Horace Grant: LeBron's Heat 'Wouldn't Have Had a Chance' vs. Jordan's Bulls

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJune 3, 2014

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Could the present-day Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls of the early 1990s? 

Sadly, we'll never see these two teams match up against one another. There will be no battles between LeBron James and Scottie Pippen, and Dwyane Wade and Michael Jordan.

But that doesn't mean we can't compare the two squads. 

"The Heat wouldn't have had a chance," former Bulls forward Horace Grant said during an appearance on WSCR-AM in Chicago, as relayed by ESPNChicago.com. "We would have locked them up. We would have locked them up. Especially with the rules today, Michael would have had a field day."

It's important to note which Bulls squads we're talking about, though. 

CHICAGO - MAY 19:  Michael Jordan #23 comforts teammate Horace Grant #54 of the Chicago Bulls during Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers played on May 19, 1992 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTE TO USER: U
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Grant was only a part of the team that won three straight NBA titles from 1991 through 1993. He wasn't in the Windy City for the second three-peat, as he'd signed with the Orlando Magic as a free agent after the conclusion of the 1993-94 season, which saw him make the All-Star team without MJ around to monopolize offensive touches. 

Even though he and the Magic played against the Bulls during the second three-peat, the use of the first-person plural pronoun leads me to believe that he's taking about that first set of championships. 

You have to admire the brashness, but "locked them up" and "wouldn't have had a chance" probably go a little bit too far. Sure, those Bulls had some of the best defensive players of all time—even though Dennis Rodman wasn't there yet—but the Heat have quite an advanced offense. 

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And, perhaps more importantly, it's an offense unlike anything the Bulls ever saw. There wasn't a point forward like LeBron James during the early '90s, and the pick-and-roll hadn't gained prominence until after Karl Malone and John Stockton spent their careers dominating for the Utah Jazz with that set. 

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Maybe Jordan would've had a field day, but let's not forget just how good this Miami defense has looked. It's hard to see any one player thriving to the extent that he could single-handedly take down the Heat. 

As for composition, the two squads are pretty similar. 

"In terms of efficiency, the 1993 Bulls were more similar to the Heat than the 1998 Bulls, simply because they had the second-best offense and the seventh-best defense," writes Zach Harper for CBSSports.com. Sure, Chicago posted those numbers back when the Eastern Conference was far more formidable, but is that discrepancy really enough to think this would be a blowout?

If push comes to shove, I'd put my money on the Bulls. But it would be close enough that I might have to think about taking the spread if Chicago were favored by around five points. 

You have to respect Grant's sentiments, but there's a difference between confidence and cockiness.

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