Bulls Strike First in Eastern Conference Dance

By Jerald L. Hoover
Updated: May 17, 2011

NEW YORK—A lot hasn’t really been made about this season’s MVP Derrick Rose not wanting to play with last season’s MVP LeBron James and not openly courting him during the legendary free agent period. It was said that Rose really wanted to play with Atlanta Hawk shooting guard, Joe Johnson who they share the same agent (Arm Tellem) as opposed to LeBron.

If one would take a good look at how shaky the Miami Heat were for good portions of the season (with LeBron and Dwayne Wade trying to get adjusted to each other) they would understand why Rose had his reservations. Both Rose and LeBron are most effective with the ball in their hands. If LeBron were a Carmelo Anthony type of scoring small forward threat in a finishing capacity; that would make sense. But James is more at ease dominating the ball.

Although Rose improved immeasurably from the outside with his now lethal jumper, he’s not considered a dead-eye shooter that would be too comfortable playing long stretches without the ball in his hands. Rose explicitly denied that accusation reasoning about why would anybody not want to play with LeBron? Yes in theory that would be a great question. But this isn’t theory, this is reality and Rose’s team hasn’t lost against LeBron’s team all year. At present, the Bulls are 4 and 0 against the Heat.

It’s only Game One of a seven game series. But the Bulls have shown they aren’t backing down nor are they just bent on merely competing; but wanting to win the series. The Bulls showed no fear whatsoever of the Heat. Bulls small forward, Luol Deng was practically chewing LeBron’s gum and center Jaokim Noah patrolled the paint like a security guard.

The Bull won the game 103-82 and it wasn’t that close. The Heat will make adjustments and game plan differently but with Rose continuing to bloom it may not be enough to overtake the hard charging Bulls.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau who was awarded NBA Coach of the Year, was the mastermind and architect of the vaunted Boston Celtic defense for the past 4 season must’ve been licking his chops at this chance waiting to match wits with his star player and his number 1 rated defense going against the Big 3 of the Heat.

This series should be long and fun.

Jerald L. Hoover

You can follow Jerald on Twitter @JerryHoover65