The Eastern Conference Finals get started tonight in Chicago, and there are plenty of storylines to keep an eye on. The 2011 MVP, Derrick Rose, is leading the Bulls into the Conference Finals for the first time since 1998, when a guy named Mike was leading the team to NBA Championship number six. For Chicago fans, watching this series might be a little strange, because the Miami Heat are constructed in an eerily similar fashion to those Jordan-led Bulls. Dwyane Wade is as good a player as there is in the NBA today, and no Chicago fans, he is not as good as Mike, but is closer than you think. DWade plays the same position, same role, and is fearless at the end of games. LeBron James on the other hand, is Scottie Pippen, only better. Bron may never live up to the hype of being the next Jordan, but who will. He is a uniquely talented player, who now that he has been paired with Wade, is scary. JoEl Anthony will play Dennis Rodman in this series. He will provide defense, rebounding, and very little offense. His hair won’t be nearly as cool though. The rest of the pieces are what they are, complimentary. So, Derrick Rose will lead the 2011 Bulls against the 1998 Bulls. Hmmm…
In the regular season Chicago swept Miami, 3-0. TV personalities would have you believe that the regular season doesn’t mean anything, but be careful Heat fans before you jump on that bandwagon. I know that D3 and Co had their problems with Boston and then won the series 4-1, but the Bulls present a different problem. Unlike the Celtics, Chicago is a pretty young team and Miami is not going to wear them down late in games. Also, who is going to guard Rose? At the end of games I guarantee you that it will be Wade, but Eric Spoelstra won’t put Dwyane on him for the whole game. You are not going to shut down the reigning MVP completely, but Miami needs to find somebody to disrupt him a little bit. My guess would be Mario Chalmers. Mike Bibby will get eaten alive by Rose. Another match-up that will be key is the one between LeBron James and Luol Deng. This might be the most pivotal one to watch. Not only does Miami need James to produce offensively, but Heat fans that have been fans for more than a year know plenty about what Deng can do on offense. He destroyed Miami in the 2007 Playoffs as the Bulls swept the then NBA Champs.
The Miami Heat are favored to win this series, even though they are the #2 seed and Chicago is the #1. My feeling is that Miami’s best chance to win a road game will be Game 2 on Wednesday. Tonight will be a close affair, but I just don’t know if the Heat will be emotionally ready after that Game 5 against Boston. As for the series, I think the dynamic duo of Wade and James will be too much for the Bulls. Plus, the forgotten man, Chris Bosh, could show up and drop 25 points on a given night. Tonight the Bulls probably win, but Miami takes the series in six.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).