This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal Plus
With both Kareem and Oscar on the Bucks team, the greatest center of all-time and arguably the greatest player and all around point guard of all-time in Oscar Robertson, that was too much to deal with for even a very good Bullets team. Especially with injuries that they were dealing with, like with key forward Gus Johnson. The Bullets lost to a team that was better than them in the 1971 NBA Finals. The only time they made it to the NBA Finals in Baltimore. The Bucks weren’t a deeply talented team with a tone of great players in 71. But they had Kareem and Oscar and a very good supporting cast around them.
If anything the Bullets perhaps peaked too soon in 71. With the New York Knicks failing to get back to the Finals after winning the NBA Finals in 1970. The Boston Celtics were in somewhat of a transition in the early 1970s, transitioning from the Red Auerbach/Bill Russell era of the 1960s and transition back to being an NBA Finals contender in the mid-1970s, where they won the Finals in 1974 and 76. The Philadelphia 76ers were awful in the early 1970s. So that opened up the door for the Bullets in the Eastern Conference in 1971.