Originally Posted by IllegalD
Please, enlighten us...
Well, the entire team was just OFF the entire series, bricking wide open shots (see shooting %'s above). This allowed Seattle to continue focusing their entire defensive effort on Jordan, since nobody was making them pay for doing so. As I noted, Jordan's second through fourth options shot as poorly or worse than he did despite seeing a fraction of the defensive pressure he did, and despite averaging far lower ppg.
Jordan was just off too. If you actually watch the series (rather than just looking at the stats), you'll see Jordan missing 2-4 shots each game that he usually makes. I'm talking about wide open
layups, offensive putbacks, and open baseline 16-footers that he literally never
missed. He was still getting the shots he wanted (i.e., good looks) and was still playing his game...he just bricked them for whatever reasons. And it wasn't fatigue, either, since he would miss them in the first quarter/haf as often as the second half or 4th quarter. I can't explain it, really. Maybe the memory of his dad was overwhelming him mentally given the proximity to Father's Day.
And yes, Seattle's defense (Payton in particular) should get credit. But if you watch the series, you'll see that the above (about him missing numerous open shots) is true. Jordan wouldn't have shot 50% that series imo, but he would have been around 45-46% at least. I can't give the defense too much credit when I see him missing layups, tip-ins, and open midrange J's all series long (when MJ hits the side of the backboard
on a baseline J as he did in one game, you know something's up :oldlol ).
In light of Kobe's recent Finals, a lot of Kobe fans have been comparing his series to this series by Jordan, but if you actually watch the series, they were nothing alike. Jordan was actually getting the shots he wanted; he worked to get good looks and got them...and then missed. Kobe never got good looks, and he never worked or made the proper decisions to get them. The series are also dissimilar for other reasons (e.g., MJ never disappeared for 2-3 quarters at a time as Kobe did many games), but that's neither here nor there. Not bashing, just figured I'd throw that in since it's been brought up a lot recently by Kobe fans.