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BEAT-A-BULL?
Phil Taylor
April 29, 1996
Probably not. But postseason rivals will have a better chance of a historic upset if they study Chicago's handful of defeats
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April 29, 1996

Beat-a-bull?

Probably not. But postseason rivals will have a better chance of a historic upset if they study Chicago's handful of defeats

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8 Make Jordan Shoot as Much as Possible.
This may sound like suicide, but when Jordan attempted fewer than 20 field goals, the Bulls won 95% of their games; when he tried 20 or more, they won 85%. In those nine losses, he averaged 23.2 shots. More attempts by Jordan often meant that the Chicago offense wasn't operating at peak efficiency and he ended up taking shots he didn't want in order to beat the 24-second clock. "I think he gets disgusted with his teammates some nights when it seems like they just want to stand around and watch him," says one Eastern Conference coach. In the first loss to Indiana, Jordan scored 30 points but made only 11 of 28 shots. Against Denver, he had 39 points on 13-of-29 shooting. Those are the kinds of numbers opponents don't mind seeing from him.

9 Don't Fall in Love With Your Center.
Much has been made of the Bulls' weakness in the pivot with the combination of Luc Longley and backup Bill Wennington, but Chicago was a combined 12-2 against the Knicks' Patrick Ewing, the Heat's Alonzo Mourning, the Houston Rockets' Hakeem Olajuwon, the Magic's Shaquille O'Neal and the San Antonio Spurs' David Robinson. Moreover, Ewing (26 points, 14 rebounds) was the only one of the big five who had an exceptional game in a win over Chicago. The Bulls are so cognizant of their vulnerability at center that they have become adept at pressuring guards trying to make the entry pass and at double-teaming centers when the ball goes inside. "Sometimes teams get out of their offense by trying to pound it inside, pound it inside," says Pippen. "We like that."

10 If All Else Fails, Hire Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern.
We would advise Jordan to watch his back. In the recently released movie Celtic Pride, Aykroyd and Stern play obsessed Boston fans who kidnap a rival playoff team's star player (portrayed by Damon Wayans). Don't laugh. Farfetched as this scheme may seem, against the Bulls it has about as much chance of working as anything else.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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