NBA Tuesday finds itself in 1992 this week, when the Dream Team changed sports forever, with Chicago Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan right in the middle of it all. While the NBA began its own transformation in the early 1980s as previously discussed, it truly came into its own by the mid-1990s, and we’re experiencing that first hand, right here. Hope you like our take on it all …
Remember also to check out the first miniseries entry on this year for context,
because knowledge is power.
1992 NBA FINALS MVP: Michael Jordan, SG, Chicago (original, confirmed)
His Airness did it all, again, in the Finals, as the Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers in six games to earn their second consecutive NBA championship. Jordan averaged a whopping 35.8 points and 1.7 steals while shooting 42.9 percent from downtown and 89.1 percent from the charity stripe—all in 42.3 minutes of player per game. Each of those numbers led Chicago in the Finals.
He also shot 52.6 percent overall from the floor, which is pretty stellar for a shooting guard. Jordan did get some solid support from overrated sidekick Scottie Pippen at small forward, though, in the form of 20.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 7.7 apg. That’s close to a triple double every time out for lil’ Pip, but he wasn’t the centerpiece of the Bulls’ game plan, either, so those numbers were “easier” to accrue.
At age 28, Jordan was in his prime, of course, and re-defining the game and the sport. He was voted the Finals MVP, and we will confirm it, simply because we know where this roster would have been without him. We saw that in the 1994 postseason, for example.
1992 NBA DPOY: David Robinson, C, San Antonio (original, confirmed)
We have an impressive slate of candidates for this award, led by two-time vote winner Dennis Rodman (7.0 DWS), the Detroit Pistons’ power forward. He is closely matched by New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing (6.94), our winner last season, and San Antonio Spurs C David Robinson (6.87). Other solid contenders include Houston Rockets C Hakeem Olajuwon (5.64), Jordan (5.62), Pippen (5.52), Utah Jazz PF Karl Malone (5.19), and Bulls PF Horace Grant (5.0).
All three Bulls cancel each other out, but what a defense Chicago had, eh? The Admiral won the vote at the time, but let’s see how our remaining contestants rank out on playoff margins: Detroit (10), New York (13), San Antonio (5), and Utah (13). Houston missed the postseason by 1 game, so that hurts Olajuwon’s chances for a fourth nod from us.
In the end, we confirm Robinson’s award, as the Spurs might have missed the playoffs without his defensive contributions in a competitive Western Conference. In his third NBA season at age 26, the Admiral posted 8.4 defensive boards, a league-high 4.5 blocks, and a career-best 2.3 steals per game. Do the math, and that’s over 15 opponent possessions a game he personally ended for San Antonio.