The Chicago Bulls‘ Joakim Noah has gone as far as calling LeBron James ‘Hollywood as hell’ in the past but has always had great respect for the 10-time NBA All-Star. Noah knows in order for the Bulls to reach their ultimate goal, bringing a seventh NBA championship to Chicago, they must go through James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Noah recently made comments saying that not only does he see James as their biggest obstacle, but also that he wants to beat James and any team that stands in their way. He also thinks the Bulls have finally put together a team that can get the job done.
With the additions of Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and Aaron Brooks to an already solid core of Noah, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and a healthy Derrick Rose, the Bulls are poised to reach their championship aspirations.
The Bulls have lost to a James team three out of the last five seasons in the playoffs. They lost to the Cavaliers in the first round in 2010, to the Heat in the conference finals in 2011 and again to the Heat in the conference semifinals in 2013. They lost each series four games to one.
The biggest reason the Bulls have been unable to once again reach the conference finals is the health of Rose. The Bulls pride themselves on hard work, effort and having ‘more than enough to win’, but faced an uphill battle trying to win in the playoffs without their best player.
Coming into the 2014-15 season, it is the deepest roster the Bulls have had since Tom Thibodeau took over in the 2010-11 season when they had the self-proclaimed “bench mob.” It was also Rose’s last healthy season in which he won the league’s MVP award.
If Rose returns to MVP-form, the Bulls and Cavaliers will be on a collision course to once again meet in the playoffs. However, Noah and the Bulls hope this time will end up in a different result — getting past James and reaching the NBA Finals.