Scottie Pippen absolutely smothered an offense. The greatest help defender in the game, and he played alongside the best defensive guard in league history.
In tandem, the Bulls would crush opponents… with defense. As Steve Kerr relayed on The B.S. Report, Jeff Van Gundy agrees:
“When we played you guys we didn’t care about the triangle offense,” Van Gundy tells Kerr. “Our biggest concern was just trying to score.”
Pippen’s defense was never more needed than in ‘98 during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. For my money, the most excruciating playoff test the championship Bulls ever faced. An aging team taken to 7 games for only the second time in their storied run (the other being in ‘92 against the Knicks).
A big key in the Bulls ultimate prevail was switching the 6’7 Pippen onto point guard Mark Jackson. It completely stalled Indiana’s precision half court offense, not unlike 6 years prior when Pippen “held” Magic Johnson to 14 and 10, in Game 2 of the Finals.
The Bulls don’t win this series without Pippen; Batman loses without “sidekick” Robin.
(start watching at minute 6:23 for proof)