Crazy Stats You Never Knew From the Chicago Bulls Dynasty

Updated: Feb 22

Bones is pumped and ready to go for ''The Last Dance'' by revealing some of his favorite stats, facts and numbers on the Chicago Bulls dynasty

I have done hundreds of different stories on historic teams, players and coaches in sports. This one ranks perhaps atop them all. I spent most of my childhood watching the NBA arguably more than any other sport thanks not just to the Chicago Bulls, but largely due to the Hall of Fame superstars that seemed larger than life itself. To peel back the layers and take a deep dive into the two separate three-peats that the Bulls accomplished was bonkers. It felt like I had reached the twilight zone when you look just how closely and eerily similar the numbers are. It is almost mathematically impossible to not only pull off two three-peat’s in today’s world, but to even come close to the identical numbers in some of the same categories shown below.

Bulls Postseason Run from 1991-1993

  • Bulls Postseason Record in First Three-Peat: 45-13

  • Home Record: 25-6

  • Road Record: 20-7

  • Double-Digit Wins: 23

  • Double-Digit Losses: 5

  • Single-Digit Wins: 22

  • Single-Digit Losses: 8

  • Sweeps: 4

  • Game 5’s Played: 4

  • Game 6’s Played: 3

  • Game 7’s Played: 1

  • '91 Record: 15-2

  • '92 Record: 15-7

  • '93 Record: 15-4

  • '91 Season Record, Seed: 61-21, 1 seed

  • '92 Season Record, Seed: 67-15, 1 seed

  • '93 Season Record, Seed: 57-25, 2 seed

  • Teams Defeated w/60+ Wins: 2 (Knicks in '93 w/ 60, Suns in '93 w/62)

  • Average Score: 102.1 - 94.4

  • Average Margin of Victory: + 7.7 (+446 total pts)

Bulls Postseason Run from 1996-1998

  • Bulls Postseason Record in Second Three-Peat: 45-13

  • Home Record: 30-3

  • Road Record: 15-10

  • Double-Digit Wins: 22

  • Double-Digit Losses: 3

  • Single-Digit Wins: 23

  • Single-Digit Losses: 10

  • Sweeps: 5

  • Game 5’s Played: 2

  • Game 6’s Played: 4

  • Game 7’s Played: 1

  • '96 Record: 15-3

  • '97 Record: 15-4

  • '98 Record: 15-6

  • '96 Season Record, Seed: 72-10, 1 seed

  • '97 Season Record, Seed: 69-13, 1 seed

  • '98 Season Record, Seed: 62-20, 1 seed

  • Teams Defeated w/60+ Wins: 5 (Magic in '96 w/60, Sonics in '96 w/64, Heat in '97 w/61), Jazz in '97 w/64 & Jazz in '98 w/62)

  • Average Score: 94.3 - 86.6

  • Average Margin of Victory: +7.7 (+442 total pts)

The Bulls played 58 postseason games in both three-peats and ended up winning exactly 45 games in both runs. WTF! I cannot believe this is possible and miraculously did not know this. How about the margin of victory? This is like divine intervention. Nearly identical to the final bucket! I still believe the second run was much more difficult and thus more impressive on paper but there is a reason why. They went from nearly unstoppable to normal humans. They would have beaten the monstars from 1991-93 on almost any night. From 1996-98, they were often hurt and gassed, especially down the stretch. So, to have nearly the same exact numbers in comparison truly is something to marvel over. I cannot wait for this documentary as I am still shocked at the numbers, but I think the only slight difference was how beat up the second three-peat squad was. Scottie Pippen missed nearly 40 games in 1998 and had trade concerns on top of an ankle injury early on in the season. The Bulls lost their first three road games. They reallytook a while to get their swagger back without Pippen. Scottie in the postseason then had a bad back injury linger/reappear against the Utah Jazz. It truly was survival of the fittest as the Bulls looked mere mortals on the road against exceptional competition. Lastly, the pace of play that the Bulls ran in the first three-peat was actually a little faster than the second. It showed in points scored in the first three-peat, but look at the pace that Chicago ran:

  • 1991 Pace: 95.6 (19th of 27)

  • 1992 Pace: 94.4 (22nd of 27)

  • 1993 Pace: 92.5 (27th of 27)

  • 1996 Pace: 91.1 (20th of 29)

  • 1997 Pace: 90.0 (18th of 29)

  • 1998 Pace: 89.0 (22nd of 29)

I would note the biggest difference between these two teams was the slight decline of play due to age. Despite Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman sometimes lacking their fastball through the 82-game schedule, the end results were essentially identical. They just got it done in a different fashion thanks to what is perhaps still to the day, one of if not the greatest defensive squad ever. Rodman appeared on the All-NBA Defensive Team ten times throughout his career. Many also consider "The Worm" the greatest rebounder that has ever played. Could you imagine hime playing today in the era of small-ball? He would perhaps average over 20 boards a night.

I’d argue that their backcourt was the greatest defensive trio I’ve ever seen. Ron Harper stood tall with outstanding length at 6’6, which back in the 90’s was simply absurd for a point guard. Jordan appeared on the All-NBA Defensive squad nine times and Pippen made it ten times in his illustrious career. The only perimeter player in the history of the game to tally more All-NBA defensive selections than Pippen was the late great Kobe Bryant, who appeared on a dozen of the teams. One could argue for Bryant or Jordan or a select few of others, but Pippen was highly regarded as perhaps the greatest defensive player ever. Harper, Jordan and Pippen brought their swarming defense to a new stratosphere from 1996-98 when one compares the way defense and pace is played nowadays.

Finally, when looking at these two in comparison, one can't help but look at that staggering and near impossible 30-3 home record. This requires sweeping many first and second round foes. The Lakers from 2000-02 were nearly as dominant as almost any dynasty we've seen. Sure, you have the 1960's Celtics back when less than a dozen teams played in the league and there were the Showtime Lakers, but how about the Kobe and Shaq-led Lakers? They went an impressive 27-5 at the Staples Center in their three year run. Goes to show how impressive and valuable hosting teams on your own hardwood can be. The Bulls dominating 30-3 home record should never be forgotten.

Since Odds for NBA Finals began in 1985 (or kept track of), the Chicago Bulls have stacked up very well. The ‘96 Bulls had the third best odds ever for a favorite as the 72-10 Bulls were -950 (risk $950 to win a measly 100) despite playing the 64-18 Seattle Supersonics. Those Sonics are still to this day one of only nine teams in NBA history to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals with at least 64 wins. Here is a look at every Chicago title with odds next to them ( as they entered the NBA Finals.

  • 1991: -200 over LA Lakers +170 (won in 5)

  • 1992: -250 over Portland +200 (won in 6)

  • 1993: -240 over Phoenix +190 (won in 6)

  • 1996: -950 over Seattle +650 (won in 6)

  • 1997: -600 over Utah +400 (won in 6)

  • 1998: -115 over Utah +105 (won in 6)

Another amazing story (per David Purdum) that needs to be shared, is that the Chicago Bulls were once upon a time favored in 185 straight games. Yes, the oddsmakers had them favored in 185 straight games. They were favored in every game from November 27, 1995 (at Portland) until June 6, 1997 (Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Utah). So, let’s break this down a step farther.

  • Consecutive Regular Season Games Favored in 1995-96 (70)

  • Consecutive Postseason Games Favored in 1995-96 (All 18)

  • Consecutive Regular Season Games Favored in 1996-97 (All 82)

  • Consecutive Postseason Games Favored in 1997-98 (15)

  • Bulls record through these 185 games: 159-26 straight up (86% which equates to 71 wins over an 82-game schedule despite mixing in postseason games)

  • Against the spread record: 97-87-1

  • Average Points Favored by: 10.4

And per ESPN Chalk, they were favored by three points or fewer only five times in that span. To put all of this into perspective, it likely will never come close to happening in the era of load management. We have seen Alabama football be favored in 72 straight from 2010-2015, the longest in 40 seasons. Quite impressive. The 2019 Houston Astros were favored in 84 straight (including the postseason) from July 3rd against the Rockies all the way to October 15th against the New York Yankees in the ALCS (Game 3). Game 4 was when Houston went with a bullpen game as the opener was Ryan Pressly. These Chicago Bulls were all that and then some in their dynasty. The only final note that needs to be said, (I could go on for days) was how the dynasty ended.

Throughout the regular season and even during the postseason in 1998, Chicago was a shell of itself. ‘’The Last Run’’ will truly describe how amazing of a time it was whether you loved the Bulls, despised them or just enjoyed the ride as a non-bias sports fan. Scottie Pippen missed 38 games that season and Chicago lost three of their final six regular season games. Also, I need to remind everybody that Jordan played a minimum of 35 minutes in those final six games. Let that sink in for a second. It is the end of the season in April and Michael Jordan is playing over 35 minutes in the final meaningless games since the Pacers ended up four games back from the division. The Bulls could’ve played the practice squad in the final week or so and still would have clinched the top seed. Nope, not under Michael Jordan’s competitive nature.

So then came the postseason and it was a bit of a struggle. Like we have never seen before. For just the second time ever in their championship runs (‘91-’93, ‘96-’98), a Game 7 happened. Indiana was nipping at the Bulls’ heels as the Pacers had won 46 of their last 62 games heading into their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. Reggie Miller had that clutch game-winning push-off three for the win in Game 4. All but one game was decided by six points or less. The Bulls were pushed to the brink of elimination throughout the entire series and found themselves searching for answers at times. Most teams cannot survive a devastating loss like the one they had suffered in Game 4. Luckily, Jordan dropped 92 points in the next three games to pull off the series victory and the rest was history.

Michael Jordan’s Postseason Averages in First Three-Peat (‘91-’93)

  • Games Played: 58

  • 33.7 PPG

  • 6.4 RPG

  • 6.6 APG

  • 1.0 BPG

  • 41.2 MPG

  • 49.7 FG%

  • 38.7 3P%

  • 83.6 FT%

  • FGM Per Game: 12.7

  • FGA Per Game: 25.6

  • Games of 10+ PTS: 58

  • Games of 20+ PTS: 57

  • Games of 25+ PTS: 53

  • Games of 30+ PTS: 37

  • Games of 35+ PTS: 23

  • Games of 40+ PTS: 11

Michael Jordan’s Postseason Averages in Second Three-Peat (‘96-’98)

  • Games Played: 58

  • 31.4 PPG

  • 6.0 RPG

  • 4.1 APG

  • 0.6 BPG

  • 41.5 MPG

  • 45.9 FG%

  • 29.7 3P%

  • 81.9 FT%

  • FGM Per Game: 11.3

  • FGA Per Game: 24.7

  • Games of 10+ PTS: 58

  • Games of 20+ PTS: 57

  • Games of 25+ PTS: 48

  • Games of 30+ PTS: 29

  • Games of 35+ PTS: 19

  • Games of 40+ PTS: 6

Michael Jordan’s NBA Finals Career Averages in First Three-Peat (‘91-’93)

  • Games Played: 17 (12-5 record)

  • 36.3 PPG

  • 6.6 RPG

  • 7.3 APG

  • 2.0 SPG

  • 0.8 BPG

  • 44.0 MPG (1997 was first season when seconds were included)

  • 48.7 FG%

  • 42.1 3P%

  • 80.5 FT%

  • FGM Per Game: 13.4

  • FGA Per Game: 27.4

  • Games Under 25 PTS: 0

  • Games of 30+ PTS: 14

  • Games of 35+ PTS: 8

  • Games of 40+ PTS: 5

17 games played in those first NBA Finals and this was truly a spectacle. Go back and watch these games. At times there were at least a few legendary hall of famers on the court at the same time. Yet, nobody noticed any of them with the way Jordan ended up dropping 30-plus in all but three games in the NBA Finals from 1991-93. Over 36 a pop, over a three-year span is downright illegal. And the Bulls needed nearly every bucket in many of the games. What was your favorite Jordan memory or game in the first three-peat? Mine was his epic 55-point performance against the Suns in Game 4 of the Finals or perhaps his first half virtuoso Game 1 performance he had against the Trail Blazers where he knocked down six triples!

Michael Jordan’s NBA Finals Career Averages in Second Three-Peat (‘96-’98)

  • Games Played (12-6 record)

  • 31.1 PPG

  • 5.4 RPG

  • 4.2 APG

  • 1.6 SPG

  • 0.6 BPG

  • 42.1 MPG

  • 43.4 FG%

  • 31.6 3P%

  • 89.1 FT%

  • FGM Per Game: 10.7

  • FGA Per Game: 24.7

  • Games Under 25 PTS: 4

  • Games of 30+ PTS: 9

  • Games of 35+ PTS: 6

  • Games of 40+ PTS: 1 (Final career game playing for Chicago Bulls)

Jordan truly saved his best for last. He was running on fumes and was not nearly as dominant from a per game basis as he was in the 80’s and 90’s. That first three-peat are impossible numbers based on the pace and defensive ability. The Blazers were loaded with athletes and while the Lakers were not fully healthy, the Suns ended up with the NBA’s best record and had home court in that series. Plus, they had the regular season MVP in 'Sir' Charles Barkley with a formidable backcourt of Kevin Johnson and ‘Thunder’ Dan Majerle. Nothing can touch that first three peat, but the second seemed to be rather impressive being at the age of 33-35.

Michael Jordan’s Career Averages in NBA Finals (‘91-93, ‘96-’98)

  • Games Played: 35

  • 31.8 PPG

  • 5.9 RPG

  • 5.9 APG

  • Games of 40+ MIN: 32

  • 46.1 FG%

  • 80.6 FT%

  • FGM Per Game: 12.0

  • FGA Per Game: 26.0

  • Games Under 25 PTS: 4

  • Games of 30+ PTS: 23

  • Games of 35+ PTS: 14

  • Games of 40+ PTS: 6

Scottie Pippen’s Postseason Averages in First Three-Peat (‘91-’93)

  • 20.3 PPG

  • 8.2 RPG

  • 6.1 APG

  • 1.0 BPG

  • 41.2 MPG

  • 47.8 FG%

  • 22.4 3P%

  • 73.1 FT%

  • Games Played: 58

  • Games of 10+ PTS, 8+ REB, 8+ AST: 9

  • Triple-Double’s: 2

  • Double-Double’s: 24

Where is the love for Pippen? Scottie is one of the top 50 greatest players ever as an absolute genetic freak on both sides of the floor. It is sad to see some on social media dismiss him when they list the top five all-time players by each position with a $15 shopping spree, and leaving Pippen off the list. Talk about a joke gone wrong. This all-time defensive legend deserves the limelight and hopefully the documentary will show him a little more than I am expecting. Cheers and thanks for checking out the article!

Scottie Pippen’s Postseason Averages In Second Three-Peat (‘96-’98)

  • 17.6 PPG

  • 7.4 RPG

  • 5.0 APG

  • 0.9 BPG

  • 40.2 MPG

  • 40.8 FG%

  • 29.3 3P%

  • 70.0 FT%

  • Games Played: 58

  • Games of 20+ PTS, 8+ REB & 8+ AST: 3

  • Triple-Double’s: 1

  • Double-Double’s: 12

Be sure to follow Bones for a great sports discussion, questions or comments. All postseason averages from sports reference unless otherwise noted.

Dan Vasta & Take Cover Copyright 2020 ©

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