The Myth of Michael Jordan’s Scoring Dominance
Setting the Record Straight
For years, critics have labeled Michael Jordan as a one-dimensional player, attributing his success solely to his scoring prowess. However, a closer look at his playoff stats from 1987 to 1998 reveals a different story. Jordan’s partnership with Scottie Pippen was instrumental in the Chicago Bulls’ dominance during this era, and it’s time to debunk the theory that Jordan was just a goalscorer and nothing else.
The Dynamic Duo: Jordan and Pippen
A Perfect Combination
During the 1987-1998 playoffs, Jordan and Pippen formed one of the most formidable duos in NBA history. While Jordan’s scoring ability was undeniable, Pippen’s versatility and defensive prowess were equally crucial to the Bulls’ success.
Pippen’s playoff stats during this period demonstrate his all-around impact on the game. He averaged an impressive 18.7 points per game, along with 7.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.1 steals. These numbers highlight Pippen’s ability to contribute in multiple facets of the game, proving that he was more than just a sidekick to Jordan.
Playoff Scoring: Jordan vs Pippen
Examining the Numbers
While Jordan undoubtedly had a higher scoring average than Pippen during the playoffs, it’s essential to analyze the context behind these numbers. Jordan averaged 33.4 points per game, showcasing his scoring dominance. However, Pippen’s 18.7 points per game is nothing to brush aside.
Moreover, when considering the overall impact on the game, Pippen’s contributions were invaluable. His defensive skills often stifled opponents, and his ability to facilitate the offense made him a reliable playmaker. Pippen’s rebounds and steals further solidified his impact on both ends of the court.
Assists and Playmaking Ability
Pippen’s Underrated Passing Skills
One aspect of Pippen’s game that often goes unnoticed is his playmaking ability. Throughout the playoffs from 1987 to 1998, Pippen averaged 5.3 assists per game. This showcases his knack for finding open teammates and creating scoring opportunities for the Bulls.
In addition to his scoring and rebounding contributions, Pippen’s passing ability was a vital component of the Bulls’ success. His court vision and basketball IQ allowed him to make the right decisions, making him a true all-around player.
Defensive Dominance: Pippen’s Impact
A Lockdown Defender
While Jordan is often praised for his defensive skills, Pippen’s impact on that end of the court cannot be overlooked. His 2.1 steals per game during the playoffs demonstrate his ability to disrupt opponents’ offenses and create turnovers.
Pippen’s defensive prowess was not limited to steals alone. He was consistently tasked with guarding the opposition’s best player, often neutralizing their offensive threat. His defensive contributions were instrumental in the Bulls’ success and played a significant role in their multiple championship runs.
The Final Verdict
Jordan and Pippen: A Perfect Balance
In conclusion, the notion that Michael Jordan was solely a goalscorer and nothing else is a fallacy. His partnership with Scottie Pippen during the 1987-1998 playoffs exemplifies the perfect balance between scoring dominance and versatility.
Pippen’s contributions in scoring, rebounding, playmaking, and defense elevate him beyond the label of a mere sidekick. Together, Jordan and Pippen formed an unstoppable force that led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. It’s time to debunk the myth and recognize both players’ immense impact on the game.