The Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls have had a rivalry which started back in the late 1980s. For a few years, this became one of the most intense and heated rivalries that the NBA saw. Both teams represent the two largest metro areas within the Midwest, and both teams have always had really supportive and loyal fan bases within the NBA. 

The rivalry has never died out between Piston and Bulls teams, and considering the two teams will be facing one another again soon, fans can look forward to an intense match. You should keep up on both the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons betting odds to see how well these teams are doing.

In this article, we will explore how this rivalry began and what it is like today. 

Origins Of The Pistons And Bulls Rivalry 

In the 1974 Western Conference Semifinals, the two teams faced off for the first time in the playoffs, with the Bulls winning in seven games. However, once the Pistons and Bulls defeated the Bullets and Cavaliers 3-2 in the opening round of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the rivalry really took off. 

The Detroit Pistons, also dubbed as “The Aggressive Bad Boys,” were the burgeoning force in the Eastern Conference. Yet, the Pistons’ elite defense, faced their greatest test against Bull’s Michael Jordan. On Easter Sunday, Jordan produced 59 points in a nationally broadcast game in Detroit that saw the Bulls win 112-110.

While the teams didn’t like one another, there was a particular anger between Bull’s star Michael Jordan and Pistons star Isaiah Thomas. Thomas felt that Jordan was getting unearned attention. 

Jordan Rules 

Coach Daly instituted what would later become known as the “Jordan Rules” after being destroyed by Jordan for 59 and 61 points the previous two seasons. It demanded aggressive, borderline cruel defensive play against Jordan and consequently his teammates. Additionally, there were many changes in the defenses used, with the goal of confusing the Bull’s star.

This strategy worked, as the Bulls became too focused on matching the Pistons play. Thus, the Pistons took advantage of this and beat them. There were lots of NBA rumors at the time, on how the Bulls were going to get past this loss. 

In 1989, the situation worsened. More than ever, Detroit was aggressive, determined, and brutal. With the top record in the East, they easily advanced through the first two rounds of the playoffs. While the Bulls were also getting better; as they defeated New York in the second round, it was their first appearance in the conference finals since 1975. 

The Bulls took a 2-1 series lead during the first three games, demonstrating to everyone how much they had developed. The Pistons, though, persisted in their position. They tightened their grip and began to annoy the Bulls by adhering to the Jordan Rules plan. Once more, they were unable to respond, and the Pistons won the following three games to take the series.

The Bulls Make A Comeback

The Bulls were aware that the Pistons were the only club standing between them and a championship at the start of the 1990s. They changed coaches in order to find a solution, promoting Phil Jackson, and together with coach Tex Winter, the two came up with a strategy to deal with the Pistons’ “Jordan Rules” defense. 

The Triangle Offense is the name of the system they came up with. Five players on the court were instructed to occupy particular locations on the court. Even though the plan was intricate, the objective was to provide the offense good spacing and offer the ball handler the opportunity to pass to any of the four teammates.

For the first time, Chicago had home-court advantage when both clubs faced in the Conference Finals for the third consecutive year. It was a landslide victory for the Bulls.

With 7.9 seconds left, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, and Mark Aguirre made one final act of rebellion by leaving the court rather than congratulating the Bulls. The Bulls then went on to win another three NBA Finals.

Are The Pistons And Bulls Still Rivalries Today?

After this breakthrough, both teams wouldn’t face one another again for a long time. The Bulls went on to win six titles in eight years. While the Pistons still did well, they didn’t become title contenders.

In 2006, the rivalry returned once again, once the Bulls signed Ben Wallace, who was the basis of the Piston’s defense. However, how often these two teams met one another has become less frequent. Yet, the rivalry and hatred between the two teams has never vanished. 

Final Thoughts

The Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls are longtime rivalries for one another. This rivalry really heated up from 1988 through the 1990s. This is one of the most intense and bitter rivalries in NBA history. Not only do these two teams not like one another, yet at times players in opposite teams have had personal rivalries. 

Today, the rivalry isn’t as intense, but it is still bubbling under the surface whenever these two teams face each other.