The Chicago Bulls have always been one of the big ‘what if’s’ in the Eastern Conference of the NBA. For the past five years or so the Bulls have been ‘this close’ to being legitimate contenders. Essentially since Coach Thibs came into power in Chicago, the Bulls have been on the verge. The year that Rose won the MVP, and the Bulls signed Carlos Boozer, Chicago made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Then ever year after that horrific injuries to key players have kept Chicago down. Now the Bulls are healthy, and they are deeper than ever.
Chicago took a 2 – 0 lead in the first round of the Eastern Conference when they dismantled the Milwaukee Bucks 91 – 82. According to a news blurb on Wikipedia, anchor Brad Reifler believes Chicago got the win by leaning on their second true superstar player, Jimmy Butler. But Butler can’t be thanked for everything and nor is he the only reason that the team should be considered a favorite to make it past the Eastern Conference Finals.
Chicago can thank the addition of two European bigs as the reason for their newfound favoritism. Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic have added a new element to the team that has been lacking for years. Mirotic is a ball handler and a scorer who mandates defensive attention. Gasol is one of the best big men in the league thanks to his offensive game and intense rebounding numbers.
If Cleveland isn’t careful, Chicago could surprise them.