Are the Bulls the new Spurs?

In large part due to their dynastic title run in the ’90s, the Chicago Bulls are rarely compared to other teams, but this year’s model, compares quite well with the 1999 Sppurs, the first of their recent title teams.

No, no one on the Bulls reminds me of David Robinson or Tim Duncan (in fact, it’s kind of amazing that except for the brief era of Artis Gilmore, a vastly under appreciated player the Bulls have not had a dominant pivotman).  And of course no one in that Spurs backcourt (it consisted of future head coaches Avery Johnson and Vinny Del Negro) reminds me of Derrick Rose.  But there are other salient points of comparison.

Those Spurs won their first title in a lockout shortened season.  They did so in the second full year of a regime in which they would play lockdown defense (Tom Thibodeau as the new Gregg Popovich doesn’t take much imagination).  Those Spurs led the league in defensive rating that year performing far and away better than the other teams (these Bulls actually don’t lead in Defensive Rating yet but they are moving fast toward taking over the lead).  In their first year of this alignment, the Spurs fell short in the playoffs against a star-leaden team, the Stockton-to-Malone Utah Jazz, but the Spurs in 1999 excelled against a series of ensemble teams in the playoffs including the Ewing-less Knicks against whom they won their first title.  At this point in the season it’s feasible for Bulls fans, likely still smarting from last season’s ECF loss to the LeBron-D-Wade Heat, to plot a playoff route that includes series victories over Indiana and Philadelphia en route to a win over Denver or Portland.

It’s too early to forecast such things, but similarities are similarities.





About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
This entry was posted in A Stampede or Merely Another Rumble, basketball, Chicago Bulls, NBA, Sports, Taking the Bulls by the Numbers. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Are the Bulls the new Spurs?

  1. Sean Breslin says:

    I agree that it’s too early to say that, but they are putting the pieces together for sure. Great post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s