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Tag:Michael Jordan
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:51 pm
 

91-92 Bulls vs 10-11 Heat

Now that we have a good portion of the season done with and with the Allstar break coming up I think we have enough information to form a comparison between the super team that is the Heat and the super team that was the Bulls. I chose to compare the Heat against the 91-92 Bulls because it was Jordan's 8th season in the NBA and we are now in the 8th season's of both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. This is not an attempt to bash the Heat or the Bulls for that matter, but to look closely at the roster formula that both these teams use/used and see just how far away the Heat are from becoming a dynasty.

First we should look at the individual stats from the two key players on both teams and compare.

91-92 Bulls

Jordan:
30.1 ppg, .519 FG%, .270 3P%, 6.1 apg, 6.4 rpg, .9 bpg, 2.3 spg, 2.5 tpg
Pippen: 21.0 ppg, .506 FG%, .200 3P%, 7.0 apg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 1.9 spg, 3.09 tpg

Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .512 FG%, .235 3P%, 6.5 apg, 7.0 rpg, 1 bpg, 2.1 spg, 2.79 tpg 

10-11 Heat

LeBron:
26.1 ppg, .485 FG%, .349 3P%, 7.3 apg, 7.3 rpg, .58 bpg, 1.58 spg, 3.69 tpg
Wade: 25.0 ppg, .495 FG%, .316 3P%, 4.4 apg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 1.32 spg, 3.2 tpg

Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .490 FG%, .332 3P%, 5.8 apg, 7.0 rpg, .79 bpg, 1.45 spg, 3.44 tpg

A few things pop out when you look at the combined averages. Both of these super combos average the same amount point per game and rebounds per game which I thought was sort of cool. Both Wade and James are far better 3 point shooters at this stage in their careers then Scottie and MJ were back in 1991-92. Pippen and Jordan would go on to become pretty solid 3 point shooters, but they clearly were not very good at this point in time. Good thing they had B.J. armstrong and Craig Hodges sitting behind the arc to spred the defenses. Because Wade and LeBron shot better and more 3 pointers their field goal percentage average is lower then that of the Bulls' combo. What this means? Simply put, the LeBron/Wade combo are a better scoring combo in the light that they can do damage from more spots on the floor, while Jordan/Scottie shot a lot of 17 footers or simply scored in the paint as both were alltime greats at finishing at the rim. However, this does not mean that the Heat combo was better then the Bulls combo at scoring, because you have to factor in just how damn good MJ was at getting to the basket and finishing. I do not think that there has been a better player in NBA history at breaking down defenses and getting into the paint. Pippen was also no slouch at this either, and as good as LeBron and Wade are at getting to the rim, MJ and Scottie were better. The bottomline is that the Heat combo are more perimeter oriented while the Bulls combo looked to penetrate. I for one think both are good in there own ways, but in the end getting to the paint and drawing fouls  creates more for the rest of the team and wins games in the playoffs, so I give the edge to the Bulls.

The Bulls combo also wins out in the other 4 catagories of Steals, Blocks, Assists, and Turnovers. Many Heat fans thought that the LeBron/Wade duo would certainly outshine that of the Jordan/Pippen duo but that does not seem to be the case. I am not poking fun or doing a "I told you so" thread, I am actually here to say that the Heat team as built is very close to that of a team that won 6 Championships. Now I may not like leBron as a person, but he is a great player and the best player in the game right now. I take issue with how he deals with the media and how he handles himself on the sidelines, but there have been worse players in NBA history in this regard. Let's move on shall we?

Lets look at the 3rd man on both of these teams. While many might want to call me out for saying that Horace Grant was close to as good as Chris Bosh, I will simply point to the proof.

Horace Grant: 14.2 ppg, .578 FG%, 0 3P%, 2.7 apg, 10.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 tpg
Chris Bosh: 18.4 ppg, .498 FG%, .316 3P%, 1.6 apg, 8.1 rpg, .71 bpg, .76 spg, 1.71 tpg

Okay, so what we have here is a case of a shooting power forward and a low post power forward. Bosh simply shys away from contact and loves to shoot jumpers which is not a bad thing, but when you have two superstars on the team that do the same thing you need to adjust your game. I do not think Bosh is the right fit to be honest. Infact a healthy Udonis Haslem might be better. The Heat need a banger in the paint that is not affraid of contact and enjoys defense. Horace Grant was a good defender and shot high percentage shots around the basket. He did not have a lot of range, but he was a perfect fit for the Bulls. Chris Bosh, to me is one of the most glaring mistakes the heat made. They would have been better off with a banger like Carlos Boozer or Amar'e Stoudemire, but they could have saved money and just added a decent defensive minded PF and they would have saved a ton of money. That money could have been spent on a decent Center that is younger then 40 and a starting level point guard. The league is full of talent at the PG position, yet the Heat have one of the worse starting PGs in the NBA.

The Bulls formula was better. Two superstars, and decent talent at every position. As it stands the Heat need help at the PG and C position and Bosh, while a nice talent, is not the right fit. Sure Bosh has big games from time to time and his scoring and range are nice, but he is not the right fit, period. The Bulls had Paxson and Armstrong at the PG and Cartwright at center, which was just enought to make the Bulls deadly. 

When you compare the benches it is not close. The Heat have Mike Miller and that is about it, while the Bulls had Stacy King, Will Perdue, Craig Hodges, and Cliff Levingston. They had depth in the front court and that is an area that the Heat need to address.

So how far away are the Heat?

Not to far. what they really need to do, but I never see it happening, is to trade Chris Bosh for 2 or 3 good roleplayers. Maybe I will make another thread with trade ideas, or perhaps you guys can come up with some, but I bet the Heat can get 2 or 3 solid players for Bosh. They simply need a banger at the PF, a younger center that can play defense, and a sarting level PG. Look at what teams with good PGs and bigman have done to the Heat this season. Look at all of the Heat's losses this season and look at what players on the other teams had big games and what positions they played. The other issue is that as a team the Heat are WAY to perimeter oriented and they need to attack the rim with Wade and LeBron much much more. If you live and die by the three pointer, you are certainly going to die in the playoffs.

In conclusion, the Heat need to:

1. Move Bosh for 2-3 good roleplayers.
2. Attack the paint on offense.
3. Take care of the ball. Way to many turnovers from your stars.

Final thought.

The Bulls combined salaries for the 1991-92 season was 16.7 million dollars. LOL. That would buy you one star player in todays game. This is why the CBA is going to be ugly.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 10:25 am
 

Basketball Shoes?

I thought the idea of a shoe disigner was to make the best product for their market? Well I guess if you add a spring in the sole of the shoe then the NBA is bound to ban it. That is just what Athletic Propulsion Labs has done. they have added a spring and test are showing increases in jumping ability. I really do not care about this shoe or it's being banned, but rather it brought two questions to my mind right away and I would like to hear your responses.

1) What was the biggest gimmick basketball shoe you ever purchased?

2) Which NBA player needs a pair of these spring shoes most?

I have an answer to the 1st questoin right away as it really was the reason I started this thread. To talk about all the crazy basketball shoes over the last 2 decades or so. The first goofy pair of BB shoes I ever owned wee a pair of Reebok pumps. The 1st generation ones with the basketball on the tongue of the shoe. Living by Chicago I my I could not find any pair in Bulls colors so I went with a horrid purple/orange/white combo. Man were they ugly but so cool at the same time.

However these are not the stangest pair of basketball shoes that I ever owned. Does anyone remember the L.A. Gear Catapult? If not here is an ad from back in the day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9d4Y-vS1-E

I really liked these shoes. Mine were all black. I remember not being a big fan of the fact that they were made by L.A. Gear, but they really felt good on. A bit springy. Did anyone else ever own a pair of these? I love taking a walk down memory lane. Those Reeboks and L.A. Gears were the only two real name brand shoes I owned as a kid as we were not rolling in cash those days. It is funny however that when I did come up with the money to buy a pair of $100 shoes I went with gimmick shoes. I never owned a pair of Jordans either, which is against the law in these parts. I do remember really liking a pair of them as a kid in middle school. I think they were Jordan 5s in black and red.
Posted on: June 19, 2010 10:26 pm
 

Why There is No Respect for the 90s NBA.

          This is it. I cannot take it anymore. Too many people have no respect for the basketball that was played in the 1990s. False labels have been plastered on it from people who were not even old enough to have watched a single game from the decade. Some call it a soft decade were no defense was played. Other point that there were no other good teams except the Chicago Bulls. This is a heeping pile of bull crap! The 90s were full of great teams both in the east and the west and outstanding defense was still played because the newer rule changes were not in effect. Shooters were murdered on the floor. Hand checking was not even heard of. But I now know the real reason there is no respect for the 90s. It is quite simple.
        The reason for no respect is due to the fact that neither the Lakers or the Celtics were any good in that decade. Sure the Lakers were okay at the start of it when Magic Johnson was still playing. You see the NBA is so owned by these two franchises that as fans we simply believe that the 90s lacked any real competition for the Bulls because they did not have to face a good Celtics or Lakers team. This is crazy. The Knicks of the mid 90s were a great team. They played gritty and nasty defense. They were as good a team as any other team to reach the eastern conference finals in league history for the most part. People make it out as if the Bulls had it easy. False. The talent level was great in the 90s. The early part of the decade had the Pistons and the Cavaliers in the east for the Bulls to contend with. Then it was the Knicks, Magic, and Pacers. Even the Heat and the Hornets had good stretches in the 90s. 
         Out west there were plenty of good teams like the Trail Blazers, Supersonics, Rockets, Suns, Spurs, and Jazz. The Bulls were simply just better then the rest. Would the Bulls have won 6 Championships in the 80s with the team they had in the 90s. Most likely not, but they would have won 3 or 4 and maybe even 5. I never see anyone ask a question like, "Would the Kobe/Shaq Lakers win three in a row in the 80s?" or "How many titles would Russell have won had his team of the 60s played in the 90s?". Nobody asked these questions. Nobody dears to tarnish the legendary Celtics or the showtime Lakers. But the Bulls, well they were just lucky to have played in the 90s. There is no way they would compete in todays game or at any other time in NBA history. The stars in the sky were all just in the right spot at the right time. Also, Michael Jordan is not even a top 5 alltime player if you ask me. Also, I think Paul Pierce is better then a prime Scottie Pippen. Pippen was only good because of MJ. Whats that you say? Pippen had his best season ever without Michael and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Well that is just because Scottie and the Bulls were lucky to play in the 90s. Pippen is really just a roleplayer.
          I cannot take it anymore! The 72 win Bulls were the best team to ever step foot on the floor. One could argue they were the best defensive team alltime and they had the greatest player of alltime. Jordan(1x DPOY, 9x Defensive 1st team) Pippen(8x Defensive 1st team, 2x Defensive 2nd team) Rodman(2x DPOY, 7x Defensive 1st team, 7x Rebounding Champ). They simply shut other teams down.
          The bottomline to this insane rant is that the Bulls get no respect in the 1990s because the Lakers and Celtics were not good at the time. I would bet my life that had the Celtics had the Knicks' roster and the Lakers had the Jazz's roster in the 90s that there would be no debate. The Bulls 72 win Bulls would be the greatest ever, but because the Celtics and Lakers sucked at the time then so must have the Bulls as well. Dumb.
        Whenever the Celtics and Lakers go through a bad stretch of seasons at the same time you have people calling that a bad era in NBA history. What the hell is wrong with us. The world of basketball should not revolve around two teams should it? Do not get me wrong. I do not hate the Lakers or the Celtics as francises, but I do hate that their winning dictates great basketball, but if some other team is playing well then they are just lucky. That is a big crap sandwich and I am not hungry.
Posted on: August 1, 2009 10:34 pm
 

The Best Single Game Performance in NBA History.

     Well I thought I would take a small break from writing about the Bulls at look at the NBA in general. I was reading an article on the greatest playoff performances in the history of the NBA and I started to wonder what the best single game ever played by a player was. This would include playoffs, regular season, and finals games. I came up with seven games that stood out to me and I am sure I have missed some other really good ones as well. So, please reply and let me know what you think and also what other great single game performances you think stand the test of time. So let us take a look.

Kobe Bryant scores 81.
I started with the most recent game in history and one that sould be fresh in all our minds. The were playing the Raptors back in 2006 when Kobe decided he would go off big time. He single handedly crushed the Raptors in this regular season game. Kobe even sat out part of the fourth quarter. Had he stayed in he could have closed in on the record. What makes this performance stand out to me is the fact that Kobe scored so many points against a solid club in the modern era and that he is a shooting guard. Most of the single game scoring records are held by bigmen making what Kobe did even more special.

Isiah Thomas vs the Lakers 1988. It was game 6 of the 1988 NBA finals and the Pistons were up against the Magic Johnson led Lakers when Isiah proved why many believed him to be one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. Despite a late game injury Thomas would drive his team from a third quarter deficit to victory and force a game seven. Thomas would score a NBA record 25 points in the third quarter and finished the game with 43 points, 8 assists, and 6 steals.

Wilt makes history with 100 points. Just typing that gives me the chills. It was back in 1962 when Chamberlain would face the New York Knicks and put on the greatest offensive assaults ever. An even 100 points. Perhaps the greatest record in the NBA today. Not 99 or 101 points but a blood cooling 100 points. Another interesting thing to me was the final score of 169 to 147. That is crazy. 316 points scored in one game. I am not sure we will see a game like that again in the modern era.

Elgin Baylor vs the Celtics. This is just an insane performance by Baylor. In an all important game 5 were the series was tied Elgin took over on both ends and pushed the Lakers past the Celtics and to a 3-2 series lead. Baylor scored an amazing 61 points while controlling the paint with 22 rebounds. That is 22 points for a 6'5" shooting guard in a finals game against the Celtics who had perhaps the greatest rebounder in NBA history in Bill Russell is the most outstanding part of this performance to me.

Michael Jordan vs the Celtics. This is the game in which MJ became MJ and the very moment that the whole world took notice of his Airness. Sure Jordan was a household name by this point but this game made him an icon and had Larry Bird calling him "God dressed as Michael Jordan". Sure the Bulls lost the game, but it was against arguably the greatest team in NBA history. Jordan would try to carry the Bulls by dropping 63 points against a defensive juggernaut of a team in the Boston Celtics.

Reggie Miller kills the Knicks. This might be the greatest last 10 seconds for any player in a NBA playoff game ever. The score was 105 to 99 with about 16 seconds on the clock. With 8.9 seconds Miller would hit a 3 then steal the inbound pass an quickly hit another 3. Game tied in seconds. Starks then get fouled and misses both shots and then it is again Reggie to the rescue with a 2 point jumper to rip the hearts out of the Knicks. The crowd is silent.

Bill Russell in game 7. Earlier we looked at Elgin Baylor and his great effort in game 5 of the 1962 finals. Well in game 7 Bill Russell showed the world that he was a monster. Russell would go on to dominate on both ends of the floor by scoring 30 points and pulling down an unbelievable 40 rebounds. This is the stuff of legends if you ask me. A giant lurking in the paint and forcing his will. The Celtics would win the game and therefore the finals.

     Well, those are my 7 games. There are a few I thought about putting on the list like MJ's flu game, Shaq vs the 76ers in the finals, and Magic's performance in game 6 of the 1980 finals, but I ended up picking these seven. So what performances did I miss?

Posted on: May 24, 2009 1:01 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2009 1:02 pm
 

The 1980s vs the 1990s.

While checking out a few of the now notorious Kobe vs Jordan or LeBron vs Jordan threads I keep running into this single argument that I have trouble swallowing. Some Posters keeps refering to the 1990s as a weak decade for NBA basketball. Often the argument states that there were few teams outside the Bulls that were really even that good and that that is why Michael Jordan is looked at so greatly. Then you will here this followed by the fact that the Lakers and Celtics were old and could no longer challenge the Bulls. That idea is an injustice to many great teams of the 1990s, many of which could have given the 80s Lakers and Celtics a run for their money. Am I saying that the 90s were better then the 80s? No, what I am saying is that they were very close and solid arguments can be made in both cases. Let us take a look.

The 1980s were really dominated by two teams and we all understand that. The rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics is by far the greatest in the NBA and maybe in all sports behind Yankees/Redsox. Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson in college and then on the NBA hardwood is a storybook-type legend that shaped the NBA into a powerhouse league. The Celtics with Bird, Parish, McHale, and Walton created perhaps the greatest frontcourts in NBA history and the Lakers with Magic, Worthy, Kareem, and Cooper were maybe the most balanced and exciting teams ever. Nothing can be taken away from what these two teams did and how great they were.

Let's look at the rest of the 80s teams. There were the Hakeem and the Rockets, Dr. J and Malones 76ers, and the late eighties Cavaliers and Pistons that were all great teams as well. What I am getting at is that the 80s were just like the 90s in that there were two teams that were above the rest and a half dozen or so very good teams just below them. In the 90s the Bulls were the Laker/Celtics in that they were just better then the rest. It is not like the Bulls just swept every team in the playoffs though. They had their hurdles to jump.

To me the 80s and 90s will always stand out as the two best decades in NBA history for a two reason. First, players started to get much bigger, stronger, and faster. This is even more true for the 90s when players like Shaq and David Robinson came on the scene. Before the 80s basketball was more of a team sport and a finesse game. I am not saying that it was not physical, but no one can say it was more physical then the 80s and 90s when players were much stronger and therefore fouls were just that more nasty. Secondly, there were no hand checking rules back then so defenses were twice as aggressive as they are today. I really wonder how LeBron James or Kobe Bryant would do against the 80s Celtics or Pistons or the 90s Bulls or Knicks. Jump shooting was much harder and so was driving the lane. The game is now designed for high scoring and fast paced basketball. Gone are the days of hard fouls every other play and players be whacked al the time. Take a look at some old tapes of games from the 80s and 90s and one will see that it was a much different game.

To say the 90s had no competition for the Bulls is just silly. The Bulls real rivalries took place in the East Playoffs and not the Finals. Sure the Suns, Jazz, Trail Blazers, and Supersonics were all great teams with HOF players on them, but anyone who was alive to watch Jordan and the Bulls play knows that the teams that the Bulls had most trouble with were in their own conference. The early 90s with the Pistons has to be one of the greatest rivalries in the NBA behind the Lakers/Celtics and if the Bulls had been in the west and those playoff series were really Finals matchups then some would argue them to be some of the greatest Finals matchups ever. Also, who could forget the intense matchups with the Knicks and Pacers. Surely those Knicks and Pacers teams of the 90s would have won rings had the Bulls not been around.

Bottomline. It is hard to really compare two different decades of basketball and I for one believe the 80s and 90s to be the best ever do to player size and athletic abilities and the lack of strict defensive rules. To make a claim that Kobe or even LeBron is better then Jordan or Magic is like comparing apples and oranges. Who is to say how well James and Kobe would have played back in the day against hard defenses? Maybe they would be even better. Who knows? Would Magic and MJ thrive even more with less contact? I think Jordan would be even scarier in today's game. You really only need to look at the stats and add to that the era of basketball that they played in to realize that MJ, Magic, and Bird were the greatest players ever. Wilt, Russell, Oscar, and Kareem are also in the mix.

I guess I will close with my alltime top ten list because it just seems fitting.

1)Michael Jordan. 2)Magic Johnson. 3)Wilt Chamberlain. 4)Bill Russell. 5)Larry Bird. 6)Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 7)Oscar Robertson. 8)Hakeem Olajuwan. 9)Tim Duncan. 10)Shaquille O'Neal





 
 
 
 
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