NBA-- The rumors have been swirling for a few weeks, ever since Lebron James headed back home and resigned a 2-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That rumor was involving Kevin Love and to whether or not he will sign with James to make up one of the best 3 player tandem in the NBA. Today it looks to have been finally completed as the Cavaliers trade their first round pick in Andrew Wiggins along with Anthony Bennett and a protected first round pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
Even though this makes all headlines across the internet and will do so for the next couple weeks, it’s the Chicago Bulls who poise to be the biggest test in seeing who will own the East. Chicago made headlines earlier in the acquisition of Pau Gasol from the Los Angeles Lakers, and more recently the outstanding performances of the Chicago native in Derrick Rose during the Team USA summer camp.
Almost everyone is going to favor the Cleveland Cavaliers to dominate the east, well except a few teams who hold hope. However with Lebron James on your team, it’s hard to not favor them. The Chicago Bulls are no team to write off though, not by a very very long shot. Let’s take a quick glance at how the teams will matchup.
Defence- This is going to be a close one, as the Chicago Bulls are known to be that “white collar” team that puts the D in defence. Tom Thibodeau has been nothing short of a constant top 3 for coach of the year, especially in the mentality of a team who has been without it’s best player in Derrick Rose for 2 consecutive seasons. Joakim Noah is coming of a Defensive Player of the Year performance, and with the acquisition of Pau Gasol he will have more room to improve on the standard he has set for himself.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be good at defence but let’s be honest, they will be looking to outscore a team for the most part. Again with Lebron James you know you can count on him holding up his end, arguably holding up the end of 2 players. Though Kyrie Irving will have a hard problem holding Derrick Rose down, as long as the former NBA MVP stays healthy. Kevin Love is a double-double machine, so the matchup between him and Joakim Noah in the paint fighting boards will be a spectacle to see.
Winner: Chicago Bulls
Offence- Whereas the Chicago Bulls are known for their hardworking mentality whose coach emphasizes on defence, any team with Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will be expected to have one of the best offences. Now this doesn't mean the Chicago Bulls are a wash here, in the same sense the Cavaliers are not a wash in defence. However, this should be swung in Clevelands favor, if Lebron James was on New Orleans then they too would have a potent offence.
The big advantages the Cavaliers have is going to come from James and Love, both are respectively a better option than what the Bulls have. Derrick Rose will get his, again as long as he stays healthy, but the Bulls will need to focus on defence when it comes to a matchup instead of trying to outscore this opposition.
Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers
Overall if both teams were healthy and we were looking at a 7 game series, I may lean towards the Chicago Bulls having a slight advantage. The big factor is the fact the Bulls have been tried and tested, and their acquisition in Pau Gasol is already a 2x NBA champion, whereas Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are yet to be truly tested in a NBA PLayoff game period.
The playoffs are a different animal when it comes to the game time, as there is no holding back and nothing to save for as once you are out, you'll have plenty of time to recover. The coaching may be an “X-Factor” however, as it’s the preparation of the opponent before the ball is even tipoff that may have one team in a slight advantage over another.
7 Game Series Winner: The Chicago Bulls