Skip to main content

MJ'S FAMOUS RETURN SEASON When he dropped 50 on the Bucks


After missing most of his sophomore campaign with a broken foot, Michael Jordan came back strong, eager to prove that he belongs in the NBA’s elite. The recuperated and improved MJ reached new heights over the 1986-87 season, averaging league-leading 37.1ppg.

One of Jordan’s most impressive performances of that unforgettable season came on April 13th, 1987, when he lit up the Bucks with 50 points, by putting on a dazzling display of his spectacular in-game dunks and a wide variety of lay-ups around the hoop.

Knowing well that the Bucks are one of the weakest teams in the category of protecting the rim in the league, MJ had his way with the Bucks designated defenders Sidney Moncrief and Paul Pressey. Then he accelerated, ‘took flight’ and mercilessly attacked whoever stood in his way, without having any second thoughts which might that be.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The Bucks best shot-blocker at the time was center Jack Sikma who averaged 1.1bpg over the 1986-87 campaign. The second best was a power forward Terry Cummings with 1.0bpg, while the Bucks, as a team, averaged the only 4.8bpg, which put them on the 17th spot (out of 23 teams) for the season. Sikma was one of MJ's favorite victims around the rim and is regularly featured in Jordan's top 10 dunks highlights. 

This offensive concept eventually worked perfectly for the Bulls - on the given night, Jordan soared to 50 points on 16-31 shooting from the field and 18-22 from behind the charity stripe! MJ also added nine boards, four assists, four steals, and three blocked shots to the Bulls stat sheet for 114-107 away win in Wisconsin.

In six starts against the Bucks, the team which eliminated the Bulls in the 1985 NBA play-offs, Jordan averaged 34.3ppg, 6.3rpg, and 3.0apg in 38.7 minutes per game. Moreover, he drove the Bucks head coach Don Nelson crazy by propelling the Bulls to 4-2 regular-season record over the Bucks, with two of those wins convincingly right in the Milwaukee’s ‘fortress’ - The Bradley Center.

That season, Jordan came back grandly, transforming the game and proving that he belongs to the NBA elite. He led the league in scoring by averaging 37.1 points per game, to go along with 5.2rpg, 4.6apg, 2.9spg, and 1.5bpg. However, the most telling stat is perhaps that he averaged career-high 11.9 free-throw attempts per game, and was able to connect on 10.2 of those, for 85.7% efficiency.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan in action against the Boston Celtics

“They never won the championship when they had 28 teams and so much parity in the league” - Michael Jordan once dissed the Boston Celtics’ early championships

While the C's are always praised for being a historic franchise and having the most championships many, including Michael Jordan, feel there's a caveat in regards to their achievements.

(11) Dwight Howard, (10) Kobe Bryant, (6) LeBron James and (5)Jason Kidd react on the bench

"They're totally different as far as their personalities" - Dwight Howard on the biggest differences between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

According to DH12, one preferred to be straightforward and quiet, while the other was the type to blast music and let his work do the talking.

LeBron James

LeBron James calls out the media for their treatment of Kyrie Irving compared to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - "I was kind of disappointed"

LeBron calls out the media for having double standards when reporting about Kyrie Irving and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) and teammate Stephen Jackson (3) talk to each other

“How are we gonna explain this to Pop?” - How a bloody paintball match almost got Stephen Jackson and Tim Duncan in deep trouble

Fortunately, a busted lip was all the penalty Stephen Jackson had to endure for not following Gregg Popovich's instructions.

Houston Rockets' big man Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson

"We were the original 'Twin Towers'” - Ralph Samson on playing with Hakeem Olajuwon in the Houston Rockets

Ralph Sampson looked back at his legacy with Hakeem Olajuwon as the original "Twin Towers."