The NBA Finals are once again upon us, and every year it feels like we end up wildly swinging towards one end of the “greatest Finals ever” or “worst Finals ever” spectrum. Last year, we really did have one of the greatest series of all-time, one that was competitive throughout and contained iconic moments like Ray Allen’s three pointer in Game 6.

Perhaps that is really what makes a Finals truly great: a mix of competitive games, a long series, and one or several iconic moments that live on in the highlight reels well after the series has been concluded. We’ll always remember Will Reed hobbling around Madison Square Garden, Kevin McHale clotheslining Kurt Rambis, and Isiah Thomas playing on a badly sprained ankle, certainly much more than we’ll remember the results themselves.

The Finals are a showcase for the league’s best, and often that brings out a lot of animosity between the two teams. The Celtics and Lakers have met in the Finals an astonishing 12 times, which has played an instrumental role in making them basketball’s greatest rivalry. While we don’t quite see that yet from the Spurs and Heat, give it time. Maybe it’s coming.

While there have been plenty of duds and a large number of mediocre efforts, these are the 20 Greatest NBA Finals of All Time.

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