ESPN Classic 1989 Playoffs Pistons v. Bucks & Bulls


Game 4 EC Semi Finals Chuck Daly’s Pistons v. Del Harris’s Bucks

1st Quarter – Lots of unnecessary jumpers from Isiah and Aguirre. A few are made; a lot are missed. In fact Jay Humphries pretty clearly outplays Isiah in this quarter, to the tune of a Bucks lead despite the fact that they’re starting an entirely white, immobile front line of Fred Roberts, Randy Breuer, and Jack Sickma. Rickey Pierce and Dennis Rodman are the first guys off the bench. Looks like Cummings and Pressey are both hurt. Pistons playing too much one on one ball. End 33-20 Bucks.

2nd Quarter – Missed most of the quarter (not rewinding – to eager to get to the next game). Came in at 5:30 left mark just as friggin’ Laimbeer canned a three-pointer. Starting to remember how much this team got under my skin. Great ball movement and Laimbeer hits another 3. Announcer tells us the Pistons have cut a 21 point lead down to 11. Zeke hits a 3, gets a board, and throws a pass into the expensive seats. Then hits a double clutch. He’s everywhere. I think watching regular def ’80s pictures on a high def screen is giving me a headache. Zeke to Laimbeer for a 6 foot turnaround (they doubled Zeke at the threepoint line). Bucks up 8 at the break.

3rd Quarter – Starts with Aguirre undressing Sikma off the dribble. Not sure how the Pistons have failed to spam that play all game. Isiah still crashing the defensive glass. Three plays in row Zeke delivers layups to his big men. 10 assists. Milwaukee’s oversized icebergs are doing work on the glass. Zeke hits a floater off a Joe D feed to cut the lead to 2. Those two are so good at exchanging roles mid-play. Zeke to Aguirre – another layup. 4 this quarter. He ties it on an 18 footer from the right elbow. Hits another 3. Detroit by 3. Tech foul on Harris, whose hair is already snow white. Laimbeer gets called for a foul and does the Duncan cup the ball in disbelief move and couples it with the Mick Jagger crow strut. Milwaukee chants, “Laim-beer Su-ucks.” The announcer says, “Fred Roberts has been magnificent. He has played every minute of this game.” That’s a bad sign. You don’t want to rely on magnificence from Fred Roberts. End of quarter – Detroit +5.

4th Quarter
– Joe D had a really good handle. Over time we remember him as a catch and shoot guy and defender, but he ran the point for extended periods. Detroit’s bigs off the bench are Rodman, Salley, and Edwards (Buddha). That’s way better than what the Bucks started. But tonight Fred Roberts has 30 points. Vinnie Microwave is the only guard coming off the Pistons’ pine. Worm is getting his hands on all kinds of boards – tipping them to teammates. Also he just jumped directly onto Sikma’s head. Salley jumps directly on Humphries’ head. Mike Dunleavy, Sr. is on the Bucks’ bench, and his hair looks like a Brillo pad covered in topsoil. I mean that stuff is bad. You could grow corn in there. He looks like Norman Osborn.

Edwards hits his patented fadeaway over Sikma looking like a clumsy Michael Jordan scoring over Horacek with a perm and a dye job. Jack comes back three plays later and hits a 3. Rickey Pierce looks like an aging prize fighter, but he scores like the ghost of Eddie Johnson. Beefy, mustuched Bucks fan with a foam finger waving a towel proves that Milwaukee is the ultimate sports + cheese town. Zeke gets on offensive board and almost dribbles out the clock to end it, then misses the free throw to ice it. 3 point game with 8 seconds left, Bucks’ ball. Detroit fouls Rickey Pierce with 2 seconds left so Milwaukee can’t get the 3 off. Detroit wins. BOOOOOOO!!!!

Game 6 EC Finals Chuck Daly’s Pistons v. Doug Collins’s Bulls

1st Quarter – Pippen is flat on his back holding his face after catching an elbow to the eye from Laimbeer on the first play of the game. Joey Crawford actually dragged Scottie off the floor as play continued. Scottie’s got a shiner and is going to the lockerroom while Brad Sellers is coming in. That’s a really, really bad sign. Jordan draws a triple team and gets Grant a layup. MJ’s at point guard next to Hodges. He gets the steal, save in bounds, and hits the spinning lay-up over Laimbeer!!! Announcers are referring to an 8 shot game by Jordan in game 5. Yikes. He’s really setting guys up off the dribble. Got Sellers wide open. Nobody’s doing anything without him. Sellers off another double on Mike. Jordan blocks Aguirre. He’s doing too much. He’s holding his shorts already. Baseline spin move and dunk by Jordan. Jordan to Grant for a spinning layup in transition. I think Mike has scored or assisted on every Chicago point.

If he doesn’t gas out in this game, I’ll be shocked. No wonder Jackson wanted to put in an offense to save MJ’s legs for the 4th. Announcers refer to Jordan hitting a game winner in game 3 with 3 seconds to go. That’s my boy! Pistons beat Chicago trap but Jordan hustles it down and gets a knockaway to break up the press break score. Hits a pullup J. Rodman brutalizes Sellers for an offensive tip in. Jordan comes back with another made J. Bulls are switching high screens. Not smart. Vinnie eating them up. Pax and Zeke draw offsetting offensive fouls. Jordan carves the D and gets hammered by Salley and Isiah. Jordan sits with 2:20 left in the first. Pistons immediately cut the lead by 4 points. Bulls with three missed perimeter jumpers. Another 2 for Detroit cuts the lead to 6 (was 12 when Jordan sat). Salley cuts to the rim, and lead is down to 4. Edwards hits that fadeaway to cut it to 2. Chicago turnover. End of quarter sees Jordan sit with a 12 point lead and Detroit immediately go on a 10-0 run.

2nd Quarter – Mike’s back after a 2:20 rest. Detroit dominating the boards. Jordan hits Grant with a bullet when Rodman steps up, but Grant fumbles. Jordan dices the whole team and gets to the rim – doesn’t get the call on an undercut, but Grant gets the offensive board and draws a foul. Without Pippen this team is very thin. Jordan hits a foul line J. Jordan spoonfeeds Grant who misses a layup. Horace doing nice boardwork. Jordan misses a fadeaway over a double team, then hits Hodges for a 3 pointer. Edwards is dominating Cartwright at both ends. Mahorn ties it on a tip in. Hodges unties it with a three after Jordan gets doubled and Sellers makes a smart swing pass. Hubie points out that this is the first time the team has made the second pass. Michael’s wrestling with Rodman under the rim (got him by the jersey) for his second foul.

Isiah ties it on a runner. Jordan hits a crossover pullup. MJ not pursuing rebounds anymore. Tired? Fouls on his mind? Pistons take lead on a 3 on 1 break. Jordan tries a diving pass that leads to a 2 on 1 layup for Aguirre. Jordan gets a steal, freezes the loan defender with one handed pass fake and gets the assist to Hodges. 2 minutes left. Game tied. When Jordan doesn’t touch the ball, Chicago can’t manufacture a bucket, and Chicago is sending too many guys to the offensive boards, giving up transition points. Jordan bounces a double clutch off the rim, and Sellers gets called for an over the back foul going after the board. Jordan executes a spectacular drive and gets cracked to go to the line. Hits both. Detroit up 2 at the half.

3rd Quarter – Mahorn stuffs Cartwright’s turnaround. Pippen is officially done. He won’t return. Jordan gets a transition three to break the seal. Isiah immediately takes the lead back on a pullup. Jordan slices baseline to retake the lead. Laimbeer hits a three. Back and forth action! Jordan pushed out of bounds with no call. Turnover. Jordan hits Hodges in transition. Tie. Jordan drags a double team into the paint and hits a short J. Laimbeer and Mahorn own the glass. Dumars with a great strip on Jordan that leads to a fastbreak layup. Jordan taking lumps with no whistles is driving recklessly looking for a call now. Misses both free throws. Laimbeer hits a skyhook over Sellers?! Pistons by 5. Jordan front rims a pull-up and Grant draws a foul on the tip attempt. Jordan powers over a pick and roll between Isiah and Laimbeer. Bulls have two major problems on defense: 1. They can’t control their defensive boards. Pippen would help. 2. Jordan can only guard Isiah or Dumars, not both.

Detroit getting the catch-as-catch-can plays goes up 7. Jordan knifes between Dumars and Laimbeer with reverse dribble spin move for his 26th point – cuts it to 5. Jordan, doubled in the post, assists on a layup by Charles Davis, yes THE Charles Davis. Brad Sellers pansies out while trying to make a Pippen play. Cartwright gets away with offensive goal-tending for his first field goal. Jordan hits THE Charles Davis for an easy layup that he botches. Michael has handed out at least 4 layups right at the rim that teammates have either dropped or missed. MJ crashing the defensive boards now. He needs to because Grant has been saddled with fouls all game. Jordan with a mishandle turnover. Steals it back and misses a one on three layup. Mike sits with under 2 minutes left in the quarter. Paxson, Hodges, Charles Davis, Sellers, and Corzine. Blah. Worm owning the backboards draws consecutive fouls after offensive boards. Hits 3 of 4 foul shots. Pistons up 8.

4th Quarter – Dick Stockton points out that Jordan aggravated a groin injury. He’s on the court to start the 4th with an obvious limp. Aguirre hits a J to put Detroit up 10. Jordan goes baseline and hits an and 1 reverse layup by Vinnie and Rodman. Misses the free throw, gets the tap out, and scores a flying layup over three Pistons. He’s holding his left leg. Draws a triple team and hits Paxson for the open three pointer. Lead down to 5. Rodman is getting to every rebound. Jordan’s guarding Zeke so Dumars abusing Paxson. It’s a conundrum. Joe Dumars shoves Jordan with both hands while he’s dribbling for… wait for it… no call. Paxson drives after Jordan draws a double team, draws a foul, and splits the free throws. 4 point game. Jordan hits Paxson in transition. 2 point game. Time out Detroit.

Dumars with another nice strip on Jordan. MJ hustles back to pick up the charge on Salley but is called for his 3rd foul instead. Tough call but he was pretty near to the rim. Dumars beats Paxson off the dribble. Jordan rotates, and Zeke gets the wide open J. Jordan executes an unbelievable screen and roll play (he just drags defenders around like magnets), and Cartwright draws the foul on the catch at the rim. Cartwright splits the free throws. Jordan swats a runner by Thomas and draws a foul. MJ furious but we didn’t have the angle to see if it was clean. Zeke hits his free throws. Pax rims out a three. Zeke hits a long J. Pax answers. Chicago won’t lie down. Jordan draws a triple team on a spin move, and Pax hits another one off a swing pass from Grant.

Worm tricks the refs into throwing the game by crashing into Jordan in the open court away from the ball and flopping. Double foul gives Jordan his 5th. Very crafty play by Rodman. Cheating. Unfair. But crafty. Paxson switches onto Isiah and immediately is called for a blocking foul. Pistons thumping chests on the bench after an Isiah steal and layup. Pistons back up 10. This game is angrying up my blood. A few correct calls, and this goes the other way despite the fact that Pippen went out in the first minute and never came back. I never want to hear about how long it took Chicago to overcome the Pistons. As far as I can see a Pippen concussion in ’89 and a Pippen migraine in ’90 were the biggest things holding them back.

Paxson and Hodges in the back court with Jordan, Grant, and Cartwright up front. Jordan draws a foul on a drive to the rim. MJ is 5-11 from the line tonight. Make that 5-12 (5 straight misses). His balance looks off. Grant draws the foul the next time down. He makes them. Cartwright gives up an offensive board to Laimbeer. Isiah goes at Jordan who can’t guard him close and scores. Jordan gets them back with floater over the whole Detroit front court. Isiah draws a foul on Pax (again). Then Dumars scores on a leakout. 12 point lead. Dumars hits a post up shot over Hodges. Rodman with another offensive board, and it looks like Detroit will run out the clock.

Chicago Stadium goes nuts in appreciation of the team. Jordan coming out to pats on the back looking like he wants to breathe fire. Collins actually goes over and tries to console him before the game is officially over. The stadium plays the intro music and thanks the fans. Isiah Thomas spits acid on a small puppy and ingests it through his demonic proboscis. That last thing might not have happened. My recording stopped a little short, so I had to guess.


2 Responses to “ESPN Classic 1989 Playoffs Pistons v. Bucks & Bulls”

  1. Shirley Says:

    You really should do radio. You’d be a natural.

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