The 2013 NBA Playoffs are here and the Chicago Bulls have, once again, cracked the Eastern Conference‘s top-eight teams. The Bulls have a long history of winning, but so much is not true of them in the playoffs recently.
In five out of the past eight seasons, the Bulls have failed to make it out of the first round. Out of those eight seasons, they have only made one conference final in 2010-11 and lost the series 4-1 to the Miami Heat.
Now that Derrick Rose has yet to play a game in 2012-13, been sued by a man claiming he’s depressed that Rose hasn’t played and is likely to miss the playoffs, can the Bulls make a deep run without the point guard? I mean, they did win 45 games this season without him and earned the No. 5 seed.
Playing the new and improved No. 4 seed Brooklyn Nets has been a tough battle thus far, but the Bulls lead the series 2-1. It’s early in the playoffs but the question begs to be asked: can the Bulls make a run without Rose?
The answer is simple: no. Sure, they have leaders in Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Hey, they even have playoff veterans in Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng, but that won’t mean a thing.
The Bulls are a good team. From top to bottom, they are a competitive group of players with a defensive priority. Tom Thibodeau is one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the league and it shows.
However, Chicago is not a great team. Great teams win titles; good teams win regular season games. The Heat, for example, is a great team. They showed it last season with an NBA title and two of the best players in the league — Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
The Bulls don’t quite have what it takes to take them or even the New York Knicks down if they were to make it to the conference finals.
Sure, they could make an improbable run, but without their best player and a guy that averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists last season, the Bulls are without a solid facilitator and leader.
Sorry, Bulls fans, this is just not your year.