The 2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers
reached the 2004 NBA Finals
, losing in 5 games to the Detroit Pistons
Note: GP= Games played; MPG= Minutes per Game; STL = Steals; REB = Rebounds; ASST = Assists; BLK = Blocks; PPG = Points per Game
2004 NBA Finals
- (OT) denotes a game that required overtime.
The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage
. This is only used in the Finals, all other playoff games are held in a 2-2-1-1-1 format (the team with home court advantage starts).
The Lakers had a lineup of stars such as Karl Malone
, Gary Payton
, Derek Fisher
, Kobe Bryant
, and Shaquille O'Neal
- their offensive capability was expected to overpower Detroit's defensive-based gameplan.
Payton and Malone also added to the publicity of the Finals. Perennial All-Stars
who had both previously reached the Finals, Payton had led the Seattle SuperSonics
there in 1996
, while Malone had led the Utah Jazz
there in 1997
. However, Michael Jordan
and the Bulls denied them championship rings a total of three times. By the time of Jordan's retirement in 2003, the two veterans were aged and failed to lead their teams deep into the playoffs.<ref... Read More