Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NBA THOUGHTS.. Can the Pistons Beat the record-setting Bulls?

So... whattup' with the Detroit Pistons? Head Coach Larry Brown splits Detroit for a Jersey re-building project... and Mo-Town's CRUISING! Boasting a ridiculous 30-5 record, the Pistons are pumping their way to history. If any team is capable of dethroning MJ's magical and record-setting 72-10 squad of 1996, it might just be this Detroit team.

Let's take a quick look at the major players on that '96 Bull team.

Michael Jordan: Started all 82 games, played 37.7 minnies' per, and averaged 30.4 points, 4+ Assists, 6+ 'boards, 2+ steals, shot 49% from the floor and 42+% from 3-Point land. Jordan was a warrior who played as if every game could be his last.

Scottie Pippen: Pip' played "Robin" to Jordan's "Batman," and established the formula for the 2-man Roundball offensive assault. "Snotty" Pippen played in 77 of the 82 games (Steve Kerr was the ONLY other Bull to match MJ's 82 games played total!!), and averaged 19.4 points, 6 Assists (5.9, I'll round up), 6+ 'boards, 1+ steal, shot 46.3% from the field, and a pitiful 37% from down-town.
Pip' will forever be remembered for refusing to go back into a game with several seconds remaining on the clock because the play wasn't designed for him. He should, however, be remembered for playing at a Hall of Fame caliber level for at least 1/2 of his 17 pro seasons.

Toni Kukoc: One of the first "Euro-players." Fundamentally sound and big, 'Koc averaged 13 points, 3 1/2 'Dimes, 4 'boards, shot 49% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc.

Steve Kerr: Kerr was the team's sharp-shooter. That dude could dial IN from distance and few Shooting Guards were as feared. Kerr averaged 14+ points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 1+ Steals, shot 50.6% from the field and a semi-preposterous 51.5% from distance.

Dennis Rodman: Rodman was fun as a Bull... for the most part at least. When he behaved, you never knew what color hair he would wear, where his latest piercing would be, and how many new tattoos he'd be sporting. But more significantly, Rodman dove for loose balls and had a preternatural feel for Rebounding... "The Worm" was the first "Glass-Cleaning Specialist." "Worm" was a piece of work and he averaged a paltry 5 1/2 points, but the freakish Hoopster pulled down 15 'boards a night, and nearly half of 'em came off of the Offensive glass!

Luc Longley: Averaged 9+ points, 5+ 'boards, and 2 Assists. More impressive was his shot blocking ability.

The Bulls played as a single organism, with SG Michael Jordan serving as its heart.
MJ willed... the rest of the players did. Jordan was able to take control of a game... literally take over the game, and short-circuit his opponents' game-plan. I recall watching Jordan drain a shot, step back and swipe the inbounds pass, step back behind the line, and pop a 3; 5 points in the scant space of 4 seconds.
Another SuperHuman effort saw Jordan, vomiting and feverish, drain 40+ in a Playoff game. His skin color was close to grey due to a hellacious Flu... but few athletes have EVER been as competitive as MJ.



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