By Yusuf Gadlin
The Chicago Bulls have a real chance to win the NBA championship next year. Bulls’ fans let that sink in for a minute.
This by far is the deepest Bulls team since the Michael Jordan era, with new key editions such as prized Forward Nikola Mirotic from overseas who averaged 11.6 points on 57.6 shooting two points shots and 35.4% from shooting threes (not so good). But last year he shot 41.7 from 3 (really good). Factor in the big free agent signing of Paul Gasol who averaged 17.5 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers last year, add in sweet shooting rookie lottery pick Doug McDermott who is currently tearing up the summer league dropping 31 points in a recent game.
Derrick Rose will make his debut with Team USA at the end of the month, hopefully showing the world he still has his explosiveness, and is ready to reclaim his spot as the NBA best point guard. Let’s not forget reining Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah; another season of improvement from Taj Gibson; Defensive Specialist Jimmy Butler; and the “John Paxson of our day” Kirk Hinrich has recently resigned with the Bulls.
Wow, can you say loaded?! Especially in a new and improved Eastern Conference that saw LeBron James go back to Cleveland, Carmelo Anthony stay put in New York, Lance Stephenson chucking the deuces’ to Indiana to sign with the upstart Charlotte Hornets, and of course the Miami Heat who retooled accordingly signing former Bull Loul Deng, former All star Danny Granger, do-it-all big man Josh McRoberts, and of course Mr. Heat himself Dwyane Wade. Oh, not to mention those Washington Wizards who greatly improved by signing Paul Pierce, probably the most underrated move of free agency and it rivals the Bulls move with Pau Gasol.
And finally, you have the Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Indiana Pacers, a team who I view as the Wild Card of the Eastern Conference, never knowing what type of team will hit the floor when the ball goes up in the air. But despite all of the above teams mention, the Chicago Bulls still have the better team in the Eastern Conference. Even if Cleveland some how lands Kevin Love, to me the Bulls will still have a slight edge over the Cavilers. The Bulls are battle tested. They have the best coach in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago has the best big man frontline with Gasol, Noah and Gibson in the entire NBA. The franchise potentially gets back a MVP player in Derrick Rose who is dying on the inside to remind the world of his greatness. Finally they have the best defense in the NBA. These are not opinions ladies and gentlemen these are facts! And the Cleveland Cavaliers’ just have LeBron James only the best player in the world –but after him things get a little dicey for them. Kyrie Irving has to be a sidekick now after being the face of the franchise for the past four years.
While he is a dominant point guard offensively, defensively he is horrible and has never even sniffed the playoffs. They do have this year number 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins who has shown star potential in summer league, but for how long? The Cavs are now willing to trade him for Kevin Love another star on the offensive end, a walking double double, but again, plays horrible defense and has never came close to leading his team to a playoff birth.
Then you have Dion Waiters a very talented two guard; but can he except being the third option now that it will be the LeBron and Kyrie show? I doubt it. I expect him to be traded at some point between now in the February trading deadline. As for everybody else on Cleveland roster, the Bulls should be able to shut them very easily. If Derrick Rose stays healthy look out Chicago. This is the break the Bulls have waiting and looking for. They have to cash in on this opportunity. Paul Gasol has already said he signed with the Bulls because they are a hungry, turning down bigger offers because he believes Chicago presents him with the best opportunity to win another championship.
The Bulls play together and are the true definition of a team; and, their hope of winning a championship falls on the shoulders of Derrick Rose. This is the moment D-Rose wanted and it is finally here. Can he finally stay healthy and lead the Bulls to their seventh franchise title? Only time will tell.