Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Happy Opening Night!!! Well kids, this is what we've been waiting for. All the talk during draft night and during the free agent period is now subsided to watch the actual games. Actual games! Now Bulls fans, this is when it gets fun. The funnest time in being a fan is when the team is starting to get good. Starting to become a playoff contender, and you feel like you're growing with them. Then when the Bulls start playing meaningful games in April, It'll be even sweeter. OK, I realized that my Eastern Conference preview really should've meant "teams worse than the Bulls", and that the Top 5 really doesn't matter. But for the sake of continuity, I'll finish the preview, albiet the descriptions will be a little abbreviated. 5 - Philly 76ers OK, I fell for it last year with the Hawks, thinking that Glenn Robinson was still a difference-maker. But what the heck, I'm fallin for it again. Robinson is the best sidekick Iverson's ever had, certainly a better scorer than Keith Van Horn. I really think it'll help Iverson a lot to have someone who can score at will. Part of that trade that was overlooked though was the fact that the Sixers were also aquiring Marc Jackson, who in the East is actually one of the better centers. Add that to a returing returing supporting cast of Snow, Thomas, McKie, and Coleman (yeah, I said it), and Philly has a team that could go deep in the Conference playoffs. 4 - New Orleans Hornets This may have been a higher ranking, but look at the man on the sidelines. In one of the strangest coaching moves I've ever seen, Paul Silas was fired and replaced by native son Tim Floyd. He may be the native son to New Orleans, but he's also the native son of a place I call "The Land of Those Who Can't Coach" (the name needs work). Maybe the Bulls teams that Floyd coached had little talent, but it still seemed that they had no coaching at all. I guess everyone deserves a second chance, so this is Floyd's. And with a team loaded with talent, this will be his last chance. Especially since they'll be moving to the west next year. 3 - Indiana Pacers This is the complete opposite of the Hornets. This team would've been ranked LOWER except they fired Isiah and replaced him with a real coach in Rick Carlisle. For a team that's been said to have underachieved, a coach like Carlisle can mean a lot more wins. Losing Brad Miller will hurt some, but Scott Pollard will help out defensively and in fact probably create more shots for Jermaine O'Neal by simply getting out of the way. For this team to be successful though, Pollard needs to stay healthy and Ron Artest needs to take his pills every morning. 2 - New Jersey Nets What? the Nets aren't ranked #1? I'll just give one reason, I'm not sold on Zo. However, if signing him was necessary to retain Jason Kidd, then it was worth it. If Kidd left it would've crippled the franchise, so taking a flyer on a man coming off a debilitating kidney disorder may be worth it. People make a big deal over the Lakers' squabbles, yet the Nets this year may be just as bad. First theres Kidd allegedly wanting coach Byron Scott Fired. Then Alonzo is mad that the team paid Dikembe Mutumbo to go home. Then the whole mess with Kenyon Martin's extension (see the celtics preview). The team still has loads of talent though, and if everything goes well they could even beat one of the big 5 of the west. 1 - Detroit Pistons Now those who know me know I love the Pistons. That may seem odd coming from a Bulls fan, yet I just love the moves they've made over the years in assembling this team. While they doesn't have a go-to star, they just drafted one in Darko Milicic. BUT, don't get me wrong, he's not ready to take the reigns and lead this team. But the beauty of the work GM Joe Dumars is that he doesn't need to. The backcourt of Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton is one of the the best in the league. They still have defensive player of the year Ben Wallace, and forward Mehmet Okur is ready to become real contributor. The team is also very deep, and did I mentioned they aquirred a hall-of-fame coach in the offseason? If Darko gives them anything come playoff time, they will be a team to be reckoned with. Wow, those descriptions weren't very abbreviated at all. Enjoy the game tonight. With Stackhouse out and the Bulls being at home, needless to say this one should be in the bag. Like a nerd I'll probably be taking notes, so hopefully there will be some game comments tommorow.
Posted by Matt at 10/29/2003 08:29:00 AM