Tuesday, August 26, 2008

1991 NBA Finals Game 2

Game 2 showed us that in order for the Lakers to have a chance at beating the spry Bulls, they would have to get 20 points from Perkins, Magic and Worthy every time. LA tried to play 30-and-over ball by resorting to backing defenders down and complaining to the refs.

The Bulls adjusted in game 2 with Jordan looking to pass first, setting up some very easy buckets for teammates, especially Horace Grant. Grant had a walk-in-the-park 20 points thanks to the gift wrapped passes Jordan was delivering. The tactic worked and the Bulls ran out to an early lead without MJ having to shoot much at all.

In the second half Jordan decided to get in on the scoring action a bit more. He started shooting and didn’t stop until he had reeled off 13 baskets in a row, including the dazzling change of hands shot that’s rerun in highlight reels all the time. The Bulls sensed the Lakers wearing down and went for the jugular as they pushed the tempo even more, leading to easy transition buckets. For as great as a scorer and finisher MJ was, his cross court bullet passes to Grant underneath were almost as spectacular. Jordan finished with 33 points and 13 assists, helping out Grant and Pippen who had 20 apiece. Paxson made all eight of his shots and the Bulls shot 61 percent as team.

The Bulls had beaten the Lakers by 21 points without making a 3-pointer (0-5). They had outhustled and outscrapped the Lakers and learned that this was the easiest way to take down the veteran team. The Lakers knew it too. Once the game started to get away from them, they turned their focus on the refereeing instead of running down to the defensive end. The Lakers just didn’t have the legs to compete with these young men.


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