- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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JACKSON: We had two units that worked well together. The first unit pressed with B.J. on the ball and [Bill] Cartwright was a great anchor as defensive center. The second unit would use a full-court trap defense with a mobile center in Stacey King or Scott Williams.
WESTPHAL: After K.J. played poorly, people were trying to get Charles to go off on him. He wouldn't do it. That was a good sign for us.
Barkley shakes loose for 42 in Game 2, but Jordan scores 10 straight down the stretch, matches Barkley's total, and the Bulls win 111--108, making Phoenix the first top seed to lose the first two games of the Finals.
JORDAN (to reporters in 1993): I asked Phil for three minutes to start the fourth quarter, then a couple minutes off to catch my breath. I felt fresh when I came back and wanted to close it out if I could.
PAXSON: It wasn't just that we had been there before and knew what the Finals were about. It was that we were coming off that Knicks series that was so physical, and because the Suns got up and down the court and played kind of free, we felt almost liberated.
PIPPEN (to reporters in 1993): The experience factor really came into play. We have the ability to maintain a lead and we did that, even when they kept making runs at us.
GRANT: Charles was unbelievable that game. What made Charles so tough was, first of all, his big ass. But two things people forget about him—Charles was an extremely intelligent player and he shot the ball very, very well.
PAXSON: People forget that we were much better on the road. We had so many distractions at home. Plus, Michael, as you know, loved to stick it to visiting crowds. During our three championships seasons we were 4--4 [in the Finals] at home but 8--1 on the road.
Heading to Chicago, Westphal decides he needs a strategic change and also find a way to energize Johnson, who played poorly again in Game 2.