OT: Would Jordan have won 6 in a row today?

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Lebron made 8 straight finals in today's NBA why would you think that's impossible for MJ?

Get him there and then MJ's finals record speaks for itself...
6-0 in the NBA Finals is nothing short of incredible. But I think one thing that gets overlooked is that Jordan was 6-7 in GETTING to the Finals. LeBron obviously has nowhere near the success Jordan had in the Finals, but he’s 9-4 in getting there. That’s good for something. I am a huge fan of both players.
 
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I’d think no. The athleticism and level of play are much higher today than then. Jordan’s toughness and will to win would still set him apart from the rest, but his athleticism could’ve been matched by today’s players. He also would’ve benefitted from the softness in today’s game because he’d be shooting 15 foul shots a game.

Not sure if this has been asked, but for those who saw Jordan in his prime, who would win: Jordan’s Bulls or the Warriors with Durant?
You would be hard-pressed to find a player today who is more athletic than Jordan. He's said to have run a 4.3 40 with a 48 inch vert, with insane balance, midair dexterity, and some of the largest hands the league has ever seen.
 
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You would be hard-pressed to find a player today who is more athletic than Jordan. He's said to have run a 4.3 40 with a 48 inch vert, with insane balance, midair dexterity, and some of the largest hands the league has ever seen.
Yeah not arguing he wouldn’t be among the best athletes in the NBA today. Just saying that the difference in athleticism wouldn’t be as obvious as it was in the 80s and 90s. Instead of going up against SFs like Bird he’d be going up against SFs like Kevin Durant. No disrespect to Larry Bird, but Durant is a different level athletically.
 
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I don't see MJ or anyone else winning six in a row in today's NBA. Too much player movement. It's still crazy to me that GSW only has three chips.
 
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Not enough of MJ's success is attributed to Phil Jackson. He had a top 5 (3?) basketball coach of all time for all 6 of his rings. Not sure he's 6-0 in the finals or even has 6 rings to begin with if he's being coached by someone like Doug Collins.

The only coach in modern day NBA basketball that's as great a coach as Phil is Pop. So, if Pop is his coach in this hypothetical, then sure, I'd say he could win 6 in a row today.
 

UChusky916

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By what metric is Rodman best rebounder of all-time?
Fair... Edited my post. Maybe not all time (Chamberlain/Russell)... But definitely in the last generation or two
 
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Free Throw Attempts per NBA game were higher in the 90's than they are now. The Pistons and Knicks played dirty, but the data does not support the argument that officiating is so much tighter today than it was 25 years ago.
The league average is 34 three point attempts per game. There's going to be fewer FTA when 38% of all FGAs are from beyond the arc.
 

UChusky916

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Not enough of MJ's success is attributed to Phil Jackson. He had a top 5 (3?) basketball coach of all time for all 6 of his rings. Not sure he's 6-0 in the finals or even has 6 rings to begin with if he's being coached by someone like Doug Collins.

The only coach in modern day NBA basketball that's as great a coach as Phil is Pop. So, if Pop is his coach in this hypothetical, then sure, I'd say he could win 6 in a row today.
Good point, especially compared to coaches LeBron has had... Spolestra and Lue were the 'best' LeBron had, but they don't even touch Phil Jackson
 
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Free Throw Attempts per NBA game were higher in the 90's than they are now. The Pistons and Knicks played dirty, but the data does not support the argument that officiating is so much tighter today than it was 25 years ago.
Come on man, the league is like night and day in terms of physicality and what you can get away with and as Lefty2one points out there's not much to call when everyone is shooting threes and nobody is banging down low.
 
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Good point, especially compared to coaches LeBron has had... Spolestra and Lue were the 'best' LeBron had, but they don't even touch Phil Jackson
Spo is a great coach. He's not on the level of Pop or Phil, obviously, but he will be in the Hall of Fame someday, especially since he should have 15-20 more years of coaching in him. LeBron also tried to run out his coaches, including Spo, but thankfully Riley told him to take a seat.
 

SubbaBub

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I don't see MJ or anyone else winning six in a row in today's NBA. Too much player movement. It's still crazy to me that GSW only has three chips.
This. No way a "Scottie Pippen" of today sticks around being 2nd fiddle that long. It is much easier to replace the Grants, Paxtons and Armstrongs but to win 8, the bulls would have had to rebuild twice on the fly.

Jordan could do it, but Kruase? Doubtful.

The competition was much tougher then. Sure you have superteams now but you have many more in the 90's. Lakers, Cetics, Pistons, Pacers, Rockets, Knicks, Jazz, and whatever team Barkley happened to be on at the time.

Now, you have one maybe two contenders in each conference.

Could they have won 8, absolutely, would they? Unknowable, but unlikely. A Lebron, Curry, KAT type team would organize in free agency to compete with them. In the 90's there is no way a team of Hof could do that on their own given the salaries at the time.
 
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Spo is a great coach. He's not on the level of Pop or Phil, obviously, but he will be in the Hall of Fame someday, especially since he should have 15-20 more years of coaching in him. LeBron also tried to run out his coaches, including Spo, but thankfully Riley told him to take a seat.
Did he try and run out Spo too? I don't recall. That's definitely a trait of Lebron's that irks me.
 
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Not enough of MJ's success is attributed to Phil Jackson. He had a top 5 (3?) basketball coach of all time for all 6 of his rings. Not sure he's 6-0 in the finals or even has 6 rings to begin with if he's being coached by someone like Doug Collins.

The only coach in modern day NBA basketball that's as great a coach as Phil is Pop. So, if Pop is his coach in this hypothetical, then sure, I'd say he could win 6 in a row today.
He is a great coach but does everything he coaches work without great players. I mean great coaches find a way to win without superstars too right? How did his Philosophies work with the Knicks, I know he wasn't coaching but he was instilling his triangle?

It didn't hurt he had MJ/Pippen, Kobe/Shaq let's be honest. I do agree they do a lot less with Doug Collins more than likely because Phil found a way to motivate as well as coach MJ. That's also part of being a great coach especially in the NBA.

And Lebron may have had some better coaches too if he didn't try top pick them all himself.
 
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Did he try and run out Spo too? I don't recall. That's definitely a trait of Lebron's that irks me.
 

nelsonmuntz

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This. No way a "Scottie Pippen" of today sticks around being 2nd fiddle that long. It is much easier to replace the Grants, Paxtons and Armstrongs but to win 8, the bulls would have had to rebuild twice on the fly.

Jordan could do it, but Kruase? Doubtful.

The competition was much tougher then. Sure you have superteams now but you have many more in the 90's. Lakers, Cetics, Pistons, Pacers, Rockets, Knicks, Jazz, and whatever team Barkley happened to be on at the time.

Now, you have one maybe two contenders in each conference.

Could they have won 8, absolutely, would they? Unknowable, but unlikely. A Lebron, Curry, KAT type team would organize in free agency to compete with them. In the 90's there is no way a team of Hof could do that on their own given the salaries at the time.
Look back at my original post. The overall talent level was definitely NOT higher in the 90's than it is now. Expansion and lack of European players back then left the NBA a diluted league in the 90's.
 
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Jordan's prime is expanded and extended by 2-5 years with today's nutrition and advancements in training. Jordan invented the trainer 'investment' in your body, but LeBron & Brady have taken it to 11. The number for Jordan in any era is between 5-8 titles. He missed a chance at one or two b/c of both retirements. Had he come back 6 months earlier from the first retirement it is better than even odds he'd have 7.
 
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I already simulated the 1996 Bulls vs the 2014 Spurs, and the Spurs won in 7, the Bulls had a 3-2 series lead. So theres your answer they would not have won 6 in a row.
 

OldBosd

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I finished the Last Dance last night. I think Jordan is still the greatest player that ever played, but there is now way he would have won 6 in 8 years in today's game. Jordan and the Bulls benefited from 4 major factors in the 90's.

1) Expansion - this is the biggest factor, by far. The NBA went from 23 teams in 1987 to 29 in 1995. The dilution in talent around the league was profound, and made it possible for a Championship team that could hold its core together and make smart supporting cast pickups to dominate. Imagine if Alonzo Mourning, Shaq, Glen Rice, Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, Isaih Rider, Larry Johnson (in his prime), Steve Smith, Rony Seikaly, Horace Grant, Pooh Richardson, Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Walt Williams, Shareet Abdur-Rahim were all taken off expansion teams and consolidated onto the original 23 teams. Somewhere there would be a few teams that were really, really good.

It is not a coincidence that the Bulls' run starts when Charlotte started to get good and accelerated when Miami and Orlando get competitive. The expansion teams all sucked their first couple of seasons, but when they started to collect real talent, it was diluting the rest of the league, and making it easier for the Bulls to win.

2) Zone Defense - You can breakdown the NBA into pre-zone and post-zone basketball in a lot of ways. The illegal defense rules were ridiculous, and the Bulls were not the only team to benefit. The Jazz and Rockets did too. That said, if teams could help away from the ball in the 90's like they can now, Jordan would have been denied the rock a lot, and had to give up a lot more when he got it.

3) Pre-Euro - There were a handful of good foreign players at the beginning of the Bulls run (Olajuwon, Petrovic, Marcilonius, Divac, Shrempf, Smits), and even by the mid 90's there were maybe 10 that were capable of starting or contributing to a playoff team, and the Bulls had one of the best in Kukoc. Since then, Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitski and Tim Duncan are first ballot HoFers, the Spurs won 5 titles with 3 foreign players as their stars, and the Lakers won 2 titles with Pau Gasol as their second best player. Today, the best player in the NBA is from Europe, and almost every NBA team has 2-3 foreign players that are at least decent.

Europe was not churning out top talent then like it is now, and some of the best didn't make it to the states in their primes. If Arvydas Sabonis played for Portland starting in 1988 like he was supposed to, (before his knees turned to concrete, he gained 50 pounds, and consumed a few thousand liters of vodka) Portland would have won multiple titles. Sabonis in his prime with Drexler, Porter, Cliff, and Kersey would have been unstoppable.

4) Moneyball - Teams would have played Jordan differently if there were advanced analytics in the 90's, and they certainly wouldn't have left defenders on an island against Jordan for 30 possessions a game like they did then.

Excellent post.

I've been reading about WWI and WWII lately. Every major change in either offensive or defensive capability was countered pretty quickly. For example, British chemists figured out within 48 of the first Chlorine gas attack that if a soldier pissed on his socks and used them as a gas, it would protect them.

So, for all the changes around the league, there would have been a counter move by the Bulls. For example, if there were fewer teams, the Bulls might have been able to surround Jordan with better talent than Kerr, Burrell,

Moneyball? Jordan would have gained a great deal from that. He would have become a fantastic 3 point shooter with tremendous range. He had the coordination and the work ethic.

Zone Defense? Jordan would have become a better passer.

Now, you can say that I am overestimating Jordan's ability to change his game. Maybe. But give me Jordan and Phil Jackon and yes, Jerry Krause & I think they would have come up with a response to every valid point you made.

But we'll never know.
 
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Jordan's prime is expanded and extended by 2-5 years with today's nutrition and advancements in training. Jordan invented the trainer 'investment' in your body, but LeBron & Brady have taken it to 11. The number for Jordan in any era is between 5-8 titles. He missed a chance at one or two b/c of both retirements. Had he come back 6 months earlier from the first retirement it is better than even odds he'd have 7.
My biggest what if will always be how many titles Jordan would've won had his dad not been murdered and had management not broken up thr team. I think it's fairly safe to put it at a minumum of 8.

Maybe the most amazing thing about Jordan that most people don't acknowlege or forget is Jordan was an MVP candidate with the Wizards before the injury. Being away from the game for 3 years and then deciding to come back on the cusp of your 39th birthday and still being one of the best players in the league is just mindblowing to me. He was dropping 45 point games a couple of weeks before his 40th birthday.

Nobody Touches Jordan: SECTION 18 - Michael Jordan's Wizards Years
 

OldBosd

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I say yes. If teams like the Warriors and Spurs have won multiples, then I firmly believe Jordan could have done it.

With all due respect to Rodman and Pippen, Jordan did not have the best supporting cast, not like the players of today do. You have super teams in LA, Golden State, even San Antonio, and Miami when they won. Jordan was in a class by himself. Pippen and Rodman are like Esa Tikkanen and Jari Kurri, good players, but not that memorable decades later. Playing with all-time greats etched their names in history.

Jordan would have top guys flanking him today.
That is a good point.

Jordan is the ultimate Alpha Dog & off-the-charts charismatic. And a winner.

I can easily image Jordan being the big winner of free agency with players lining up to play with Mike.
 
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I seriously can’t believe anyone thinks any player would win 6 chips in a row in this era. Teams can barely win 2 in a row.
 
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Jordan's prime is expanded and extended by 2-5 years with today's nutrition and advancements in training. Jordan invented the trainer 'investment' in your body, but LeBron & Brady have taken it to 11. The number for Jordan in any era is between 5-8 titles. He missed a chance at one or two b/c of both retirements. Had he come back 6 months earlier from the first retirement it is better than even odds he'd have 7.
I find it interesting that Jordan worked so hard on his body yet he's smoking six cigars a day, including some prior to games. Not eating great. Kobe was the same in that regard--he said he ate like crap throughout his entire career. I'm sure plenty of current stars do too but diet as a whole has been taken to new heights this era.
 

the Q

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Valid points. What about the difference in physicality and lack of travel, etc? Today’s games are painful to watch at times for those 2 reasons alone.
They didn’t call them on Jordan anyway.
 

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