Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mannix: Bulls Will Win the Title

Really? The Bulls?

Needless to say, I disagree.

I made a lot of these points when the Bulls signed Wallace, but let's do a quick rehash:

Last year the Bulls strengths were: outside shooting (guard play) and defense
Their weaknesses: inside scoring (no scoring big man) and lack of free throws (stemming from the jumpshooting and lack of inside game)

Ben Wallace brings: great off the ball defense, good rebounding and terrible, terrible shooting

So how does a 41-41 team go from a 7th seed to title winner with an addition that doesn't address any of their weaknesses?

I'm not saying they won't be improved. They will be. But when they lost to the Heat last year, their problem wasn't defense.

In my opinion, the best part of the Bulls signing Wallace was that it weakened a division rival in Detroit.

If you want to make an argument for the Bulls coming out of the East it would go something like this:

The Heat are too old and if Dwyane Wade gets less calls, they can be beaten.
The Pistons lost Ben Wallace and now have to rely on Rasheed Wallace. Enjoy.
The Cavs are a one man team (with no reliable point guard) and the Bulls should be able to cause havoc on the defensive end.
The Nets have even less inside game than the Bulls.
The Pacers are decent but not great.
The Bucks are too young.
The Raptors are too Euro.
The Knicks, well, um, Isiah Thomas.
The Sixers are terrible.
The Magic are too young and unproven (though I think they'll be really good this year).

(Did I miss anyone?)

Every team in the East has a rather large question mark So that would be my argument for the Bulls coming out of the East. Somebody has to, right?

But the title? You trust the Bulls getting a big basket down the stretch versus the Spurs or the Mavs?

I don't.

1 comment:

Erik said...

I think it's standard overreaction to a big free-agent signing. Scrap, hustle and guile are great, but talent is going to win in the end.

To that end, the Bulls are loaded with solid role players but not that all-important superstar that is going to carry a team in basketball. Ben Wallace isn't it. He's a glorified role player.

The Scott Skiles Bulls have made the playoffs twice and have gotten unceremoniously bounced in the first round twice. Ben Wallace might be enough to get them a fourth seed, maybe even a division title, but they still don't have enough size, athleticism or star power to be better than every other team in the East.

As it stands right now, Miami, Detroit, Washington and LeBron James (Not the Cavs. LeBron James.) could all take the Bulls out in a seven-game series.