While the 2015-16 NBA regular season is still in its extreme infancy, we can already see that the stakes have changed. That’s what happens when the games start to matter; when a team’s wins and losses affect whether or not a club will get the opportunity to play for the whole thing at the end of the year. Just imagine what it will be like when the playoffs roll around. We get chills just thinking about it.
In the National Basketball Association, as in most professional sports, the postseason is when legends are forged. This is when the world gets to see what you’re truly made of. And for Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who had become the man in Chicago with the retirement of Michael Jordan, the 1994 NBA Playoffs was his opportunity to step into the spotlight.
With Pippen leading the way, the 1993-94 Chicago Bulls finished the regular season with a 55-27 mark and breezed through the opening round of the playoffs with a sweep over the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, for this group, the real obstacle lay ahead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks.
This matchup between two juggernauts proved to be an epically memorable affair. And while the series would eventually go seven games, one moment still manages to stand above the rest: When Pippen dunked on Patrick Ewing in Game 6.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy another edition of “Throwback Throwdowns.”
On May 20, 1994, down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Bulls faced a must-win game at Chicago Stadium. With their season on the brink, the three-time defending champs were in desperate need of a spark. In one incredible sequence they would get it — and then some. If you ask us, this is the perfect example of how you can turn defense into offense.
Knicks guard Hubert Davis received the pass on the left side of the floor, and immediately looked to make a play. He drove left before dishing it off to power forward Charles Oakley, who stood under the basket. Oakley put up the shot, but it was rejected by Chicago’s Horace Grant. Once the blocked shot ended up in the hands of Bulls point guard B.J. Armstrong, the real fun began.
Armstrong started the fast break, dribbling the ball up the floor with purpose. After crossing half court, he whipped a bounce pass to Pete Myers, who had filled the lane to his right side. Without taking a dribble, Myers bounced a beautiful touch pass back through the lane to a streaking Pippen coming in from the left side.
Although New York’s center Patrick Ewing came over to contest the shot, he looked more like a deer caught in headlights. Pippen caught the pass, and without hesitation, elevated over the 7-footer, extended the ball, and flushed it in his face. Not only did Pippen draw the foul, but he knocked Ewing over in the process. To add insult to injury, our man Scottie proceeded to look down at Ewing and talk trash as he walked over the center’s fallen body. All while Chicago Stadium erupted in pandemonium.
The Bulls would go on to win the contest by a score of 93-79. Unfortunately, the Knicks got the last laugh, taking the series in seven games and eliminating Chicago from contention. Still, any way you slice it, this affair will always have one defining moment; an everlasting image if you will. It’s Scottie Pippen standing over Patrick Ewing after dunking the ball in his face. And that’s just another reason why we love this game.
All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.