Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan will be remembered as the greatest duo to ever step foot on a basketball court and in the 1995-1996 season they proved it. In the 95-96 season, Scottie Pippen averaged 19.4 points a game and shot 46% from the court. This outstanding season opened everyone’s eyes. This break out season led Scottie Pippen to become an All-Star that season. Michael Jordan recently returned from baseball this season and was ready to shock the NBA.  Michael Jordan led the league in scoring this year with 30 points per game. Michael Jordan’s outstanding performances each night led him to success. The best player to ever play the game was the 1995-1996 NBA Most Valuable Player. Scottie Pippen was 5th in the MVP race. Both Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan made the NBA’s All-Defensive team. These two legendary players led their team to victory. They broke many records and goals in the season. When Michael Jordan retired, the bulls were not the same team. They could not make it to the playoffs and they did not have the teammate chemistry that they should have. Once Michael Jordan made it back to the NBA, he led them to win three NBA championships in a row. In 1996, Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV and he was forced to retire. This made the Chicago Bulls road to the championship a lot easier. With the help from Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the 1995- 1996 Chicago Bulls will be remembered as the most iconic teams in NBA history.

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Triangle Offense

The Triangle offense was invented in the early 30’s by a man named Sam Barry. Sam Barry was the coach at University of Southern California. He created his offensive strategy to keep defenses from switching from man defense to a zone defense. After Sam Barry retired, his former player Tex Winter decided to become a coach for Kansas State University. He adapted Sam Barry’s coaching style and brought the triangle offense to Kansas State University. Tex Winter later decided to leave the college level and coach in the NBA. The 1995 Chicago Bulls then hired the well experienced Tex Winter. The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls was the first NBA team to use the triangle offense. Players and coaches in the NBA never witnessed this type of offensive strategy and this led to defensive confusion for other teams. This offensive strategy made players have to defend Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen one on one. If the defense decided to play help man defense, the Bulls would just pass the ball to the open man. This offense also did not allow teams to play a zone defense because a player will always be open. Phil Jackson the Chicago Bulls head coach, made it difficult for teams when they played. This offensive strategy is a big reason why Phil Jackson has thirteen NBA championship rings and is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Today many teams have taken the Chicago Bulls triangle offense. The New York Knicks use this offense and the Los Angeles Lakers also use this offense today.

 

The Roster

1995 was a historic year for the NBA fans and Chicago Bull fans. In 1994 the Chicago bulls made the playoffs even though Michael Jordan retired to peruse a career in baseball. They went on to beat the Cavaliers in the first round. In the Eastern Conference semifinals they faced a tough and well coached New York Knicks team and fell short. In the offseason, the Chicago bulls wanted to be a dominate team once again. In March 1995, Michael Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls from the Birmingham Barons. The Chicago Bulls traded Will Perdue for the Hall of Fame big man Dennis Rodman. This trade was enormous for the NBA because it established an unstoppable big three in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls already had Scottie Pippen from last season so; many teams were terrified of the dynasty that was being formed. The starting center for this team was Luc Longley. He was an effective scorer inside and a tenacious rebounder. The starting point guard on the 1995-1996 Bulls team was Ron Harper. He averaged 3.9 assist a game with the Bulls. The Chicago Bulls bench provided superb support for the starters. The backup point guard and is now the current Head coach for the Golden State Warriors was Steve Kerr. The Backup shooting guard playing behind Michael Jordan was the sharp shooter Jud Buechler. The Backup center playing behind Luc Longley was Bill Wennington. The long time veteran John Salley played the backup power forward position and Toni Kukoč played the backup small forward position. The Chicago Bulls also drafted Jason Caffey in 1995. He was picked in the first round and pick number 20. Also the Bulls drafted Dragan Tarlać in the second round and pick number 30. The reserves on this team were Randy Brown, James Edwards, Jack Haley and Dickey Simpkins. The head coach for this dynamic team was the legendary Phil Jackson.