First off, you can find every game on Youtube. Just do a search for "1991 NBA Finals Game ___" and you can find the entire game. If you have a PS3 or 360, I'd suggest downloading the Youtube app and watching that way on your TV. The best quality ones are by NBARetroHD but I couldn't find every game through him.
A few quick notes. Those that thought Jordan's Bulls teams were always overwhelming favorites in every Finals series isn't true. Both Marv Albert and Mike Fratello say things after the Bulls won game five and the series in LA, that stood out. Marv Albert said something to the effect of the Bulls domination of the series has to be considered a surprise. Not the Bulls winning was a surprise, but them doing so in 5 games, two of which were comfortable wins, was a surprise. Mike Fratello followed up by saying he wasn't sure if everyone gave the Bulls the credit they deserved throughout the season and felt the balance of power was in the Western Conference that year; and that the Blazers were considered the best team in the league that year so that, when the Lakers got by them, they would beat the Bulls. Sounds kind of similar to the thinking of many after OKC beat the Spurs in the WCF this year.
Jordan has a very good NBA Finals debut going for 36-8-12-3 on 14/24 shooting; however, some of the younger Bulls admitted after the game to being very nervous, and it showed, most notably Horace Grant who had just 6 points on 3/8 shooting. Pippen went for 19-7-5 but on 7/19 shooting and was the only other Bull to score in double figures.
Sam Perkins hit a game winning three with about 15 seconds to go and Jordan had a 15-17 foot jumper go halfway down before rattling out, that would've given the Bulls a 93-92 lead with under 10 seconds to play. Four Lakers (Worthy, Perkins, Magic, and Vlade) scored 16+ points. Can't imagine all the overreaction threads on here if ISH existed back then after Jordan and the Bulls lost game one at home.
The Jordan "Switches Hands in Mid-Air Iconic Floating Lay-Up" game. Bulls win in a blowout and Jordan goes for 33-7-13-2 on 15/18 shooting. Pippen and Grant both play much better, scoring 20 points apiece on 8/16 and 10/13 shooting respectively.
This game was the most interesting to me for a couple of reasons. It felt like, about mid-way through the third quarter, that the Bulls were going to be blownout. The Lakers went on something like an 18-2 and 20-4 run to take a 14 point lead. They had all the momentum and the home crowd was into the game. Jordan was in the midst of an awful second half that would last up until the very final seconds of regulation. He wasn't just missing jumpers either, he was missing semi-easy layups and bunnies, too.
And, of all people, it was Cliff Levingston who I felt helped Pippen lead the Bulls comeback starting late in the 3rd quarter. He gave the Bulls some very good high energy minutes off the bench with a couple of blocks, and 6 or 8 points, including two offensive rebound putbacks; the type of energy/hustle plays that can wake a team up and get them going, which is exactly what I felt like his play during that stretch did. Again, could you imagine if ISH was around? There would've been 10 threads killing Jordan for missing shot after shot while his team was on the verge of getting blown out, and then there would've been another 5-10 threads killing him because it was Cliff Levingston and Craig Hodges who were "carrying" Jordan during the Bulls comeback.
Anyway, with the Bulls down two with 10 seconds to go, Jordan gets the inbounds pass, dribbles the lenght of the courth with Byron Scott pressuring him, and hits a 12 foot pull-up jumper over a closing Vlade Divac to send the game into OT. He was that
close to losing the game on a 9/25 shooting performance (I think he went 2/3 in OT and finished 11/28) and being down 2-1 in his first NBA Finals with two more games to be played in LA. What happens if he misses that shot? Do the Lakers take that momentum to go on and win the series? And do the Bulls ever become "The Bulls"?
Jordan hits two big shots in OT, and they outscore the Lakers 12-4 in OT for the 104-96 win. Horace Grant had his best game of the series going for 22-11-3 on 9/11 shooting.
Admittedly, I didn't watch much of this game. I could only find it on Youtube in "parts" and the way it's set-up through the PS3 app, it was damn near impossible to find the next part of the previous one finished. After about part 4 or 5 of 13 I gave-up. I knew the Bulls were up by 16 after the 3rd quarter and won by 15.
This was just a really fun and exciting game from start to finish. Pippen was a beast and Jordan was Jordan. Their swarming defense wreaked havoc at crucial times, and led to one particular Jordan block, lead pass to Pippen, Pippen slam sequence that looked nearly identical to what some of the younger NBA fans have grown accustomed to seeing from Wade and LeBron.
It should also be noted that James Worthy and Byron Scott missed this game with an injury. Two rookies, Tony Smith and Elden Campbell, stepped up and played surprisingly well. Smith had 12 points on 5/6 shooting and Campbell had 21 points on 9/12 shooting.
But it wasn't Jordan or Pippen, or even Grant who hit the big shots down the stretch in the fourth quarter of a tight game. It was John Paxson who did what he had done most of the series by hitting long 2-point jumper after long 2-point jumper. I don't know why he didn't take the extra 1.5 step back and get set behind the 3P line, but he was money that series from 18-20 feet out. He scored either 8 or 10 of his 20 points in a 3-4 minute span in the fourth quarter to slowly extend the Bulls lead and give them a little bit of breathing room. Jordan did set him up nicely a few times off of penetration and kick-out where Paxson was wide-open. I've read/heard about how automatic Paxson was that series, but I didn't realize he hit several clutch jumpers in a row in the deciding game.
Basically, to sum up, the Bulls were not overwhelming favorites to win it all that year which is is something I think some fans have come to believe over the years. Not that they weren't supposed to win or anything, but there was still some question at the time as to whether or not they could win a championship. And, as I pointed out, they were on the brink of going down 2-1 in the series still with two games on the road to go.
And I knew they were a very good defensive team who was excellent at forcing turnovers and scoring in transition, but their excellent halfcourt execution was a surprise. I guess I just hadn't heard much about it in that particular series, but it was top notch execution for most of the series. Jordan was at his playmaking best, averaging 11.4 apg, and it wasn't just the assists either; his vision was incredible basically the entire series.