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The 1987–88 Chicago Bulls season was the 22nd season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Bulls finished second in the Central Division with a solid 50–32 record. Michael Jordan was named the league's Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year. He also won the All-Star Game MVP and Slam Dunk Contest during the All-Star Weekend, which was held in Chicago. In the first round of the playoffs, the Bulls defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, but lost to the Detroit Pistons in five games in the semifinals. Following the season, Charles Oakley was traded to the New York Knicks.

1987–88 Chicago Bulls season
Head coachDoug Collins
Owner(s)Jerry Reinsdorf
ArenaChicago Stadium
Results
Record50–32 (.610)
PlaceDivision: 2nd (Central)
Conference: 3rd (Eastern)
Playoff finishEast Conference Semifinals
(Lost to Pistons 1–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionWFLD
Sportsvision
(Jim Durham, Johnny “Red” Kerr)
RadioWMAQ
(Jim Durham, Johnny “Red” Kerr)
< 1986–87 1988–89 >

NBA DraftEdit

Note: This is not an extensive list; it only covers the first round, and notable post-first round picks.

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 8 Olden Polynice (traded to Seattle) C   Haiti Virginia
1 10 Horace Grant PF   United States Clemson
2 28 Rickie Winslow F   United States Houston
4 79 Jack Haley C   United States UCLA

RosterEdit

Chicago Bulls roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
C 17   Brown, Mike 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 257 lb (117 kg) George Washington
C 40   Corzine, Dave 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 250 lb (113 kg) DePaul
PF 54   Grant, Horace 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Clemson
SG 23   Jordan, Michael 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) North Carolina
PF 34   Oakley, Charles 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Virginia Union
PG 5   Paxson, John 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Notre Dame
SF 33   Pippen, Scottie 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Central Arkansas
SF 6   Sellers, Brad 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Ohio State
PG 2   Sparrow, Rory 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Villanova
SF 21   Turner, Elston 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Mississippi
PG 11   Vincent, Sam 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Michigan State
C 31   Waiters, Granville 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Ohio State
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Regular seasonEdit

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.

Season standingsEdit

Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 34–7 20–21 20–10
x-Chicago Bulls 50 32 .610 4 30–11 20–21 16–13
x-Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 4 30-11 20-21 16–13
x-Milwaukee Bucks 42 40 .512 12 30–11 12–29 13–17
x-Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 12 31–10 11–30 11–19
Indiana Pacers 38 44 .463 16 25–16 13–28 13–17
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Boston Celtics 57 25 .695
2 y-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 3
3 x-Chicago Bulls 50 32 .610 7
4 x-Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 7
5 x-Milwaukee Bucks 42 40 .512 15
6 x-Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 15
7 x-Washington Bullets 38 44 .463 19
8 x-New York Knicks 38 44 .463 19
9 Indiana Pacers 38 44 .463 19
10 Philadelphia 76ers 36 46 .439 21
11 New Jersey Nets 19 63 .232 38

Record vs. opponentsEdit

1987-88 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MIL NJN NYK PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA UTA WAS
Atlanta 2–4 2–3 5–1 2–0 1–1 2–4 2–0 1–1 4–2 2–0 0–2 3–3 5–0 3–3 6–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–3
Boston 4–2 3–3 2–3 2–0 0–2 3–3 2–0 1–1 5–0 2–0 0–2 3–3 5–1 5–1 4–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 5–1
Chicago 3–2 3–3 3–3 0–2 1–1 2–4 2–0 2–0 3–3 2–0 1–1 5–1 5–1 3–2 4–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 3–3
Cleveland 1–5 3–2 3–3 1–1 1–1 1–5 0–2 1–1 4–2 1–1 1–1 2–4 5–1 2–4 3–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 0–2 6–0
Dallas 0–2 0–2 2–0 1–1 3–3 1–1 4–1 4–2 2–0 5–0 1–4 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 5–0 3–2 5–1 5–1 3–2 3–3 1–1
Denver 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–3 1–1 4–1 4–2 1–1 5–0 3–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 3–2 2–3 4–2 5–1 4–1 2–4 2–0
Detroit 4–2 3–3 4–2 5–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 3–3 1–1 0–2 4–2 5–1 4–2 4–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 3–2
Golden State 0–2 0–2 0–2 2–0 1–4 1–4 0–2 0–5 0–2 3–3 0–6 0–2 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–4 1–5 2–3 3–2 1–5 1–4 0–2
Houston 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–4 2–4 1–1 5–0 2–0 3–2 1–4 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–1 4–1 4–2 2–4 3–2 3–3 2–0
Indiana 2–4 0–5 3–3 2–4 0–2 1–1 3–3 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–3 6–0 2–3 2–4 2–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–4
L.A. Clippers 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–5 0–5 1–1 3–3 2–3 1–1 1–5 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–4 0–6 3–2 0–5 1–5 1–4 0–2
L.A. Lakers 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 4–1 2–3 2–0 6–0 4–1 1–1 5–1 0–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 5–1 3–3 4–1 5–0 4–2 4–1 1–1
Milwaukee 3–3 3–3 1–5 4–2 0–2 1–1 2–4 2–0 0–2 3–3 2–0 2–0 3–2 3–3 2–4 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–1
New Jersey 0–5 1–5 1–5 1–5 1–1 0–2 1–5 0–2 1–1 0–6 2–0 0–2 2–3 3–3 2–4 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–6
New York 3–3 1–5 2–3 4–2 1–1 1–1 2–4 2–0 1–1 3–2 2–0 0–2 3–3 3–3 3–3 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–3
Philadelphia 0–6 2–4 2–4 2–3 1–1 0–2 1–4 1–1 1–1 4–2 1–1 0–2 4–2 4–2 3–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 3–3
Phoenix 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–5 2–3 0–2 4–2 1–4 0–2 4–2 1–5 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–6 3–2 2–3 2–4 2–3 0–2
Portland 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–3 3–2 1–1 5–1 1–4 2–0 6–0 3–3 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 6–0 4–1 5–0 3–3 1–4 2–0
Sacramento 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–5 2–4 0–2 3–2 2–4 0–2 2–3 1–4 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–3 1–4 3–3 1–4 1–5 0–2
San Antonio 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–5 1–5 1–1 2–3 4–2 0–2 5–0 0–5 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–2 0–5 3–3 3–2 3–3 0–2
Seattle 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–3 1–4 1–1 5–1 2–3 1–1 5–1 2–4 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 4–2 3–3 4–1 2–3 1–4 2–0
Utah 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–0 3–3 4–2 0–2 4–1 3–3 1–1 4–1 1–4 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 3–2 4–1 5–1 3–3 4–1 2–0
Washington 3–3 1–5 3–3 0–6 1–1 0–2 2–3 2–0 0–2 4–2 2–0 1–1 1–4 6–0 3–3 3–3 2–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 0–2

Game logEdit

Regular seasonEdit

1987–88 game log
Total: 50–32 (Home: 30–11; Road: 20–21)
1987–88 schedule

PlayoffsEdit

1988 playoff game log
1988 playoff schedule

PlayoffsEdit

East First RoundEdit

(3) Chicago Bulls vs. (6) Cleveland Cavaliers: Bulls win series 3-2

  • 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 SemifinalsEdit

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (3) Chicago Bulls: Pistons win series 4-1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1974 Western Conference Semifinals (Chicago won 4-3)

Player statisticsEdit

SeasonEdit

PlayoffsEdit

Awards and recordsEdit

TransactionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit