Well, it appears as if the annual tradition of the Chicago Bulls wiping the floor with
the rest of league has begun, despite predictions prior to the start of the season
that Michael's squad was done. Never looking as if they had lost control, the Bulls
made quick work of a pretty good New Jersey Nets team. Granted, they aren't the
Jazz or the Sonics, but I thought they would at least take one game, and many
people predicted they might take two against the aging Bulls.
No such luck,
Jersey. The Bulls are in play-off form and it looks like they may make their annual
pilgrimage to NBA Championship Land.
What makes this Bull team more interesting than previous teams is the general
feeling of ill content. The players are pissed off at management. It almost appears
that Kraus and Reinsdorf want to be the Golden State of the league. Why these
dorks want to give up on the most dominant team in professional sports in perhaps
three decades is beyond anyone. But they insist on breaking them up at the end
of the1998 season.
Because of this, I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls win every play-off game they
play up to the finals. The rest of the team in the Eastern Conference seem like
minor league baseball teams compared to the Bulls. It's almost unfair. You watch
them against a lesser team only leading by four or five and the next thing you know
they're up by 36 points.
Personally, I don't see a team in the East hanging with them
in the playoffs. The West may be a different story.
If Utah gets past Houston and they continue to perform well in the play-offs, a Jazz
vs. Bulls finals could see Karl Malone finally getting the monkey off of his back.
Revenge from last year's defeat will be a huge motivational factor.
Also, you have to look at the Los Angeles Lakers as championship material. They
are young, loaded with talent, and have a lot of energy. Any team with the heir (or should I say "air"?)
apparent to Michael Jordan who is considered the #2 offensive threat on the team
must be taken seriously. Kobe Bryant looks poised to fill the void if/when Jordan
retires, but O'Neil is still the man. If you want to lead the Lakers in points, you have
to take up with Shacquille. Period.
San Antonio could be a serious threat as well. If Duncan and Robinson continue to
perform the way they have all season and play-off caliber performances from their
supporting cast, they could surprise some people and find themselves winning the
West. I don't know if they have what it takes just yet to beat Chicago.
However it works it self out, if this is Jordan's last year, the game will suffer. To have
that standard of excellence on the floor every night kind of keeps other egos in
check, if you can believe that watching the league now. I think once Jordan's
gone, team basketball will become almost non-existent as a host of wannabe's
start sticking their tongue out while trying to attempt impossible reverse lay-ups
and dunks. The NBA will most likely suffer from a leadership void.
And that will be sad to watch.