Remember the Chicago Bulls’ 96-54 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of the 1998 NBA Finals? It’s safe to say Scottie Pippen does.
With an utterly dominant all-around performance that recalled those by the franchise’s championship clubs of the 1990s, today’s Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-66 in Game 6 of the teams’ first-round series to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Tom Thibodeau’s club made a statement from the opening tip against the Bucks, racing out to a 34-16 lead by first quarter’s end to silence a raucous Bradley Center. And after Chicago doubled-down on their early play by heading to halftime up a staggering 32 points, the Bucks’ expectedly crucial home court advantage became completely inconsequential.
Led by Mike Dunleavy’s 20 points, all five Bulls starters scored in double-figures. Derrick Rose notched 15 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in an easy 25 minutes of playing time, while Joakim Noah garnered a double-double for the second consecutive game.
Was Chicago actually reminiscent of Pippen and Michael Jordan-led squads of yesteryear? Maybe not, but the end result certainly was. Either way, it goes without saying that these Bulls could follow in Pippen’s footsteps by winning a title of their own if they can play like this consistently.
We’ll find out if it’s possible next round against LeBron James and the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers.