Bullseye View: Bulls-Lakers 2011 Finals Preview?
Rami Abboud – CCS
The 2009-10 season is over. The Los Angeles Lakers have defended their title and have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are still the best team in the NBA. Chicago Bulls’ fans are well-accustomed to seeing Phil Jackson win. He won six rings here and we watched the man win five more as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2010. As the July 1st start date for free-agency looms, we ponder certain thoughts, hopes, and dreams as fans of these modern-day Chicago Bulls of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
Will we sign Chris Bosh? A talented Power Forward who can play the high post down into the low-block. A big man with the talent to score nearly at will – with a variety of moves. His length is nearly outmatched and grabs offensive boards over the grasps of most of the other front-court players in the league. He and Derrick Rose in a pick-and-roll game would be deadly. He complements Noah’s defense and hustle with pure athleticism and scoring ability.
Or how about LeBron James? This player being the best in the game (yes, even over the likes of the great Kobe Bryant). A man among men. James plays the game with a “get out of my way” mentality, along with the court vision and unselfishness of a great Point Guard. His 6’8” frame is intimidating, to say the least, when you are talking about a player who is one of the fastest guys with-or-without the ball – with such great strength, timing, and leaping ability. And with all of that power he still has the smoothness of all-time great guard – with three-point shooting range and the ability to rack up double-figure assists whenever he sees fit.
Maybe the Bulls will land a combination of players; For instance – Carlos Boozer and Joe Johnson. The Bulls are a starting 2 and 4-man away from having perhaps the most lethal starting line-up in the pro’s.
And if one of these scenerios comes through (as we all hope), the Bulls will become instantly better. We have suffered after those Championships in the 1990’s. . . and we are thirsty for another champagne bath. Could the 2011 season be the year we Chicago fans have been waiting for?
It could be.
June of 2011 will mark the setting for the 2011 NBA Finals. And it will, indeed, mark the 20th anniversary of the Chicago Bulls’ 1st Championship won back in the 1991 NBA Finals – featuring the all-time greats, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. The Bulls’ title celebration marked the end of an era in which Johnson’s Lakers ruled the 1980’s – winning 5 championships. Phil Jackson went onto three-peat from 1991-93 with the Bulls, and then again from 1996-98. Upon his arrival in Los Angeles, he again won 3 consecutive Championships with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. If Coach Jackson wins again, it will mark an unprecedented fourth three-peat. Let’s “reign” on Phil Jackson’s parade and solidify his legacy as being the greatest coach in Chicago Bulls’ history.
This team led by Derrick Rose is a formidable bunch already, capable of doing Playoff damage. The Bulls have a lot of heart and play with effort and intensity. Now it’s time to move into the upper tier of the NBA once again. And we are not more than a couple key pieces away. . .
Let’s end last decade’s Lakers’ 5-time Championship run, and allow Kobe Bryant and Company’s accomplishments to fade away in our memories. Let history repeat itself, and begin something great as an NBA franchise. . . once again.
Let’s celebrate our 20th anniversary, not wistfully, but by popping more than just a few bottles of that championship bubbly.