by Yusuf Gadlin
The Chicago Bulls are preparing for playoff battle. In a season full of injuries, disappointing losses, and unforeseen coaching gossip the Bulls seem ready to equip their battered bodies with the necessary armory capable of dethroning King James and his Cavaliers. The Bulls’ chemistry will be the determining factor if they are going to fend off opponents and capture a seventh franchise championship.
The Bulls have shown flashes of the dominant team they can be. My problem is, can they finally put it all together and be that juggernaut force to be reckoned with? Aaron Brooks being back on the bench will be a huge addition to the Bulls second unit. Brooks has been dialed in lately, and looks primed for meaningful playoff minutes. I’m not sure if I trust Chicago rookie forward Nikola Mirotic just yet. Mirotic has been fabulous in the months of February and March leading the NBA in 4th quarter scoring. But it seems as the pressure builds towards the playoffs, and every halftime pep talk becomes more intensified, Mirotic’s game seems a little too shaky for my taste. Seeing how the 6’10 sharp shooter is not technically a true NBA rookie with all his professional overseas experience,this bothers me tremendously because if Mirotic can’t handle the physicality of the post-season and the scrutiny of Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau for playing timid and pump faking all the damn time, Mitotic might check out mentally.
Thank God for Taj Gibson.
If Mitotic happens to fold under the pressure, Taj Gibson will be more than ready to pick up the slack. Gibson may lack the outside shooting that Mitotic brings to the table, But makes up for that with his intensity and smash mouth style of play. I believe Bulls guard Jimmy Butler must now play the leading role for this team during the playoffs. Butler must score and defend like a franchise player if the bulls have any hopes of playing in June. Gasol, Rose, and Noah have to execute their supporting roles if the bulls hope to prosper in the end.
I don’t know if all of these things will come to fruition for the Chicago Bulls. I don’t know if Coach Thibodeau’s final rallying cry will be enough to get his team to place he’d give his soul to take them. The only thing I know is the Bulls team is definitely war ready.