The Three Best Possible 1st Round Matchups for Cleveland
“Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Fred Hoiberg doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Fred Hoiberg is undertaking a systematic effort to change this basketball team, to make the Bulls more like the rest of the championship contenders…”
…is what Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman might say in response to criticism surrounding the Bull’s lacklustre performance as of this season. Fred Hoiberg is trying to change the Bulls to the Chicago Warriors, but he unfortunately has neither the NBA experience nor the players to do so (Although, not many people thought that about Steve Kerr). A majority of the Bulls’ talent exists in their big men (Gibson, Noah, Gasol, Mirotic, Portis) alongside their newest franchise miracle in Jimmy Butler. Paired with the inconsistency of Rose, the team can’t seem to find its identity this season.
Chicago has no star to guard Cleveland’s Big Three, leaving a literal lane for LeBron to charge down and score as much as he wants (Butler tries, like many). Chicago is in for a rebuild, Noah will most likely be leaving, as will Pau, and with a young star like Butler to build around, there’s reason to be confident that Chicago will eventually return to Eastern supremacy once again. That being said, right now, the Cavs have their number and would at most drop one game due to playing down to Chicago’s level, as they’ve done so this season