With a blazing 7-0 start to the 2010-2011 NBA season after an impressive win against the Portland Trailblazers and the way the Los Angeles Lakers are playing defense, especially on the perimeter, it can’t help but bring to mind an earlier rendition of a Phil Jackson coached team
During the 1990’s, the Chicago Bulls tandem of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were labeled “the Dobermans” by league insiders and opposing players because of their lockdown ability on the defensive side of the ball.
Those two literally could harass and chase down perimeter players and made it nearly impossible for guards to advance the ball, let alone setup their team’s offensive sets. Their length combined with speed and quickness allowed the Bulls to play some of the best defense the league has ever seen.
When the Bulls added a third defensive superstar to the mix in 1995, Dennis Rodman gave coach Phil Jackson three defensive weapons that not only brought intensity but talent. The result was a 72 win season the first year these three hooked up and led to a the second of Jackson’s three-peats in 1998.
Former Laker coach Pat Riley coined the phrase “rebounds and defensive wins rings.” In the case of Phil Jackson, this point might be underrated. It's hard to see the mastery on that side of the ball with such offensive juggernauts like MJ, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant fogging the picture.
But the real view is that Jackson excels at defensive.
This year, Jackson might again have a group of players that are adopting his pack mentality and creating nightmares for opposing teams on the defensive end. Look what the Lakers did to Portland on Sunday night.
Some of this may or may not show up on the stats but will count when the games matter most: the playoffs.
This is pure pack mentality. The Los Angeles Lakers have assembled a new pack that is prepped to give opposing players serious trouble.
Take a look at this slideshow and you’ll see what I’m talking about with MJ’s Bulls and now a possible return of the Doberman’s for Phil Jackson's Lakers this season.