You Are Here > Basketball-Reference.com > BBR Blog > NBA and College Basketball Analysis

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all Basketball-Reference content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing Basketball-Reference blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Basketball-Reference.com // Sports Reference

For more from Neil, check out his new work at BasketballProspectus.com.

Tuesday Flashback: May 8, 1997

Posted by Neil Paine on May 3, 2011

...aka the last time the Hawks beat the Bulls in a playoff game:

  Scoring
  1 2 3 4 T
ATL         103
CHI         95
Four Factors  
Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA ORtg
ATL 89.0 .585 12.2 19.4 .282 115.8
CHI 89.0 .473 7.6 27.7 .087 106.8

Atlanta Hawks

Glossary ▪ CSV ▪ PRE ▪ Basic Box Score ▪ Advanced Box Score
Basic Box Score Statistics
Starters MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Mookie Blaylock 46 9 13 .692 8 9 .889 0 0 0 7 7 9 3 0 5 1 26
Steve Smith 40 9 19 .474 1 4 .250 8 11 .727 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 3 27
Christian Laettner 40 6 16 .375 0 1 .000 6 9 .667 0 5 5 1 0 0 2 4 18
Dikembe Mutombo 39 8 11 .727 0 0 3 6 .500 6 9 15 1 0 2 2 3 19
Tyrone Corbin 36 1 4 .250 0 0 2 2 1.000 1 3 4 1 0 0 0 2 4
Reserves MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Alan Henderson 18 1 2 .500 0 0 1 2 .500 0 5 5 0 0 1 1 4 3
Eldridge Recasner 10 3 5 .600 0 0 0 2 .000 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 6
Darrin Hancock 8 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 0 3 3 0 1 1 0 0 0
Henry James 3 0 1 .000 0 1 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Team Totals 240 37 71 .521 9 15 .600 20 34 .588 7 34 41 13 5 4 12 18 103

Chicago Bulls

Glossary ▪ CSV ▪ PRE ▪ Basic Box Score ▪ Advanced Box Score
Basic Box Score Statistics
Starters MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Michael Jordan 44 12 29 .414 0 6 .000 3 3 1.000 6 10 16 6 0 1 1 2 27
Scottie Pippen 44 9 18 .500 4 8 .500 2 2 1.000 1 3 4 9 1 0 1 4 24
Ron Harper 31 6 9 .667 3 5 .600 0 0 1 7 8 4 3 3 1 1 15
Dennis Rodman 26 1 5 .200 0 0 0 0 2 3 5 0 0 1 1 6 2
Luc Longley 19 2 3 .667 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 2 0 3 2 5 4
Reserves MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Toni Kukoc 27 5 12 .417 2 7 .286 3 6 .500 0 1 1 5 0 0 1 3 15
Steve Kerr 11 1 3 .333 1 3 .333 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 3
Robert Parish 10 1 4 .250 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 3 0 2 2
Jud Buechler 9 1 1 1.000 1 1 1.000 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 3
Jason Caffey 7 0 2 .000 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
Bison Dele 6 0 4 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Randy Brown 6 0 2 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
Team Totals 240 38 92 .413 11 30 .367 8 11 .727 13 29 42 27 5 11 8 27 95

About 2 weeks later, SI's Phil Taylor would write a great piece chronicling Steve Smith's day-by-day struggles in guarding Jordan during that series. And the Hawks would go on to lose the series in 5 games.

But do you realize that, based on regular-season performance (i.e., SRS) alone, the 1997 Hawks were closer to the 1997 Bulls than the 2011 Hawks are to the 2011 Bulls?

1997 Atlanta SRS: +5.51
1997 Chicago SRS: +10.70
Differential: Chicago +5.19

2011 Atlanta SRS: -1.10
2011 Chicago SRS: +6.53
Differential: Chicago +7.63

So, yeah, last night's Atlanta win was truly a shocking outcome. It remains to be seen if they can do it again, but that doesn't change the fact that Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, and Co. knocking off Derrick Rose and the 2011 Bulls in Chicago was a more impressive upset than the time Steve Smith & Mookie Blaylock helped the Hawks topple Michael Jordan and the 1997 Bulls on the road.

ShareThis

11 Responses to “Tuesday Flashback: May 8, 1997”

  1. Robert August de Meijer Says:

    I love the '97 Hawks, seeing Jordan miss 3pters and any game with Ron Harper playing big. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Robert August de Meijer Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGijjsC6Yv8 = video of game I found on the web.

  3. harold Says:

    Neil, you really know how to hurt a guy...

  4. Neil Paine Says:

    Is the 1997 game traumatic for Bulls fans? Chicago went on to win a title...

    Likewise, I think this is a road bump for the current Bulls. Then again, I have been naysaying the Hawks all season long, yet they continue to stick around. They refuse to play like the -1.1 SRS team they really are!

  5. Jason J Says:

    I love how Jordan was the one to make up for crummy games by Rodman. I remember when Dennis was suspended for the headbutt (or was it the kick?), MJ gobbled up boards then too.

    Check out Mookie going 8 for 9 from 3 and Rodman fouling out in 26 minutes. Was Harper doubling down on... Laettner?

  6. Matt, Colombia Says:

    Wow, 16 boards and 6 assists by Jordan. He only used 26 possessions to get his points when you count the offensive boards. He really was the greatest.

  7. Ricardo Says:

    Chicago will probably still win this series, but given the form they've shown so far and the injuries to Rose and Boozer, this isn't the same team we saw dominate the last 4-6 weeks of the season.

  8. Cort Says:

    both the hawks and bulls were better in 1997 than they are now. but i would say there is a bigger gap between chicago of 97 and chicago of 2011 than there is between the two atlanta clubs.
    the hawks of 97 werent much better than the current team, but the interior combo of mutombo and laettner is better than the hawk bigs today. smith and joe johnson are pretty comparable, as are hinrich and blaylock. people forget laettner was an all-star with atlanta until he ripped his achilles during the lockout.
    looked this up a while ago for people who dont like him or think laettner didnt do much besides hit the 1992 shot to beat UK...in 4 NCAA elite 8 games he shot 31-34 from the field and 34-37 from the foul line. unreal efficiency - cant shoot much better than that, especially under high pressure. in the UK game he was 10-10 from the field and 10-10 from the foul line.
    AND people forget he also hit a 15-foot double pumper from the left elbow at the buzzer to beat UConn in the 1990 regional finals. so not only did he hit 1 great shot at the horn to get his team to the final 4, he hit TWO.
    think about that. that will probably never be duplicated.
    also, he is the all-time NCAA tourney scoring leader. played in 3 straight finals and started in 4 final 4s.
    now his NBA career wasnt as great as expected by many (SI compared to rick barry coming into the NBA for various reasons), but it was still a good career until the severe injury limited his mobility. he should be on the list of 15 greatest NCAA D1 men's hoop players. arguably the most accomplished college player of the last 25 years.

  9. Jon marcus Says:

    Cort-

    I was never, ever a fan of Laettner. In fact, he may be on my short list of most disliked athletes, but you are spot on in your assessment of him. His greatness and his penchant for hitting huge shots on the biggest stages places him near the top of any NCAA list of best college gamers ever. Well written post, even if it pains me to admit it.

    As far as these current Hawks and Bulls, this series has seven games written all over it. The Hawks are gaining momentum at the perfect time and meeting a Bulls team that is experiencing the reality of a long season. As the injuries mount, it is looking more and more like the team that played so well during the regular season, may be starting to crumble.

    Of course, that will all change with a victory tomorrow night!

  10. Cort Says:

    thanks jon. it seems a lot of people dont like laettner at all. i wasnt a big fan of his but i appreciated his unique abilities, especially at 6-11. his senior year in college he shot 56% (54-97) on 3-pointers!
    the hawks surprised me by winning game 1 so as you say it is looking like a long series. chicago was not real impressive vs. indiana in round one. i do think indiana is better than its record though, matched up well vs. chicago and has a deep roster. if they get a good 2 guard the pacers could win 48-50 games next year.

  11. Jason J Says:

    That was an interesting Hawks team. It was built in the mold of the mid-late 90s. Very big and strong, defensively oriented, and lacking in creators (the game was so physical back then that your free wheeling point guards were getting stifled compared to years past or today). Mookie, Corbin, and Dikembe were all tremendous, highly phsical defenders at their positions.

    They matched up pretty well with Chicago. They defended them well. They held their own on the boards. They just couldn't score when the Chicago switching and smothering perimeter defense kicked in. So they'd play pretty even in most games, and then the Bulls would lock down for a few minutes and build what amounted to an insurmountable 8 to 10 point lead.