Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The Bulls were able to take advantage of the aging stars of the 1980s, and they took full advantage. He still won the MVP award and was the best player on the planet, but he didn't need to bail his team out of close games. He may not receive the unicorn label like Porzingis or Karl-Anthony Towns, though he certainly qualifies. Not only was this the first ring for Jordan, but one could make the argument that this was the best opponent the Bulls faced in the Finals. The Celtics were inconsistent and battled injuries all season. "Dr. J" may not have invented the slam dunk, but he certainly perfected it. George’s stroke is smooth with a quick trigger. After all, this Bulls team didn't have any reason to be that much worse than the 1991 or 1992 versions. The former Pacer is equal parts shifty and powerful off the bounce, able to still beat guards to the rim and absorb contact as he elevates. After playing 2 and a half seasons with the Bulls, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers, for whom he played the best basketball of his career. Magic, Worthy, Byron Scott and A.C. Green were all key parts of the 1980s dynasty, and they were all still playing major roles in 1991 as well. The regular season was fantastic. Defense is the less glamorous aspect of basketball that never gets as much attention as the offense, which is why our list comprises of some basketball greats whose names are alien to the youngsters in today's generation. The Lehigh product is consistently used as trade-machine fodder for basketbloggers across the country, so much that it has obscured his impact as an All-Star caliber player. After three nondescript seasons with the Spurs, the sharpshooting 6-foot-10 forward found his niche with the Wizards, averaging 15.4 points on 42.4 percent 3-point shooting. Hey: Tim Duncan is probably the greatest power forward of all time, and one of the ten best players in NBA History. Once in the Finals, the Spurs were faced with a one-man team. Still this Spurs team beat its opponents by 8.4 points per game in the regular season and only by 4.0 in the playoffs. The Rockets did beat the 62 win top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals. I’ll still trust what we’ve seen thus far. NBA & ABA Career Leaders and Records for Defensive Rating. He has legitimate range and a deep pool of dips and head fakes in the lane, consistently keeping defenses off balance. This was a deep team with Duncan still in his prime, and Parker and Ginobli both playing great basketball as well. Add on: six-time NBA Finals MVP, 10-time scoring leader, nine-time All-Defensive teamer. It just wasn't quite as impressive as some of the other Bulls' runs were. The Thunder aren’t true Finals competitors, though with Paul at the helm, they’re certainly a threat for a first round upset. The Thunder might be the team of the future, but Miami was the best team in the NBA in 2012. The five-time All-Star is in the midst of a dominant year, averaging 28.9 points per game on the best shooting percentage of his career. His speed and wingspan make even the most difficult close out look routine. Like Gasol, he won’t be able to sniff his previous salary. Embiid’s weak-side defense is stronger by the season, and his sheer presence deters drivers at the rim. Yet as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ascended, Irving’s presence became an impediment to their growth. Yet this team struggled in the regular season and then finally hit its stride in the playoffs. If you thought this past season that was shortened by the lockout was impacted, then you'd be hesitant to even watch the 1999 season. At 6-5, Robertson laid the foundation for big, scoring guards to have NBA success, while also leading the league in assists six times. The Bulls and Cavaliers both seemed either too young, or not deep enough. Should all-time greats be held responsible for playing styles that would later be proven obsolete? ... NBA Champion (2010), Defensive Player of the Year (2004), … The Jazz team that Chicago faced in the Finals was very good, but the Bulls also had experience beating them from the year before. The Pistons lost a tough seven-game series to the Lakers. When healthy, the 2017 All-Star is a high-level wing, a more-than-capable 3-point shooter, playmaker and defender. Isolate the external factors, and Rudy Gobert’s performance has been downright dominant for much of 2019-20. This was a team that was almost completely remade in the summer of 2007, when both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were acquired. Today's top centers, men like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum are very good, but they're not nearly as good as players like David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing. An all-timer still carving out his place in the game, with only one spot to go. He never pulled down fewer than 18.2 rebounds per game in any season during his 14-year career, with a high of 27.2. Then Jordan got a bad stomach flu in Salt Lake City. The league's best player had returned to the Bulls in early March, but with less than two months to incorporate Jordan back into the Bulls' game plans and rotations, the Bulls were never able to completely gel.