he did it, as always, by dominating the offensive glass.
It was the 2 greatest words in team sports, GAME 7! And in the biggest game in Houston Rockets history, Coach Del Harris would call upon his smallest man in stature…
Calvin Murphy would stake his claim to legend status in this clincher. Calvin, the acclaimed baton twirler, twirled in 42 daggers and the little man came up big once again
Finally, the 11 year veteran would get his recognition.
The Spurs were ready to put Houston on ICE and they had the right Star to do it. George Gervin kept the spurs ahead and game 2 was there’s, but not before Robert Reid let the nba know that he had arrived.
This Cinderella series would start in Kansas City.
Scott Wedman aimed to continue the heat he laid on the Suns. But Kansas City struggled in game 1 it went to Houston.
As Coach Del Harris had preached all season long, Success came in ONE WORD: MOSES.
Pounding the paint repeatedly allowed Malone to plant his feet firmly in the midrange, where he dominates most.
Kansas City simply couldn’t keep Moses and company off the boards sparking the fast break, accentuated by the 5 foot 9 inch Murphy. The Rockets wrapped it up in 5 games, closing it out in Kansas City’s gym.
The city of Houston had become believers in the Rockets! Now, the fireball rockets had their biggest challenge ahead of them…