1987–88 Chicago Bulls season
|1987–88 Chicago Bulls season|
|Scottie Pippen's Rookie Season|
|Head coach||Doug Collins|
|Place||Division: 2nd (Central)
Conference: 3rd (Eastern)
|Playoff finish||East Conference Semifinals
|< 1986–87||1988–89 >|
The 1987–88 Chicago Bulls season was the 22nd season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Note: This is not an extensive list; it only covers the first round, and notable post-first round picks.
|1||10||Horace Grant||F||United States||Clemson|
|2||28||Rickie Winslow||F||United States||Houston|
|4||79||Jack Haley||C||United States||UCLA|
Jordan was indisputably great, and Oakley, who led the league in total rebounds (1,066), was outstanding. Still, the Bulls lacked a quality supporting cast. They took a major step toward alleviating that problem at the 1987 NBA Draft, when Vice President of Basketball Operations Jerry Krause acquired two players who would be vital cogs in Chicago's future championship machine. With two picks in the top 10, Krause selected Olden Polynice at No. 8 and Horace Grant at No. 10. He then traded Polynice and draft considerations to the Seattle SuperSonics for Scottie Pippen, whom the Sonics had grabbed with the fifth pick.
With Grant and Pippen on board the Bulls began to show their stuff in 1987-88, forging a 50-32 record, their best mark since 1973-74. Chicago finished in a second-place tie with Atlanta in a competitive Central Division won by the surging Detroit Pistons. The Bulls made some noise in the playoffs, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a five-game first-round series, but then fell to Detroit in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Oakley and the Los Angeles Clippers' Michael Cage engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle for the league's rebounding title, which came down to the last day of the regular season. On April 22 against Cleveland, Oakley put the pressure on Cage by pulling down 35 rebounds, the second-highest total in Bulls history behind Tom Boerwinkle's 37 in 1970. Two days later, however, Cage grabbed 30 boards in a game against Seattle, just enough to edge Oakley by the slimmest of margins, 13.03 per game to 13.00. Cage played in 10 fewer games than Oakley, however, so Oakley led the NBA in total rebounds for the second consecutive year, with 1,066.
Jordan led the league in scoring (35.0 ppg) and steals (3.16 per game). He won almost every major award, including Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA First Team Honors and NBA All-Defensive First Team Honors. However, the finals and most important prizes eluded him until the 1990-1991 season.
East First Round
- Game 1 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (April 28): Chicago 104, Cleveland 93
- Game 2 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 1): Chicago 106, Cleveland 101
- Game 3 @ The Coliseum, Richfield (May 3): Cleveland 110, Chicago 102
- Game 4 @ The Coliseum, Richfield (May 5): Cleveland 97, Chicago 91
- Game 5 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 8): Chicago 107, Cleveland 101
Last Playoff Meeting: Not available (first playoff series)
East Conference Semifinals
- Game 1 @ Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac (May 10): Detroit 93, Chicago 82
- Game 2 @ Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac (May 12): Chicago 105, Detroit 95
- Game 3 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 14): Detroit 101, Chicago 79
- Game 4 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 15): Detroit 96, Chicago 77
- Game 5 @ Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac (May 18): Detroit 102, Chicago 95
Last Playoff Meeting: 1974 Western Conference Semifinals (Chicago won 4-3)
Awards and records
- Michael Jordan, NBA Most Valuable Player Award
- Michael Jordan, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award
- Michael Jordan, NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest Winner
- Michael Jordan, NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
- Jerry Krause, NBA Executive of the Year Award
- Michael Jordan, All-NBA First Team
- Michael Jordan, NBA All-Defensive First Team
- Michael Jordan, NBA All-Star Game
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