We’re so deeply tied to the latest sentiment, that we often forget how easily our emotions whipsaw. In this Bulls series between the Philadelphia 76ers, we’re torn between hope and escapism.
The hope is obvious: maybe they can extend this and salvage whatever is left of a broken season. The escapism is obvious: Maybe they can win a few games and we can all forget that Derrick Rose is broken and his career may have been altered.
For once, David Haugh has penned a solid basketball column that illustrates what John Paxson and Gar
Foreman have done—they’ve constructed a cast of try-hards around an NBA superstar after whiffing on what is now the Miami Heat.
They should be commended for it too. You rarely see a team of specialists win consecutive regular seasons.
You rarely consider them potential contenders against star-laden squads like the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. But there they were, until…
I look at squads like the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies and wonder how they can not possibly be better than the Chicago Bulls. The Grizzlies have five starters that nearly anyone in the league would like:
Mike Conley (solid and smart), Tony Allen (thuggish but one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and backed by the fast-rising OJ Mayo), Rudy Gay (wildly overpaid, but a true scorer and talent), Zach Randolph (hurt, but maybe one of the only true pivot scorers in the NBA and a tenacious offensive rebounder) and Marc Gasol (one of the only above-average centers in the NBA, who was named to his first all-star game this season).
You see this roster and begin to wonder how these teams aren’t better than the Bulls. Think about it: How good is Derrick Rose? Don’t these playoffs crystallize our thinking? You need stars to win, not just leaning on the super-heroics of a 6’3 dynamo guard? Even Michael couldn’t do it alone.
Wednesday’s slop fest was about the Bulls getting back to their core philosophy: rebound hard and get back on defense. They moved the ball better and Luol Deng even decided to initiate much of the offense, despite a wrist that has bothered him for about five months now.
In bouts, this game was embarrassing to be called an NBA playoff game—just 26 points in the first half for the 76ers who are in need of a roster shakeup as well. You can’t put together three point forwards, no true post bigs, no point guards and expect anything but this.
At this point, you hope that Chicago’s general manager(s) see what we see on Chicago’s roster.
Contact Mike Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.