Column: Vintage MJ-led Bulls would top Curry'south Warriors

79
Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 7:44 PM

But we do know they're neck-and-neck. So never mind that nonsense Scottie Pippen spewed latest week guaranteeing a Bulls sweep. That'south simple for him to say, considering who was always there to back him up.

Column: Vintage MJ-led Bulls would top Curry'south Warriors

Absent a time machine outfitted with extra-long, lie-flat beds — because that'south how NBA teams roll — we'll never know whether these Golden State Warriors are as excellent or better than the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

But we do know they're neck-and-neck.

So never mind that nonsense Scottie Pippen spewed latest week guaranteeing a Bulls sweep. That'south simple for him to say, considering who was always there to back him up. But there'south a reason Pippen seldom wound up in charge, particularly at crunch time. He and Michael Jordan were less Batman and Robin than Andy Griffith and Barney Fife.

(SPOILER ALERT: For those of you who don't wish to wade through the numbers in the following few paragraphs, Pippen isn't that distant off. The get here is that the Bulls would win a best-of-seven series in six games, but you'll have to read on to discover out why.)

Whether Stephen Curry & Co. keep serve in their residence finale against Memphis, the teams' regular-season records couldn't be much closer.

And the best analytical tool — the Elo ratings — gives the Bulls a slight edge.

Elo ratings are a fluid measure of a team'south strength that allows for comparisons of teams decades apart. When the website FiveThirtyEight. com used that metric to chart the league'south history, the teams posted the highest two ratings all-time.

Michael Jordan-led Bulls of the one thousand nine hundred ninety came out on top. Those teams won six championships in eight seasons, stringing together three-peats on either side of Jordan'south first "retirement."

The 1995-96 edition recorded the highest Elo rating ever (one thousand eight hundred fifty-three) peaking on the same night they beat the Seattle SuperSonics to construct a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals. Tiny wonder: That team boasted three aging Corridor of Famers on the floor (Jordan, Pippen and Dennis Rodman) and a fourth on the bench (Phil Jackson), as well as a smallish, sharp-shooting guard who might turn out to be a Corridor of Fame coach himself (the Warriors' Steve Kerr) someday.

Golden State came into the season after winning the fourth championship in franchise history and the second since the Warriors lit out of Philadelphia to head west. They posted the second-best no ever recorded (one thousand eight hundred thirty-nine) latest December, shortly after opening the season 24-0 with a 124-119 win over Boston. Considering their record since, they haven't slipped much.

If analytics aren't your thing, then how do we select between them? Having watched both, to reply the question we've to go beyond the numbers.

First, we necessity to reach some agreement on which era to play the series.

Going back to 1995-96, when zone defenses were still outlawed, would heavily favor the Bulls. It'd force the Warriors to send large man Andrew Bogut to stand following to Chicago'south Luc Longley out on the perimeter and limit Draymond Green'south effectiveness by having him chase Rodman around. It'd also open up more space for Jordan to slice and dice, never a good option.

On the other hand, playing the series presently would free up the Warriors to leave both Longley and Rodman mostly unguarded. They could then hamstring Jordan by double- and triple-teaming him in some situations, or simply pack the defense in below the basket and dare the Bulls to beat them with the 3-pointer, something neither Jordan nor Pippen nor even Toni Kukoc came to master the way Curry has.

So for the sake of argument, let'south create it one half with each set of rules in space and declare the huge men cancel each other out. We'll even call the coaching matchup — the Zenmaster vs. one of his best students — a wash.

That means Jordan, who also happened to arguably the best defender ever at guard, matches up against Curry, whose 3-point potency brings a thirty % premium nearly every time he scores. Pippen gets Thompson and Green gets Rodman. What then?

The 1995-96 Bulls obtain our vote, based on the body of work. That edition was a veteran team, led by a relatively rested Jordan (who'd been playing baseball) at the start of a three-year championship run.

Coming into this season, the Warriors more closely resembled the 1990-91 Bulls than the 1995-96 edition. Their Elo ratings were near and both the age and experience levels of their core superstars, Curry, Thompson and Green tracked Jordan, Pippen and Horace Grant (who'd Rodman'south work at the time).

Experience counts for something, and in this most unscientific measure, we're counting it sufficient to nudge the Bulls over the line first. Arrive back if the Warriors cap this special season with a championship — and then another after that — and we'll reopen the discussion.

Until then, we're giving the latest word on the subject to Kerr, since there'south number disputing this much: "To be with two teams that performed love this and won at this level for the all season," he said, "I'm pretty lucky."

You think?

READ ALSO
Draymond Green giving Warriors' tickets to students with high grades

Draymond Green giving Warriors' tickets to students with high grades

And with that, Green officially made plans to award three Oakland high school students with tickets to Wednesday'south potential history-making game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

60
Warriors' chase, Kobe'south finale highlight NBA'south final night

Warriors' chase, Kobe'south finale highlight NBA'south final night

Kobe Bryant is playing for the latest time. On their own, either of those events would be seismic. Having them happen simultaneously only makes both seem bigger.

82
French Connection Nurturing Morocco’s Auto Industry

French Connection Nurturing Morocco’s Auto Industry

Indeed, with the Strait of Gibraltar separating Morocco and Spain by just eight miles (thirteen km) the Morocco government’s 2014-2020 industrial acceleration policy is clear: It wants to grow its auto sector fast.

83
Can you believe IRS to hold your tax data secure?

Can you believe IRS to hold your tax data secure?

Many of us are thinking about our taxes. Are they too high or too low? What'south our money being spent on? Do we've a government worth paying for? I'm not here to reply any of those questions -- I'm here to give you something else to think about.

71