It's no secret on this forum that I am a huge Jordan fan, am old enough to have seen him play for about a decade and someone who has studied his career and I am never ceased to be impressed with what he did over the course of his career. I was checking a reference for a post and tangentially got to digging on basketball-reference.com ( dangerous, I know ) and here are some crazy accomplishments that I think very few people are aware of.
During the 1988-89 Season, Jordan notched 7 straight triple doubles and 10 in an 11 game stretch. During that stretch, he averaged 33.6 ppg 10.8 rpg 11.3 apg 2.9 spg 3.3 TO PG ( 3.42 A/TO Ratio )
It's a well known fact that Jordan shot a lot, but he was extremely efficient and I started to notice a trend in his 50 point games. He was unstoppable. In his 39 fifty or more point games Jordan shot .607% from the feild.
This isn't a huge list because people have compiled hundreds of them, but these were some things I noticed and dug into a little further.
I'm sure you probably already know this, but for other on this thread, that stretch where MJ was putting up double digit assist numbers, he was actually playing PG for the Bulls. His versatility is definitely overshadowed somewhat by all the other great things he did.
He was so impressive. I missed him playing live but have watch plenty of hardwood classics and games of him and he was unstoppable.
A couple things I noticed that helped him be so unstoppable were the lack of wing players in his era and defensive schemes.
I noticed in his era there werent to many superstar wing players like there has been in the last decade or so with Lebron Kobe Tmac and Durant.
Another thing I noticed are the defensive schemes back then werent nearly as sophisticated, not by a long shot. I think this was mostly due to the hand check rule. They basically put a guy on him and collapsed on him or fouled him. There wasnt as much to the defensive side of the floor as there is today in terms of technical schemes.
Correct me if I'm off base as I didnt have the privilage to watch him play every game.
Yea it is weird how strong the SF position is now and there are a good number of good young ones too. Lebron played deng, George, and Leonard who are all pretty good SFs and the last 2 under 23 SFs who are improving. I think in 3 years the SF position is going to rival that of the point guard in depth, there are so many versatile young SFs in the league with 2 elite prospect SFs coming next year. I dont know how deep the SG position was during jordans career but the small forward position is really deep as lebron heads into the last half of his career.
1. Drexler was every bit as good as T-Mac, if not better. Reggie was a great player. Dumars might still be my prototypical Sg (even in today's game). Yes, the wing talent wasn't as deep as the 2000 era you mentioned, but it did have a few studs.
2. Don't underestimate what the Hand Check rule has done to the NBA game. Even someone as a good as Chris Paul or Derrick Rose would have a hard time scoring on Gary Payton in his prime because the Glove could keep one hand on the guy he was guarding and physically push him to one side of the floor. As long as it was done realativly smooth, it wasn't called. It was much harder to score back then with the allowed physicality, then it is in today's game with whatever schemes teams might play.
with you but my problem is people kinda to forgets that in the 90's he still played against good wing players
Richmond, Reggie, Hill, Rice, Big Dog Robinson, Stackhouse, Mullin, Nique, Steve Smith, Dumars in the 90's if he didn't face him in the PO... it's not an excuse to say you know what there wasn't really a competition in the wing really... you had good wings and solid wings, hey i'm not saying it was you who said that but it's kinda sad see people talking without knowing facts....
MJ(38-40): 21.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg. 4.4 apg, 1.5 spg
he did that against younger wing players, reaching their prime some of them on their prime players T-Mac, Carter, Pierce, Kobe, AI, Marion... he was old he didn't have their athletic ability still he showed a lot of skill for his age and Fundamentals what about if he was with their same age that's all
i agree on you on defensive schemes but the guy was triple double and was being stopped by more hard and push nosed physical defenses schemes about the wing you are definetly wrong
Dennis Rodman- Hall of Fame
Larry Bird- Hall of Fame
Bernard King- HOF
Chris Mullin- HOF
James Worthy- HOF
Dominique Wilkins- HOF
Reggie Miller- HOF
Alex English- HOF
Clyde Drexler- HOF
Penny Hardaway- he played SG too
As you can see when in his Career he actually had good competition against him in the 90's he had a few but still more than in todays game in my opinion
I should have been more specific. I'm talking in the 90's when he was winning championship after championship. So about half the guys on your list aren't in the era I'm talking about, as they were on the decline and others were new to the league, while a few you mentioned were to me, fairly average. Guys like AI and Ray allen were a little young and playing for non playoff teams to mention as legitamit MJ opponents.
Meanwhile wing players that were in their prime at the same point or peaked close to eachother in the modern era were guys like Kobe, AI, Tmac, Lebron, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Vince Carter, then guys like Shawn Marion, Rashard Lewis, Ron Artest, Richard Jefferson not to menrion Grant Hill should have just entered his prime. They all played eachother in their primes (or close to it) to me, this group of wings is better no question. We might have to agree to disagree.
i will put PPG, RPG, APG, SPG if it's necessary
Chris Mullin- 1990-1998- 18.9 4.5 3.8 1.7,
Joe Dumars- 1990-1998- 17.9 2.1 4.4 0.9
Dominique Wilkins- 1990-1997- 24.1 6.8 2.7 1.1- he didn't play the 1997-1998 season
Reggie Miller- 1990-1998- 20.8 3.1 3.3 1.2- Everyone remembers the batlles the Bulls and Pacers had
Clyde Drexler- 1990-1998- 20.6 6.3 5.6 1.8- when some of us talk about SG, Drexler was one of the best all around players in the position
i agree with you in this 2 seasons AI played against Jordan yes he was young but still good, he didn't play in the playoffs against MJ true fact but his stats are: 22.7 3.9 6.8 2.1, still good
Mitch Richmond 1990-1998, he played one time in the PO 95-96, different conference, stats: 23.4 4.0 4.0 1.3
Glen Rice 1990-1998, played 4 times in the PO east conference he actually faced the Bulls. stats: 21.6 4.8 2.3 1.2
Latrell Sprewel- 1992-1998, he played 5 times in the PO 4 with the Knicks MJ was already retired, stats: 20.1 4.3 4.7 1.7
Mark Aguirre played 1990-1994, but not on the same lvl he used to play
Rolando Blackman 1990-1994, not on the same lvl he used to play
Alvin Robertson 1990-1996, not on the same lvl he had back injuries still manage 4 rpg 4 apg and 2.5 spg
Steve Smith-1990-1998 17.3 3.8 4.1 0.9, he was 6 times in the PO, 3 times faced MJ
Penny Hardaway- 1993-1998, 4 times in the PO, 2 times faced MJ, stats: 19.5 4.6 6.5 1.9
Grant Hill- 1994-1998, 2 times in the PO when MJ played, stats: 20.7 8.3 6.5 1.6
Glenn Robinson- 1994-1998, stats: 21.5 6.1 3.0 1.3, no PO
Ray Allen- 1996-1998, another one i agree with you bro, 2 seasons no PO exp, stats: 16.5 4.5 3.5 1.1
Allan Houston- 1993-1998, 3 PO times when MJ was playing he even faced MJ stats: 15.2 2.8 2.3 0.7
Jerry Stackhouse- 1995-1998, another one i agree with you 18.6 3.7 3.3 1.1
the rest of them played in the 90's
if you want i can post the first ones ages and how many times they got to the PO
Playoffs by season
1991- MJ faced Kiki Vandeweghe, Starks, Aguirre, Dumars, Vinnie Johnson, Worthy and Byron Scott
1992- Glen Rice, Steve Smith, Xavier McDaniel, Starks, Ehlo and Drexler
1993- Ehlo, Starks, Majerle
1996- Starks, Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson, Penny Hardaway, Schrempf and Hawkins
1997- Steve Smith, Lenard, Mashburn, Majerle, Hornacek and Russell
1998- Glen Rice, Allan Houston, Starks and Larry Johnson he played SF that year, Reggie, Mullin and Jalen Rose, Russel and Hornacek
not that easy like everyone says but not that hard neither the best he played against was Houston, Smith, Penny, Worthy, Dumars, Reggie, Rice and Drexler in the wing in the PO... because Season Wise it was tougher, and teams where tougher in the PO
Which Old MJ played against them when he was with the Wizards and showed skill more finesse think about it if he was at the same age of them brother
players still get hand checked all the time. People really blow the hand check rule out of proportion. The fact is that throughout the 80's the league scoring average was significantly higher then it is today. This past season, the league average for ft attempts per game was 22.2 which is the lowest in history beating out 2012 when it was 22.5 and the lowest in history. Throughout the 80's and into the late 90's, the league average for ft attempts was always between 25-30 ft attempts per game and whistles were statistically blown much more often for fouls back then. Guys were not leveling each other and getting away with it despite what a few pistons youtube clips might suggest.
A Kobe fan trying to rain on MJ's accomplishments? Noooo.
Want a good hand check test?
Look at 2001-2004 Steve Nash. Now look at 2005-2007 Steve Nash.
That is all.
you do realize that the hand checking rule as defined by the nba rule book was last changed when nash was at santa clara right?
but it seems pretty obvious from just watching games that the number of three pointers shot in games has steadily increased. If teams across the board are jacking up more 3s then it only makes sense that FT attempts will go down. The "3 and D" and "stretch 4" positions have been growing in popularity over the last few years because teams are shooting more 3s.
I don't know about the hand check rule being out of proportion. The game is completely different since they've gotten rid of it. Jordan was amazing. Did you forget what Detroit put him through? That was beyond hand checking. The Pistons regular fouls back then would be automatic ejections and suspensions in today's game. I know...I used to love it when we'd beat on Jordan lol. But eventually he got past it all. Then came the Knicks who tried to emulate the Pistons. So the hand check rule wasn't out of propotion, if anything its really taken with no regard now a days. Yeah scoring was up but you had more fundamentally sound players back then then today. Today there's alot of specialty players who are great athletes but not great ballers.
Not to continue to hijack this Jordan thread, but if the hand check rule change of '94 had such an impact on defense, then we should be able to look at players who spent prime caliber years both before and after 1994 and see an increase in offense correct? Guys like Jordan, miller, Richmond, Stockton, hardaway, rice, mullin, Barkley, kj etc should have all found it easier to score and seen increased stats immediately afterward correct? I'm on my phone and don't care enough to do the research, but I'm guessing they didn't make huge jumps offensively once this hand checking rule came into play.
You're right. It was harder for perimeter players to score during the hand-check days. Many players have commented about the change in play after the hand-check was banned. I forgot where I read it, but a semi-prominent player told ESPN that as a defense specialist he struggled to be effective.
As a point of clarification on the hand check rule there’s a lot of disinformation available in various forums which debate the subject. The hand check rule that players are referencing when they speak of “today’s rules” is the rule as it was amended prior to the 2004-05 season.
While part of that was just a matter of clarifying the rule, the major part of it was its emphasis to officials. There was technically a hand-check foul in 1994-95, but it wasn’t the same type of foul or called with the same frequency.
The 2005 season is when the hand-check rule started to have an impact. As you will see, the definitive separation is evident for this being a clean divide.
to 2004-2005 actually you actually see a really difference on the hand check rule:
There has been a gradual and pronounced decline in the number of unassisted field goals, suggesting an advantage to perimeter players with significant ball-handling skills.
There has been an increase in the rate of 50-point games among perimeter players and a corresponding decline in 50-point games among post players.
There has been an increase in the perceived importance of the perimeter player as reflected in the MVP voting.
There has been an marginal shift in perimeter players who average over 20 points for a season and corresponding decline among post players. The elite scorers are now almost exclusively the domain name of the perimeter scorer.
oh and go check this article and come discuss it with me if you want bro
It was not harder to score back then in my opinion. Its clear when you watch Jordan classic games, highlights etc. that the perimeter wings opposing Jordan were physically and athletically outmached. Probably the most athletic and physically capable wing to D Jordan who was also probably the second best wing player of that era overall was Jordans teammate. And calling Reggie Miller great is a stretch to me, he was an all star who made some big shots but had his limits outside of shooting. He was about 190 lbs soaking wet and he wasn't much of an athlete on top of that. Dumars was a solid player as well but not the caliber of individual athlete of Jordan either. And handchecking is completely oversold as a defensive tactic compared to what it actually was like when Jordan played and as a matter of fact I am completely amazed sometimes when I watch old Jordan highlights and the periemter D, especially on an individual 1 on 1 basis is really pedestrian. I usually attribute this to the fact that the guy who was guarding Jordan just physically didnt stand a chance. I also think Jordan was the first guy that could really size you up one on one and get his own shot off the dribble in isolations and players werent really apt to handle that. Today players, especially the elite, are far more advanced at creating off the dribble in iso situations. And therefore todays players are far better indovidual defenders. Add that along with the athleticism of this era and I completely disagree with that notion. It really annoys me when people say "Jordan would avg 50" in this era. Do people really believe that Jordan is that much better of an offensive talent than todays era? LeBron? Kobe? McGrady? Durant? Wade? Etc... I would even go as far as to say if you put any of these guys in Jordans era they are probably just as dominant as Jordan if not more.
i don't think he would average 50, but do you really believe MJ couldn't handle the guys you just mention?
tell me when you watch Kobe do you actually remember how similar is game is to MJ, this is one proof if MJ played in todays game he could actually give it a shot, and like Phil Jackson said MJ was stronger, faster a better defender and better leader and had bigger hands than Kobe, second did you really forget how MJ did play when he was 38-40 years against those guys that where younger than him?
MJ did so many incredible things scoring wise that it's easy to forget what he did as a distributor and defender! Thanks for sharing this facts..!
Joe Wolf, great post!. Now this is what the forum is for....
2002-03: Jordan averaged 20, 6, 4 @ 40 years old...
don't want to be sound arrogant but in this thread i showed 3 differenct prespectives or proofs how Jordan was good but i can keep going don't get me wrong i'm not saying MJ is unbeatable lol nobody is unbeatable or invencible i'm just getting him credit... on the weak competition in the wing i showed that's not true, on the hand check rule another one, and on him playing against those wing primed players i showed some stats, my job is done and by the way my fav player all time is Magic Johnson if you all start hating me for defending one player xDxD mine is Magic not MJ xD