10.01.2008

Defense Doesn't Always Win Championships II

Chicago vs. New York, 1993 Eastern Conference finals

The 1992-93 Knicks were, to that point in history, the best defensive team of the post-merger era, winning 60 games and earning the top seed in the East. With Pat Riley coaching the likes of Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason and current Celtics coach Doc Rivers, it's pretty easy to see why.

In the conference finals, those Knicks ran into a Chicago team that had the league's second-best offense; plus, it had some guy named Michael Jordan whose minutes it could ramp up in the playoffs.

True to form, the Knicks held the Bulls to eight points below their season average. But the Knicks' offense went off the rails and cost them the epic series, even though they won the first two games and held home-court advantage. The Bulls prevailed in six tough games in one of the best series in recent memory, paving the way for the third of Jordan's six championships. Nonetheless, this is another triumph for the D.

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