It has been the biggest debate of the NBA season, who would win a game between the ‘95-96 Chicago Bulls and ‘15-16 Golden State Warriors?
I have no doubt that the Bulls would defeat the Warriors if the dream match-up did occur.
Chicago, led by superstar Michael Jordan, made history by becoming the only team ever to win 70 regular season games, setting an NBA record for wins that has yet to be broken.
Coached by the “Zen Master,” Phil Jackson, Chicago would go on to win their division, conference and fourth NBA Championship in six seasons.
While the NBA has changed greatly from the era of the ‘90s to current day, it is difficult to bet against the Bulls in any kind of fantasy game, such as this one.
For starters, there is no one on the modern day Warriors who has a chance of guarding Jordan, who averaged over 30 points-per-game in the legendary season. MJ has earned the title of being the greatest basketball player of all time and it would take a lot for Golden State to even contain him.
Next there are the All-Star forwards that the Warriors would have to deal with.
Starting at small forward for Chicago was Scottie Pippen, a seven time NBA All-Star, an eight time member of the All-Defensive First Team and the NBA Steals Leader of 1995. Although he was seen to most as just being Jordan’s sidekick, he was much more than that.
Pippen is easily one of the greatest perimeter defenders to ever play the game, having the ability to lockdown many of the elite players of that era. He would have no trouble guarding any of the Warriors forwards or wings with his height, length and athletic abilities.
However, it wasn’t just his defense that stood out, “Pip” was also a very gifted scorer and all-around player, who averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the ‘95-96 season.
Pippen isn’t the only defensive standout that Golden State would struggle against. There is also the two time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Dennis Rodman.
Rodman might just be the best “inch for inch” rebounder that the NBA has ever seen. Standing at just 6-7, “The Worm” would cause a great deal of problems for Warriors’ talented power forward Draymond Green.
Already having experienced guarding Hall of Fame centers such as Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson, Rodman has solidified himself as one of, if not, the greatest defensive power forward of all time. Any Golden State big man who takes on the challenge of being defended by Rodman, would have a long game ahead of them.
It may seem that the Bulls would win the game in a landslide, but Golden State does have a talented team that would not go down without a fight.
The Warriors are currently at the top of the NBA standings with an impressive record of 39-4. Led by reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Golden State began the season with 24 straight wins until they eventually lost to the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 12.
If the Warriors had any chance of winning, it would go through Curry.
Not only did Curry win an MVP award and an NBA Championship last year, but also his stats have continued to improve greatly this season. The star point guard’s points-per-game have increased by seven points from his MVP season.
The “Baby Faced Assassin” is currently the most unstoppable player in the world and may be able to cause some issues for the Chicago defense. Only at age 27, Curry has already been referred to as a top five point guard and the best shooter of all time.
Depending on the gameplan of the Bulls and their defense, this half of the “Splash Brothers” could possibly have a huge game against them.
Another player who could cause trouble for Chicago is the other “Splash Brother,” All-Star shooting guard, Klay Thompson.
Thompson is a tremendous shooter and a great defender, but the scariest part of his game is his ability to catch fire from behind the arc with ease. He currently holds the record for most points in a quarter with 37, which he accomplished just last season.
In that game, Klay shot a perfect 13-13 from the field and 9-9 from three with the addition of two free-throws for a total of 37 points in just the third quarter alone.
Thompson is one of the most dangerous shooters in NBA history, but the defense of Chicago’s wing defenders, Jordan and Pippen, would most likely cause an “off” night for the young shooting guard.
If Golden State was somehow able to beat the Bulls in this dream game, they would have to be tremendous from the three-point line, but that is unlikely to be the case against the strong Chicago defense.
I would predict the Bulls to win this imaginative match-up by double digits, but then again, we will never know for sure what would happen if these two dominant teams faced off against one another.