Round: Eastern Conference Finals
Dates: May 20-June 3
Winner: Pistons, 4-3
Conventional wisdom says that a team must learn to deal with defeat before becoming a champion. The Chicago Bulls had learned plenty, losing to their nemeses in Detroit two years in a row. Armed with experience, a new coach in Phil Jackson, and a new offense, Chicago looked to finally break the Jordan Rules in that year's Conference Finals.
Detroit held home court through the series' first two games, but Jordan wouldn't be denied, scoring 47 and 42 in Games 3 and 4, both Bulls victories. The squads held serve again and Game 7 was sure to be an epic conclusion. Then Scottie Pippen got a headache and Chicago lost by 19. Jordan scored 31, but his teammates were nowhere to be found, shooting 15-63. Chicago would eventually get past Detroit and never look back, however this was the peak of a rivalry between two teams that combined for five consecutive championships.