The Bulls of the 90s are constantly lauded for “6 for 6” and rightfully so. It is an incredible accomplishment to go perfect in the finals on that many trips. However, let us not dismiss the impact of the favorable match-up. In their six trips to the Finals, I argue they got the best possible match-up at least four times. Here is what would have happened had the Bulls drew the worst possible match-up
1991: San Antonio instead of Los Angeles. Young David Robinson surrounded by Willie Anderson, Sean Elliott , and the mercurial Rod Strickland. The one weakness in Bulls defense was the trouble with smaller , quicker PGs. Combine with the old Hemisfair Arena, a building the Bulls notoriously had trouble in. This is a much different proposition than the dying Laker dynasty. Bulls in a tough 6
1992: Portland was the best match-up and MJ was hellbent on destroying Clyde so that ended that.
1993: Houston instead of Phoenix. Here comes Final loss #1. Phil Jackson refused to double team in the post which means Hakeem Olajuwon has a series of 1 v 1 with Bill Cartwright, Luc Longley and Stacey King (good luck with that). The Summit was another building the Bulls had tough times. Add in a group of tough , smart role players like Robert Horry, Otis Thorpe and Vernon Maxwell (the one dude who get Jordan out of character) who would not have been scared of the Chicago Stadium . Give me the Rockets in 7
1996: Seattle was the best match-up but George Karl decided to wait until he was down 0-3 to put Gary Payton on Jordan
1997: Houston instead of Utah. John Stockton robbed us of the ultimate 3-on-3. Dennis Rodman/Scottie Pippen/MJ vs Charles Barkley/Dream/Clyde. 3 aging stars play for all the marbles would have been all kinds of fun. I would take the Bulls still in a tough 7 due to having better role players than this edition of the Rockets.
1998: Los Angeles or San Antonio instead of Utah. Finals loss #2 happens if the old Jazz don’t make the Finals. Jordan’s Final shot covers up what was a dull series full of games played in the 80s at snail pace. Coming off a grueling series with the Indiana Pacers, the Bulls were lucky not to get Young Tim Duncan with the Admiral coached by Gregg Popovich or the fearless Lake Show featuring Prime Shaquille O’Neal, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel and of course, 19 year old Kobe. Having been beaten up Indiana, the Bulls just don’t have the legs for either team. Lakers or Spurs in 7