Let's get this thing going since the playoffs start today. We'll start with the Chicago Bulls (1) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8). The one thing that I will say is that the Bulls and the 76ers are both solid teams and this will be a somewhat interesting matchup.
Bulls: Of course, the Bulls are driven by Derrick Rose. I don't want to hear about all of the games that the Bulls won without him due to injury. Without Rose, the Bulls will be sitting with me watching the NBA Finals. There's a fine line in this series, as you want rose healthy but you also need him to get back into his groove. The Bulls play defense, I mean DEFENSE, so they should be in every game in this series even if they sit half of their starting five. I think we all know that the Bulls are going to win this series and it's really aabout how many games it'll take.
Who has to step up: C.J. Watson. If I'm Thibs, he gets a lot of run in this game and I rest Rose. Watson has been solid all year, but has kind of caught fire late in the season for this Bulls team.
76ers: This is what the 76ers wanted. They had a chance to get to the 7th seed and play the Heat, but there was talk that they 'wanted' the easier out by playing the Bulls. Quick question, do they drug test in the NBA? The Sixers started this season playing well, but soon Doug Collins wore on them and they faltered down the stretch. They have a lot of pieces in Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and an improved Evan Turner. The odd part is that both the Bulls and the 76ers are deep teams that play as teams.
Who has to step up: Elton Brand, Lou Williams, and Thaddeus Young. Brand has got to go back in the phonebooth and emerge as the old Chicago Bull Elton Brand. The 20 and 10 guy every night he stepped on the court. He's going to have to be a big difference. Lou Williams won't match Rose's play, but he's got to get his teammates some easy buckets. Thaddues Young has got to be a consistent scorer off the bench for this team against that Bulls 2nd unit.
Outcome: I got the Bulls in 5 in this one. Too much Chicago.