The Cleveland Cavaliers have landed Kevin Love pushing the Bulls out of the top spot of the Eastern Conference.
Bulls Beat #332 - No love
As you said today and I wrote yesterday, the Bulls have a chance to take the ECF, but that will depend on M and M, which I assume is obvious. I like the Bulls chances.
However, Thibs has (HAS) to wisely utilize and develop all the team's assets, but especially these two guys. If he does that, they will be contenders for the title for years. I like their chances.
Recall, too, that the Bulls still have the assets to land a really good SG if needed. I hope they wait on that to see if Snell continues his development and how McDermott fits as a starter.
The Bulls have the potential to be the favorites. Thib's system has managed to make 1+1=3 with the limited assets at his disposal the last 4 seasons. Considering the depth and variety of talent, we could be looking at 1+1=4 or 5 next season. Assuming a starting lineup of Rose, McD, Butler, Gasol, Noah...each of those players can provide at least one unique skill set at a relatively high level, with no major corresponding deficiency on either side of the ball. This could be a very Spurs-like team.
I also like the Bulls chances and really believe the lineup will be the biggest key to success. Everyone has Gasol starting beside Noah, but I think his chemistry would be better served as center coming off the bench with Mirotic at stretch four. A bench consisting of Gasol, Mirotic, Dunleavy, Snell, and Hinrich could do some serious damage because that would be enough scoring and defense to outplay any bench in the NBA. The offense could easily run through Gasol and Mirotic with Dunleavy, Snell, and Hinrich playing strong defense and getting plenty of pick and rolls and give and goes. That also gives you a starting five of Rose, Butler, McDermott, Gibson, and Noah which gives you the strongest defense in the league, plus opens up the floor for any type of attack. I really don't think Cleveland can match up with both lineups, and their big three will need to play twice as much as the guys we have spread out in a ten deep rotation. Put Aaron Brooks in the mix for more scoring and that's just fuel to the five.
Good analysis. Regardless of the precise starting and bench lineups, both should be really excellent. The coaches need to use them all!
Even use Brook, Bairstow, and Smith, as one or more might be needed for a mid-season trade for the SG.
The current Bulls roster is much better than the 2011 roster when they won 63 games. The Cavs roster is worst than the 2011 Heat roster (2 superstars plus one almost superstar vs 1 superstar plus 2 starts). We have basically 2 set of starting line ups that can match any team. This is going to be a good problem for Thibs, but with quality players, he can show now how good of a coach he is. The Mavs and Spurs show the league on how to beat a bunch of Hollywoods, and the Bulls are basically following the same path. Think of the Lakers who decided to join forces with Kobe, D. Howard and Nash a couple years ago and what happened to them? The first year of star alliance is not likely to produce success. I would even edge the Washington Wizards and the Bulls to meet in the ECF before the Cavs this year.
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