View Poll Results: Who was the best player in 1982?

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  • Moses Malone

    5 71.43%
  • Larry Bird

    0 0%
  • Magic Johnson

    2 28.57%
  • George Gervin

    0 0%
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Thread: The Best Player championship belt: 1982

  1. #1
    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Charlotte, NC

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    Default The Best Player championship belt: 1982


    Reigning belt holder: Moses Malone

    NBA Champion: Los Angeles Lakers
    MVP: Moses Malone
    Finals MVP: Magic Johnson
    Scoring champ: George Gervin (32.3)
    PER champ: Moses Malone (26.8)

    The candidates:

    Moses Malone: The chairman of the boards not only met the expectations set by his spectacular 1981 season, he improved upon them. Roughly equaling his league-leading rebound numbers from the season prior with a 14.7 average, Moses was again 2+ boards better than everyone else in the league. His scoring peaked with a career-best 31.1ppg, second in the entire league and he did it while maintaining his 52% field goal percentage. For the 2nd time in 4 seasons, Moses was named league MVP. Despite attempts to improve his supporting cast however, the Rockets remained a 1-man show. Moses's individual dominance was good enough to get them over the .500 mark to 46 wins, but were relegated to the same #6 seed they were the season before. Moses and the Rockets would not have another Cinderella run to the finals this season, despite Malone's playoff averages of 24 points and 17 rebounds through double and triple teams. The Sonics took out the defending conference champs 2-1 to end Moses's signature season and ultimately his career with the middling Rockets.

    Larry Bird: Bird's slow but steady improvement stayed consistent in 1982. He upped his averages slightly to 22.9ppg, 10.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting over 50% for the first time in his career. His biggest improvement came on the defensive end, where he not only improved but thrived, landing on the all-defensive 2nd team. His Celtics looked to be better than ever as well, winning a league-best 63 games. Bird had modest averages of 17/10/3 in a relatively easy 4-1 2nd round series against Washington, and even when the Sixers took 3 of the first 4 games from them in the conference finals, it seemed that history would simply repeat itself as Bird responded with 20, 20 and 8 to spark the celtics to a game 5 and ultimately game 6 win to bring it back to the garden for game 7. Unfortunately much like Moses's rockets, it was simply too much to ask. Despite Bird playing admirably to the tune of 20 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists, game 7 wasn't ever close as the Sixers avenged their humiliating 1981 finish to eliminate the Celtics on the home floor and regain control of the east.

    Magic Johnson: Following two seasons in which he looked part basketball savant and part petulant child, Magic had a new coach and a new contract under his belt, and at just 22 looked ready to take the next step as a leader for the superpowered Lakers. Establishing new standards of 18.6 points, 9.5 assists (just shy of leading the league), 9.6 rebounds and a league-best 2.7 steals, Magic became a full time swiss army knife for a Lakers team was suddenly running and gunning under new coach Pat Riley. Fast-breaking the NBA into submission, the Lakers won 57 games, good for tops in the west, and Magic ran over the suns in the playoffs. He averaged a 20/12/11/3 triple-double in a 4-game sweep, and nearly had a repeat performance in the conference finals, with 16.5, 12.5 and 9.8 averages in a sweep of the Spurs. Already with 5 triple-doubles under his belt heading into the finals, Magic was not quite as dominant against a much tougher Sixers team but still made an impact with averages of 16, 11 and 8, including a 13/13/13 triple-double in the clinching game 6 as Magic erased the memory of 1981 with his second championship in 3 seasons, as well as his second finals MVP.

    George Gervin: Approaching 30 with a decade of basketball under his belt, the iceman had one signature season left in him. Averaging a league-best 32.3 points while getting his FG% back up to .504, George Gervin was once again the most unstoppable scoring guard in the league, and he did it while carrying a mediocre Spurs roster to 48 wins and the west's #2 seed. He was in the playoffs as well, averaging over 27 points in a 4-1 2nd round beating of the sonics, and he gave the Lakers all they could handle, scorching them for 34 points in game 1, 39 and 15 rebounds in game 3, and 38 more in game 4. Despite the impressive numbers, the Lakers simply had way too much firepower for even the Iceman, as Gervin's renaissance was extinguished in a bloody 4-game conference finals sweep.
    Last edited by Kstat; 08-30-2017 at 04:20 PM.

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