Michael Jordan : biography
Jordan’s second season was cut short by a broken foot in the third game of the season, which caused him to miss 64 games. Despite Jordan’s injury and a 30–52 record, the Bulls made the playoffs. Jordan recovered in time to participate in the playoffs and performed well upon his return. Against a 1985–86 Boston Celtics team that is often considered one of the greatest in NBA history,, National Basketball Association. Retrieved March 6, 2007. Jordan set the still-unbroken record for points in a playoff game with 63 in Game 2., National Basketball Association. Retrieved January 17, 2007. The Celtics, however, managed to sweep the series.
Jordan had recovered completely by the 1986–87 season, and had one of the most prolific scoring seasons in NBA history. He became the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to score 3,000 points in a season, averaging a league high 37.1 points on 48.2% shooting. In addition, Jordan demonstrated his defensive prowess, as he became the first player in NBA history to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season."Jordan Adds Most Valuable Player Award to Honors", The Washington Post (May 26, 1988), pg. D8. Despite Jordan’s success, Magic Johnson won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. The Bulls reached 40 wins, and advanced to the playoffs for the third consecutive year. However, they were again swept by the Celtics.
Mid-career: Pistons roadblock
Jordan led the league in scoring again in the 1987–88 season, averaging 35.0 ppg on 53.5% shooting and won his first league MVP award. He was also named the Defensive Player of the Year, as he had averaged 1.6 blocks and a league high 3.16 steals per game., National Basketball Association. Retrieved January 16, 2007. The Bulls finished 50–32, and made it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in Jordan’s career, as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games., databasebasketball.com. Retrieved January 16, 2007. However, the Bulls then lost in five games to the more experienced Detroit Pistons, who were led by Isiah Thomas and a group of physical players known as the "Bad Boys".
In the 1988–89 season, Jordan again led the league in scoring, averaging 32.5 ppg on 53.8% shooting from the field, along with 8 rpg and 8 assists per game (apg). The Bulls finished with a 47–35 record, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, defeating the Cavaliers and New York Knicks along the way. The Cavaliers series included a career highlight for Jordan when he hit The Shot over Craig Ehlo at the buzzer in the fifth and final game of the series., National Basketball Association. Retrieved May 24, 2010. However, the Pistons again defeated the Bulls, this time in six games, by utilizing their "Jordan Rules" method of guarding Jordan, which consisted of double and triple teaming him every time he touched the ball.
The Bulls entered the 1989–90 season as a team on the rise, with their core group of Jordan and young improving players like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, and under the guidance of new coach Phil Jackson. Jordan averaged a league leading 33.6 ppg on 52.6% shooting, to go with 6.9 rpg and 6.3 apg in leading the Bulls to a 55–27 record. They again advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals beating the Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers en route. However, despite pushing the series to seven games, the Bulls lost to the Pistons for the third consecutive season.
In the 1990–91 season, Jordan won his second MVP award after averaging 31.5 ppg on 53.9% shooting, 6.0 rpg, and 5.5 apg for the regular season. The Bulls finished in first place in their division for the first time in 16 years and set a franchise record with 61 wins in the regular season. With Scottie Pippen developing into an All-Star, the Bulls had elevated their play. The Bulls defeated the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening two rounds of the playoffs. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where their rival, the Detroit Pistons, awaited them. However, this time the Bulls beat the Pistons in a surprising sweep., databasebasketball.com. Retrieved March 7, 2007.Brown, Clifton. , The New York Times, May 28, 1991. Retrieved April 8, 2008. In an unusual ending to the fourth and final game, Isiah Thomas led his team off the court before the final seconds had concluded. Most of the Pistons went directly to their locker room instead of shaking hands with the Bulls.Kalb, Elliott. , National Basketball Association. Retrieved January 16, 2007.