Friday, July 14, 2006

Running diary: 1992 NBA Finals

Note: This has been sitting around for about a month now, but it shouldn't really matter since it's about an event that happened 14 years ago. I also apologize that it turns into a sort of play-by-play at the end, but the game was so crazy I didn't have time to analyze what I was seeing.

10:08 pm: Welcome to my running diary of game six from the 1992 NBA Finals. After a heavy week of World Cup action it’s time to pour down some bitter nostalgia. Fortunately I taped the game from ESPN Classic, so if things start getting too bad I can pause it and go downstairs for a piña colada. Unfortunately, since I taped the game from ESPN Classic, I don’t think I’ll get to watch any era commercials. With that, I’ll hit play.

10:12 pm:
Dave Rivsine begins by mentioning that the Bulls were battle-tested during this playoff run and that they came into the game with a 3-2 series lead. Uh-oh.

10:12 pm: I miss the NBA on NBC theme music. Ooh, maybe this means I’ll get era commercials.

10:14 pm: This game was in Chicago. I was thinking this was the eyes closed free throw game. Now I don’t know what to expect.

10:15 pm: The starters are being called, with the away Blazers going first. This is the classic Blazer team: Buck Williams, Jerome Kersey, Kevin Duckworth, Terry Porter, and Clyde Drexler. Same goes for the Bulls: Horace Grant, Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright, John Paxson, and Michael Jordan. Also of note: Phil Jackson’s tie is atrocious.

10:17 pm: Our first shot of Ahmad Rashad, who Marv Albert reminds us is from Portland. I would also remind you, he went to Oregon. And now Marv is letting us know that no team has ever come back to win the finals after being down 3-2 by winning the final two games on the road.

10:18 pm: Jerome Kersey and Horace Grant took the tip-off. I only mention it because I was shocked that it wasn’t Cartwright and Duckworth…

10:20 pm: I just realized that Marv Albert’s booth partner is Mike Frattello. David Stern needs to bring those two back together. And the Blazers are shooting 0-5 to start the game. But at least Pippen nearly stole the inbounds pass.

10:22 pm: Shooting 0-7 now. But we get some free-throws. And Porter starts the scoring for Portland by hitting both from the line.

10:24 pm: Duckworth gets called for the “elbow” on Cartwright. Thank you Marv. And Kersey missed the Blazers eighth shot from the floor, but gets the putback. Then he steals the ball and has a breakaway dunk. So even though the Blazers started terribly they’re actually ahead now, 6-4.

10:26 pm: The Blazers are shooting 16% from the field, and the announcers just told us that Jordan was second in blocked shots for a guard only to Reggie Lewis from the Celtics. I’m glad I’m not watching this with the Sports Guy.

10:29 pm: I’m done watching commercials. These are crappy, but they’re not from 1992. From now on I’m fast-forwarding.

10:30 pm: ESPN Classic has moved us ahead to 3:06 left in the first quarter.

10:31 pm: Jordan makes a ridiculous pass to Horace Grant. I think there must be something about touching the ball immediately after MJ, because there’s no way Grant should have made that circus shot.

10:34 pm: Jordan gets his first points of the game to tie it at 19, but Kersey matched it with a sweet drive and lay-in. And now two more. And now another two. This is why Bill Schonely called him No-Mercy-Kersey. Hustle basketball? Yeah. Hustle basketball.

10:38 pm: Stat comparison for Kersey and Pippen: Jerome has twelve points and five rebounds, Pippen has four and one.

10:40 pm: Three guard offense with Porter, Ainge, and Drexler, and Clyde made a three as the shot clock expired. I just found out that the Bulls have led for 78% of this series. That’s not ominous.

10:43 pm: ESPN Classic has moved us ahead to 7:24 left in the second quarter.

10:44 pm: The scoreboard in Chicago just showed that Kersey had three fouls, so Adelman took him out. This matters because he’s been the best player in the game so far and because he really only had one. Apparently that was the fault of the Blazers trainer. No, the Blazers have never had any issues with non-playing personell.

10:47 pm: Drexler is playing terribly, but as I was typing that he threw down a sweet dunk. Portland looks really good right now.

10:48 pm: Another drive by Drexler. I guess I just needed to call him out. And now nothing can go Chicago’s way, as they try to call a timeout and instead lose the ball out of bounds.

10:50 pm: The bulls and have been outscored 10-0 since Jordan came back in. Buck Williams makes a driving lay-up and the free-throw to complete the three-point play, and Pippen’s mustache is really ugly. Really ugly.

10:52 pm: I think the wheels are about to fall off. Ainge just dribbled the ball off his foot.

10:53 pm: They just flashed this stat, in 1992 Jordan was already the all-time playoff scoring leader, averaging 34.6 ppg.

10:55 pm: Jordan drains a three after an ugly series of events by the Bulls, but one in which they somehow managed to keep it.

10:58 pm: A great image on the screen right now comparing the Finals stats of Jordan and Drexler. For Clyde the Glide: 25 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. For Jordan: 36.4 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Those guys were pretty good at basketball.

11:01 pm: Three-pointer by Jordan, which is answered by another three from Porter.

11:04 pm: Kersey gets his third foul as the first-half ends and Pippen gets to go the line to cut the lead back down to six.

11:06 pm: I’m quoting Dave Revsine, the ESPN Classic schmuck talking during hafltime: “Coming up next, Portland would extend the margin to 17 late in the third with perennial all-star Clyde Drexler and talented forward Jerome Kersey leading the charge. But would it be enough to hold off the charging Bulls?” I’m guessing it wouldn’t be, Dave. I’m guessing that’s a no.

11:09 pm: We join the game again with 6:50 left in the third quarter.

11:11 pm: The Blazers had five or so chances on the offensive end, which was capped by Kersey hitting another jumper. It’s crazy how much Kersey has outplayed Pippen in this game. As I wrote that, Kersey hit another jumper. Balzers are up 66-52.

11:12 pm: A beardless Phil Jackson seems to be contemplating how ugly his tie is. Either that or he is realizing how lonely his mustache feels.

11:14 pm: This game makes me miss the early ‘90s Blazers more than I thought I did. There were really good. And fun to watch. Maybe if they hire Adelman as coach again, everything will go back to the way it was. I’m going to click my heels three times…

11:16 pm: Jordan makes a turn-around fade-away over Porter and gets the foul. Vintage Jordan? Perhaps.

11:17 pm: The Blazers play a lot like the current Suns. Well, except the Blazers play good team defense and good individual defense,

11:18 pm: Apparently back in the early ‘90s if you got a bloody nose they put a cigarette up your nostril. At least that’s what it looks like they did with Duckworth.

11:20 pm: Jordan has a one-on-three and the Blazers take advantage, with Drexler blocking his lay-in. This Portland team was really good.

11:22 pm: At the end of the third the Blazers lead by fifteen.

11:25 pm: Bulls make a three, and then the Blazers give the ball away. Now Kersey is getting called for a flagrant foul. That was terrible. He was going for ball but came through and hit Scott Williams on the shoulder. Williams only hit one of two, but then the Bulls get another two.

11:29 pm: Stacey King makes two free-throws, so the Bulls are now within nine.

11:30 pm: Pippen hits a short jumper to bring them within seven. Double dribble by Drexler. And Jordan isn’t even on the floor. Oh the humanity.

11:32 pm: Good pass to BJ Armstrong, which he loses. He has to run outside as he regains possession, and then decides to turn around and drill a mid-range jumper. Bulls within five.

11:33 pm: Stacey King just made two more, the Bulls are now down by three.

11:35 pm: Porter dribbles it out of bounds off his knee, and Jordan is back in the game.

11:36 pm: First Bulls miss in a very long time, followed by Drexler getting an easy lay-in. Maybe Portland can hang on?

11:37 pm: Sweet alley-oop attempt from Drexler to Robinson, but they couldn’t quite get it done, Bulls come back with it.

11:38 pm: I just saw Buck Williams talking trash with Jordan. That doesn’t seem like a good idea.

11:39 pm: The young Cliff Robinson I remember shows himself, taking a really bad shot. The Bulls follow it up with a sweet Pippen lay-in and a classic Jordan floater. One point game, timeout Blazers.

11:41 pm: More good news, the Blazers only have one timeout left, the Bulls have four.

11:42 pm: The Blazers have made all 17 of their free-throws so far, which means they’ll miss the ones at the end of the game. By the way, they’re back up by three.

11:43 pm: Pippen hits a three to tie it with a man in his face as the shot clock expires, but Porter answers with a long two.

11:44 pm: Jordan ties it with another floater. In case you were wondering, the Bulls last lead was 4-2.

11:45 pm: Jordan takes the ball out of Williams’ hands and dunks it to take the lead for the first time since the first quarter, but Drexler immediately ties it back up.

11:46 pm: Timeout Bulls.

11:48 pm: Pippen just made another pull-up jumper, Bulls up by two. Then Porter gets the ball stripped, but as he tries to grab it again he knocks it out of bounds.

11:49 pm: Jordan drains another turn-around fade-away, and Portland takes its last timeout down by four.

11:51 pm: A telling stat, the Blazers have zero points off turnovers, the Bulls have 16.

11:52 pm: The Blazers still haven’t missed a free-throw, but are down by two with no timeouts left and 1:13 to go in the game. That is classic Adelman.

11:53 pm: Drexler went up for the lay-in, ran over Scott Williams—who would have been in the circle if that was in the rule-book—no foul on anyone, jump ball on the rebound. Portland gets the ball out of—wait, they reverse the call. Chicago gets the ball out of bounds after the jump.

11:55 pm: Jordan just took the ball all the way down to put Chicago back up by four.

11:56 pm: Portland still hasn’t missed from the line with Kersey hitting the first of two.

11:57 pm: And perfection from the line is maintained. Porltand is down by two. Portland fouls Jordan, who goes to the line with 11.8 seconds left and a two point lead. Of course, MJ makes both, the Blazers can’t do anything, since Adelman already burned all of their timeouts, and the Bulls win their second straight NBA championship. Excuse me, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

In case you want to see a YouTube version of the end to this game, click here.

1 comment:

Mac said...

good stuff carlton. i like it.

but how was it the "trainer's" fault with the 3 fouls? and by the way, we're "athletic trainers". and those "cigarettes" were probalby tampons. and yes, we still do that...