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View Full Version : Reflecting on the whole Warriors Bulls thing



joedaheights
04-08-2016, 11:49 PM
First, I agree with what I heard recently that the NBA knows that this discussion, these type of discussions.. are great for the NBA. Because of that it no longer bothers me. Feeling like the corporate media is trying to tip the scale toward modern teams to gain more shoe sales and drink sales etc. bothers me.. but I understand that the discussion has its value.

I recently had a chance to watch the 96 Bulls v. the Orlando Magic in game 4 of the ECF. A few things struck me..

> The Bulls would beat Golden State. They spent much of the time I was watching with Rodman, Kukoc, Pippen, Jordan and Harper out there… with Shaq on the floor the whole time. Dennis Rodman gave them versatility that is almost beyond comprehension. I had to see it again to believe it. You weren't going to go small to beat the Bulls.

> Jordan was not the same player he was in the beginning of the decade. The Bulls offense in 91-93 and before that, could always rely on Jordan simply taking the other team to their limits physically. He was a threat to get right to the front of the rim and dunk over multiple defenders on any given possession. He was NOT that player in 1996. The Bulls offense was a deliberate attack where they played off of Jordan's post game, absolutely owned second shot opportunities, had Steve Kerr bombing away, and then either got put backs or mid range jumpers.

Someone brought all of this up on ESPN 1000 on Thursday. But there was no follow up that we're asking the wrong question… the question would be "would the Warriors beat the 92 Bulls?"

More on that in a minute. Back to 96.

Rachel Nichols the other day, I'm sure regurgitating some back room geek's argument, came out against the idea that Scottie Pippen would guard Steph Curry. Her argument?

"I mean, come on. In game one of the 96 ECF, Penny Hardaway dropped 38 on Pippen. And he's gonna guard Steph Curry?!"

That's an interesting thing to get from that series… a few other things you could get?

> It was a sweep
> Of a 60 win team.. one of 3 I've found in NBA history (75 Bullets, 98 Lakers)
> A quote, from Matt Guokas at the end of game 4:

"The Bulls defense has just been absolutely terrific throughout this series. Very intelligent the way the decided to play Shaquille O'neal; give him so much single coverage.. In effect let him score some points but keep the other people out of the game. Nick Anderson having trouble getting involved when he was healthy. And the key guy I think they felt was Dennis Scott with his ability to break games open from behind the three point line and they kept him out of the series defensively."

It was this that got me thinking. If you talk basketball a lot in Chicago, you'll realize that smart fans know that that 92 team was better than the 96 team. The same way it was harder to win 68 games in 1986 than it was to win 67 in 1992, it was much easier to win 72 or even more games in 1996.

So, what would the approach be… the more I watch the Warriors and look back at Bulls games, the more I think it would be this…

> Let Curry get his. Throw John Paxson, who was a good defender for a small guard, on him and just cover space around and through screens. Jordan's teams lost plenty of series or games where he'd go absolutely nuts, and the Pistons would take his teammates out of the game.

> Jordan would absolutely demoralize Klay Thompson. He's the main player I see the Bulls taking out of the series and Jordan getting to with his mouth. Jordan would be wasted on Steph Curry, mostly because it would keep John Paxson and BJ Armstrong either off the floor or guarding bigger players. This falls back to a simple idea; what did the Pistons make the 90 Bulls look like when they took Scottie Pippen completely out of the series.

>Pippen on Iguodala or Barnes NOT on Curry. More demoralization. Andre Iguodala would not do anything with 92 Pippen on him. Other than Lebron James, you're talking about the dominant swingman defender of all time

I'm not a fan of the idea that you don't switch Jordan or Pippen on to Curry if only ONE of them are on your team, a la Kawhi Leonard. With both? You don't need to. You've effectively taken away two lesser talents. Let Curry have 50. It's probably worse than it would be if he got 30 with Jordan on him but two guys on down the line, Iguodala or Barnes or Thompson are going off, or all of them at different times or on different possessions.

> The ultimate wildcard… Horace Grant. Horace Grant would not have been the best PF in any era, including this one. What he is though, is perhaps the best PF in terms of his game translating across ALL eras, particularly defensively. You put Grant on Draymond Green and he's just bigger and quicker. Not bigger and slower. Bigger and quicker. AS much as Cartwright's game does NOT translate to today, Grant's would big time.

> Rodney McCray? If the Warriors went small, he'd have to play. You don't want Bill Cartwright out there. But that just shows you that the Bulls would likely waive Cartwright and sign smaller replacements if they were in this era… it's not a reflection of MJ, Pippen or Grant. The good news for Chicago is that if Bogut or Ezeli was out there, King or Williams would be able to be out there too.

I think that degenerating down to having either of those guys trying to get their own offense against a quick center like Stacey King would be a good thing for Chicago.

But their defense wouldn't budge on Green. If he was the biggest player on the floor, Grant would be the biggest on the floor for the Bulls.

On the other end?

A nightmare named Jordan. Their game was to run Jordan on one side, Pippen opposite side, and work MJ to the rim.. which he got to fairly at ease with very physical players draped all over him and elite shot blocking centers.

But they didn't so much want to force a shot on you with Jordan or Pippen, even in good position… if they thought they could work your defense into letting Horace Grant get open under the rim, they would. And sure as you know what, he'd get there if you overplayed Jordan. They were always at their best when MJ was drawing defense and getting a handful of dunks for Horace Grant under the rim.

And they would bomb away from three if you just left that open. Like the Warriors? No. But when you also have the front of the rim game, you've got it.

But there can be no questioning… the Warriors are a great team, Curry is a great player, nobody should be bashing them as a 60 win team.. they're good. early 90s Bulls good? No. But very good.

Saddletramp
04-08-2016, 11:58 PM
Ahhhhhhh, for crying out loud.

nastynice
04-09-2016, 12:33 AM
This boy salty as hell, lol. Nothing to worry about, first off the dubs probably arent gonna get the record, Spurs are UNDEFEATED at home! Second off, even if a team wins 78 games in a season, Bulls legacy is cemented. Period. Just like the 3 peat lakers, the 80's Lakers and Celtics, the Spurs almost 20 yr span. No matter what happens, greatness is always remembered and appreciated.

Also, this season means nothing if dubs don't get the ring, will probably have to face one of the best, possibly the best, Spurs team of their Duncan/pop run. Still a lot of basketball left

joedaheights
04-09-2016, 12:17 PM
This boy salty as hell, lol. Nothing to worry about, first off the dubs probably arent gonna get the record, Spurs are UNDEFEATED at home! Second off, even if a team wins 78 games in a season, Bulls legacy is cemented. Period. Just like the 3 peat lakers, the 80's Lakers and Celtics, the Spurs almost 20 yr span. No matter what happens, greatness is always remembered and appreciated.

Also, this season means nothing if dubs don't get the ring, will probably have to face one of the best, possibly the best, Spurs team of their Duncan/pop run. Still a lot of basketball left

See, I used to be irritated by the conversation until basically being talked into the idea that this conversation is something the NBA wants and something that grows their sport. And I tend to agree. I'm not thinking the Bulls are being slighted by it being brought up… Now I've shifted more to the idea that it's good for the game.

And like I said, I'm not saying Curry and the Warriors are not great. To me, right up there with the 01 Lakers and 03 Spurs as far as teams since the 96 Bulls..

Scoots
04-11-2016, 07:17 PM
I think it's funny when people say 73 wins settles the discussion ... like any discussion of historic greatness can ever end.