Who would win a NBA eastern conference finals series between the 1996 Chicago Bulls and 1989 Detroit Pistons?
I grew up a Bulls fan but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. I tried to be fair about it but the discussion should be fun.
This is a very interesting matchup and very hard to choose, but I would go with Chicago in 7: here is why.
For one 1996 Bulls are probably the greatest team to ever play, they had a great team defense with great individual defenders, and the same goes for their offense. When looking at match ups, I would give the Bulls one automatic edge in Jordan. They had Rodman, but so did the Pistons so that’s a wash. I go to Jordan and in this particular matchup I think the Pistons would have a lot of trouble guarding "this" Jordan. Remembering correctly the late 80’s Jordan was big on driving and attacking the rim. This was a no-no against the Pistons, but the late 90’s Jordan was doing a lot of his scoring in the post and taking mid-range jump shots around the elbows and the top of the key.
Then I look at Ron Harper who was a versatile defender for the Bulls. He could play Isiah, Vinnie Johnson, Aguirre, or Dumars if needed, and the same goes for Michael and Scottie. In most cases I would take the 96 Bulls over any team without a thought. Dennis Rodman a nightmare matchup for many teams defensively and he would just deflate the opposing teams with offensive rebounds, but because he was on the 89 Pistons, it makes for an interesting argument.
Everyone knows about the Bulls triangle offense and it’s great passing of the ball, and everyone getting shots, but the late 90’s Bulls had better spacing than the early 90’s Bulls because, and to me that’s the key to beating a team like the 89 Pistons, great spacing opens up plenty of opportunities for cutters to the basket or three point shooters (hence Jordan being doubled in the post). Bulls in 7.
Would love to hear your thoughts.