StreetWise vendors know their sports! StreetWise volunteer Bill Coats and vendors Russell Adams, John Hagan and Vince Collaso (below, left to right) talk about how the Chicago Bulls are shaping up.
John: Today we’ll be talking about the state of the Chicago Bulls. As you may know, they’ve already played a couple of pre-season games, but who’s watching pre-season? The real test will be coming … when the Bulls open the regular season. What does that mean, “the state of the Chicago Bulls?” It’s almost like a presidential Union Address or the … State of the State Address, or State of the City, if you like. The State of the Bulls Address is this: the Bulls have improved greatly as far as offense is concerned … They will be a play-off team again. But will they go to the Eastern Conference and perhaps the NBA Finals? Well, that remains to be seen because of Derrick Rose’s health.
Vince: You are hitting on a few key points … The State of the Bulls, ladies and gentlemen, is that the team is strong. The Bulls are definitely the team to beat in the East. The Cleveland Cavaliers, even though they’ve got LeBron [James] and Kevin Love, they’ll have to go through a period where they have to pull their team together. … By January, I think the Bulls will be in nice mid-season form and really … knocking the daylights out of the teams in the East.
Russell: I agree with you, Vince. I think the Bulls will win the East, and I’m going to tell you why. I watched the pre-season games myself, and I see things that I haven’t seen before, like good defense. They’re taking the preseason very seriously … And that’s why I think the Bulls are going to win, because of the defense.
Bill: One of the things that [Coach Tom] Thibodeau has been able to do — and we saw in Boston — is a 10-man rotation. We haven’t seen that for awhile because we didn’t have enough troops … We’ve got [Kirk] Hinrich, who can run the team. We’ve got back-up players, like Taj Gibson. I mean, what a fantastic character. He’s willing and able to play full out, any time they ask him to … And I think they got a couple more guys like him who are going to go out there, like Butler. You’ve got some really tough players, and that’s what Cleveland, I think, doesn’t have.
John: How are the match-ups, though? Is there anybody in Chicago who can match up to LeBron James? … I still think LeBron is one heck of a physical specimen out there. He can play defense, he can play offense. He’s more, to me, like Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan … That’s where Chicago might have their trouble.
Vince: You know, they’re going to struggle at the beginning of the season because Kevin Durant is hurt. He’s going to be out for the next couple of months … But Bill, you mentioned, the Bulls are deep. And that’s their strength. I think they’re a better team than were back in 2011 … I think now you’ve got more offensive threats. You’ve got shooters like [Doug] McDermott and [Nikola] Mirotic.
Russell: LeBron James is hard to stop, but I figured this out: He’ll get his points regardless, the same way the Spurs did last year. LeBron got his points, but the team didn’t get nothing.