Why Michael Jordan's '90s Bulls Would Beat the 2017 Golden State Warriors
Thankfully, with his loss in the 2017 NBA Finals, I should never have to hear anyone attempt to elevate LeBron James above Michael Jordan in the GOAT discussion. Unfortunately, I now have to listen to people claiming that the 2017 Golden State Warriors would beat the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of the 1990s. That claim is more ludicrous than claiming that LeBron is better than Jordan.
Below, I've listed three reasons why Michael Jordan's Bulls would beat the 2017 Golden State Warriors.
1. Defensive Matchups
The 2017 Warriors are an offensive juggernaut, no doubt. However, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and company did not have to face the defensive juggernaut that was the '90s Chicago Bulls. The Bulls' defensive matchups would give the Warriors fits. People seem to forget that an argument can be made that Jordan was the greatest defensive player of all time. Add in the defensive prowess of Scottie Pippen (possibly MJ's biggest rival for best defensive player of all time) and Ron Harper, and the '90s Bulls' ability to disrupt passing lanes, fight through screens, and play lockdown defense on shooters made them a scary team to face on the perimeter. Even if the Warriors could manage to penetrate the Bulls' frontline wall of defense, Curry would find himself face-to-face with "The Worm." Speaking of Dennis Rodman, the Warriors would lose the battle of the boards.
Think about these matchups: Ron Harper on Klay Thompson. Harper gives up about two inches, but his defensive skills are often overlooked when discussing the Chicago Bulls' dynasty. Combine Harper's dogged defensive ability with Thompson's streaky shooting, and the Splash Brothers are reduced to one. Rodman on Draymond Green. The Worm would get Green to either foul out or be ejected, probably before halftime. Michael Jordan on Steph Curry. At this point, it's over. The Splash Brother would be rendered non-existent. Scottie Pippen on Kevin Durant would be the most interesting matchup. Durant has a sizable height advantage, but Pippen played much longer than his 6'7". And don't forget that an argument can be made that Pippen is the greatest defensive player of all time. Kevin Durant may not be able to be stopped, but Pippen's defense would definitely eat into his efficiency rating. Luc Longley on ZaZa Pachulia. Ha!
Now flip the matchups, and tell me with a straight face that the 2017 Golden State Warriors could stop the 1990s Chicago Bulls. Not to mention, the evolution of the game benefits the Bulls.