Jordan’s best scoring game of his rookie season came against the Detroit Pistons on February 12, 1985. The game had special meaning to Jordan because it was the first meeting of Jordan and Isiah Thomas after the infamous “freeze out” in the all-star game. Jordan got his revenge by scoring 49 points on the Pistons in a 139-126 overtime victory.
The Bulls reached the playoffs in Michael Jordan’s first year. Their first round opponents were the Milwaukee Bucks. The inexperienced Bulls dropped two straight games to the Bucks. In game 3, Michael Jordan puts on his best performance of the series, scoring 33 points, and leading the Bulls to a 107-105 victory.
After an impressive rookie season, Jordan finished averaging 28.2 points (3rd), 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. He was also selected to the All-NBA second team. More importantly, Chicago improved from a 37-45 record a year ago to a 48-34 record with Jordan, earning them a spot in the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.
In the first round of the playoffs the Bulls faced the Milwaukee Bucks. Chicago lost the first two games in Milwaukee 100-109 and 115-122. Down 0-2, Jordan turned in his best performance of the series with a 35 point effort, leading the Bulls to a 109-107 victory. However the Bulls could not repeat the performance and lost the series in game 4 97-105.
Here are the highlights from that game.
You can watch the entire game here.
Milwaukee would be swept by the 76er’s in the next round, who then lost to the Celtics in the conference finals. The LA Lakers won the 1985 NBA championship over the Boston Celtics in 6 games.
Although Jordan and the Bulls lost in the playoffs, Michael would not end the season empty handed as numerous awards and accolades were showered upon him at the end of the season.
Half way through his rookie season, Michael Jordan had become so popular that he was voted onto the starting lineup of the Eastern conference all-star team. Starting alongside future Hall of famers Julius Erving (Dr. J), Larry Bird, Moses Malone, and Isiah Thomas. The Western conference all-stars featured a lineup of Adrian Dantley, Ralph Sampson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Earvin (Magic) Johnson, and George Gervin.
There was much controversy going into the game about a “freeze out” against Michael Jordan. The media had started a story that the other Eastern conference All-stars, led by Isiah Thomas, had decided to lock Jordan out by not passing him the ball. Jordan only managed to score 7 points on 2 of 9 shooting in 22 minutes. Michael had to face questions about the controversy after the game. Although Thomas refuted the accusations, the media kept the story alive in the coming years, and helped to create on of the most bitter rivalries in NBA history.
Here are the top 10 plays from the 1985 all-star game ( Jordan has one of them)
You can watch the entire 1985 all-star game here.
Okay, I know an all-star game without Jordan highlights is pretty boring, so I have something else here for your enjoyment.
At the end of the 84-85 season, the Push Excel program sponsored another all-star game between NBA veterans and NBA rookies. Push Excel is a program led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson with the goal of pushing disadvantaged youths towards academic excellence. Since this was a game purely for entertainment purposes, it is filled with highlights and fun plays. The final score of the game was 177-155, with the NBA veterans winning in style. Jordan contributed 37 points, and plenty of highlight dunks to his team.
1985 P.U.S.H excel all star game at Chicago Stadium
Watch the entire Push Excel all-star game here.
By this time Michael had won the Rookie of the Year title, and was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the NBA’s greatest players.
Oh right, this was also the year Michael began wearing his trademark Air Jordans.
Jordan made such a huge impact early on during his rookie season that he was voted to the starting lineup of the 1985 all-star game. Not only that, he also earned himself a spot in the slam dunk contest.
The slam dunk contest was something new to the league, having only been installed in 1984. The first ever slam dunk contest was won by Larry Nance, who beat out Dr. J Julius Erving to take home the title. Both players came back for the 1985 contest, which also featured high fliers like Dominique Wilkins, Darrell Griffith, Orlando Woolridge, Clyde Drexler, and another rookie sensation Terence Stansbury.
Here are the highlights from the 1985 slam dunk contest.
Jordan and Wilkins led all contestants in the semi-final round, eliminating Terence Stansbury, Dr. J, and last year’s winner Larry Nance from the competition.
Final round showdown between Jordan and Wilkins
You can watch the entire contest here.
But as we already know with Michael, losing will only make him rise up to the challenge. Wilkins and Jordan were destined for another epic slam dunk showdown, which would not happen for another 3 years.
Despite the all around skills Michael Jordan possessed, he was primarily known as a prolific scorer. His offensive skill set was beyond anything anyone in the NBA has ever seen. Opponents didn’t know how to defend Jordan. All they could hope for was an off night from him.
In only his 9th game of his rookie season, Jordan had his first 40+ point game, a feat he would accomplish 6 times that year and an astonishing 172 times throughout his career.
Here are the highlights from that game.
Jordan’s best scoring game of the season came against the Detroit Pistons on February 12, 1985. The game had special meaning to Jordan because it was the first meeting of Jordan and Isiah Thomas after the infamous “freeze out” in the all-star game. Jordan got his revenge by scoring 49 points on the Pistons in a 139-126 victory.
Here are the highlights