The 1990/1991 season for the Chicago Bulls has started with the team losing their first three games of the season. Two of the losses are acceptable, the Sixers and Celtics, as they were against playoff teams from the previous year. The loss to the Bullets was inexcusable and shows that the team hasn’t found their footing thus far into the season.
Scottie Pippen has started off slowly, but he had a considerably better game against the Celtics. Michael Jordan has been doing his usual performances, but hasn’t been able to pull through with a victory. Bill Cartwright is still on the team. BJ Armstrong is making it difficult for Phil Jackson to not insert him into the starting lineup over John Paxson. BJ has been playing starter minutes due to Paxson’s weak ankle. It will be interesting to see when the Bulls find their footing at put together a complete game.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are entering just their second season as a franchise. They won 22 games in their first season. Needless to say, they wouldn’t be a competitive team for a handful of years. Despite only being their second year, they have the second ranked defense in the league thus far into the season. Tony Campbell is their highest scorer along with supporting players Tyrone Corbin, Pooh Richardson and Sam Mitchell. Felton Spencer, the sixth overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft, will be coming off the bench. I’m intrigued to see how Cartwright handles a younger center in the league.
November 7th, 1990 – Target Center – Minneapolis, MN
Wolves win the tipoff and Corbin drains a midrange jumper for their first bucket. Pippen drives to the paint, but the ball is nearly stolen by Corbin. Cartwright manages to make a turnaround jumper over Breuer to tie the game. Campbell misses his first shot attempt, but Horace can’t grab the rebound and the Wolves keep possession. Breuer gets wide open and misses a jumper. Grant makes easy work in the paint to make a basket. Corbin turns the ball over on a poor pass to Murphy. Paxson misses a wide open jumper.
Horace misses a jumper and the Wolves get the rebound. Murphy gets a loose ball after Jordan swiped it free and makes a layup. Pippen drives through the paint for a close range bucket. Campbell gets a foul on Jordan after posting up. Campbell has Jordan isolated, but misses a layup. Pippen bricks on a open shot in the corner. Cartwright makes a hook shot over Breuer.
Richardson misses a shot,. Pippen throws an outlet pass to Paxson, who is open for a layup, but loses control of the ball. Pippen manages to make a jumper to give the Bulls a 10-4 lead. Richardson drives but dishes to Corbin, who misses a shot. Paxson lops the ball to Pippen and finishes with an impactful dunk. Wolves need a timeout.
Corbin comes out of the timeout to make a jumper. Pippen drives to the basket, but can’t finish a layup. Corbin passes to Breuer, but that ends horribly and the Bulls steal the ball from Breuer. Grant misses a close shot, but Cartwright is there for the put back basket. Breuer drains a jumper as the Wolves are down by six, 14-8. Grant falls to the floor after Campbell came underneath. Grant gets up and makes both free throws.
Pippen blocks Corbin’s shot, but Corbin recovers for a layup, but misses badly. Jordan assists on Pippen’s bucket as the Bulls are up by ten, 18-8. Richardson makes a jumper. Pipper drives to the paint and nicely dishes to Grant for an easy bucket.
Corbin makes a jumper on the next Wolves possession. Jordan drains a fadeaway on the baseline for his first bucket. Pippen plays good defense on Corbin to prevent a layup. Grant gets called for an offensive foul to give the ball back to the Wolves. Breuer turns the ball over on a poor pass into the paint.
Cartwright makes another basket. Pippen steals the inbounds pass. Pippen drains a jumper to give the Bulls a fourteen point lead. Richardson drives into the paint and passes to Breuer, who misses. Campbell gets the offensive rebound to make a basket. Pippen misses a shot, but Grant gets the offensive rebound and makes a close range basket. Bulls lead 28-14 after the first quarter.
A dominate quarter by the Bulls. That should have been expected playing a team that’s been only in existence for one season. Wolves are very young and very inexperience. Richardson, Corbin and Campbell have skill and are really the only offensive options the team has. Breuer is an awkward center more so than Cartwright, which is shocking to say. Cartwright had a great quarter showing that he can at least play against a team full of bench players on any other team in the NBA. Pippen is finding his groove and has confidence driving to the paint. The trend has been the Bulls start off strong and teeter off throughout the game. I think this would take a breakdown of epic proportions to lose to the Wolves.
Cliff Levingston is back in the lineup after dealing with a wrist injury. Cartwright gets the ball wiped away from him in the paint. Felton Spencer has also entered the game. Grant had to deal with the PA system playing howling wolves on his free throws. That was bizarre. Campbell makes a jumper on the other end. Wolves get called for an illegal defense and Jordan makes the free throw. Jordan misses a shot in the paint after getting past Sam Mitchell.
Dennis Hopson enters the game for Jordan. Levingston makes a basket in the paint. Corbin misses a jumper, but Spencer gets the ball leading to a Campbell jumper. Grant misses a shot over Mitchell and Spencer battles for the ball with Levingston leading to a foul on Spencer. Levingston makes a bank shot to give the Bulls a sixteen point lead. Campbell misses a jumper on the other end.
Cartwright misses a turnaround on Spencer. Levingston has been all over the place and showing good energy. Grant drains a jumper and has eleven points thus far. Campbell makes a jumper. Grant makes a nice pass to Armstrong for a layup. Bulls steal the ball, but the Wolves poke the ball free to stop a fast break. Wolves get a steal in the paint. Mitchell makes a corner jumper to cut the lead to 38-22.
Spencer gets a rebound off a Hopson miss. Corbin tries for a dunk, but Will Perdue pokes the ball free. Wolves keep possession but fail to make a basket. Stacy King gets fouled on a shot in the paint. Armstrong had an open Hopson, but missed him. Bulls give the Wolves a headache with a full court press, but the Wolves break free. Campbell misses a layup, but Spencer finishes up with a dunk.
Armstrong with a nice pass to Levingston in the paint for an easy bucket. Richardson makes a jumper. King misses a turnaround shot on the other end. Mitchell gets contact in the paint but makes the close range basket leading to a timeout for the Bulls. Out of the timeout, Armstrong feeds King in the paint for a layup.
Levingston blocks Mitchell from behind on a layup attempt. Armstrong misses a jumper and the Bulls can’t get an offensive rebound. Spencer blocks Perdue in the paint and Richardson makes a jumper to take advantage. Jordan fakes a shot and passes to Perdue for a close range basket. Spencer misses a shot, but gets his own rebound for a dunk.
King misses a hook shot in the paint. Campbell misses a jumper as they stopped their own fast break opportunity. King manages to make a bucket in the paint over Breuer. Campbell misses a jumper. Bulls turn the ball over on an offensive three second violation. Mitchell misses a midrange shot. Bulls make a few sloppy passes allowing the Breuer to make a shot in the paint. Jordan makes a nice pass to Grant, but Grant can’t finish a layup.
Richardson makes a wide open jumper. Cartwright and Armstrong miss jump shots, but Grant gets fouled on his shot leading to a three point play. Grant makes the free throw. Bulls force a timeout as Richardson got trapped in a full court press. Mitchell makes a jumper coming out of the timeout to cut the lead, 51-38. Jordan makes an incredible reverse layup. Richardson makes a shot on the baseline. Jordan dishes the ball to Cartwright for a dunk to close the half.
The first half was a dominate half for the Bulls and probably the best half the team has had thus far into the season. Don’t get me wrong, the Wolves are nowhere near to the level that the Bulls are at, but this may be the kind of game the Bulls needed to have to get things on track. Jordan has had a very limited offensive presence as it’s mostly been Horace Grant and the bench doing the scoring. Pooh Richardson has been trying to carry the Wolves on offense, but there’s only so much the guy can do against the talent that the Bulls have. Wolves have been settling for jumpers as they haven’t gone to the free throw line and they have been outscored in the paint 46-22 in the first half. I really thought they would have gone after Cartwright. It will be interesting to see if they make the proper adjustments.
Bulls get the first possession of the second half. Jordan misses a jumper, but Grant got the rebound. Pippen gets called for a travel despite Breuer having swiped the ball free. That’s what we call a bad call. Well, actually the officials get together and reverse the call. Wolves win the jump ball, so it doesn’t matter for the Bulls. Richardson makes a tough shot in the corner over Paxson.
Campbell pokes the ball free fro Jordan, but is called for a reach in foul. Jordan misses a long range jumper, and almost steals the ball. Campbell makes a jumper following a pass from Richardson to cut the lead to 55-44. Paxson misses an open jumper, but Pippen gets the rebound. Pippen gets fouled and makes one of two. There aren’t any more howling wolves. Campbell is called for an offensive foul and now has four fouls. Jordan is fed the ball in the paint and finishes with a dunk over Breuer.
Pippen gets a steal, but Richardson steals it back on the other end. Corbin misses a jumper. Pippen gets an offensive rebound after a Grant miss. Cartwright can’t finish on a drive in the paint. Richardson makes another basket on the baseline. Richardson has only missed one shot out of ten attempts. Jordan responds with a midrange shot.
Murphy makes a long range jumper since nobody was trying to guard him. Cartwright makes a poor attempt on a hook shot and misses off the side of the rim. Pippen finds an open Cartwright after driving to the paint and Cartwright manages to make the basket. Campbell drills a shot over Jordan to keep the Wolves down by twelve. 62-50. Pippen misses a shot, but Cartwright get the rebound. Richardson has a fast break and forces a poor layup. Jordan gets called for a foul.
Campbell misses an open shot at the top of the key after some good passing by the Wolves. Pippen gets the ball stolen by Richardson leading to a Corbin layup and the Wolves are down by ten, 62-52. Corbin steals the ball on a pass attempt to Jordan. Campbell easily handles a double team and makes a layup. Paxson makes a bucket over Richardson. Campbell gets fouled on a shot attempt by Jordan and makes the basket! Campbell makes the free throw. Wolves down by seven, 64-57.
Jordan gets blocked by Campbell on a shot attempt and the crowd is getting into the game. Pippen quiets them with a made jumper. Pippen gets the rebound off a miss and Paxson makes a jumper after good ball movement by Pippen and Jordan. Murphy drains a three point shot to cut the lead to eight, 68-60. Jordan misses an open shot. Richardson misses a jumper and Grant can’t control a rebound allowing the Wolves to maintain possession.
Campbell makes a close range shot to bring the lead to six, 68-62. Pippen misses a shot and the Bulls get sloppy giving the Wolves the ball. Spencer gets a loose ball to make a bucket. Grant misses a jumper on the Bulls next trip down the court. Campbell makes a jumper and the lead is only two for the Bulls. Pippen finds an open Paxson, but Paxson misses the jumper. Campbell drives into the paint to make a layup and is fouled. Campbell makes the free throw and the Wolves now lead, 69-68. Armstrong is fouled by Richardson right before the quarter comes to an end. Armstrong Maes both and they lead 70-69 heading into the final quarter.
Well, the Bulls are capable of a collapse of epic proportions. The Wolves really didn’t adjust their game plan as they continued to settle for jump shots, but they are were more quality shots. The Bulls just went cold from the floor and had a stretch where they couldn’t make a basket, which has happened several times this season already. Richardson and Campbell have been carrying the Wolves to keep this game competitive. The fourth quarter is going to need a Jordan takeover for the Bulls to avoid losing four games in a row to start the season.
Mitchell takes an open three, but misses. Armstrong makes a jumper to bring the lead to three, 72-69. Spencer makes a turnaround basket in the paint. Armstrong drives into the paint and gets some contact to go to the free throw line. Spencer gets an offensive rebound off a Mitchell miss and gets fouled. King makes a good move against Spencer for an easy bucket.
Murphy misses a corner three attempt. Armstrong makes a jumper and has six points in the fourth quarter. Mitchell misses a layup after driving into the paint. Mitchell goes to the line and makes both shots. Scott Brooks enters the game for the first time. Jordan makes a tough shot in the paint to bring the lead to five, 80-75.
Mitchell misses a poor layup attempt. Levingston dunks a missed Armstrong shot and the Wolves need a timeout. Corbin makes a layup coming out of the timeout. Jordan finds an open Armstrong for a made jumper. Corbin has the ball stolen by Levingston and there’s a loose ball foul. Campbell misses a jumper on the next possession. Jordan misses an underhand layup attempt and the Wolves get the loose ball. Campbell gets called for a charge against Jordan and that his fifth foul.
Jordan drains an open jumper as Campbell didn’t contest the shot. Campbell makes a corner jumper. Jordan gets fouled in the paint leading to Spencer fouling out of the game. Jordan makes one of two from the line. Richardson dribbles a lot before dishing to Campbell, who misses a jumper. Cartwright is forced to shoot as the clock was winding down and misses.
Campbell drives to the basket and is fouled by Jordan, which is his fifth foul. Bulls get a turnover with a trap in the corner and Jordan finishes with a dunk. Murphy responds with a jumper. Grant gets fouled after a pass from Pippen. Corbin makes a poor pass and Mitchell has to rush a shot, which he misses. Pippen misses an awkward looking layup. Campbell makes a long range jumper to cut the lead to seven, 90-83.
Cartwright misses an open shot and Grant gets an offensive rebound. Grant finishes with a layup. Corbin makes a bucket to void an illegal defensive call. Corbin fouls Pippen on a pass to send him to the line. Pippen misses both, but Grant gets the offensive rebound. Jordan misses a close range shot, but get another offensive rebound. Wolves get a steal on an Armstrong pass. Corbin makes a layup to cut the lead to five, 92-87.
Pippen is fouled and makes one of two. Richardson misses a shot, but Murphy is able to top it in. The Wolves are trying to foul but it isn’t called until crucial seconds pass by. Jordan makes one of two. Wolves turn the ball over as Armstrong comes up with the ball. Campbell makes an open shot, but it means nothing. Bulls win the game 96-91.
If the Bulls played any other team they probably lose the game in the fourth quarter after losing their big lead in the third quarter. They got lucky that the Wolves didn’t have the offensive fire power to keep up with them. Wolves didn’t work in the paint all that much and constantly settled for jump shots. I think they would have had good success working against Cartwright more often.
Cliff Levingston had a good showing coming off his injured wrist and had a lot of energy off the bench. Levingston was determined to get the ball on any loose ball and that’s going to inspire your teammates. BJ Armstrong also had a strong showing off the bench. This was the best game that Bill Cartwright had thus far in the series finishing with twelve points and six rebounds.
Tony Campbell and Pooh Richardson on the Wolves both outscored every Bulls player. Campbell likely isn’t a number one scoring option, but he’s forced into that role on the team. Richardson is a fun point guard and played well throughout the game. Felton Spencer almost had a double-double in twenty six minutes of action. They are building a team in Minnesota and they certainly have a solid core to work with for the years to come.
Michael Jordan 17PTS, 5 RBS, 6AST
Horace Grant 17PTS, 10 RBS, 5 AST
BJ Armstrong 14 PTS, 5 RBS, 3 AST
Tony Campbell 26 PTS
Pooh Richardson 18 PTS, 10 AST, 3STL
Felton Spencer 10PTS, 9 RBS
The next game that is readily available to cover is against the Utah Jazz on November 13th, 1990. The Bulls would win their next game on the road against the Celtics on November 9th, winning 120-100. They would defeat the Charlotte Hornets on November 10th, 105-86 in Chicago. If those games become available they will be covered.
Thanks for reading.