Chicago Bulls are a legit threat
By Michael Illiano
Well over Sixty games into the season should be enough to conceed to the fact that the Chicago Bulls are for real.
They have just as good of a shot to win the title as anyone outside the Celtics or Lakers. Take it from someone who has watched all the Bulls games this year.
At the beginning of the year, I thought they were anywhere from a 48 to 52 win team and probably out second round if they were lucky. Granted, they still could go out in the second round, but anyone who has watched this team knows that they have become the favorite in most matchups they would have.
Let's break it down: For the most part in the history of basketball all the NBA champions have had three main components that gave them the Larry O'Brien trophy at the end of the season.
First they were all top defensive teams in the league, second they all controlled the glass and rebounded, third they had a guy that could close out tight games. These three attributes are the core makeup of a champion. The Chicago Bulls of 2011 have them all.
The Bulls are holding their opponents this year to 42.8% shooting from the field which is tops in the league. Chicago is also second in giving up three point field goals and first in defending the three ball percentage wise. Teams only shoot 32.7% from downtown against the Bulls.
They are seventh in the NBA in opponent free throw attempts which means they are playing excellent defensive without fouling. Chicago also ranks second in the league in giving up the fewest rebounds and second in fewest assists to their competition.
On top of all that they hold teams to 91.5 points per game which is best in the league right now. All these stats establish that the Bulls are one of the best defensive teams in the league and in my opinion the best along with the Celtics right now. Second was rebounding, we already established that the Bulls give up very few rebounds. They are currently fifth in the NBA in total rebounds.
Although it may not be at the top of the league lets take into account that Noah and Boozer missed tons of time combined this year. They have only played together not more than seventeen games this season which is even more mindboggling when you think about their success on a whole this season. Third factor was game closer and Derrick Rose right now is the league MVP, hands down.
Sorry Knick fans but Amare was never in any real contention for this award. In the end the Knicks are going to be three games over .500 and they are sitting in the sixth/seventh spot. Name me one six seeded team that produced an MVP. Rose has battled through all the Bulls injuries and has put up staggering numbers. He is currently at 24.6 PPG, 8.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds and without a doubt he has closed out more games than anyone in the league this year especially with Kobe in cruise control most of the season.
Rose is beyond a shadow of a doubt the MVP of this league right now. When you factor in all these things it is hard to not believe that this team is for real and going to make some serious noise come playoff time. On top of it all they are young and they are not going away anytime soon.
With an aging Celtic team, a Miami team in limbo, and a Knick team that really isn't no where near the level of intense defense you need to win I would say the Bulls are prime to be the best in the conference for the next couple of years.