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?
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: