Bulls favorites to win the title? It's time to go all in with this team

John Hollinger runs a set of computer rankings to predict how teams will finish the season and how they will perform in the playoffs.    He explains how it works here.

Now, I know all you Bulls fans hate John Hollinger because PER doesn't show Rose as a super elite player, and Hollinger invented the stat and tends to write about it quite a bit.   However, maybe you'll like him a bit more now.


Team Finals Odds Championship
Chicago 31.7% 18.1%
Spurs 29.7% 17.7%
Lakers 28.2% 15.6%
Boston 24.9% 12.4%
Miami 20.2% 10%
Mavs 16.6% 8.2%

That's right John Hollinger has the Bulls with the best odds in the NBA to win the NBA title right now.   

Granted, it's basically a crap shoot as Hollinger sees it.  The Bulls don' thave radically better odds than the Spurs or Lakers.   The Heat and Celtics aren't far off either.   However, the output of most statistical simulations is going to chunk teams together.

Seeing this made me realize, it's time to go all in on this Bulls team.  I've been holding back.  I've been trying to be rationale.  I've been trying to be reasonable.  I've been trying to protect my heart from the 'inevitable' playoff loss and hurt.

Can't do it anymore.   Just can't.

There comes a time where you need to believe.   You need to soak it in.   You need to enjoy the ride.  You go into a game against an elite team and expect you'll kick their ass anyway.    To laugh at the idea of the 76ers or Knicks pulling a first round upset.

The thing is, as we've all noticed, the Bulls are winning against every good team in the NBA.  Their streak of big wins dates back to Dec 3rd where Boozer was only in his second game back and Noah was playing with a torn ligament on his thumb.  

Now, I get it, someone you don't want to believe the streak because it's the regular season, and the playoffs are a different animal.  I want to resist it myself.  My natural instinct is not to believe. 

But stop.   Stop and look at how this team plays.   They defend.   My God do they defend.   They rebound.   They crush teams on the glass.   They have a superstar scorer for end of game situations whom no one in the league can guard.   They have one of the best basketball minds in the world coaching their team.  

When you look at how they win.   Those things are all things that become even more important in the playoffs.   The Bulls are built to be a playoff team.   They're built to be even better with more on the line.

I once said the Bulls probably would not win a title in the Derrick Rose era.  

I was wrong.   At this point, the Bulls probably will win a title in the Rose era.   Who's better?  The only team in the list of great teams this year outside of Chicago that isn't on the way down is Miami.   

Chicago's arrow, meanwhile, is still pointing up.   They're going to improve the SG spot this summer.   They have the picks and the cap room to make a move and do it.   They're going to get even better.

I only bring it up, not to hedge my bets on this year, but to point out that the Bulls might not just win the title this year, they're set up to have a potential dynasty.   You add a quality SG who buys in to the defense and can create some offense, and this Bulls team goes from good, to downright scary.

The Bulls are a SG away from being the mid 2000s Pistons, except with the superstar that they lacked.   That may sound like an insult, but that team won a title and competed for one every year for about five seasons.  They were a superstar away from being a dynasty (which granted, is awfully difficult to get). 

The Bulls won't be a superstar away.   They'll have a superstar PG, and all star caliber players at at least three other starting positions with the potential to add a similar caliber player this summer at the final spot.

Not only that, they're set up to keep the depth the Pistons couldn't keep for at least a few seasons because Gibson and Asik still have a few more cheap years left.    This Bulls team still has assets to burn.

I don't want to get cocky with it, there are no guarantees, but it's slowly dawned on me over the past few weeks.   I'm going to be sporting a 1.7% tattoo for the rest of my life at some point, quite possibly this June.

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  • this made my day.

  • Be like Rose....he feels there is no point playing if they don't win. The only two things the Bulls having going against them is :
    1. Can they manufacture shots at crucial times if Rose is off/trapped 2. They have not proven that they can win a playoff series(obviously they are young).
    BTW, I have no hate or love for Hollinger's PER but it seems to be big-time nonsense. Forget Rose, Deng is ranked 119 as a player this year as per his PER.
    Players like Nick Young, Amir Johnson, Ed Davis(I think he is a rookie)etc...are better than Deng according to Hollinger. I guess except for their families and Hollinger, nobody else believes it. It is pure nonsense of a formula.

  • For me it was a while back, once Bogans started to hit shots I moved from the "hey we're a fringe contender, if we could get Afflalo we're favourites" to the "heck, we could win this even with Bogans" camp.

    I think Hollinger is closer to being right about Rose than most Bulls fans, and I think he's closer to being right about the Bulls team than most Bulls fans but in the other direction. His stats have had the Bulls in the contending group for months, even when some people were still telling us the team was mediocre.

    Still if they don't win it this year I am a bit worried because the rumor that they attempted Brewer + 3 picks for Mayo suggests they still could screw it up. At this point if they fall short I'm praying for the lockout to come before they can make a stupid panic deal.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Hollinger has the Bulls now as his second ranked team and with a 19% chance of winning the title, higher than any team except the Lakers.

    I don't think he's right about Rose, though. I don't think he gets it. A player's individual impact isn't confined to a certain number, no matter how cleverly conceived. Until Hollinger truly understands that beyond lip service, then he will continue to undervalue certain players and overvalue others -- just like everybody else.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I don't think he's even a Rose hater, he was mostly just saying Rose should be getting to the line more to be more efficient. He was certainly right back when Rose was getting 5 FTA a game, and he's still right even though he's upped that to about 7 since he made that observation.

    And as good as Rose is I think efficiency is still a concern with his game, even as much as he's improved this year in many ways. Given the way he finished last year his shooting percentage is pretty disappointing. He shot 54.4% on twos after the all-star break last year, this year he's at 47.4%, on fewer two point attempts per game. Isn't the threat of the three, even though he's struggled with it lately, supposed to open up better chances inside for him?

    I know, it seems unfair to expect even more out of Rose, but if Rose was shooting like he did to finish last year the Bulls offense is probably no longer the knock on the championship chances. That extra basket a game from Rose is the difference between having the 19th and the 10th ranked offense in the league (better than the Celtics or Magic).

    I don't know, I hate to be too negative about Rose because he has improved this year but it seemed scoring wise Rose could put up 25 a game on 50% this year given what he was able to do last season and although he's got the volume his percentage isn't even close.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I don't think an extra shot would make it better. Actually, what we need is more assists from Rose. If Rose gets an assist, that means the Bulls made an easy shot because he had drawn attention usually.
    I don't have any issues with his threes. He will get better on that and that can be huge in some games as momentum changers. Let him practice all he wants now in real games. As long as the Heat are falling apart and the Bulls are winning just enough to keep the second seed, I wouldn't care what Rose is doing. If he gets his three point shots to go in at 40%(the real ones, I don't mean the shot clock expiring shots, period ending shots), that would be great.
    If there is anything Rose has to work on, it is his turnovers and passing. He needs to mature bball wise when to shoot and when to pass. That's coming soon.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Rose's percentage has dropped so much that on his volume it's actually a whole extra two point shot he's missing a game. To state the obvious, an extra shot going in rather than not is worth two points (minus the expected value of the offensive rebound, which the Bulls grab 29% of the time). I really don't see how people can think it's not a big deal Rose isn't shooting as well this year as he was last year.

    I'm not even complaining about the threes, even with the threes he would still be shooting 50% if he could hit his twos like he did to close out last year (basically for the whole year after the first couple of months when he was hobbled with the ankle injury).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm not doubting he should be more efficient. I'm just saying that that alone doesn't define Rose's or any other player's impact on a team's success.
    You will never see Hollinger look beyond PER when he evaluates and compares players. I've never seen him think outside of the little box he's created for himself.

  • In reply to walrus:

    i don't get it, either. i don't know why some people want to dismiss what they can't quantify. hollinger is a smart guy, he knows basketball, and it seems he wants to pretend that looking at the bench to see how teams interact is not important. i could make a pretty easy argument that the difference between the bulls' record and the heat's is not statistically significant, especially since the bulls are in a weaker division. so the "chemistry is a function of winning" argument is negated, and you have to ask why is it that the bulls chemistry is so good and the heat's is so poor? rose is the best player, primary ball-handler, and unquestioned leader of the bulls. lebron is the best player, primary ball-handler, and wait, who is the leader? these things matter, and to pretend that they don't, or don't exist, is arrogant. you have to have the humility to accept that there are real quantities in the universe that we are unable (so far, and possibly may never) be able to measure.

  • In reply to walrus:

    while I agree on a gut level with your feelings about his PER, aren't the top 5-6 players in some order or another Lebron, Wade, Kobe, Durrant, Howard and maybe Chris Paul.

    So how bad can it be. It is a simple mathematical formula not necessarily his opinion.

    Rose has the lowest shooting percentage and PER of any top player.

    I am among those who has been concerned by Rose's plummeting shooting percentage all year, especially the number of misses and blocks at the rim. He has been shooting better from mid range and the three but converting less on his drives. to me he is taking to many high degree of difficulty shots.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    In some ways PER is an opinion in that the weight given to various stats is chosen arbitrarily by Hollinger to fit what he thinks they should be worth.

    The other funny thing is the most common criticism of PER is that it over rates volume scorers even if they aren't efficient, and yet that describes Rose and some Bulls fans think he's being short changed by it.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Said it many times but I really think Hollinger is one of the least dogmatic of the big name stats guys. If you want to see what someone who never looks past his formula is like, go read David Berri's blog (heck, do it anyway for a laugh, did you know the Warriors are going to win 50+ with David Lee this year?)

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    David Berri made me laugh when he said that Landry Fields deserved to be in the all-star game over Rose. I'm about 50% sure that he's an android.

    I don't how to compare these guys, they all seem pretty dogmatic. As for Hollinger, I've never seen him give anything more than lip service...He loves to talk about how he watches so many games, but whenever he ranks players for MVP, or when someone asks him who's better, Player A or Player B -- his opinion is invariably in the same order as their PER ranking. But I haven't seen all his opinions. Maybe I've missed a time when he hasn't followed his formula to the letter, so if you find an example where his opinions differed from his rankings, I'd really like to see it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'd be more confident if we had a 2-guard...my guess is we will lose to Boston in 7 games in the ECF.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The Bulls have a clear shot at this thing. Their defense will keep them in every game and Rose can carry the team offensively most of the time. All that being said, a second player has to step up and take some of that pressure off come playoff time. The best candidate right now is Boozer. He can score efficiently but the Bulls need to get him more involved. Korver is another candidate. If both of these guys can step up in the playoffs, then the Bulls will be a lot tougher to guard on offense and will make a serious run at the ring.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I agree..If Korver and Boozer(they are there for their offense)play to their standards, the Bulls will win. And somebody from the other guys will step up(one of Bogans, Brewer, CJ, Noah, Butler).
    The other thing is I feel that the Bulls can beat the Celtics(Celtics will be a little bit over-confident). The Lakers and the Bulls have Kobe and Noah to irritate Garnett. Orlando, Miami, Atlanta or even Spurs don't have that.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I totally agree, the other thing from an offensive standpoint is that Noah isn't even back to his pre-injury form. Once he starts to get confidence in his short jumper again like he had back in Nov-Dec, the Bulls will have another place to get points from and it will open up more space for Boozer on the block.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I think we can all go "all in" without the fear of complete devestaion, simply because this team should be great for another 5-10 years

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=6196843

    big time!

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    Nice article. If Reinsdorf believes the Bulls are a title caliber team then maybe he'll spend the money to make sure we get there.

  • In reply to walrus:

    first thing i thought, "jerry's paying the luxury tax!"

  • In reply to walrus:

    I don't think the Bulls are going to win a title in the Rose/Boozer era. This is a very good Bulls team, and I think signing Boozer was the correct move by GarPax. But I see Boozer as one of those players that will go his entire career without getting a ring. As far as i'm concerned, he's this era's Barkley, Ewing, Stockon and Malone.

  • In reply to JimmyBulls:

    I don't think that he is anywhere near the class of those guys, i.e. the Hall of Fame.

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    Wow Jerry ... just wow ...
    Love the confidence ... and I feel like we could win a couple as well ... but you NEVER come out and say things like this.

    What are we now? The next Lebron predicting championships already?
    Just keep your mouth shut Jerry and enjoy the ride if it happens.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    I like it, I like it a lot. I want my owner talking like this, displaying this type of confidence & comitment

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    now the players & the coach? That's a little different, I want them doing their talking on the court

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I want them all to have this kind of confidence and commitment as well ...
    But does a young team that's just about to break that barrier into bonafide contender, need more pressure?
    I know they already have this expectation of themselves ...
    But I'd prefer if they just quietly went about their business and kept improving along the way.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    I think if you ask any of these players, and they will tell you no one puts any more pressure on them than they do themselves. Anf what Jerry said is nothing compared to what fans must say.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    "Who's to say that we can't win it this year?" - D. Rose, quoted in that Reinsdorf article. Remember the last time he said something like that? "Why not me?", wasn't that it?

    YOWZAAA! And no, no apologies for YELLING today!

  • In reply to petert23:

    Yes! Shout it out!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    That should be the Bulls slogan this year..."Why Not Us?"

  • In reply to walrus:

    +1000!

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    No Tyrus tonight per ESPN, and Cap'n Jack doubtful... carefull, but GO BULLS!
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6197078

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Things that need to happen to get to the finals and/or win a ring:

    1. Bogans keeps hitting open looks.
    2. Korver gets back on track hitting shots
    3. This defensive intensity and rebounding peak surge continues through the playoffs
    4. Lu continues to silently play most games at all-star level and continues to be aggressive slashing to the bucket and hitting his mid-range shot
    5. The turkish big bird continues to alter shots, grab massive amounts of o-boards, and d up big men like he did Howard. "Omey don't play that." Thank you Stacey.
    6. Boozy doesn't settle for fade aways all the time and bangs down low a bit more. We know he can get position and seal most guys down low. Don't pertend your a SG like soft Bosh.
    7. The good CJ Watson shows up more than the bad CJ Watson.
    8. Taj continues to bring his lunch pail to work.
    9. Brew starts owning the baseline again.
    10. D.Rose continues to lead on the floor.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    "Omey don't play like that!"

    love it Stace, that's the kind of stuff I miss when the Chicago networks get blacked out around here. BYW. I missed Pippen's broadcast, how'd he do?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I didn't know Pip did a broadcast. But, he is at pretty much every home game on the floor.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    As for the comparison between the Pistons and Bulls should they get an all-around SG, I think you got the right team, but the wrong era. I actually think this Bulls team is more like the Bizarro Bad Boys.

    Asik is pretty close to Rodman. Rebounding beast, can throw out some game changing-D, can't hit the side of a barn from the free throw line.

    Noah is like Laimbeer in that he is the opposing center other teams hate, but would love on their team. Skill sets are much different, but they could both heavily impact games.

    Kurt Thomas is like Kevin Edwards. Wily big man mostly along for the ride, but can give you quality minutes when necessary and good for an elbow or two during that time.

    Kyle Korver is like Vinnie Johnson. Can come in and give you instant offense.

    Thibs is like Chuck Daly. Defense oriented, and while you may dislike his team or their play, you actually find yourself liking him.

    Rose and Thomas is just too obvious a parallel, except that Rose is bigger, faster, better and a helluva lot more likable.

    So, we need our Joe Dumars (playing SG, not destroying the franchise with insane FA signings or historically bad drafting).

  • In reply to saigman:

    I thought Doug WAS talking about the Bad Boys. I know I was. I got my eras confused. I definitely think they're more like the Bad Boys minus the dirty play and overall bad sportsmanship.

  • In reply to magestew:

    "The Bulls are a SG away from being the mid 2000s Pistons, except with the superstar that they lacked."

    I actually had to re-read it a couple times before I noticed the difference.

    Asides from starting SG, I think this team is across the board way better than that Pistons team circa 03-07, coach included.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Actually this team reminds me more of the 90's Patrick Ewing Knicks under Pat Riley and JVG, minus the mugging and thugging.

    A team that wins with defense and busts it hump all the time to overcome the fact that it is less talented than other top teams, but ultimately a team that cannot make it over the hump(or humps)in the playoffs. Not sure if even a significant upgrade at SG makes us better than that.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I like Hollinger's stats, by the way, I just don't like the way he's so dogmatic about them. That's the trap with statistics. On the one hand, they're useful and they teach us a lot of hidden value in the game. On the other hand, it's easy to get sucked and believe it explains everything. It's largely based on economic-style theories. We're not talking about hard science here with immutable law or theory supported by mountains of evidence. This is soft science and there's plenty of room for interpretation and plenty that we still don't know -- and maybe never will know. When people pretend otherwise and use it to definitively declare one player better than another, it gets annoying. This is where Hollinger gets dogmatic. He sees no way how a player like Kobe Bryant or Derrick Rose can contribute more to a team than someone like LeBron James.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I may have quoted this here already, but it's an Oldie and a Goodie...

    "Statistics are like a bikini: what they reveal is fascinating - but what they conceal is vital!"

  • In reply to Crowned:

    CJ seems pretty consistent to me, however when you have limited minutes, your mistakes are amplified

  • In reply to Crowned:

    I recently said two things that I'm willing to say I was wrong about:
    1). That the Bulls would need minor miracles to make the ECF due to lack of good play away from home.
    2). Asik would have been better off being dealt for a good SG

    As for point #1, after this past week, I think the Bulls could steal an away game if necessary in the playoffs. Maybe not a game seven, but if you steal an earlier game, you may not need to get that far. Watching the Miami Massengills self-destruct isn't really a minor miracle in so much that it is just another example of chemistry at work: certain things (whiny/wimpy star PF, whiny/wimpy megastar SG and egomaniac/megastar SF) just don't mix well. I also think Boston traded away their defensive anchor. I don't see the O'Neals keeping up with Noah in a long series.

    2). Asik probably makes a bigger difference against the Celtics and Massengills than would OJ Mayo at this point. The way he controls the boards when Noah is out is impressive, and I like that he both doesn't shy away from the phony tough guys (Bosh/Garnett) and has embraced his Euro-basketball heritage (exaggerated flops to sell fouls). The fact he is usually only good for 1 out of 2 isn't even the point...getting the other guys in foul trouble faster pays big dividends late in games.

    I still get a little nervous about Rose being trapped constantly or someone like LeBron sticking him...but I trust Thibs is working on counter-measures or would shake things up.

    If Reinsdorf believes they can go for 4 titles, I'm not going to argue with him.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Omey doesn more than not shy away from the soft big guys. He has proven he can bang with the best big guys like Howard and totally take them out of their game. He's good at drawing charges, is usually in position to board and always has a hand up to contest shots. He is not afraid of contact.

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    ANYONE SELLING 3 TICKETS TO SATURDAYS GAME VS THE JAZZ?????

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    Looks like Lakers now is 32.0% 19.6%
    Bulls 34.4% 18.5%

  • In reply to p5688114:

    i love how it's computed to the tenths place, with no error. and this from the advanced stats guru (hollinger, not you tree).

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I believe Lakers will return to the Finals again

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree. Home court will be extremely important to the Bulls. It would be more important to the Bulls than it would be for Boston or LA if they play Chicago in the post season.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I have a simple formula I use for picking a title winner. Assuming the teams are healthy and playing their absolute best ball, who has the best team? I'm not talking about best individual talent. I'm not talking about who would win individual one-on-one matchups at each of the 5 positions.

    I'm talking best TEAM. From coaching to athleticism to team defense to depth to the way the players compliment each other on offense to the way the offensive system compliments the players. With this criteria I think the Bulls can beat any team in the east in the post season. I wouldn't say the Bulls are a runaway favorite in the east this season, but with their great team defense, rebounding and depth, Rose can carry the Bulls past any team in the east if they're playing their best ball as a group.

    There are a couple of teams in the west, however, that concern me. If the Bulls made it to the finals and faced the Spurs I'd be concerned about the Spurs' defense, the ability of Ginobili and Parker to score in so many different ways, and their team 3pt shooting. I think they'd have as much chance of beating the Bulls as the Bulls wold have of beating them.

    And then there are the Lakers. I think they're still the best team in the league when healthy and focused. With Pau and Bynum in the post, Odom's versatility, team defense, and of course Kobe and Phil doing what they do, that's the one post season matchup that I think the Bulls would have little chance of winning if the Lakers play their best ball...at least this season.

  • In reply to magestew:

    I Agree. Bynum is healthy now and playing like an all-star, Gasol too. Boozer has extreme difficulty against length and may disappear against the Lakers massive frontline. Bulls are still a piece or two away from being a truly dominant team.

    I

  • In reply to magestew:

    i think our frontline, defensively, matches up well with the lakers. kobe is a problem for us, but not as much as rose is for them. and our success against teams that can't really slow rose down/bother him is really high. spurs are toug at home, but we can definitely get one because they can't stop rose and have no one to protect the rim. i think the celtics are the toughest matchup for us by far.

  • In reply to walrus:

    "The Bulls are a SG away from being the mid 2000s Pistons"
    Doug...have been reading my posts? I posted a similar statement somewhere (can't remember if it was your blog or another one) either late last week or earlier this week. It's cool to see someone else say this.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Yeah...I meant the Bad Boy Pistons minus the a-holes. I think that's what I said in my past post on a different board. My brain was still foggy this morning. But the 2000 Pistons were a damn good defensive squad, too. But I think they were the fortunate recipients of a crappy eastern conference and the ideal matchup against the Lakers.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Loved this article - it's really time to buy in and believe, enjoying the ride...
    Lets Go Bulls !!

  • In reply to walrus:

    As shown in the rankings, no team is far and away better than the rest. The road to a championship this year for the Bulls would not be easy, but they definitely have as good a chance as any team on that list as long as Rose stays healthy. Some might say that we shouldn't pin our hopes on one player's health, but take Kobe, Wade or Lebron, Garnett or Pierce, or Durant off of their teams and I think they legitimately fall out of the race too, so I don't know that that argument would be really relevant.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I'm sold. Lets win it all THIS year.

    I also think that the next CBA will benefit the Bulls. I believe there will be some sort of hard cap and other than extending 1 or 2 of your own draft picks there will be no way of going over that value. Teams over that hard cap value (Lakers, Magic etc) will have to reduce their expenditure over a period of time so will not be able to use any exemption that the new CBA does include.

    So with the Bulls having cap space (even if the cap is reduced salary rollback should still mean some cap space) and draft picks they will be in a very strong position to upgrade whereas the majority of contending teams are over the cap and will therefore have to let go some of their valued role players. [OKC SAC and Clips are in the same position as the Bulls so can see them also improving]

  • In reply to walrus:

    For me its more about Hollinger rigidly adhering to his stat, rather than his stat failing to show Rose as a top level elite stud.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Great Article. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to buy in, Im agreein g with @schaumburgfan. When (not if) When teams trap rose can the rest of the guys step up and knock down open shots. Will boozer be able to play solid defense. Will Jo stop trying to run guys off the Three point line and continue to get beat. Will Luol do his 1st or second half disappearing act? Can the bench continue to produce. All these are viable questions. I just hope the answer is yes to all of these, because thats what its going to take for us to win a title. Everything has to click all at the same time. If Ron Artest doesnt play well in game 7 last year LA doesnt win. The bulls have to get it from everyone to win a title. With that being said. Im going to go all in... I love the bulls and i want to see them win a title and win this year. Im going to my third game this year on friday against ATL... Lets go bulls

  • In reply to walrus:

    forget about the denger?? haha

  • I kinda disagree with you here:

    "Who's better? The only team in the list of great teams this year outside of Chicago that isn't on the way down is Miami."

    While you are correct that our prospects are as good as any team going forward, by limiting yourself to that list, you're kinda forgetting about teams like Oklahima City, the Knicks, or hell, even the Clippers, that can very easily make the same jump we made from last year to this one (If Perkins gets healthy, OKC might be able yo make that jump before the playoffs). Point being, other teams will be getting better also, and we need to be worried about them as well.

    Plus, one thing that scares me about this team is injuries. We've already seen our fair share this year, and our core players seem to be made up mostly of guys that are somewhat prone to injury. Luckily Rose hasn't been one of them, and I hope to God it stays that way.

    All that being said, I definitely share your optimism. I'm all in for this season, and have high hopes or the future as well

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I agree OKC and even the Clippers are a young teams that can compete. OKC got the bigs they need now and a very well balanced team around young studs Durant and Westbrook to be good for many years.
    The Celtics, Spurs, and Lakers are all aging fast and nearing the end of their dynasty period.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    Heck even Portland with getting Wallace are going to be climbing in the West if they can stay healthy! They have some good young players and great athletism in Wallace even if he is nearing 30. They really screwed up by drafting Oden instead of Durant as they would be a contender in the West right now if they did!

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I do hope the stats hold some truth to them but we all know, no team wins a championship on paper. Come playoff time it will be about match UPS and adjustments and I do hope that the Bulls defense will hold firm and get better and just like the team knows that they have to get better spacing when it comes to their offensive opportunities cause IMO that's where the real challenge will be. The Bulls are indeed on the cusp of being a championship team, they just have to complete it on the court now.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    Good piece. I agree that it's time to buy in. That's not to say it's a guarantee, but it's denial not to admit the Bulls are a legit contender. I would probably add the Thunder to the list of teams to contend with in the future. I strongly disagree about the Clippers being included quite yet. Yes, they could take the leap we took, but that's not assured. Everyone thought Portland was the next dynasty before they accomplished anything. I shared people's enthusiasm for their team, but scolded my friends who threw the term dynasty around for a team that wasn't yet a contender. A lot has to go right for a team in the Clippers position to get to where we are now, yet alone to the gold.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I wonder how many chamionship teams were in the top three in rebounding in the league? What are the Bulls number one or two?

    As much I detest Pat Riley he was right when he said the team that wins the battle of the rebounds is the one who gets the ring(or something like that but the point was the same). And all the offensive rebounds just take a lot of pressure off our shooters(Kyle, C.J., Bogans). We may have the coach, system, and players to win, but sometimes it takes playoff experiences/failures together to make a championship team. We'll see.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    No rebounds, no Rings.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I was thinking along the same line as Doug, i.e. this Bulls team reminds me of the superstar-less Pistons except DRose is a superstar. If they get a quality SG, and stay healthy, I agree we got a championship caliber team for years to come. By the way, the demeanor of DRose reminds me of Tim Duncan more than any other NBA player. Just look at their facial expressions, the way they carry themselves on and off the court... and yes, both are among the best ever at their respective positions. Did anyone think the same? Just curious.

  • How great would it be to play the Lakers in the finals? Stern would love that with all the story lines it involves. Phil Jackson against his first team in his last go around, the Bulls won their first title against an aging Lakers team that had been written off but managed to make the finals and history repeating itself. The way the Lakers are playing recently, they scare me. But it would be a great matchup.

  • "I once said the Bulls probably would not win a title in the Derrick Rose era."

    What would ever make you say something like that?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    "If you don't see something special in Derrick Rose, then you're blind," -Jerry Reindorf

    I remember I saw it first after the Bulls aquired the #1, and I was looking at still pictures of Rose while he was driving to the hoop. You could just see a look in his eyes that was special.

    Since then I have laughed at those who laughed at Rose when he proclaimed he would compete for MVP. This kid has the it factor & he is only scratching the surface.

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