Bulls fan – how are you liking your team now? Because all these guys are missing is MJ and Scotty right now.
The Mayor, after looking like he was going to get run out of town is looking like PHILLIP. And this is the team that’s playing like it should be the 1 seed, not sweating out a playoff berth until the final day of the regular season.
And after a fan revolt had “FIRE GAR PAX” trending in Chicago in late February, GM Gar Forman VP of basketball John Paxton look like they built themselves a postseason BULLY.
This Bulls team is fascinating. They’ve won some HUGE games — sweeping Cleveland in the regular season. Splitting with Golden State and San Antonio. Running down Milwaukee and Atlanta down the stretch when they absolutely NEEDED the wins. But they’ve also been awful – a 41-win regular season that needed a HUGE finish just to make the playoffs. And a roster that looked like one of the worst assembled LITERALLY in the NBA, now looks borderline terrifying.
Jimmy Butler is every bit the alpha dog we knew him to be. After going Weekend At Bernie’s all regular season, Rajon Rondo has been DEADLY this postseason, 14 dimes and 9 boards to go along with 11 points last night and 12-7-6 in the Game 1 win. Even Dwyane has been balling — instant offense last night with 22 including some daggers from beyond the arc that kept the Bulls foot on the gas and the lead comfortably in hand. Hell, Robin Lopez has been a beast, holding down the block in Boston, averaging 16 and 9 and OWNING the Bulls big men in the paint.
This looked like a HOUSE-CLEANING less than 2 months ago. Gar Pax out. The Mayor out. The move to run Tom Thibodeau looking like the wrong one — the signings of Rondo and Dwyane disasters, the trade in February to move Taj Gibson — their heart and soul — and former lottery pick Doug McDermott looking like a white flag. And now two games into their round 1 matchup the Bulls played a more impressive first two games than any team in the East. Veteran talent that’s battle tested. A bench that’s dominating Boston’s.
This was a team that got blown out so badly by the Celtics in mid-March that the Boston STARTERS were doing the WAVE with the crowd – a 20 point loss that felt even worse.
And now, heading back to Chicago with a 2 game lead and blood in the water, the Bulls can steal round one and feel confident about whoever they get between Atlanta and Washington knowing that they’ve had the Cavs number all season.
From worst roster in the league to Eastern Conference bully. What an incredible turnaround for the Bulls.