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Old 02-15-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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Something interesting to note:

Bulls: Started 9-8, 27-8 since
Miami: Started 9-8, 30-7 since
Orlando: 15-4, 20-17 since.
Lakers: 13-2, 25-16 since

Dallas: 38-16 but reasonably with Dirk healthy they would be around 44-10

Boston, San Antonio and OKC have been steady.

My conclusions are:

1) Dallas is flying under the radar in the west due to San Antonios big year and the Lakers' being the defending champ (and the 6-game losing streak with dirk out). I'm not sure the Lakers even GET to play in the WCF if Dallas shows up with their A-game...but it is probably moot since I think OKC will be the #3 seed and the Lakers #4.

2) Chicago and Miami are surging and when the dust settles I can see Boston as the #3 seed. The #1 seed will be a HUGE plus in the east and I expect it to be the Bulls that take that spot and have the easier road vs. Orlando while the Heat and Celtics battle it out.

I'm going to hold off on firmer playoff predictions until the regular season wraps up and injuries sort themselves out. I know the HCA is grossly over-rated in the NBA.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
I think Boozer is surrounded by a lot more scoring threat than before and with a VERY strong rebounding team around him cannot be focused on like he was with Utah.

I think he's just in a difference role\place with this Bulls team.
Perhaps, but mainly I'm saying that the Bulls need a reliable second option in the playoffs, especially when the heat is on. Deng won't cut it, and the strength of Noah's game certainly isn't scoring. It would seem to me that Boozer would be the one to assume that role, and I'm not convinced he's up to that challenge going all the way through the finals.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Greg1977 View Post
Perhaps, but mainly I'm saying that the Bulls need a reliable second option in the playoffs, especially when the heat is on. Deng won't cut it, and the strength of Noah's game certainly isn't scoring. It would seem to me that Boozer would be the one to assume that role, and I'm not convinced he's up to that challenge going all the way through the finals.
I haven't watched Boozer in the playoffs previously but it seems his numbers are on-par with his regular season numbers, a bit better on rebounding.

I don't see him having to step up or assume that role since he's already filling that role night in and night out.

I guess I'm curious as to the reasoning behind him not being a reliable 2nd option in the playoffs?
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
I haven't watched Boozer in the playoffs previously but it seems his numbers are on-par with his regular season numbers, a bit better on rebounding.

I don't see him having to step up or assume that role since he's already filling that role night in and night out.

I guess I'm curious as to the reasoning behind him not being a reliable 2nd option in the playoffs?
I've seen him enough in prior playoffs. I'm not saying he's a 'bad' playoff performer, moreso that he historically struggles against bigger star power forwards. Players like Garnett, Duncan and Gasol can bother him with length, and it's likely the Bulls will have to go through at least one of those guys to win it all. If your second star player is going to be neutralized playing the Celtics, Lakers, or Spurs, then the Bulls otherwise do not have enough playoff tested firepower beyond Rose. Rose himself is still somewhat inexperienced in the playoffs, though I've seen enough from him in the playoffs to say he can handle the pressure.

Having the ability to step up in the regular season is quite a different kettle of fish from doing so when the spotlights are brightest.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Greg1977 View Post
I've seen him enough in prior playoffs. I'm not saying he's a 'bad' playoff performer, moreso that he historically struggles against bigger star power forwards. Players like Garnett, Duncan and Gasol can bother him with length, and it's likely the Bulls will have to go through at least one of those guys to win it all. If your second star player is going to be neutralized playing the Celtics, Lakers, or Spurs, then the Bulls otherwise do not have enough playoff tested firepower beyond Rose. Rose himself is still somewhat inexperienced in the playoffs, though I've seen enough from him in the playoffs to say he can handle the pressure.

Having the ability to step up in the regular season is quite a different kettle of fish from doing so when the spotlights are brightest.
Fair enough, I wouldn't expect him to hold his own vs. a HOF level player especially when they were at their prime and he wasn't. Additionally, in those meetings the guy on him was probably also getting help as Boozer was 1st option. 2nd option with guys trying to cheat to help vs. Rose is a WHOLE other situation.

I like Boozer at the #2 option. At the #1....nope.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:50 PM
JL
 
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I wouldn't want to be facing the Bulls in the playoffs. I don't think they make it to the Finals, but don't be surprised if they pull an upset in the 2nd round.

Also, it will be interesting to see which teams make a good or huge trade before the deadline. It could take some teams over the top to title contention. I would look at the Thunder as the team to watch as they look to trade for a center who can rebound and play D. They were looking at Verajao before he got hurt. If he hadn't gotten hurt and was traded to the Thunder, they would've been very dangerous and gone to the next level of title contender.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Fair enough, I wouldn't expect him to hold his own vs. a HOF level player especially when they were at their prime and he wasn't. Additionally, in those meetings the guy on him was probably also getting help as Boozer was 1st option.
He wasn't a baby-faced rookie either, I'm speaking moreso to him being bothered by lengthy defenders than how he performs vs HOF caliber players. I don't see that dynamic changing if he were to play Garnett or Duncan in the playoffs, even with them being 'out of their prime'. Just don't see him being a great championship second option, unless there's a strong 3rd option behind him. Noah? Deng? Hmmmm.....
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Greg1977 View Post
He wasn't a baby-faced rookie either, I'm speaking moreso to him being bothered by lengthy defenders than how he performs vs HOF caliber players. I don't see that dynamic changing if he were to play Garnett or Duncan in the playoffs, even with them being 'out of their prime'. Just don't see him being a great championship second option, unless there's a strong 3rd option behind him. Noah? Deng? Hmmmm.....
Well, perhaps we will get to see for ourselves if the playoffs match-up so that the Bulls and Celtics meet. There really aren't any good examples to cite from this year. Boozer tore up the Celtics a month or two ago but Garnett was out so I've got nothing I can point to.

<shrug> We will just have to wait and see.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post

<shrug> We will just have to wait and see.
That's pretty much the best stance to take. So much changes between regular season and the playoffs.... I'll put it to you this way, Boozer is going to have to be a lock for 25 and 10 throughout the playoffs and particularly against teams like LA and Boston, who have alot of size,and doing it against San Antonio where he'll be facing a rested Duncan. I don't see him doing that, but hey, stranger things have happened lol....
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Greg1977 View Post
That's pretty much the best stance to take. So much changes between regular season and the playoffs.... I'll put it to you this way, Boozer is going to have to be a lock for 25 and 10 throughout the playoffs and particularly against teams like LA and Boston, who have alot of size,and doing it against San Antonio where he'll be facing a rested Duncan. I don't see him doing that, but hey, stranger things have happened lol....
I don't see him doing that but I don't think he has to. (Especially against defensive slower paced teams like Boston or SA.)

If he just puts up his season averages they should do just fine. I guess it will actually depend upon how those teams approach Rose in that if they swarm Rose then that means more points for Boozer, Deng, Noah etc.

I would note that in the last 30 games SA is 24-6 and the Bulls are 22-8 and Boston is 20-10.

I think that you *might* be underestimating how tough a healthy Bulls team is in the paint...it's not just Boozer is the point I'm trying to make.

The paint-dominated Dallas here....
Dallas Mavericks vs. Chicago Bulls - Box Score - January 20, 2011 - ESPN

No Garnett but look at the rebounding #'s...
Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls - Box Score - January 08, 2011 - ESPN

Tough game against Blake Griffin recently....
Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Clippers - Box Score - February 02, 2011 - ESPN
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