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Sam Smith (sports writer) on Rockets v Jordan

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by lnchan, May 6, 2020.

  1. lnchan

    lnchan LeonardTX26
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    IDIOT

    https://www.si.com/nba/rockets/news/sam-smith-rockets-beat-michael-jordan-bulls

    Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets had perhaps the most success against Jordan's Bulls. Jordan went just 10–12 vs. Houston from 1984-98, including a 1–5 stretch from 1991-93.
    [...]
    "Vernon Maxwell would play Michael, and Michael was better but Maxwell was nuts," Smith told Collier. "He used to attack Jordan and curse at him and run him all over the court. Michael could still get his 35 points, but now he’s really working for it as this guy is harassing him endlessly, like nobody else did."
    [...]
    Olajuwon and the Rockets were no paper tigers. Perhaps Jordan wouldn't have an unblemished Finals record if the 1990s played out differently.
     
  2. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    Perhaps.
     
  3. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    91-93, the 94 championship team had Cassell and Mario Elie

    I shouldn't need to tell Rockets fans if those dudes were important and significantly better than what we had in 91-93
     
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  4. mikol13

    mikol13 Protector of the Realm
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    Definitely much more diverse offensively. They would come at you all directions after they figured it out. Any one of those dudes could be the hero on any given night.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    As much as I love to think that Hakeem would just dominate the Bulls... the devil's advocate has to also consider that Seattle (who also had no real answer for Hakeem) played those Rockets teams about as well as any team could, and the Rockets struggled at times. Yes, they employed some illegal defense-type tactics that other teams certainly tried to emulate... but it would serve as a blueprint for opposing teams that had questionable defense at center.

    And while you can never compare a prime Hakeem to Ewing, Rik Smits, Brad Daugherty, or young Shaq, those Bulls teams did have a defensive strategy against those big-men that served them well.

    It would be a great matchup that the Rockets could certainly come out on top... but they'd have to be at their best. Those Rockets teams were also prone to mental lapses at times... as showcased on both Phoenix series along with even the 95 Spurs series where they dropped 2 home games with a 2-0 lead.
     
  6. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    How extra sweet (it is) for SI to post this.

    I'd be interested in the Drexler rematch too. Vernon gone then...

    Would he try too hard, would the team light up to another level knowing their history?
     
  7. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member

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    Facts...
     
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  8. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Exactly there's some severe oversimplification of Rockets vs Bulls in the 90s

    We beat the Championship Team Bulls of the early 90s with Don Chaney as our coach for part of it

    and 94 and 95 Rockets Teams were different in roster

    I think 95 was the better offensive team while 94 was better defensively with OT/Max

    In either scenario, Dream dominates the Bulls front court,

    95 Dream Playoff Edition > Everybody . Karl Malone, Barkley, David Robinson, Dennis Rodman, Shaq. They all went down to Dream.
     
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  9. OkayAyeReloaded

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    The Rockets and Hakeem were one of, if not the worst matchup for Jordan and his Bulls.

    It's not subjective but a fact based on the records against each other, Olajuwon regularly beat Jordan during the first three peat. This is part of why Jordan has such high respect for him.

    Jordan's Most Difficult Playoff Series

    Think about thier history, the Jordan Bulls went seven games in the playoffs against a Knicks defense with a dominant center, Ewing leading the team that the Rockets beat a couple years later:
    https://www.basketball-reference.co...rn-conference-semifinals-knicks-vs-bulls.html

    They were down 0-2 to start the series the next year before Jordan and the Bulls closed them out in six games, with the pivotal game 5 winning by 3 points and really just a couple possesions in the 4th
    https://www.basketball-reference.co...astern-conference-finals-bulls-vs-knicks.html

    And lastly Jordan was off for two years and granted it was long layoff, but he did still lose to Shaq and the Magic, a dominant center team when he tried to come back. He destroyed them the next year and added Rodman, but he did still lose to a center.
    https://www.basketball-reference.co...ern-conference-semifinals-bulls-vs-magic.html

    Even in 1998, they went seven games against an Indiana Pacer team with Reggie Miller as the leader but with Rick Smits a star center who went to his first all star game that year:
    https://www.basketball-reference.co...astern-conference-finals-pacers-vs-bulls.html

    What do these playoff struggles and one series loss during the championship era all have in common?

    A star or dominant center.

    Who was better than all of those centers listed, Olajuwon who again regularly beat Jordan many years.

    And also when looking at thier actual win loss record against them with Jordan full strength during the first three peat, It would be very likely the Rockets would have changed history and beaten Jordan during those championship years if they met in the finals.
     
  10. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    If Rockets trade for Rodman instead of Barkley (keeping Sam I Am Cassell and Big Shot Bob Horry on roster) - Rockets win another championship or 3.
     
  11. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    If Sampson never got hurt and there was no cocaine....
     
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  12. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    You forgot the other factor with Rodman

    Houston Nightlife vs Rodman

    Numbers, Clubs on Richmond, Westheimer, Jamaica Jamaica
     
  13. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  14. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    Chicago has a comparable nightlife and off court distractions too.

    Dream would have been a more calming influence than MJ.
     
  15. smoothie_king

    smoothie_king Member

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    It's not necessarily a mental lapse when the other team is dunking on you.

    Phoenix always tough at home.

     
  16. lnchan

    lnchan LeonardTX26
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    If Les Alexander tolerated Ron Artest... he could tolerate Rodman.
     
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  17. lnchan

    lnchan LeonardTX26
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    Or David Stern driven conspiracy against the Rockets. I would bet money that Worthy and Kareem have done worse than Lucas and Wiggins.
     
  18. lnchan

    lnchan LeonardTX26
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    Did not realize this happened in Houston for James Worthy:
    On November 14, 1990, Worthy was arrested in Houston, and charged with two counts of solicitation of prostitution. He was in the city with the Lakers for a game against the Houston Rockets. According to the police, prior to the game, Worthy called a local escort service and requested that two women be sent to meet him in his hotel room. Unbeknownst to Worthy, police had already shut down the escort service, and they instead sent two undercover vice squad officers to the hotel to meet him.[20][21] A month later, Worthy pleaded no contest to both charges. He was sentenced to one year of probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.
     
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  19. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    That’s interesting, I’ve never thought about that. Honestly the mid 80s rockets are slightly before my time of really watching basketball but there’s no question that team could have been a dynasty.
     
  20. stilldr34amin'

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    Wow I totally forgot about Jamaica Jamaica until this post. Way to hit me with a nostalgia bomb!
     
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