Chicago Bulls Talk: Noah: “Is that what it looks like? Cool.”


According to Sam Smith on Twitter, Joakim Noah respond with “Is that what it looks like? Cool.”, when he was told that it seems like the East will come down to the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. Noah sure doesn’t seem like he wants to say that the Chicago Bulls are a lock for the Eastern Conference Finals already. However, that isn’t stopping all the people I have talked to from picking a Bulls and Cavaliers Eastern Conference Finals. I understand why people are picking the Bulls and Cavaliers to matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals; it’s because it would be the best possible matchup. It is an extremely rare scenario that the two teams that everyone wants ends up matching up in the spot that everyone wants them to or even at all.

What could happen? 

We must assume that each of these teams are going to go through growing pains from either players returning from injury or even just acquiring new players and we can’t really be sure how long those growing pains will go on. The Bulls are getting Derrick Rose back from his second knee injury and he hasn’t really played with these Chicago Bulls since his MVP season in 2010-2011. He’s played with them since then but just 49 games of the last 230 possible regular season games which is just 21% of NBA games. While Cleveland has added a bunch of key additions, some who have played together and with the majority of them not ever playing with each other at all. Teammate chemistry is everything in the game of basketball, and if you don’t have it then the growing pains just simply don’t go away, and then that team won’t have a chance to make the Eastern Conference Finals.

Chicago’s struggle: 

The biggest misconception that I’ve picked up when talking to Bulls fans, is that they believe the Bulls have already locked up the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and most believe they have already punched their tickets to the NBA Finals. I like the confidence, but  the Bulls have been a mess offensively without Derrick Rose in the starting lineup and they hope that they can get the old Derrick Rose back. We all should know that it’s no guarantee that we do get the old Derrick Rose back, we can hope for the best, but it’s a realistic scenario that he’s never the same guy. In the time that Rose has missed the Bulls have been one of the bottom-ten teams in the league in terms of scoring, luckily they have been so good defensively that it hasn’t matter that much. Now that Rose is back, the Bulls have to get back to playing through him and Rose has to learn how to trust his teammates offensively.

Back in his MVP season, Rose didn’t really count on his teammates, he kind of just did everything offensively for the Bulls. Rose’s style is going to have to change a bit if the Bulls want to be championship contenders. Will he be willing to realize that he isn’t the Derrick Rose that he was when he left for injury and that now he actually has offense talent around him? I’m really interested in seeing this team plays but it’s clear that they have work to do. Also, another thing is really the only Bull in the starting lineup that Rose has played with before is Joakim Noah. Jimmy Butler is relatively use to having Kirk Hinrich play the point guard position and of course the Bulls just acquired starting power forward Pau Gasol and Rose has yet to get a good feel for Mike Dunleavy. Although I think the Bulls are going to fine and are definitely a lock as a top-3 seed, I do realize that it could take them some time to get going as the pieces just begin to start working together as a whole unit.

Cleveland’s struggle: 

The biggest misconception that I’ve picked up speaking with Cleveland fans, is they believe that just because they signed LeBron James and traded for Kevin Love that they are instantly winning 60+ regular season games and are going to go win the NBA championship. To be fair they certainly have a chance to do those things but they are so far away from that goal and that’s why when LeBron James decided to come back to Cleveland he said it was going to be a “process”. This team can’t play defense, in fact they have two defensive players on the entire roster, LeBron James and Anderson Varejao. Yes, they have a chance to be really successful because they have the best basketball player on the planet. However, to assume that Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James are all going to click offensively, and defensively right off the bat. They will also have growing pains similar to the way Miami did in LeBron’s first season. Although in Miami they could actually play defense. This team is going to be fun to watch, but could struggle to figure it out for the first twenty games or so.

Who capitalizes? 

It’s the Washington Wizards. Okay, I realize you just spit your cereal all over your laptop, but I’m serious. Sounds weird to say that the Wizards have a chance to be the number one seed in the East this year but they do. The Wizards have all the pieces minus potentially the coach to get to the Eastern Conference Finals. They have the best back court in basketball; better than the splash brothers in Golden State. Washington has a solid defense, and a high confidence in themselves after last season’s trip to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Not to mention how close that they actually were to beating the Pacers, making them a extremely hungry team. Plus on top of this they added Paul Pierce, who although is in the twilight of his career, is still an experienced veteran that this young team desperately needed.

So let’s hang tight. Don’t get to excited about the Bulls and Cavaliers meeting in the Eastern Conference Finals this year, quite yet. Washington matches up well with both the Bulls and the Cavaliers and Noah realizes that. We must take one step at a time.

Who do you have matching up in the Eastern Conference Finals?