Jordan., NBA

What you missed during the 1986 Bulls v Celtics Game 2

“I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan.” – Larry Bird

Game 2 of the 1986 Bulls v Celtics in the Eastern Conference Playoffs is considered one of the greatest games of all time and even catapulting the NBA in popularity.  Michael Jordan was sensational. A lot has been written and documented about his performance. (Probably more documentaries on that game than the plight of the narwhal whales.) His game is not what I am going to write about, but I will say that it’s a must watch for NBA fans because it shows how far the game has come and the pioneers who set the course.

Context is everything, for without it, this would be just another game. I’ll keep this brief: The Celtics were a dynasty (they crushed in the 60’s and won three championships in the 80’s). The Bulls sucked; they limped into the playoffs with a 30-52 record. MJ came back from a broken foot that kept him out of 64 games. SIXTY FOUR GAMES! In game 1 he dropped 49. Game 2, the infamous 63. He played all but three minutes of the game. And finally, this was his sophomore year. Again, Jordan was incredible.

Hopefully this helps you understand the climate a bit more. Now…


What you missed:

    1. The amount of fouls called makes the game almost unbearable to watch. Yup, I started with the refs AND it kills the flow of the game.
      • The Bulls had 34 total fouls and the Celtics had 32, with a total of 88 free throws attempted. Gross.
    2. Dennis Johnson is the ugliest dude on the court. This was before Bill Walton went all NO HYGENE.
    3. The level of athleticism on the court is almost comical compared to what we see now on a nightly basis. I am sorry, but when you get the privilege of watching Russell Westbrook try to kill a rim we are spoiled. I can’t imagine growing up and watching the highlights of these games. I am spoiled.
    4. Production has come a long way. Technology + Money + Time = Better.
    5. An obvious bi-product of the three not being valued is that the spacing is absolutely horrible. Big men lumber down to the block. No one has to worry about Paxton or Bird hitting a three (The most notable three of the game is Bird hitting a pretty one as the shot clock is expiring).
    6. Bulls trapping is equally horrible to spacing.
      • They do it off the lower block. No help defense comes over and the cutter of the wing is wide open for the easiest layup. Old Dennis Johnson gets a few buckets off of this horrible defensive strategy.
    7. Danny Aigne is a feisty cuss. He takes it to Jordan on back to back possessions!
    8. Aigne defensive stance is actually a shuffle and hilarious (see below). His arms straight down and inside of his knees. Oh, I love it so.  
    9. Okay. I have to say something about MJ. He was incredible.
      • Jordan is so much faster than everyone on the court. His first step is killer. He just blows by people. His lone dunk of the game comes just after he shoots past McHale on the baseline. Its a glorious.
      • Matching his speed is his ability to hang in the air, absorb contact, AND finish. Good heavens. (again above). Look how disgusted Aigne is with it all at the end of the play. Utter disbelief. “I can never stop this SOB!”
      • Finally, we got this play below, which is one of my favorites. My mouth almost waters when I watch it. Jordan toying with Larry Legend. You reach? I teach. 
    10. If you dissect the game, its better than it was live…

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