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Old 05-01-2012, 02:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Clyde was injured in the 92 playoffs. He was nit 100%, I read around 80%. Of course , it was in Clyde's own book though.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Considering Jordan dominated Clyde all throughout the 80's, Jordan would eat his lunch in 1990.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Bulls would win easily. Jordan would have averaged like 37/7/7/53% FG.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelEyes
I think the Bulls would have won, the 1990 Bulls weren't that far off the 91' Bulls. Portland was never a great closing team and I don't think this series would have been an exception. The Bulls took the Pistons to game 7 in 90' and the Pistons demolished the Blazers after game 1 in the Finals. No doubt that the Bulls probably would have won in 6.

This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Portland was more talented, but Chicago had the league's best player and they were the better, tougher team, imo. They were a strong half court team, but could thrive in the open court which was Portland's game. Jordan, Pippen and Grant were very formidable in an open court game, and then they had John Paxson spotting up in transition.



Drexler was actually better in '92 than '90.



Not really, Pippen made the all-star team in '90, and while he was inconsistent in the second half, he really broke out in the playoffs and played great ball vs Milwaukee and Philly. Commentators in the Milwaukee series were saying that Pippen would still be the man on most teams, and while I consider that an exaggeration, he definitely played very well.

Don't get me wrong, Pippen had a lot of improving to do. He was still developing his outside shot, though it was getting pretty good in '91, he was a very talented and capable defender, but not as smart as he'd become, and he hadn't truly developed into the point forward yet.

In 1991, he improved quite a bit defensively, continuing improving his shot and started developing into more of the point forward in the second half of the regular season in playoffs, these improvements would continue as he was considerably better in '92 than '91 and was at his best in '94-'96, peaking '94 or perhaps the first half of '96 before the ankle injuries.

Horace Grant still made his share of mental mistakes in '90, but he already had a jump shot, he ran the floor very well for a 4, was a strong finisher and one of the most active and versatile defensive big men.

Bill Cartwright was an effective post scorer for them that they utilized quite a bit, especially early in games, and John Paxson was an almost automatic spot up shooter.



Well, they were still learning the offense, but they got better as the season went on. They started out just 29-20, but finished 26-7. And the offense already paid off as Jordan became much less ball-dominant, but still scored a ton.



Well, in a way. He was averaging 34/7/6 for them in the season, and 37//7/7 in the playoffs. But he was amazingly doing it very much within in the flow of the offense without holding or dominating the ball much and playing off the ball quite a bit. He had also become more of a jump shooter than anything as part of this adjustment to fit in more. Mostly his devastating mid-range game, but also a very effective 3 point shot that season. He still drove to the basket and was as quick and explosive as ever, but people forget how much he used his jump shot in the early 90's, and when he did drive, he was quick and decisive with his move. Not much over-dribbling.

People sometimes talk about '91 as Jordan "changing", but he had already "changed" by '90. His approach was virtually the same as '91, the only difference is that the coaching staff made more of an effort to limit MJ's minutes in '91 so he wanted to start off looking for his shot more early in games.

These growths in Jordan's game allowed his teammates to get involved and allowed Pippen, Grant, Cartwright and Paxson to play their games.

He had a pretty good cast by that point. The Bulls didn't have as much talent as Detroit, Phoenix, LA or Portland for example in 1990, but they didn't in 1991 either and they won the title that year.

They took a loaded Piston team with incredible balance on offense and the league's best defense to 7 games in '90. Taking that Piston team to 7 without homecourt advantage is no small feat.

Depending on the night, they had 3 guards who could be their go to guy in Isiah, Dumars and Vinnie. Plus Isiah and Dumars could alternate who ran the offense and who played off the ball. Then they had Mark Aguirre who could also get hot and be their go to guy. James Edwards gave them another low post scorer, and they'd often go to him a lot with that turnaround jumper. They'd have pick and pops with Bill Laimbeer who could stretch the defense and they have they their role players like Rodman and John Salley.

That says a lot about the '90 Bulls that they took them to 7.

I personally think they were a better team than the '90 Blazers, not as talented, but a better, tougher team with the league's best player.

And this.

I guarantee if you ask the Pistons who were their toughest matchup in 1990, they'd say Chicago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySic
I think the Blazers win; the Bulls weren't quite ready just yet.

The Blazers peaked in '90 and '91; when they made the Finals in '92 they were slightly past their peak.

Chicago wasn't ready to beat Detroit but neither was Portland. And Chicago didn't fold at home like the Blazers did. Losing 3 straight home games shows a lack of mental toughness. Detroit didn't come out of Chicago with a playoff win. Detroit won game 7 because they knew how to win and Chicago had doubts (and a key injury) spurred by their past failures against the Bullies from Motown. Portland didn't have a mental edge on them like Detroit did.

Plus, Detroit was able to play the right kind of defense to make Chicago vulnerable. Portland wouldn't have been able to do that. The Blazers played a much more fast paced, up and down style that Pippen in particular would have excelled in.

Michael Jordan. He played his best against the best competition and even better on the big stage. Competing against Drexler at the NBA Finals would have brought out an even better MJ.

I think Chicago was the 2nd best team in the league in 1990. They couldn't beat Detroit, but they would have beaten everyone else.

Last edited by Da_Realist : 05-03-2012 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Realist
This.



And this.

I guarantee if you ask the Pistons who were their toughest matchup in 1990, they'd say Chicago.



Chicago wasn't ready to beat Detroit but neither was Portland. And Chicago didn't fold at home like the Blazers did. Losing 3 straight home games shows a lack of mental toughness. Detroit didn't come out of Chicago with a playoff win. Detroit won game 7 because they knew how to win and Chicago had doubts (and a key injury) spurred by their past failures against the Bullies from Motown. Portland didn't have a mental edge on them like Detroit did.

Plus, Detroit was able to play the right kind of defense to make Chicago vulnerable. Portland wouldn't have been able to do that. The Blazers played a much more fast paced, up and down style that Pippen in particular would have excelled in.

Michael Jordan. He played his best against the best competition and even better on the big stage. Competing against Drexler at the NBA Finals would have brought out an even better MJ.

I think Chicago was the 2nd best team in the league in 1990. They couldn't beat Detroit, but they would have beaten everyone else.
Out of interest, why do you think the Bulls were the 9th best team in the regular season by regular and advanced measures (W-L record, Margin of Victory, SRS), without suffering any signifcant injuries (of their top 7 guys 6 played 80+ games Cartwright played 71).
Was this Phil bedding in the triangle? Maybe, but it was on defense where the biggest improvement would come. I think the growth of Grant and Pip on D was probably their biggest improvement over the next couple of years.

I don't know what would happen but everyone seems to think Chicago would crush Portland based on/viewed through what would happen later, and looking Chicago like they were already the team they would become.

It also depends on whether we assume Portland would put up the sort of mystifyingly awful performance they did against Detroit. I guess that depends on whether the performance was down to mental fragility (though they got the finals twice), fatigue, matchups or luck.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:36 AM   #21
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl
Out of interest, why do you think the Bulls were the 9th best team in the regular season by regular and advanced measures (W-L record, Margin of Victory, SRS), without suffering any signifcant injuries (of their top 7 guys 6 played 80+ games Cartwright played 71).
Was this Phil bedding in the triangle? Maybe, but it was on defense where the biggest improvement would come. I think the growth of Grant and Pip on D was probably their biggest improvement over the next couple of years.

I don't know what would happen but everyone seems to think Chicago would crush Portland based on/viewed through what would happen later, and looking Chicago like they were already the team they would become.

It also depends on whether we assume Portland would put up the sort of mystifyingly awful performance they did against Detroit. I guess that depends on whether the performance was down to mental fragility (though they got the finals twice), fatigue, matchups or luck.

As a general rule, I don't judge a team based on regular season performance. The regular season is there for teams to find their way. Find the best starting lineup and the best 3 or 4 bench players, deal with injuries and other additions/changes to the roster. Teams use the regular season to pace themselves so that they are hitting their stride by the end of April.

As for Chicago, in particular... This was Phil Jackson's first year and he introduced the triangle for the first time. Not only did it take a while for the team to accept this change, but it takes a while to know it well enough for it to be near 100% effective. Detroit beat Chicago 4-1 in the regular season and they controlled the last 4 games from tip to finish. One was a 25 point blow out IN Chicago. But these same two teams were stretched to the limit in the playoffs. That's because Chicago was always a better playoff team than regular season team. Here are a few reasons why.

The Bulls coaching staff was the best in the league. Or at least as good as any other. They were great at making adjustments from game to game and what really separated them was how they could make in-game adjustments. Chicago was known as a strong 3rd quarter team because of their half court adjustments. And the more Chicago played you, the more they could zero in on your tendencies. Playing Chicago best of 7 is a lot harder than playing them 4 or 5 times spread out over a season.

MJ and Scottie were also very intelligent and could make adjustments to the adjustments that Phil's coaching staff already implemented. This allowed the Bulls to be able to adjust (offensively and defensively) on the fly. If Phil told them to do one thing in the last timeout, but MJ and/or Scottie felt like it wasn't working after a couple of possessions, they would change the play or focus of the team without calling a timeout. Playing a team with the ability to make adjustments in game is very tough for a team that needs 2 days to watch film before making significant adjustments.

You couldn't stop MJ, you could only hope to contain him. Frankly put, he's the best perimeter playoff performer we ever saw. When all else failed (adjustments, poor shooting, bad calls, etc), MJ might just put up one of those special performances that could give the Bulls a W anyway. Clyde, not so much.

You had to have a very smart, very good and very experienced team to beat the Bulls even in 1990. The Pistons were the best team in the league and it took a Game 7 in Detroit to finally put them away.

The Bulls were not the 9th best anything by the time the playoffs rolled around and that showed itself.

As far as the matchup vs the Blazers. Give me MJ/Scottie over the Blazers and let's not forget the collosal coaching advantage the Bulls had (Phil Jackson vs Rick Adelman). Like I said, the Blazers lost 3 straight home games to the Pistons. They couldn't adjust to the Pistons well enough to win even one game at home. And they were certainly talented enough to do it.

Last edited by Da_Realist : 05-03-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:40 PM   #22
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Realist
As for Chicago, in particular... This was Phil Jackson's first year and he introduced the triangle for the first time. Not only did it take a while for the team to accept this change, but it takes a while to know it well enough for it to be near 100% effective.

Yeah, and many underestimate this, for example, the Bulls started off just 5-5, and were 28-19 in the first half of the season(49 win pace), but 27-8 after the all-star break(63 win pace). Which I guess demonstrates as well as you can on paper the growth and the adjustments to the new offense, but having seen somewhere between 40-50 '89-'90 Bulls games between regular season and playoffs, it's even more apparent when watching the games.

The rest of the Bulls had to get use to being a bigger part of the offense, Phil has talked about how they were used to watching Michael at times and having him bail them out or carry them. And while he'd carry the team at times even with the triangle, or sometimes bail them out late in the clock, they certainly couldn't stand around and watch him in the triangle.

I'm sure he knew there'd be some of those early season struggles, but it happened pretty quickly, they continued to get more comfortable in the offense over the years, especially the following season, but again going 27-8 after the all-star break and being in position to challenge Detroit was quite a feat that first season. You can make a case that the difference was homecourt advantage, and consider

It's a really tough offense to get used to for most players, and some can never adjust to it, which is why certain veterans never got much playing time on Phil's teams and didn't work out on the team.

It's also part of the reason why the Bulls were able to win 55 in '94, by that point, many of the players knew the triangle so well, and as he's said, they had to rely on it more, and when you really know the offense, it can get the most out of lesser players, and the role players on Phil's teams usually weren't that talented individually. And the team went 51-21 with Pippen as well as 44-16 when both Pippen and Grant played. Considering all of those things, it wouldn't have been a surprise if that team finished below .500.

I can't believe he didn't win coach of the year in '94, or '00 for that matter. The latter is an impressive feat because it was almost all of those player's first times in the triangle, it's still amazing to me that they went 67-15(67-13 entering the final 2 games) with all of those players except for Ron Harper learning the triangle for the first time, and the first 15 games without Kobe(on a team that relied heavily around their duo with no 3rd guy near all-star level) and guys at PG and PF who wouldn't be starting on almost any other team. I didn't expect them to win 60+, more around 55 especially considering a similar team was on pace for just over 50 wins in the lockout year(and they had slightly more talent).

If anyone really looks into the coaching jobs Phil did objectively, I don't see how they'll write him off as "lucky" for having Jordan/Pippen, Shaq/Kobe ect. The reality is that he rarely had the most talented team in the league, in the early 90's, there was Detroit, Portland, Phoenix and LA with more talent, and by the second 3peat, there were still teams like the '96 Magic and Sonics with at least comparable talent, and a team like the '98 Lakers that achieved less with more talent. Or in the early 00's, the '00 Blazers and '02 Kings with more talent.

What he did was get the less talented players who weren't really offensive threats to be more involved in the offense with the triangle, and ultimately, that kept that more into the game, and more involved defensively, as well as making the offense less stagnant. And he got the stars to adjust their games to fit into the triangle, while getting the offense to accommodate each star's unique individual gifts. Those things are a lot more difficult than they sound.

What he did was considerably more impressive than Pat Riley for example, well, at least, imo. Because when Riley won the majority of his rings, he did have 2, sometimes 3 stars, as well as the most talented team in the league, and a deeper, more talented and more experienced version of the '80 team that had already won a title under Paul Westhead, who had very little success with other NBA teams.

Gregg Popovich is also more impressive than Riley for similar reasons, imo. And nothing against Riley, because I do respect him for various reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl
It also depends on whether we assume Portland would put up the sort of mystifyingly awful performance they did against Detroit. I guess that depends on whether the performance was down to mental fragility (though they got the finals twice), fatigue, matchups or luck.

Well, I'm pretty sure Portland was expected to beat the Lakers in '91, and failed to do so. So I'm not sure they were the team with the most mental toughness.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #23
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

I always felt that the 1991 Blazers that lost to the Lakers in the WCF was the best of their early 90s teams and had the best shot at a title. Clearly in 1992 Everyone knew the Bulls had truly arrived as an elite team. In 1991 the Blazers were just overwhelmed by the Pistons' playoff experience.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:04 PM   #24
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Quote:
I always felt that the 1991 Blazers that lost to the Lakers in the WCF was the best of their early 90s teams and had the best shot at a title.
Correct; '91 Blazers were a juggernaut. Somehow they had a letdown against the Lakers.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:24 PM   #25
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Default Re: Bulls vs Blazers 1990 Finals

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySic
Correct; '91 Blazers were a juggernaut. Somehow they had a letdown against the Lakers.

The Lakers had size, experience and confidence against a team they looked at like a little brother. LA slowed the game down and force Portland to play as much half court as possible and used their size advantage (Perkins, Divac, Worthy...and Magic was the 6'9" point guard) to get rebounds and cut down easy baskets. Forced to be disciplined in a half court setting unraveled them and they ended up losing in 6 despite having homecourt advantage.

It's the same lesson it took Chicago 3 seasons to master in order to beat Detroit.
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