Chicago Bulls

Best Bulls team of all-time? Let's settle the argument

Simulated games via Strat-O-Matic create tournament featuring 6 title teams from dynasty

NBC Universal, Inc.

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Part of the beauty and mystery of sports is the unsolvable, the endless GOAT debates and back-in-the-day stories and never-ending theories on why this team or that player is better than the previous or the next.

But what if you could use data to simulate the spectacular? Think prime Michael Jordan guarding back-to-the-basket Michael Jordan; or Horace Grant trying to keep Dennis Rodman off the offensive boards; or John Paxson coming off a screen for a big shot late versus Steve Kerr doing the same.

That’s right. We’re talking dynasty-era Chicago Bulls. And thanks to our partners at Strat-O-Matic, we not only have the ability to Settle the Argument of the greatest Bulls team of all-time, but we also have simulated box scores with real play-by-play to prove it.

Or at least prove it in one controlled realm.

Of course, there’s also the more subjective aspect of the eye test. And 27 years on, these eyes maintain that the 1995-96 Bulls are the greatest NBA team of all-time.

The memories endure.

The swagger with which they entered each game, knowing the opponent viewed it as the biggest regular-season game of the season. The quiet, burning fuel stemming from Jordan’s return from baseball the previous season that ended in rare playoff failure.

The poise and trust coach Phil Jackson would display as he chose not to call timeouts in moments of early-game duress, content to let players figure it out. Jordan sitting at the end of the L-shaped bench, mere inches from the first row of media sitting, the ice packs on his knees serving as the modern-day equivalent of Red Auerbach’s victory cigar.

But don’t take our word for it. Over the coming days, prepare for the simulated tournament to play out to Settle The Argument.

The format is simple: With six title teams from which to choose, the top-two seeds---the 1995-96 and 1991-92 Bulls---receive first-round byes. The quarterfinals will be comprised of seeds No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 in two five-game series.

Those winners advance to semifinal matchups against the top-two seeds, with the 4-5 winner facing the top seed and the 3-6 winner facing the second seed. Those series will be best-of-seven, with the higher seed hosting Games 1, 2, 5 and 7, if necessary.

Then, the finals will be a seven-game series between the two semifinal winners with the same home-and-away games format.

The remaining seeds for the Bulls are as follows: 1996-97 is the No. 3 seed; 1997-98 is the No. 4 seed; 1990-91 is the No. 5 seed; 1992-93 is the No. 6 seed.

Let the “games” begin. And let’s Settle the Argument.

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