Monday, May 30, 2011
Hmmmm...I wonder what Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki, the only two players left from that team, think of this video. This year is a rematch and I know they're seeking revenge. All I can say is if Dwyane Wade plays like he did in 2006 Finals, the Dallas Mavericks will most likely fall short of a title again.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
It was on the night of July 8, 2010 that arguably the most hated NBA team officially assembled. In an hour-long special, Lebron James decided that he would “take his talents to South Beach.” In a matter of seconds, one of the most cherished, adored, and iconic athletes in the NBA became the most despised superstar. Cleveland wasn’t the only town that shunned their former Chosen One, but quite frankly, a large majority of the world was vindictive towards the King after his Decision.
Fast forward to the present. The Miami Heat is now competing for an NBA Championship against the Dallas Mavericks. Their path to the finals was far from smooth. Every since this fantasy team gathered, they’ve been disdained. If it wasn’t James’ irregular obnoxious announcement on national television that led to viewer rejection of the Heat, maybe it was their coming out party on stage in the American Airlines Arena that reminded me of Oprah’s Farewell Tribute. Whichever it was, Miami isn’t here to win a popularity contest. James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade to get a ring; period. They may be viewed as the Monstars from Space Jam, but their choice to join forces was what they wanted. They could care less about the opinions of men and women who don’t like them. Respect their business decision or not, it doesn’t matter because this is their job, not the world’s.
This Miami Heat team may be very young and talented, but ironically are wise due to the worldwide rejection. Every night there was a new story about the Heat. First, the preconceived notions of the team having no chemistry rose to the table. Then, their record against the elite teams weren’t good enough. After that, there was the controversy of how the offense was like a clogged toilet and not enough shots were given to Wade. And how could we forget the biggest debate, who should take the final shot. These are only a few examples of the excess amount of questions that were lingering about South Beach this year. According to numerous ESPN polls, viewers may never want this team to win a championship, but their worst nightmare may come true. What doesn’t kill someone makes them stronger and Miami has matured drastically from the hatred against them.
It was four years ago that James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were dismantled in the NBA Championship by the San Antonio Spurs. Now he is four games away with another shot to add to his legacy. Miami reminds me of when the Boston Celtics set the blueprint for the BIG 3. Though Miami is much younger and more talented than Boston’s triad, the Celtics received their share of criticism, too. The Celtics’ result in the first year was a championship and they were a game away from winning a second one as well. Hmmmm….. Ultimately, you can do all the research you want, but the regular season is in no comparison to the playoffs. There should be no surprise that the Heat have made it this far. The scary thing is that this team isn’t even close to reaching their peak. Let the three-headed monster develop some better chemistry along with their supporting cast. The sky isn’t the limit for this squad, the moon is.
As for the 2011 finals, Miami has never really competed against an explosive offensive team like Dallas in the postseason. The Mavs have a very deep bench and possess a lot of weapons in contrast to the Heat. Though they may be outnumbered in depth, Miami has three of the best four players in the series. Wade, Bosh, and James will obviously need to bring their top offensive game, but their primary concern should be on defense. Surprisingly, the Heat’s defense is the catalyst to a majority of their offense with fast breaks being one example. The reason why this team has been able to pull off these late comebacks is their lock-up TEAM defense. The Heat’s D needs to be as aggressive and smash mouth. The Dallas three-point shooters should have no room to breathe. Don’t be surprised if you see a couple of technical fouls being called in this series.
I rather not put the spotlight on any specific player other than the Heat’s Big 3, but the Heat’s bench performance could be the key to win this series. Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers’ three-point knock downs can be just as significant as a block and offensive rebound by Joel Anthony. I know this bench has to be tired of the world thinking that it is a three-man show that got the Heat to the grand finale. I expect to see some more Udonis Haslem-like performances from someone on this team.
The adrenaline is high for both teams. I’m interested to see if Miami will stay undefeated at home in the playoffs and if the Mavericks can pass the century mark against this Heat defense. Tipoff begins on Tuesday at 9. Miami’s Big 3 vs. the White Mamba. The peanut gallery begins this Tuesday. Who are you with?
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I laugh every time I see this post-game interview with Joakim Noah. First the gay slur comment to a fan and now this. I really wanted him to elaborate on the "Hollywood" concept. Sorry, let me quote him correctly "They're Hollywood as hell." I guess that's an incomparable level of Hollywood. I wonder if he meant bougie. Ultimately, rather than competing for the NBA Finals, Noah will watch the Miami "Hollywood" Heat represent the Eastern Conference. What Noah needs to do is go to the gym and work on his offensive game. Instead of trying to help lead his team to victory in the closing minutes of several games in conference finals, Noah found himself on the bench in the cheerleader role. Need I say more...
Friday, May 27, 2011
They play no defense. They’re too old. They only have one good player. They’ll never make it past the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re going to play rusty with so much time off. Oklahoma is too fast for them. Say what you want, but the Dallas Mavericks are playing for the 2011 NBA Championship. The energy and style of play that this team has displayed throughout these playoffs is the epitome of the NBA promo, “The NBA, where amazing happens.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that no player deserves more credit on this team for Mavericks success than Dirk Nowitzki. It has been a privilege to witness his performances in these playoffs. Is there a defender that can actually prevent this 7-footer from doing what he wants? Dirk isn’t unstoppable, but sure is playing like he is. The trajectory of his shot is beautiful. His humbleness and unselfishness aura is even more striking to watch. Nowitzki is a man on a mission and is four games away from accomplishing his goal. Failures only make an individual stronger and this is not the same Nowitzki nor is it the same Dallas Mavericks team from 2006 that lost to the Miami Heat in the NBA Championship.
Dirk isn’t the only member of this team that has improved his game, so has veteran Jason Kidd. Despite his age, Kidd still fills up the box score in several categories. This is the same Jason Kidd that got abused in 2008 first round playoffs against the New Orleans Hornets. I’m not sure if any of you remember this series, but to sum up in one word what Chris Paul did to one the greatest point guards ever, disrespectful. It was like Paul was playing the XBOX video game, NBA 2k, on Hall of Fame while Kidd was playing on Rookie. I actually vividly remember Paul saying during the series, “He [Kidd] can’t D me!”
Kidd may have seemed too old and not deserving to be on the court in ‘08, but like fine wine, Kidd gets better with age. J.Kidd’s contribution to the team is more than just being the point guard and directing traffic. Kidd has been a mentor to many of these players and using his years of experience to play a different way that is still contributive. Maybe not as essential as the German slinger, but this future Hall of Famer will be needed to win a championship.
Same teams, but different faces. The 2011 Championship may be a rematch of 2006, but it will be a completely different series. Nowitzki doesn’t need to dominate every game for his team to win. If you disagree, just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though the Mavericks only took five games to defeat the swift and electric Thunder, it wasn’t the easiest series for Dallas. Unfortunately for the Mavs, next round will consist of an even faster and more explosive team.
Though there may be an advantage for the Dallas on whoever defends Dirk, there will be several other advantages in favor of the Miami Heat like who will attempt to stop the dynamic backcourt of Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. Because Dirk is such a greater shooter and will attract double teams, the easiest way the Mavericks can make the Heat suffer is outside shooting. This is the Dallas’ forte; the only question is if and when they’ll fall down on the big stage. In addition to the deadly perimeter shooting that the Mavs possess, they also have a very deep and talented bench. Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Peja Stojakovic, Corey Brewer, and Brendan Haywood will need to step up when their numbers are called. This is one area where the Mavericks truly outnumber the Miami.
The Mavericks have seen it all. Most members of this organization have been criticized in some aspect and still they stand. This makes the Mavericks even more dangerous. Dirk and his team aren’t going home without a fight. Their resilience has led them to reach the center plateau of bright lights against the Miami Heat. Their redemption path started with an early exit in the first round to the No. 8 Golden State Warriors to being bounced out the playoffs by the lower seeded San Antonio last year. Time has passed and the Mavericks now have a chance to win their 1st NBA title in the franchise’s second trip to the finals.
Brandon Roy is gone. They defeated Kobe Bryant and the defending champions. They eliminated Kevin Durant and the young Thunder. Next up is the three headed monster. Tune in to ABC next Tuesday at 9 p.m. to watch the rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals.
I did this package last fall as my final project for my internship at Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia. The piece above was written, produced, and edited by yours truly. I've being meaning to post it for a while, but the video up-loader on the site was having technical difficulties. This was one of my first times being in front of the camera, so let me know what you think. Thank you once again to everyone at Comcast Sportsnet for allowing me to shoot this.
P.S. The GOAL is to get 300 fans by the end of the summer on Facebook. I'm less than a 100 away! You can follow the link below or on the side column to like the page. Please show some love to the FB page if you haven't already. Thank you!!!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
After looking at the first video (fight took place in Russia this past week), it's clear as day that the once great Roy Jones Jr. needs to hang up his gloves. With only 11 seconds left in the final round, Roy gets his lights knocked out by Con Edison (not his opponent's real name...lol). It's sad to see one of the greatest boxers of all-time fall like this at the end of his career. Like many boxers, Jones Jr.'s passion for the sport won't let him quit despite being far less talented than he used to be. But in his prime, Jones Jr. was a sight to see from his excessive taunting to killer knockouts followed by dance moves. I wanted to end a post on a good note, so I posted a video with some of Roy's great highlights.
Though the Mavericks let the Thunder attempt 36 free throws, they frustrated the young, inexperienced team throughout the game. The Mavericks were always in control of the game, even when Oklahoma came close to tying the game. After trailing 27-12 after the first period, OKC found difficulties getting back into a groove and rhythm on offense after a horrendous start. As the deficit grew, Oklahoma played worse. Despite winning the free-throw category, there were still too many outside shots taken by the Thunder. OKC was 1-for-17 from long distance and still continued to rely on them even in crucial moments. Why not attack the rim and go for a higher percentage shot. Kevin Durant led the way with three-point misses for his team with eight while ending the game making just 7-of-22 shots. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Thunder got their stagnant offense flowing and this only came as a result of their defense. As the saying goes, Offense wins games, Defense wins championships.
Dallas’ defense wasn’t the lead story tonight. It was the maturity and leadership shown by this Dallas team and you ask who the spearhead of this teaching is, Jason Kidd. Russell Westbrook may be much quicker and stronger than the 38-year old veteran, but he has something that will take Westbrook years to develop -- playoff experience. This may be Kidd’s 15th consecutive playoff appearance, but he shows no sign of his age on the court with his fearless play. Just like when he played for the New Jersey Nets, J-Kidd is still leading fastbreaks and rewarding players with incredible passes as he racks up his assists. Kidd is the epitome of a born leader.
On the other hand, Oklahoma has no Kidd-like players and is still using these playoffs as a learning experience. It’s amazing that this team was resilient enough in Game 3 and still managed to cut the lead to six points with three minutes left to play in the fourth. That would be the lowest the deficit would drop due to the Thunder’s youth. Though Westbrook was abusing his mismatch against JJ Barea in the earlier minutes of the fourth quarter, he got a little out of hand in the final minutes. Two early three-point attempts by him and Daequan Cook were unnecessary. This eventually led to turnovers while giving Dallas more opportunities to increase the lead. You can only stop a team so many times before they execute and OKC failed to take advantage of their opportunities. In addition, though Westbrook got his swagger back while having a hot fourth quarter, the ball needed to be passed to Durant more. KD is one of the best scorers in the league and made 1st-Team All NBA for a reason. All the blame isn’t directed towards Westbrook because Durant needs to demand the ball more. As a superstar, he needs to be taking these shots in the closing minutes for his squad. To my understanding, he is the face of this organization. Dallas, in comparison, knew that Dirk Nowitzki should have the ball in his hands and Nowitzki answered when called upon.
With Dallas taking a 2-1 lead, the Thunder are put in a must win position for Game 4. If Dallas is able to steal both games away from home in this series, it would boost their confidence through the roof. Oklahoma is fully capable of winning the next game if they do all the right things. Obviously easier said than done, but the Thunder need to work on their defensive communication on pick and rolls and to thoroughly read the scouting report and not let shooters like Peja Stojakovic or Jason Terry have wide open three-point attempts in this series. Those points add up whether it’s one or several made by them. If these two things don’t change, I guarantee that Dallas will advance to the NBA Finals.
Friday, May 20, 2011
It was James Harden, Eric Maynor, Nick Collison and Daequan Cook that were the story of the night in Game 2, not Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook. The bench came up for big for the Thunder numerous times down the stretch last night. It was shocking to see that OKC coach Scott Brooks have so much faith in his bench and leave them in for so long, but as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don’t fix it. The reserves were playing well and Coach Brooks took a chance and left them on the hardwood. Maybe a gutsy call, but Oklahoma now heads back home with the series even. As stated by Denzel Washington in his commencement speech last weekend at the University of Pennsylvania, “In order to get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” That ‘something’ that Oklahoma is trying to obtain is a NBA Championship.
This series has been a perfect display of team effort. Many times superstars are given too much credit for winning games. The loose balls, extra passes, deflections and intangibles done by reserves are what helps a team win, not the facial dunk highlights or killer crossovers. Collison for example will never get credit for the work he does because his presence isn’t noticed in the box score. Every championship caliber team needs a Collinson-like player on their team.
With the series tied 1-1, Dallas needs to work on their defense. Young Oklahoma is nothing compared to the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland Trailblazers. I’m not saying that OKC is 20 times better than these teams, but there’s a reason why Kobe Bryant and Brandon Roy are in the comfort of their luxurious homes and watching the playoffs from the couch like me. Getting back to my point, Dallas held their previous opponents within double digits in the first and second round of the playoffs. The Thunder have past the century mark in both games and are using their young legs to an advantage against the older Mavericks. The Thunder aren’t the best defensive team either, but this is their style of play and they’ve consistently played this way this postseason.
This series may up end up going six or seven games. Dallas hasn’t lost since they blew a 23-point lead against Portland in the Game 4 of the first round, so it will be interesting to see how they bounce back. Similar to Chicago, they must win one of the next two games on the road or they may not return to big stage they once played on in 2006.
This throwdown was just nasty. It was a momentum changer for OKC and helped the team overcome a nine-point deficit in the 1st quarter. For some reason, it reminded me of Baron Davis slamming it on Andrei Kirilenko in the 2007 playoffs, so I figured I would post the video.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
After being sidelined for most of the season due to a torn tendon in his foot, Haslem has had trouble getting back into the rotation. He had no foot problems last night as he flushed over Keith Bogans and Derrick Rose on two separate occasions. Haslem has heart and does a lot of intangibles that the Heat could use. If Haslem is healthy and in the lineup, he can open up things for the Big 3 and help Miami advance to the Finals. With the series tied at 1-1, the Bulls have no reason to panic; it was only Game 2. Chicago just has to make sure that they win one of the next two games in South Beach. If they don’t, it will be extremely difficult to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
With a three day layoff before Game 3 (don’t get me started on why viewers have to wait so long to see two teams play, that have brought in the biggest cable audience for an NBA Game, but I digress), the Bulls have to get back to following the script that got them here, defense energy and hustle. The Bulls only showed spurts of this in Game 2 rather than constantly throughout. The youth, size, and height of Chicago’s frontcourt towers over Miami and they showed every sign of this in the 1st period. The Bulls wanted the ball more and were rewarded with numerous second shot opportunities. The problem with gaining second shot opportunities is that you can’t settle from long distance. Just because you’re open doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good second shot. The Bulls were 3-20 from long range and their three-point shooting makes their offense less efficient. Their offense flows off of penetrating and kicking it out rather than stand still shots. Kyle Korver is the Bulls only dependable knock down shooter, so the other players need to follow their roles and stick with what got the Bulls to conference finals.
As I mentioned in my previous blog [Youth impedes top seed], Rose can’t do it by himself; he is human. The Heat did do a great job defending him, but it was self-evident that the offense can only progress when he moves. Rose missed a lot of shots in the paint and was fatigued from defending Dwyane Wade and the other side. The Bulls seemed very flustered and staggered last night. Without the rock in the MVP’s hand, the supporting cast on the floor was confused on how to operate and was unable to produce any baskets. Chicago can’t expect to win any game with Rose shooting 7-for-23 and have only one other player in double figures. Someone needs to step up for them; go HARD or go HOME! I won’t say any names, but during this summer, the Bulls did offer a power forward from the Utah Jazz an $80 million contract.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Dallas’ play last night was flawless in all aspects except one, Defense. Many times the Mavs seemed to be running away with the lead and outplaying the Thunder due to the home crowd erupting every time a basket was made. In reality, the Thunder was neck and neck with Dallas and played a great game as well. There were numerous times both teams had runs and exchanged baskets back and forth. Remember that Dallas has always had a problem with locking down teams and in the past has relied on outscoring opponents to win games, last night was a replay.
As Kevin Durant mentioned in his post-game interview, “I bet my house that Russell Westbrook won’t shoot 3 for 15 again.” Westbrook may have ended the evening with 20 points due to success of drawing fouls, but played a horrible game coming off his triple-double performance against Memphis in Game 7. Durant may be the best player on this young talented team, but the team needs Westbrook to play well in order to win. Westbrook doesn’t need to erupt with 25 and 10 assists every night, but is a very essential part of OKC’s offense. As a point guard on the team, Westbrook's contribution is vital to the Thunder's success and he ultimately needs to be a floor leader.
The Thunder shouldn’t be too worried heading into Game 2 because they’ve seen the Mavericks at their best and hung with them. I may be going out on a limb to say that the Mavs can’t play any better than Game 1, but I don’t make claims unless I can support them. Nowitzki arguably has been the best player in the 2011 playoffs, but I don’t see him playing like Game 1 again. For Nowitzki to score 40 points with only 15 attempts and three misses consistently isn’t rational. In addition, though Nowitzki dissected OKC’s defense and humiliated each defender that attempted to make some effort to slow him down, he made a lot of hard shots that were defended exceptionally well. It was just one of those nights that everything he threw up went in.
One thing is for sure, when the Mavs are connecting on all cylinders they are difficult to beat, but not unstoppable. The Mavs are similar to the Chicago Bulls with how deep their bench is. Bench players from both squads are gifted enough to produce starter numbers on a nightly basis. If the Mavs play remotely close to Game 1 throughout this series they will punch a ticket into the Finals.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, did promise the city of Cleveland that they would win a championship before their former "Chosen One." So far hes on the right track after being awarded the first and fourth overall picks in last night's NBA Draft Lottery. This could be the pivotal step to bringing life back to the city since last year's departure of Ohio native Lebron James. Below are the results of last night's event. The actual draft is set to take place on June 23 in Newark, N.J.
11. Golden State
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Only one day away from seeing the clash of two great teams. #1 vs. #2. Big 3 vs. the NBA MVP. Chi-town vs. South Beach. Heat vs. Bulls. This series will be quite interesting. Tune into TNT tomorrow at 8 p.m. to see the much anticipated matchup that has the league buzzing.
Friday, May 13, 2011
The Chicago Bulls may have advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship after eliminating Atlanta, but the Hawks left last night with the highlight of the evening. Joakim Noah obviously didn't read the scouting report about Smith's vertical leap.
NBA rules state that in order for any team to win a championship, they must win 16 games. The Miami Heat have only won eight, which would put them half way there. With that being said, the celebrations that took place last night after defeating the Boston Celtics in five games seemed pre-mature for a team that hasn’t even made it to the NBA Finals yet. As Lebron James mentioned during his post-game interview last night, “The Celtics set the blueprint. I couldn’t beat them by myself in Cleveland. They are the reason we [James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh] got together.” This wasn’t Lebron’s sole defense to explain his actions of screaming like he conquered the Persian army and overzealous hugging of teammates on the court after the Game 5 win, but is there really any justification to explain his and other's actions?
Any individual that has followed the game of basketball in the NBA in the past five years would agree of the significance of the last night’s game as Wade and James finally accomplished defeating a team that sent them packing home early numerous times in the playoffs. The only thing is it was only the Conference Semifinals, not the Finals. The Heat still have two more rounds to play if they would like stand on a platform and take the official title of “NBA Champions.” When and if they do this, then those celebrations would be called for.
As the Heat finally jumped the hurdle and beat the No. 3 seeded Celtics, there are a multitude of concerns for arguably America's most hated team as they enter the Eastern Conference Championship. The biggest of these issues is which Big 3 is going to show up. Will it be the struggling regular season trio that failed to close out games and share the ball or will it be the explosive and exciting triad that has cruised their way to the Eastern Conference and showed team chemistry as if they’ve been playing for several years together? It will be interesting to see which group shows up because the Heat can only rely on their bench so much.
This brings me to my next point which is the Heat’s bench production. To say that the Heat have no type of supporting cast shows complete ignorance. Their role players currently just have not shown up on a consistent basis. Remind you it’s also unfair to criticize any member outside of Big 3 on the Heat because they aren’t making shots. Wade, Bosh and James all have had their share of struggles during the regular season(alot if I may add), so what makes anyone think that anyone other than them can’t struggle. Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby both are good offensive point guards who are just having trouble with knocking down their shots. This could also come from them being out of rhythm and being unsure of when to shoot or pass. In addition to shooters, you can’t ask for a better one than James Jones. His primary job is to shoot jump shots and can provide a spark for the team if he plays similar to how he played in Game 1 against Boston by scoring 25 points.
The last question that is posed to this organization is who takes the last shot; who is the top sheriff in town? Though Lebron scored the final 10 points last night during the fourth-quarter run away against Boston, it is obvious who played better throughout the whole game: Wade. Wade easily slashed apart the Celtics defense throughout the game, but it was King James who held the rock in the final minutes. It looks as if Lebron is going to get his regardless and fails to acknowledge who’s county[Wade County] it is. I have no problem with the shots he took last night as he was in the zone, but the shot selection in closing seconds still seems to be a controversy. Just keep an eye out for it next round as superstar duo of James and Wade may bump heads especially if they’re both not playing well. Who will shot the ball then? Bosh?
At the end of the day, the Heat still have two rounds left to play and this championship won’t be given to them just because they beat Boston. Their win over the Celtics was important, but not more important than getting to the Finals. The joy that was shown may have been a little out of line, so I pose this question to my readers: What if the Dallas Mavericks celebrated like this after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers? Would it be okay, or this not a good analogy? The Lakers were the defending champions and voted most likely to win the championship this year…Hmmmmmm. I think Dirk Nowitzki should of dougied and cat daddied (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWZwLCKyR1Q) in center court on the Mavericks’ logo during the Game 4 win.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, youngest player ever to win MVP, NBA Coach of the Year (rookie head coach at that), Co-Executive of the Year and you ask what the Chicago Bulls franchise is hindered by: Youth and Experience.
As good as MVP Derrick Rose is, he is not dominating enough to put this team solely on his back and lead the franchise to their 1st championship in the post-MJ era. In order for the Bulls to have any chance to win the championship this year, the team must be able to function without Rose on the court and the team hasn’t consistently learned how to do this yet. Though the young bull may remind some fans of Jordan as he quickly dissects defenses in the matter of seconds, Rose, surprisingly still has a lot of wrinkles to iron out; remember he’s only 22 and the league has yet to see the young star reach his full potential. Though he’s gained much more confidence in his jumper, it is evident that he still doesn’t have enough arc in his shot hence why many of his misses are short. Don’t get me wrong, Rose is an amazing all-star athlete and arguably the best point guard in the league, but I think even he himself would agree that he can polish his game up more. 2011 won’t be the only year that we see Rose hold up the MVP trophy.
The Bulls may have history on their side with 83 percent of Game 5 winners advancing to the next round, but the Eastern Conference Championship may be a nightmare for them if they move forward. People fail to forget that the Indiana Pacers gave Chicago a run for their money in the first round with each of the first four games was determined in the final minutes. Though the Bulls won the series 4-1 which is what ultimately matters, the inexperience of the No. 1 seed was highly exposed. That is exactly what the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will do if the Bulls advance.
In order for the Bulls to have long-term success in this postseason they need the team, not just Rose to contribute. The first player that Rose could benefit the most from is summer acquisition Carlos Boozer. Due to a fractured right hand earlier in the year and a recent turf toe injury, Boozer has had difficulties getting into a groove. If Boozer shows the slightest of signs of how he played in Utah, the Bulls could actually have a chance in the next round. Boozer has come to life these past two games in the conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, but will need to do this nightly rather than once in a blue moon. With Boozer dominating in the paint, it would let a big load off of D-Rose’s back and even open shooters up like Kyle Korver and Keith Bogans.
Next up in the starting lineup is Luol Deng. Though he may not be the most aggressive player, there really isn’t anything Deng can’t do. He can defend, shoot, rebound and pass; he knows how to play the game of basketball. This is exactly what Rose needs. Deng won’t always be able to play the sidekick role as he scored 23 points in the Game 5 win over the Hawks, but he can produce a solid 15 a game while contributing on the defensive end.
The list can go on about what roles each Bulls’ player needs to fulfill, but it is apparent that the team is equipped with stars and talent to succeed. There is a reason the team is the No. 1 seed in the East regardless of what people want to think about the competition in the Eastern Conference. Though the team is fairly young and lacks in experience, they make it up with their tenacious defense and hustle. This playoff run for the team will be a learning experience and if this team is able to stay together, their scouting report will be scary in years to come. Rose isn’t the only young player on this team that has yet to maximize his talent.