Home Other Stuff We Like Are the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls Still Threats to Win the East?

Are the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls Still Threats to Win the East?

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When the NBA Playoffs started, I was excited as always.

After the first couple days, though, reality started to set in. Seven of the eight series were 2-0. I had been staying up way too late for nothing.



As things have played out, a couple matchups in the East have become unexpectedly competitive. Now we’re left with one question as we wait for Round 2:

Are the Bulls and Hawks contenders, or nah?

Let’s break them down one by one:

Chicago Bulls: Contenders (for the East)

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First of all, Chicago a’int winning the title. Whoever comes out of the West will beat them in five.

Now, despite coughing up two straight games to Milwaukee, can Chicago make it out of the East? I say yes.

This isn’t so much praise of Chicago as an indictment of the East. The Bulls have been on the cusp for years. The Finals serving as the football to the Bulls’ Charlie Brown. That would make LeBron the Lucy of this situation I guess.

Anyway, the Bulls have everything you’d want on paper: a former MVP****, an up and coming star, a solid defense (above average during the regular season…#1 so far in the Playoffs), and no obvious flaws to speak of.

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They should be a no-brainer as a contender, yet here we are.

For all their strengths, you watch the Bulls and wonder how they ever score at times. NOTHING seems to come easily.

That should be negated by the former MVP on the roster, but that former MVP is wildly inefficient. It’s easy to pick on after a six turnover, 0-7 three-pointer performance yesterday, but Derrick Rose is not the guy you want to count on to lead you to the Finals.

Thankfully the Bulls have Jimmy Butler who, despite his hair, is the player Rose could’ve become in a lot of ways. He’s also the main reason I still consider the Bulls a threat to win the East.

Atlanta Hawks: Pretenders

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I hate to say it, but that old cliché just might be right when it comes to the Hawks. They live by the jumper, and the last two games against the Brooklyn Nets have shown that when the jumpers aren’t falling, they look a little funny in the light.

The Hawks are still good, but how long do you wait for them to become the Regular Season Hawks before you realize…they might not be anything more than the Regular Season Hawks.

To be clear, I’m 100% sure the Hawks will beat Brooklyn. But I’m less convinced they’ll win eight games after that to make it to the Finals.

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The Hawks’ system thrives on ball movement, three-pointers, and flexibility. Take any random lineup Atlanta plays and all five guys on the floor can shoot threes. That’s powerful during the regular season when teams aren’t gamplanning against you exclusively.

As Brooklyn has shown, some good adjustments and a couple good games from Deron Williams can be the difference between a sweep and a 7-game series.

At this rate, would you confidently pick the Hawks over the Washington Wizards?

I wouldn’t, and that’s why I’m no longer taking Atlanta seriously to make it to the Finals.

So who does that leave?

Probably Cleveland, but the Kevin Love injury is, of course, concerning. Washington just embarrassed all of Canada, but they’re still coached by Randy Wittman. Can’t take them too seriously.

I guess I’ll take Cleveland. Because LeBron. But the moral here is the East is what we thought it was.

What do you think? Are Atlanta and Chicago still threats to take the East? Were they ever? How seriously do you take Washington after running through Toronto?

Let me know in the comments below!

Comment(10)

  1. I’m a Chicago Bulls fan to the core and still don’t believe they have what it takes to get to the promise land..especially with Lebron in the east..I’ve been shaky on DRose for the past 3 years and still don’t believe hes at 100%…If this is his 100% then we in trouble

    1. Yeah I think there’s a ‘new normal’ with D Rose. He’s never been super efficient, but for some reason he’s now insisting on taking 3’s. I guess that’s because he can’t/doesn’t want to go to the rim as much…but damn that jumper (still) needs work. Yuck.

  2. We’ve read this book before, team built to give LeBron fits, do so all season then the playoffs come and well, they just arent quite there yet. I think they might struggle without JR and his scoring, but the biggest asset Cavs got wasnt love it was Mosgov and now Rose is going to have to shoot his way to victory; its not impossible but i wouldnt bet on it. Cavs in 6.

    Oops I forgot Atlanta…..no I didnt, they wont get past Washington.

    1. That’s fair. LeBron has reached MJ status in that sense, and we OENO. There was always the next guy that was gonna take MJ our (Ewing, Miller, Drexler…). MJ of course has the titles, but that’s an interesting point.

      I think this all underscores the greatness of Tim Duncan. Dude was tied into both eras.

  3. I think the Bulls have the best chance to beat Cleveland (I have no basis in this opinion). I have no faith in Atlanta to beat Cleveland or Chicago.

  4. Bulls are the epitome of ‘cant get right’. The pieces are there, especially w/ Gasol and Aaron Brooks. But I just don’t see them beating the Cavs. I agree w/ Tristan, Mozgov is more of a difference maker than Love. But I have to fall back on Jr Smith. If he goes on a hot streak at the right time, that could wind up being a 4-1 series.

      1. Not that he fell off but going into the ECF and Finals, a rim protector is gonna be huge. Love gets rebounds but he’s not really a rim protector imo Cavs don’t need Mozgov to score to be effective but if he puts up 10-12 pts, that’ll be the Cavs’ edge.

        1. I gotcha. They’ll need everybody with Love out. But let’s be honest, they’ll live and die with LeBron. LBJ on Jimmy Butler could be a fun matchup.

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