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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Welcome back, NBA, your sweet siren song is a welcome reprisal from the pain of the current state of the Chicago Bears! Yes, the NBA season opens next Tuesday when our Chicago Bulls take on the Miami Heat. Hard to think that game will determine anything about this season, but the Bulls ARE the only team to have a winning regular season record against the LeBron Heat. However, this preview is about the season as a whole, not the games we have Tuesday and Thursday, so hows about we talk about what the Bulls can accomplish this year?

What’s Realistic?

The overall sentiment I’ve been getting from fans and the media is… hell there is no overall sentiment. Nobody can agree! Some think the Bulls will end up as the 5th seed (behind Miami, Indiana, Brooklyn, and New York), some think the Bulls will lose to the Heat in the East Finals, some think the Bulls will win the title! Hell, I’m sure someone thinks they’ll miss the playoffs as well.

What do I think? I think we, for sure, play Miami in the East finals. Indiana is basically Chicago lite, and we kind of have their number. Brooklyn? That’s going to be the most enjoyable train wreck to watch since… well, since last year’s Lakers! The Bulls and Heat will be the #1 and #2 seeds in some order. Thibs plays his guys like it’s the playoffs every regular season game: it’s hard to imagine the Bulls not winning 60+ with Rose looking like he does.

But what happens in that series against Miami? That depends a lot on…

Hey, this is that season I’ve been talking about for the last two years!

If you read the Hoopyball column at all last year you’ll remember me going on and on about how this is the season Chicago constructs their true title team. Luol Deng’s deal is expiring. Boozer has this year and next left. The Bulls have that Bobcat #1 pick and Marquis Teague. Essentially, the Bulls have a package to send somewhere, and it is:

Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, that was fun.

If you've read even one post on this blog you can probably imagine my mental state when Jay Cutler went down after that play. In a second the entire Bears 2013 season went up in flames, most likely, and I had to learn to live with that.

I have. I have chosen to not to cling to the fleeting hope of McCown somehow keeping the Bears afloat through the Cutler-less period so that Jay can carry the team into the playoffs. I did that in 2011 and it crushed me once, so I've taken the road I usually don't travel and embraced the worst-case scenario. The Bears are more than welcome to prove me wrong, but for now here are the facts:

1) This defense is hopelessly and irrevocably lost, and that makes Phil Emery's job easier.
If the Bears defense had repeated its 2012 efforts and Jay had stayed healthy, Phil would have had one hell of a challenge in figuring out how to bring back so many of the key performers and keep this team's financial situation intact. It's a problem we'd have all have been glad to see him deal with, but that ain't happening now. I'll get to my thoughts on what they should do with Cutler in a minute but the simple fact is the defense is now a clean slate for Phil.