In what comes as a shock to no one, Lebron James was successful yet again at gathering some of the NBA's top talent together to play for a championship. This time, Kevin Love, a top target for the Chicago Bulls in free agency, will complete Lebron's new big 3 in Cleveland.
Though no one is shocked, there should be plenty of thoughts provoked by this recent move that I'd like to list below:
1. Lebron James is the best player AND best GM in the game
Everyone wanted to pat each other on the back in Miami after Lebron, Wade, and Bosh were able to come together and win a championship. It was Pat Riley, the "mastermind"....It was Spoelstra, able to balance all the star power....It was Wade, open to sharing his stardom in Miami with others.
No, folks, it was all about Lebron.
Look no further than what they were able to get after Lebron went to Cleveland. Luol Deng? Danny Granger? Josh McRoberts? ooph
2. Lebron and his big 3 will be hated in Chicago
Make no mistake about it. Yes, Lebron finally made the right decision, and yes he did earn some folks' respect back but Chicago, unlike a lot of other NBA cities, has a grudge with Lebron that exists on the basketball court. They took what looked like would be our Eastern Conference in 2011. They stayed healthy in 2012 and rubbed our faces in it with 2 playoff 5 game whoopings. And remember, the Bulls and Lebron began their rivalry when he was dancing in Noah's face while playing for Cleveland....."Cleveland?!?! I never heard anyone going to Cleveland for vacation"
3. Everything is equal between Chicago and Lebron right now
Don't forget that. Even though Lebron now carries championship rings and has surrounded himself with a formidable championship caliber team, all things are equal right now. They were in 2011 when the Bulls had a chance to beat Miami in the Eastern Finals, and the Bulls yet again have that opportunity.
We've seen a little Kyrie and a little Love, but none of that matters playing with Lebron. These young players will have to learn much earlier in their careers compared to Wade and Bosh how to play with the best player in the league....and fast.
Chris Bosh had already proved he could take a backseat after he played a key role on the USA Basketball team. Wade, at the age of 30, was ready to win more rings and nothing else.
Are young studs Kyrie Irving, 22, and Kevin Love, 25, fully committed to taking a backseat to Lebron at this stage of their career?
In Chicago, there's never been any question. While Derrick Rose is coming back from injury yet again, everyone on the team is going to rally around him. And the depth of this Bulls team resembles that of the San Antonio Spurs a year ago.
4. On paper, Chicago is better than Cleveland
C - Varejao/Haywood
PF - Love/Thompson
F - Lebron/Jones
SG - Ray/Miller/Waiters
PG - Kyrie/JL III
C - Noah/Gasol
PF - Taj/Mirotic/Bairstow
F - Dunleavy/McDermott
SG - Butler/Snell
PG - Rose/Hinrich/Brooks
Now I know this point may be a stretch, but here's the thing....Cleveland has more question marks than Chicago.
For one, Varejao, Haywood, Kyrie, and Love all have missed significant time. That and add in Mike Miller and potentially Ray Allen, and you have a very fragile team.
Derrick Rose is fragile, but after that the Bulls (knock on wood) have been pretty solid. Hinrich will be taking a small role, and luckily Brooks is there to hopefully supplant him as the back-up PG because Hinrich's best days were in a different century.
As for match-ups, we saw with San Antonio how huge of a role the frontcourt played. Specifically, interior offense and ball movement. The Spurs fully embarrassed Miami's interior defense, and that was a team that had been together several years. Put two of the top 3 big men passers in the league together in Noah and Gasol (not to mention 7 footers versus having Boozer out there) against a new front line with new coach and the Bulls will have a major dominance up front.
The Bulls have tried to match-up with Lebron by putting Deng out there as their stopper, but it really doesn't matter. McDermott may end up starting not too far into the season anyway, with Dunleavy a question mark as far as durability goes.
The other major match-up advantages are the bench and the coach.
Nobody in Chicago is reserved whatsoever with what Thibs is trying to run. They believe in it and know it well. They know if they don't, they won't play. Who the hell is going to be the coach in Cleveland (after Lebron).
The Bulls' will bring Mirotic, Taj or Gasol, Brooks, Hinrich, Snell, Bairstow, and McDermott off the bench. All these players are capable of starting. Snell and McDermott were the highlights of summer league showing off the ability to straight drain the 3. McDermott is a bigger Chandler Parsons. He's a better shooting Gordon Hayward. And he's a good athlete too.
And Mirotic? The majority of Euro scouts believe he will be the best European player in the NBA within 3 years. A 3/4 capable of playing either position well, he is known as a physical presence who can shoot and bang down low.
It's great to project but here's what Bulls fans hate to hear but what remains the reality: it all comes down to Derrick Rose