1996–97 Washington Bullets season

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1996–97 Washington Bullets season
Ben Wallace's rookie season
Head coach Jim Lynam
Bernie Bickerstaff
Arena US Airways Arena
Results
Record 44–38 (.537)
Place Division: 4th (Atlantic)
Conference: 8th (Eastern)
Playoff finish East First Round
(eliminated 0-3)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
< 1995–96 1997–98 >

The 1996–97 NBA season was the Bullets' 36th season in the NBA,[1] During the offseason, the Bullets acquired Rod Strickland from the Portland Trail Blazers while signing free agent Tracy Murray. With a record of 22–24 at midseason, the Bullets fired head coach Jim Lynam and hired Bernie Bickerstaff. Under Bickerstaff, the Bullets finished the season winning 16 of their final 21 games to slip into the playoffs with a 44–38 record, fourth in the Atlantic Division and ending an eight year playoff drought. Chris Webber made his first All-Star appearance as he was selected for the 1997 NBA All-Star Game.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Bullets were swept by the defending champion Chicago Bulls in three straight games. Game 3 of that series at US Airways Arena was officially their final game as the "Bullets". Following the season, the team changed its name to the "Wizards".

Draft picks[edit]

Main article: 1996 NBA Draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
2 55 Ronnie Henderson  United States LSU

Roster[edit]

Washington Bullets roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
SG 40 United States Cheaney, Calbert 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 209 lb (95 kg) Indiana
PF 44 United States Grant, Harvey 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Oklahoma
SF 5 United States Howard, Juwan 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Michigan
SG 32 United States Jackson, Jaren 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Georgetown
SG 23 United States Legler, Tim 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) La Salle
C 77 Romania Mureșan, Gheorghe 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) 303 lb (137 kg) Romania
SF 35 United States Murray, Tracy 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) UCLA
PG 1 United States Strickland, Rod 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) DePaul
PF 30 United States Wallace, Ben 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Virginia Union
PF 4 United States Webber, Chris 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Michigan
PG 12 United States Whitney, Chris 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 168 lb (76 kg) Clemson
C 43 United States Williams, Lorenzo 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Stetson
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

RosterTransactions

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Miami Heat 61 21 .744 29–12 32–9 16–8
x-New York Knicks 57 25 .695 4 31–10 26–15 19–6
x-Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 16 26–15 19–22 13–11
x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 17 25–16 19–22 14–10
New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 35 16–25 10–31 11–13
Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 39 11–30 11–30 11–14
Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 46 11–30 4–37 1–23
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Chicago Bulls 69 13 .841
2 y-Miami Heat 61 21 .744 8
3 x-New York Knicks 57 25 .695 12
4 x-Atlanta Hawks 56 26 .683 13
5 x-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 15
6 x-Charlotte Hornets 54 28 .659 15
7 x-Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 24
8 x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 25
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 27
10 Indiana Pacers 39 43 .476 30
11 Milwaukee Bucks 33 49 .402 36
12 Toronto Raptors 30 52 .366 39
13 New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 43
14 Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 47
15 Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 54
z - clinched division title
y - clinched division title
x - clinched playoff spot

Game log[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

East First Round[edit]

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Washington Bullets

  • Last Playoff Meeting: This was the first meeting of the two teams in the playoffs.
Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(CHI-WAS)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 25 Chicago 98 Washington 86 1-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 1 TNT
2 April 27 Chicago 109 Washington 104 2-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2 NBC
3 April 30 Washington 95 Chicago 96 3-0 US Airways Arena, Landover, Maryland 3 TNT
Chicago wins series 3–0

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Season[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

References[edit]

See also[edit]