Kevin Garnett and the Bulls

Now that everything is official and real let’s look at this situation from the Bulls perspective.

Right now Skiles and Paxson should be thinking that they’re team certainly isn’t in a better situation than it was last week, but there’s nothing to worry about.  The Bulls match up well against this new Celtics team.  Ben Wallace, Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas will provide a nice Garnett stopping team, especially since none of them will need to cover Kendrick Perkins.  Luol Deng’s defense came a long way last year and he should be able to match up well against Pierce.  As long as BG7 can carry the scoring load on nights they play Boston (Ray Allen isn’t known for his defense) Hinrich can focus on covering Allen.  They’ll have Thabo coming off the bench as a defensive stopper with length to shut down Pierce, as he’s done to Kobe, and Allen, as he’s done to D.Wade.  Rajon Rondo’s game even should be limited enough – at least for this coming season – that Ben Gordon will actually be able to cover him. 

This is where the Celtics weakness will show.  They will have 2 of the three best players on the court almost every night and they’ll likely have 3 of the top 5 every night.  Their problem is they’ll also have the two worst players on the floor on their team at all times.  They’ll also have 8 of the twelve worst active players on game night on their roster nearly every night. 

The Bulls on the other hand, as I’ve pointed out here, have one of the deepest teams in the NBA.  Garnett is an intimidating defensive presence down low.  Problem for the Celtics is that the Bulls don’t go down low very often and if they do it’s with a flying Tyrus.  Not even Garnett’s going to stop that once it’s off the ground.  Beyond KG the Celtics will be a weak defensive team and the Bulls will simply have too many weapons for them to cover, even if they don’t have any 27 ppg scorers, former MVP’s or 3-point champions (yet, Gordon will wear this crown someday).

8 Responses to “Kevin Garnett and the Bulls”

  1. July 31, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for the link! I’ll be updating my blogroll soon and include you on there.

    I guess I’m still a skeptic with the Bulls despite how much I love them. That’s because the NBA has always been set up to win with superstars as opposed to depth. After growing up during the MJ/Scottie years, I see way too many parallels between today’s Bulls and the early-90s Cavs. Prior to the Bulls winning their first championship, the consensus around the NBA was that the Cavs would be the predominant team in the East because they were by far the deepest squad (sound familiar?). Obviously, history turned out a lot differently. I really believe that LeBron getting to the NBA Finals last year was the start of something as opposed to the fluke. He’s going to be in the league for the next decade or more and has already proven to be a Bulls killer. The only way to fight that firepower is to bring in your own firepower. Of course, that’s not even acknowledging the vastly superior teams in the Western Conference. I’ve said this several times on my blog: I want another championship team on Madison Street as opposed to a “nice little engine that could”.

    Maybe KG wasn’t a possibility with the Bulls even though it was one of my dream scenarios, but I think Zach Randolph would have been perfect (minus the overblown “personality issues”) – a legit 20/10 post-up power forward. Considering that Isiah Thomas, of all people, was able to nab Randolph for scraps, it’s disappointing that the Bulls didn’t make a bold move here. Joe Smith is not really that much of an improvement over P.J. Brown. Joakim Noah is essentially a copy of Tyrus Thomas only with not as much athleticism and fewer offensive skills. I hope that I’m wrong, but I’m nowhere near as bullish (pardon the pun) on the Bulls this year as I was last season in the wake of the Ben Wallace signing. The Eastern Conference overall is a lot better while I really don’t believe that the Bulls improved much.

  2. 2 312chill
    July 31, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    I came up in the 90s too, but was probably a couple of years younger than you are. All I can remember is Jordan dominating. I’ve of course read about those Cavs teams and the similarities to today’s Bulls. Sam Smith of the Tribune has written about that similarity often and I’ve always found he’s a wealth of Bulls info.

    LeBron has shown himself to be a Bulls killer and I agree that he is one because of the NBA’s star system. As I wrote on the blog, I’m hoping the one positive that comes out of the whole Donaghy thing is that refs will be more scared to enforce that star system because they’ll be afraid of being labeled a cheater. That said, Lebron has a ways to go to get to Jordan level dominance. He may get there but it’s not a guarantee. Furthermore, Lebron doesn’t have the supporting cast that MJ had. If he doesn’t get there I think the Bulls can make it to finals a few times in the same way the Pistons did a few years back.

    KG on the Bulls would have been perfect. If only they had PJ’s contract this year they easily could have beat what the Celtics gave up. Randolph, as I wrote on the blog, would have been perfect. It is unacceptable to me that Paxson passed on Randolph since the Blazers sold him for next to nothing.

    I agree that Joe Smith isn’t much of an improvement over PJ or Antonio Davis for that matter, but he’ll fill that role nicely. It has proved to be an important role for the Bulls over the last couple seasons and it will be nice to have somebody fill it who is a couple of years younger.

    I look at Noah as a potential replacement for Wallace instead of a Thomas clone. He currently provides the same things Thomas does, but Thomas has more offensive potential. I don’t think Noah will ever be an offensive force, but I do think he could turn out to be a Tyson Chandler/Ben Wallace hybrid. He’s got more height than Thomas and will be a good solution as a long term defensive center (if they don’t trade him).

    Unlike you I’m much more optimistic about the Bulls this season. I’m probably placing more credit on the potential significant improvement of Deng, Thomas and Sefolosha than you are. The Bulls offseason moves aren’t going to be the difference. It’s going to be Tyrus’ improved offense and Thabo and Luol’s improved overall games that make the difference. For this season Noah will only be an energy guy off the bench but he’ll be great at that role.

  3. 3 firedannyainge
    August 1, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    You didn’t shut down Wade. You shut down a hurt Wade that was about to have knee surgery. He lost his explosiveness when he got hurt and he had a bad arm.

    I realize you are upset about not getting Garnett but I think you were correct is not selling your soul for a 3 year try at a title. In the end the Celtics (even if they get a bench) will not beat San Antonio or Dallas. One of the two teams most likely to come out of the West. I don’t even see the Celtics beating a healthy Shaq and Wade and I don’t see Detroit standing by and watching the Celtics get Garnett withouty doing something to improve their team. That being said you really over rate your team in this article.


    (not my site)


  4. 4 312chill
    August 2, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Wade was not 100%, I agree. Nevertheless, the Bulls have been one of the best teams in the NBA at stopping him consistently. Thabo stepped up in the playoffs but Hinrich was doing it before him.

    Shaq was a step slower last year and he’ll be even weaker this year. One of the most dominant players ever but his dominance is coming to an end.

    Detroit doesn’t have the cap room to do much and I don’t believe they’ll go over the luxury tax because they don’t have a market like New England to support them. The Detroit team you see today will probably be the team they field. A Rasheed trade could come but I’m not sure how much they’d get back.

    I don’t believe I overrate my team, but I can easily see how other people might think so. Check out ESPN.com. 3 out of their 4 basketball columnists said yesterday that the Bulls would have the best record in the East and go to the finals.

  5. 5 ibleedbasketballs
    August 2, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    I have the Bulls and the Celtics in the Eastern Finals, barring no injuries. I’d have to see how Ray Allen recovers from surgery to make any prediction of who takes it.

  6. 6 312chill
    August 3, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I obviously think the Bulls will be in the Eastern finals, but I am admittedly biased. I think the Celtics could make it there with no injuries and if they get lucky with some veterans taking minimum money to round out the team. As it stands now I don’t see it.

  7. 7 Anonymous
    August 7, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    It’s great to read such insightful comments. Keep it up!

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