Sunday, April 30, 2006

2006 Lakers = 1989 Bulls ??



The 1989 Chicago Bulls started the playoffs as a #7 seed, and drew their division rivals - the Cleveland Cavaliers. We all know what Michael Jordan did in Game 5, and these heroics by this "basketball creature from another planet" didn't stop after "The Shot". Jordan then led the Bulls past the Atlantic Division Champs - the New York Knicks - in 6 games. They won game 1 in N.Y., and were able to hang on by winning all of their home games. Next for these Bulls were the mighty Detroit Pistons, the "Bad Boys" who had the best record in the NBA that year. The Bulls, led by the 26 year-old Michael Jordan, won game 1 again. After losing game 2, they then won a thrilling game 3 behind Jordan's clutch shooting. This team, that nobody really expected much from in the postseason, had the deep and talented Pistons on the ropes. Alas, the Pistons won the next 4 games, and the Bulls playoff run was over.
This Bulls team featured an up-and-coming Scottie Pippen, who was more of a defensive player in the late 80's. It had Craig Hodges, a 3-point specialist. It also had Bill Cartwright, a veteran center who could make chaos for opposing players who drove to the lane. In other words, it didn't have the depth it did in the 90's, and relied heavily on its superstar who gave Chicago fans its first playoff excitement in team history.
The 2006 Lakers are very similiar to that team, and after seeing the 27-year old Kobe Bryant drain 2 shots in the final second today, I compared his impact to that of Jordan in '89. This Lakers team really doesn't have much around their shooting guard, except for maybe a Lamar Odom or Kwame Brown. Realistically, they are all role players in Kobe's basketball world, as the '89 Bulls were all role players to Jordan's greatnes. And this current #7 seed can - and will - ride Kobe's back as long as possible.
I see the Lakers closing out the Suns in 6 games, and then playing their cross-town rivals. The Clippers better find a way to control Kobe Bryant, because if they don't, then this Laker team might also have the deep and talented San Antonio Spurs - "on the ropes". Keep you posted, as there is more to come from the 2006 NBA playoffs.

10 comments:

Alan said...

Is Patriotsy2k posting modern art or do I need glasses?

Patriotsy2k said...

Is that all you have to say, after my excellent comparison between two teams from different eras? How weak.

Alan said...

It's tough to concentrate on your post with those pics. Please change them. Phil Jackson and Kobe have been impressive, but I also think the Lakers are taking advantage of a beat up Suns team.

Bryan said...

Did I write that?

I will take point on two issues. I'm not too sure you can make the claim that Pippen was a defensive specialist by any means early in his career. I think once his defensive game evolved - '93 and '94 seasons - he turned into the great player that he was. Though, it was not until he established himself as the second scorer did the Bulls finally get over the Pistons.

My second point; Which Bill Cartwright are you talking about?

Patriotsy2k said...

Well, Bryan, I guess you would know more about the early stages of Pippen's career than me. I thought Scott Pippen - as David Stern introduced him as - was relied on for defensive stops in the late 80's, but I could be wrong.
I guess your not a Cartwright fan.

Bryan said...

You actually could be right, I was 7 years old at the time of said playoffs. I do know that Jordan had no chance of guarding Magic in 1991, and the switch to Pippen put Magic on an island. There is a chance I never really understood the concept of his defense until the second of the three.

I actually like Cartwright, and to be honest, thought he was a decent coach. That being said, Skiles is the best coach they have had since Phil.

P.S. the 1996 Bulls would be any team - including any and all Celtics teams.

Bryan said...

Would beat any team is what I meant.

Alan said...

83 Sixers, 86 Celtics, 87 Lakers would beat any Bulls team, and it wouldn't even take 7 games.

Patriotsy2k said...

I think the '89 Pistons would have given the '96 Bulls a run. That younger Pistons team had players 9 deep - all solid contributors - and could have shut down the '96 Bulls offensive tandem of Jordan, Pippen, Kukoc, Longley, Derek Harper, and the immortal Steve Kerr.

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