The 1991 NBA finals: five highlights are a concise reflection of the action packed 1991 NBA finals. Picking five highlights from the 1991 NBA finals is like asking someone to pick their favorite pieces of gold out of a pot, well, full of gold. Two of the best NBA teams of all times faced off in some of the most exciting games (at least for Bulls fans) ever to be played on national TV. Not to mention a collection of some of the NBA's greatest players going head to head. Ok fine, let's talk about the five best highlights of the 1991 NBA Finals.
- Slow down Lake Show. The NBA in the eighties was a bunch of teams trying desperately to claw to the top of a barrel that the Lakers and Celtics sat on comfortably. Magic Johnson's Lakers won NBA Championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Bird's Celtics won NBA titles in 1981, 1984, and 1986. The 1991 NBA Finals marked the first time during the modern game of basketball that a team other than The Lakers or The Celtics emerged as an NBA superpower. The 1991 NBA Finals was the Bulls transition from a good ball club to the NBA team to beat. The Bulls went on to be the team of the 1990's, assembling arguably the best basketball teams in the history of the NBA.
- "Showtime" Shut down. During the 1991 NBA Finals, with the exception of game one, The Bulls dominated the Lakers throughout the series. The Chicago Bulls took the best of seven series in five games. Not to take anything from the Lakers, but the Bulls were just better. The Lakers clawed for a victory in the first game, only winning by two (93 to 91). The Bulls average margin of victory over the next four contests was thirteen points. This series was littered with instances where the Bulls would go on crazy nineteen to nine or twenty to seven scoring runs. The two man show stoppers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen could not be contained. More importantly, key role players did their jobs for the Bulls when they were called upon. "Showtime" was silenced on their home court.
- Phil Jackson's genius. Not only did the 1991 NBA Finals solidify Michael Jordan as one of the greatest players ever. It skyrocketed a former assistant coach to stardom as well. Phil Jackson has since been known to be one of the most successful coaches in the game for more than one reason. He's won the most NBA titles as a coach. As of 2010, he's got 10. He'll most likely win a few more before he's done. Secondly, he's a master at tempering superstar egos getting his players to play as one cohesive unit. Look at Mike and Scottie or Shaq and Kobe. Thirdly He strays away from conventional basketball teaching and instills his own brand of philosophical and psychologically induced training on his teams.
- Michael Jordan establishes his greatness. Until the 1991 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan was known as a prolific scorer with tremendous upside potential. He could score at will and lock his opponent down on defense. After The Bulls won the 1991 NBA Finals, Michael was known as a champion. He showed the world that personal achievements weren't all he was good for. He had the ability to carry a team to greatness. He averaged 31.2 points a game during the NBA Finals. More importantly though, he dropped 11.4 assists a game consistently getting his team involved and trusting in his team mates. His 6.6 rebounds 2,8 steals, and 1.4 blocks a game showed he had mastered other facets of the game other than scoring. There wasn't just talk of Mike being the greatest, he affirmed it with his play.
- The birth of a dynasty. The 1991 NBA Finals exposed the world to the heavyweight NBA team of the 1990's. They were an unstoppable force through the decade. They won six titles from 1991 to 1998. They would've won more if Jordan didn't take a hiatus between the two "3-peats".