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Old 02-05-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
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Default 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Ha Ha! This is going to start a major pissing match between 1987_Lakers and 97Bulls.

Keep it entertaining, fellas. No holding and no rabbit punches. I work with a bunch of stiffs so let's put on a show!

Seriously, though...This is a pretty good matchup (though, I'd prefer the 92 Bulls slightly). Obviously, it would be close but this is the first time I've read a basketball analyst say the Bulls would beat the 80's Lakers in a 7-game series.

1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley Rosen
In a 7-game series, who would win? The '80s Lakers with Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Scott, Cooper, Wilkes, McAdoo, Nixon, et al? Or the '90s Bulls with Jordan, Pippen, Grant and Rodman? — Carlo Leal, Manila, Philippines

Since some of the guys you mentioned never played together — Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman, for example, as well as Byron Scott and Norm Nixon — I've decided to match the best of Riley's Lakers with the best of Jackson's Bulls.

That would be the 1986-87 championship Lakers who won 65 games and went 15-3 in the playoffs. Their starters were Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Scott, with Mychal Thompson and A.C. Green splitting time at the power-forward spot, and Michael Cooper coming off the bench.

The 1996-97 championship Bulls were 69-13 in the regular season and 15-4 in the playoffs. Their starters included MJ, Scottie Pippen, Luc Longley, Rodman and Ron Harper, with Toni Kukoc and Steve Kerr being the primary subs.

The Lakers had the more potent offense, while the Bulls played better defense.

There would be several keys to the game:

# The Bulls would have to slow the game down by running their triangle offense for 20 seconds or so on each possession, by taking only good shots so as to shoot a high percentage, and by storming the offensive boards.

# The Lakers, meanwhile, would need to create turnovers, force pressurized shots, control their defensive glass, and then run-run-run.

The matchups, of course, would also be critical:

# Longley would have to bust downcourt in defensive transition to occupy Kareem's favorite spot on the left box before the big fellow got there. It was only by forcing Kareem to set up a step higher than he desired that his scoring potential could be somewhat limited. Even so, Kareem was a beast. The Bulls' strategy would be to fight Kareem on every possession, but concede him 30-plus points, and concentrate on keeping everybody else under control.

# Harper usually did a pretty good job on Magic, but Harper's lack of offense in his dotage would put no pressure on Magic's subpar defense.

# However, in selected sequences, Pippen had the ability to (and the history of) harassing Magic into being just a cut above ordinary — with quickness being Pip's overwhelming edge.

# Also, Jordan was likewise an effective defender against the Magic Man.

# Rodman would defend either Thompson or Green and out-rebound and outrun both of them.

# Pippen would have a tough time dealing with Worthy. But, depending on the substitution patterns, Rodman could seriously hinder Worthy's effectiveness.

# Jordan would out-play Scott at both ends of the court. But Scott would be able to exploit Harper's bad wheels.

# Off the bench, Cooper would get open treys against Kukoc, but would have trouble defensively when taken into the low post.

# Cooper could hold Kerr moveless, but only if he stayed home on defense.

So, from this angle it looks like the matchups would favor the Bulls — who would also have more options on defense than the Lakers.

The pick hereabouts is Chicago in a triple-overtime seventh game.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Kareem scored 30 once that whole season. I doubt he's doing it against a great defensive team like the Bulls. Lets not forget he was 40 years old at the time.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

whoever make less mistakes would win.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Good old Charley Rosen. The guy who, in this article, states that "since Robertson was a point guard and Jordan was a wing, no meaningful comparisons are possible", but a little before this, he compares Wilt and Jordan. The main reason that he does so seems to be the fact that he prefers Jordan to Wilt, but also prefers Oscar to Jordan and he knows that his second preference will piss off a lot of people, so he choses to back down on this one and leave as valid only the matchup which Jordan wins, although comparing a C to a SG is way more absurd than comparing a wing player to a SG. Maybe he didn't have the guts to do the opposite.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Germany in the 1940s (WWII) vs. US in the 1990s (Gulf War). Who would win?
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psileas
Good old Charley Rosen. The guy who, in this article, states that "since Robertson was a point guard and Jordan was a wing, no meaningful comparisons are possible", but a little before this, he compares Wilt and Jordan. The main reason that he does so seems to be the fact that he prefers Jordan to Wilt, but also prefers Oscar to Jordan and he knows that his second preference will piss off a lot of people, so he choses to back down on this one and leave as valid only the matchup which Jordan wins, although comparing a C to a SG is way more absurd than comparing a wing player to a SG. Maybe he didn't have the guts to do the opposite.

I was thinking the exact same thing. I wondered why he said "the only thing Jordan did a lot better than Robertson was fly (paraphrase)" and then said a comparison shouldn't be made because the difference in position.

I never saw Robertson play but I find it interesting that as good as Jordan was on the block, he said Robertson was better. I don't doubt that could be possible, but Robertson would have had to have been *really, really* good down low to be better than someone with such great footwork and post skills. And Jordan was only a *slightly* better defender?

Can you give a more honest comparison between the two?

Last edited by Da_Realist : 02-05-2009 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
I was thinking the exact same thing. I wondered why he said "the only thing Jordan did a lot better than Robertson was fly (paraphrase)" and then said a comparison shouldn't be made because the difference in position.

I never saw Robertson play but I find it interesting that as good as Jordan was on the block, he said Robertson was better. I don't doubt that could be possible, but Robertson would have had to have been *really, really* good down low to be better than someone with such great footwork and post skills. And Jordan was only a *slightly* better defender?

Can you give a more honest comparison between the two?

Between Jordan and Oscar, I'll take Jordan. I think that, although Oscar was a player with no weaknesses and although I didn't watch Oscar live, either, he exaggerates some of his values in comparison to Jordan's. For example, Oscar surely had the better rebounding numbers, but when you adjust their numbers, they are comparable, really. Defensively, Oscar was considered good, but not Jordan-good or Jerry West-good. There are a few sources which consider him even "great", but they are not as frequent as I'd like to see to qualify him there. Pure scoring also goes to Jordan pretty clearly. On the other hand, though Jordan has the more efficient scoring seasons, if you adjust their %'s (similarly to rebounding), Oscar was more dominant when shooting 50-51% FG than Jordan when he was shooting 53-54%. Obviously, Oscar is the better passer. But overall, I'll take Jordan. Their all-around game is close, but you can't ignore the very large team/playoff success margin between the two and their durability.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
Germany in the 1940s (WWII) vs. US in the 1990s (Gulf War). Who would win?

Are we talking early 40's or mid 40's? Germany's power diminished quickly.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Kobe Bryant>God
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

1987 Lakers its no contest....
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Lakers would likely win more often than not, but the '96 and '97 Bulls are one of the few teams that are very well suited to playing them, and I think it would be a lot closer than one would think based on the respective talent levels of the teams.

Jordan or Harper on Magic, the other on Scott. Pippen on Worthy. You could actually play those three in any configuration and switch it up as needed. Rodman on Green, Longley on Kareem (who was just above average/good, not great, by that point). I think they'd give them a run. I also think the Bulls would be able to handle the '83 Sixers for the same reason (Harper on Cheeks, Jordan on Toney, Pip on Dr. J, Rodman on Moses). I think they'd have the most trouble with the '86 Celts due to Boston's superior frontcourt.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

^ yes I agree about the mid 80s Celtics. '97 Bulls frontcourt was not very good. Honestly before the 1997 Finals I expected Malone to absolutely DEMOLISH the bigs (not Rodman as much as guys like Longley, Bison Dele, & Kukoc ).
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Charles
1987 Lakers its no contest....
lol are you serious? the bulls have the best player, the better defense, better 3pt shooting, better rebounding, and more versatility. not to mention a better coach and to be honest have 4 players playing at a hof level in MJ, pip, rodman, and kukoc. i say kukoc cuz hell go to the hall based on his career as a player not only as an nba player. the lakers had at best two players playing in their hof prime in 87, magic and an overrated no defense playing, no range on his j, no dribbling. james worthy.

id even go so far as to say that the 97 bulls have just as much firepower as the lakers if not more. not to mention they led the league in offense in 97 i believe.

and they finally posessed a solid low post guy in brian williams who they signed late in the season. that something the other bulls teams never had.

in the 97 version of the bulls you had the ultimate in basketball. they covered all bases. if your team was weak in the post they could go down to 6'11 260 pound williams or jordan or kukoc. and even if you doubled jordan in the post, all of their centers longley, wennington, even williams were excellent jumpshooters which was their role. the bulls centers were just as great at what their job was as any other center.

they would shut you down on defense

if you had a quick small guard they could use randy brown or pip.
if you were strong on the perimeter they had two of the best peremiter defenders if all-time. and ron harper was a very good defender too.

ive heard people say that you could just double of rodman cuz he couldnt shoot. but think about it, do you really want to leave rodman alone to get offensive rebounds? when i played basketball if the other team got an offensive rebound that was considered a TO.

another argument that laker fans present is that they could just go to kareem. my respons is that while kareem would def. get his when the bulls needed a stop jordan and pip would help out. not to mention brian williams was extremly quick and would make kareem work on defense. remember williams held his own in his brief career playing against the best collection of center ever far and away.

weve seen what pip can do against magic in 91 who wasnt old and had a great series and was the reigning MVP. but pip gave magic fits.

who does a better job on defense pipen onworthy or worthy on pip. i say pip. and dont give me that team defense bs.

and when all else fails, THE BULLS HAVE JORDAN
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolBBall
Lakers would likely win more often than not, but the '96 and '97 Bulls are one of the few teams that are very well suited to playing them, and I think it would be a lot closer than one would think based on the respective talent levels of the teams.

Jordan or Harper on Magic, the other on Scott. Pippen on Worthy. You could actually play those three in any configuration and switch it up as needed. Rodman on Green, Longley on Kareem (who was just above average/good, not great, by that point). I think they'd give them a run. I also think the Bulls would be able to handle the '83 Sixers for the same reason (Harper on Cheeks, Jordan on Toney, Pip on Dr. J, Rodman on Moses). I think they'd have the most trouble with the '86 Celts due to Boston's superior frontcourt.
in still trying to figure out how and why people think that the lakers would win
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1987 Lakers vs 1997 Bulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Pippen
^ yes I agree about the mid 80s Celtics. '97 Bulls frontcourt was not very good. Honestly before the 1997 Finals I expected Malone to absolutely DEMOLISH the bigs (not Rodman as much as guys like Longley, Bison Dele, & Kukoc ).
dele or williams held his own against centers much better than an overrated parrish and mchale. as far kukoc i do believe that he could hold neither of the celtics bigs, the celtics bigs couldnt hold him either on the perimeter.
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