We will be finishing up Chicago today, and we begin with the 11-36 matchup.
(11) 1974 Chicago Bulls (54-28) vs. (36) 2003 Chicago Bulls (30-52)
I really like these early 70s Bulls teams (no I am not a Bulls fan…). Probably because I like defense…and this team was a great one (though second in opponent points). Bob Love was the leader (22-6-2, and second All-D team), helped by the old, but still great, Chet Walker, having 19-5-2, and an all-star. Norm Van Lier was first All-D team, and he also had 14-5-7 and 2 steals. Sloan was an aged 31, but he was first All-D, and 13-5-7, about 2 steals, and 2.5 blocks (you realize he is only 6-5 right?)! I love this team, so stacked defensively, though they only got to the West Finals. Look for some damage to be done…
I don’t like what I see in 2003. Jalen Rose led the 03 Bulls (a warning sign in itself) with 22-4-5…in 41 minutes. Donyell Marshall had his 13-9 season, and Jamal Crawford had 11-2-4 daily. Enter Year 2 was Tyson Chandler (9-7) and (wait for it…wait for it…) Eddy Curry and his almost 300 pounds lumbering for 11 points, and the life altering 4 boards a game he brought…Ugly team in my opinion, I like no one (except Roger Mason, at the bottom, and maybe Chandler…). Of course, who cares who I like….Just remember these guys were mostly ballhogs and egotrains….
(12) 1971 Chicago Bulls (51-31) vs. (35) 1986 Chicago Bulls (30-52)
Another great early 70s Bulls team. I wish one of them could make the next tournament (where all the teams send their champs), but Jordan most likely won’t allow it. Love had a career 25-9 year, as did Chet Walker (22-7). This was one of Jerry Sloan’s worse D years, he was only on second team, but he had 19-9-4 this year. But it wasn’t like he needed to rebound in 1971, he had Tom Boerwinkle (11-14-5) doing that. Boerwinkle even had a 37 board game in 1970. Look how stacked this team is! And only twelfth!
Michael Jordan broke his foot this year, but the likes of Orlando Woolridge (21-5-3) led them to the playoffs to face Boston. Jordan had his 49 and 63 point games this year. George Gervin tried to fill in with 16 points, as did Sidney Green (14-8) and Gene Banks (11-4-3, and an epic name.) Oakley managed a rookie 10-9. Doesn’t stand up to 1971 though….
(13) 1973 Chicago Bulls (51-31) vs. (34) 1980 Chicago Bulls (30-52)
I’m enjoying the Bulls history here! Love had 23-7 this year, Walker had (at 32) 20-5, plus Norm Van Lier’s second team All-D, and 14-6-7 (pretty nice numbers). Gar Heard stopped in for 78 games of 10-6, and Jerry Sloan had a decent year (10-7), yet no D teams. Tom Boerwinkle played only a handful of games, so Clifford Ray took over for 9-11-4. Not as good as some other years, but still a highly regarded team.
Led by the duo of Reggie Theus (20-4-6) and David Greenwood (16-9, who was a rookie) in the absence of Artis Gilmore for half the year (he had 18-9 in those games), these Bulls missed the playoffs. Ricky Sobers (remember he punched Rick Barry, which led to Barry refusing to shoot in a elimination playoff game back in 76…) had 14-5, and then there were a lot of missed games going down.
(14) 1988 Chicago Bulls (50-32) vs. (33) 1979 Chicago Bulls (31-51)
The 1988 Chicago Bulls were led by (MVP) Jordan, and that’s essentially what they were. He had 35-6-6, 3.2 steals, AND 1.6 blocks! Amazing! After that, they were basically just Oakley (13-13-3) and Dave Corzine (10-7). Scottie Pippen made his NBA debut (8-4-2). Brad Sellers was a piece that Jordan didn’t want, even though he had 10-3-2 (but was soft….). Paxson also had 10 points…and witnessed a small Artis Gilmore cameo (around 4 points…)
This team was led by Artis, who had 24-13-3, and nearly 2 blocks. Manning the backcourt was Reggie Theus (16-3-5). Mickey Johnson helped (15-8-5) on a team that was in the running for Magic Johnson 1st overall (not that Magic would come out if Chicago got the pick….). Pretty ugly team.
(15) 2007 Chicago Bulls (49-33) vs. (32) 2008 Chicago Bulls (33-49)
How often do you get two years back to back? This one was led by Ben Gordon (21-3-4). Gordon was only 23 then….he had so much potential it seemed…but this was his best showing, and he seems so old now…Luol Deng had 19-7 (which happens to be his best showing through 2011 also…) and Kirk Hinrich chugged along for 17-3-6. Andreas Nocioni had 53 games of 14-6 (and he looked good before his huge contract. Ben Wallace was signed to an obscenely large contract (16 mil in 07, coming of a DPOY year), and had a decent 6-11 year.
The very next year, Gordon declined to 19-3-3, and Deng declined to 17-6-3. Late season acquisitions gave some help (Drew Gooden had 14-9, and Larry Hughes had 12-3-3), while giving away the huge contract of Ben Wallace (5-9 for 15 mil). Nocioni had 13 points, and Hinrich gave 12-3-6 in a dismal season.
(16) 1975 Chicago Bulls (47-35) vs. (31) 1969 Chicago Bulls (33-49)
This team (like 1974) made the West Finals, but lost. The big 4 was still intact, but none played a full slate of games, all but Love played over 70 though. Love played only 61 games, but provided a vital 22-6, and second All-D. Walker had a great year (also his last) of 19-6-2. How’s that for a final year? Norm Van Lier made second D team with his 15-5-6-2 (steals), proving he is a great Offensive player also…Sloan chugged down a 1st All-D team, and had 12-7-2-2, as he played his final full pro season.
Bob Boozer was a big man in the very early Chicago days, this year having 22-8-2, as was Sloan (1st D, and 17-8-4. Clem Haskins had 17-5-4, as Jim Washington (14-11) and Tom Boerwinkle (10-11) shared the board work, though the team didn’t get much of anywhere.
(17) 1989 Chicago Bulls (47-35) vs. (30) 1967 Chicago Bulls (33-48)
This really was the MJ show (33-8-8-3-1, steals, and blocks, remember, he was obsessed with triple-doubles this year), but with a little help from Pippen (14-6-4-2), Bill Cartwright (12-7), and Horace Grant (good for 12-9-2-1-1). Not much else to say (other than the Shot).
Year 1 of the Chicago Bulls. There isn’t a whole lot to say about these guys, they had Bob Boozer (18-9) and Guy Rodgers (18-4-11, league leading…) at the top, and were hopeful Jerry Sloan would be the future (and he was already good for 17-9-2). Other major figures: Erwin Mueller (13-6) and Don Kojis (10-6). They had some great guys at the top…not so much after.
(18) 1995 Chicago Bulls (47-35) vs. (29) 1982 Chicago Bulls (34-48)
Scottie Pippen owned this team for 21-8-5-3-1 before Jordan came for 27-7-5. The team was not as good as 94 due mainly to Grant’s departure. Kukoc improved to 16-5-5 in year 2, and BJ Armstrong had a not-so great 14-2-3 year. No one was really much help after that.
The trio of Artis Gilmore, Reggie Theus, and David Greenwood played all 82 games together (and still played bad) while averaging 19-10 and almost 3 blocks for Gilmore, 18-4-6 for Reggie, and 15-10-3 for David. Other keys were Sobers (12-2-4), Ronnie Lester (12-3-5) and Dwight Jones (10-7).
(19) 2005 Chicago Bulls (47-35) vs. (28) 1985 Chicago Bulls (38-44)
2005 on paper doesn’t look very good (especially the fact they lost to Washington in the first round….((I live by Washington…and they suck!))), but it is probably so many sour names (oh wait, it’s just one ((Eddy Curry)), it looked like there were more than just one…). The loads are balanced between Curry (16-5, except all the weight is split on one end), Gordon (15-3-2), Rookie Luol Deng (12-5-2) and Kirk Hinrich (16-4-6).
Jordan’s rookie year. MJ managed 28-7-6-2.4 in his year 1. It was basically a two man offense, with Woolridge pouring in a lot of points (23). Dailey stuck in for 16 points, and Steve Johnson added 10-6, with Greenwood having only 6-6 this year….
(20) 1981 Chicago Bulls (45-37) vs. (27) 1970 Chicago Bulls (39-43)
The big trio again played all 82 games in an unusually good year for the early 80s Bulls. Artis had 19-10-2-2, and Theus had a great 19-4-5 year. Greenwood averaged a cool 14-9-3. Added for this year was egomaniac Larry Kenon (14-5), who managed to be 4th best this season. Rickey Sobers had 14-2-4 this year.
The year before the early 70s were remembered fondly. The Bulls amazingly had 3 20+ scorers (all played in more than 78 games too…). They were Chet Walker (22-8-3), Bob Love (21-9-2) and Clem Haskins (20-5-8). Jerry Sloan was down there as well, he had 16-7-3 to add to his Defense. Tom Boerwinkle grabbed 13 boards, with 10 points and 3 assists to help these Bulls, who couldn’t be helped.
(21) 1977 Chicago Bulls (44-38) vs. (26) 1987 Chicago Bulls (40-42)
Time to watch some relatively average teams battle it out! The 77 Bulls were the best Defense team….but the second worst on offense. Artis Gilmore was a monster on the boards, averaging 19-13-2-2.5 blocks. Mickey Johnson was big on the boards too, he had a 17-10 this year. Wilbur Holland and Scott May both gave 15 points. The stars of the last era were finishing up. Bob Love was traded during 1977, though Norm Van Lier would stay one year after this, and he had 10-5-8 this year.
This was Michael’s 37-5-5-3-1.5 (steals/blocks), which is amazing on paper…though he didn’t bring a whole lot of wins to the table. He had only small help from John Paxson (11-2-6) but bigger help from his buddy Charles Oakley (15-13). Nothing else really….
(22) 2006 Chicago Bulls (41-41) vs. (25) 1978 Chicago Bulls (40-42)
This is where it gets boring. Just two average teams battling it out…2006 had only 5 really relevant players, Ben Gordon (17-3-3), and Luol Deng (14-7), plus the key 5-9 from Tyson Chandler. Point Kirk Hinrich (16-4-3, plus D), and Andres Nocioni (13-6) were really the rest who mattered.
This is where most teams will be concerning record at the middle. Just about average. But they had some (one) special player (Artis Gilmore, who had 23-13-3-2 blocks. Mickey Johnson isn’t so shabby though, he had 18-9-3 this year. Wilbur Holland had 17-4-4 in a good year, along with John Mengelt’s double figures…we get 40 wins.
(23) 2009 Chicago Bulls (41-41) vs. (24) 2010 Chicago Bulls (41-41)
Another back to back! This one is the blandest of the bland…though 09 did give Boston trouble in round one (a whole lot of overtime games…). There were a whole lot of partial seasons in Chicago. Gordon stayed healthy this year for 21-4-3, while he joined rookie Derrick Rose in the backcourt (17-4-6). Deng had only 49 games (14-6). Tyrus Thomas showed off 12-6 numbers.
Rose blossomed to 21-4-6 this year, helped by a Sudanese named Luol Deng (18-7). Hinrich started some more games this year, as he had 11-4-5. Joakim Noah had a breakout 11-11 year during year 3. Average team that takes off later. Meaning next year.
That’s the Bulls. Highlighted by Jordan, but were strong in the era of Sloan, Love, and Van Lier. New Star Rose is on the horizon…We saw 6 champs…
Ladies and Gentlemen, your Chicago Bulls! Next up, the story of Cleveland and the Cavs!
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