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2013 Champs - Miami Heat vs 1997 Champs - Chicago Bulls
How would Lebron James and his Miami Heat fare against Jordan's chicago Bulls
Miami Heat can pull an upset over Chicago Bulls in a 7 game series, but the odds are minuscule.
Which it provides food for thought.
You see, that aging Spur team that hindered the Miami Heat down to the wire in last year's finals, would've been ousted considerably sooner by a team displaying six trophies in total and are arguably one of, it not the greatest dynasties of all time.
In all of their championship winning seasons, never had the Bulls needed to clinch game 7 of the finals, despite being pitted against stiffer opposition in the 90's; by the likes of Utah Jazz, Seattle Supersonics and Phoenix Suns.
Had the challenge been presented today I doubt prime 1990s Chicago Bulls and their renowned fortitude will be reaching alarming levels over a face-off encounter with Lebron's Miami Heat. Because it addresses far from an unprecedented challenge for the bulls.
First, no other team found an answer to sub-due or even remotely slow down his airness in crucial stages. So I'm certain Miami Heat aren't the exception. Old man Ray Allen and these days half-man half-glass Dwayne Wade surely won't keep Jordan in check.
Second, Lebron James has tendencies to not show up, in terms of offensive struggles (percentage wise mainly).
His liabilities are well illustrated.
Put him in a spot, where the screws are tightened up defensively, and he'll misfire at a high rate due to his shooting technique being immoderately robotic. So look for Lebron's shooting woes to often perpetuate with Pippen (a lock-down defender) closely tracking him, while the latter fulfills his role offensively.
Third, pencil-necked Chris Bosh is the only decent sized center they've got, up against a center position featuring three beefy bodies (Luc Longley, Brian Williams and Bill Wennington) dishing out, up to 18 fouls a game. That match-up right there is so lopsided to the point where it's actually apologetic. Bosh will get his points, on the other hand he'll give away half as much in return. And also situates the team in foul penalty by mid way through the game.
Fourth, for the role-players: Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Ron Harper and Jud Buechler slightly out point the 3 point capability as well as the overall productivity of their counterpart.
Fifth, controlling the boards: One problem would be defending the onslaught of Jordan and Pippen and another problem would be battling with 'king of the boards' Dennis Rodman for offensive rebounds.
A scenario where the Heat face a critical criteria: Too much focus shifting to one side by Miami prompts Rodman to free up underneath the basket, culminating a plethora of second chance opportunities.
And sixth, the 'IT' factor: Both teams are formulated almost identical. However, the explicit divergence lies around the two main superstars in clutch situations. Jordan was unequivocally the ultimate closer whereas Lebron fires blank periodically. Earning him the moniker 'Lechoke' (by some critics) in the process.
The one area that I feel the Miami Heat are superior to the Chicago Bulls is on the fast break, where it's simply exquisite from a fan's perspective, yet devastating for the opposition.
The grand finale
By no means is the Miami Heat championship banner a one that's under-appreciated, particularly when I sincerely declare their accomplishments as respectable (2 time champs) amongst the previous champions. Though the invincible Bulls of the 90's were on another stratosphere. Nobody could stop the juggernaut that were the Bulls.
In any era, Chicago won't be cutting Miami like knife through butter, but they would certainly topple them at the end, in a reasonably competitive series lasting no more than six games.
Had this Miami team run against Chicago in their time, we'd still be singing praise for Jordan's six titles. Keep in mind just how stern and lenient referees were in the NBA many years ago. Well during the '80's and '90's, any player that stood in the paint was literally clothes-lined and the referees occasionally swallowed their whistle on that conduct. Nowadays if you breathe on a player too hard, you get called for a flagrant foul. I'm sure Miami's game would've been deterred quite tremendously with that kind of physicality.