COMMENTARY | A lot of basketball pundits have weighed in on the Chicago Bulls and their chances to win the NBA Eastern Conference. Typically, unless they are a Bulls fan, they see Chicago as a pretender to the throne as well.
Take, for example, Jordan Schultz, who has posted an article on the Huffington Post titled “The Chicago Bulls Won’t Win the East.” Certainly Schultz is a well-established and knowledgeable sports reporter, but he doesn’t see Chicago making it to the final dance. Why?
If we look at the “2011 NBA Playoffs Bracketing” as presented by ESPN, we see the Bulls as the Number One Seed as a result as their 62-20 record — the best in the NBA. However, keep in mind the Bulls were anything but the favored Eastern Conference team at the beginning of the season. The Celtics were high on the list, but most everyone was enamored with the Miami Heat.
Will the Bulls beat their current foe? They nearly lost the first game to the Indiana Pacers. However, due to a super-human effort by Derrick Rose scoring 39 points and creating disruption in a tired Pacers’ defense, the Bulls overcame a 10-point deficit in the last three minutes.
The Indiana Pacers have been playing stellar ball under their new coach and they know they played well enough to win Saturday but the Bulls are going to win and this is where we need to bring Schultz into the conversation.
In his article, Schultz has decided to throw away the statistics and go with his instinct-the Bulls will not win the East, as his title suggests. However, do you agree with the reasoning that the Bulls are too young and inexperienced? I think that the first-game comeback slaps that rationale down. Further, Schultz says Orlando might be a team to watch. The Magic has already lost a game at home to Atlanta.
Again, if we look at the playoff bracketing, we see the top four seeds in order of rank are Chicago, Miami, Boston and Orlando.
If you study the big picture, you would have to concede that either Miami or Boston is not going to the finals because they will no doubt have to play each other.
The championship match to win the Eastern Conference will include the Chicago Bulls against either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat.
The Bulls may not win. However, if they don’t, it won’t be because they’re inexperienced; it will be because they lost to a better effort.
I don’t think it will happen.
What’s my prediction? I say the Bulls will beat the Pacers and then meet Atlanta, who will upset Orlando. They will move on and play Boston, who will have beaten Miami.
Yes, and I say this is the Chicago Bulls’ year.
ESPN Website, “2011 NBA Playoff Bracketing”
Huffington Post Website, Jordan Schultz, “The Chicago Bulls Won’t Win the East”