THE BULLS ON PARADE
Over at CBS Sportsline, Tony Mejia writes a pretty convincing column on why the Bulls will not win any championships without a superstar.
The NBA is a league where superstars thrive. In the past 10 years, only the 2004 Detroit Pistons have won it all with a player who isn’t a lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. The Lakers won with Shaquille O’Neal and Bryant. San Antonio built around Tim Duncan. Miami rode O’Neal and Dwyane Wade. If the Bulls are honestly expected to be taken seriously with Deng and Ben Gordon, they’re fooling themselves.
I don’t agree with many of Mejia’s points in the column, but the paragraph above is likely something every Bulls fan thinks about. In response Bulls fans might counter with the aforementioned “What about the Pistons?” and the possibility that Deng is indeed that superstar.
In a playoff series, teams are going to be able to exploit their 6-2 shooting guard. They’re going to be able to dare individuals who don’t have it in them to carry a team to carry a team.
Paxson must realize you can only be on the rise for so long before you hit a ceiling. His Baby Bulls have become men, but they still lack that one missing player to put them over the top. With pieces like Thomas, Noah, Gordon and Deng, Paxson has the ammunition to make a significant splash. At some point this season, he has to pull the trigger before he’s left holding a mediocre bag.
He may be right. The players the Bulls have on the roster are the types of guys you want on your team–as a GM or as a fan. But do they have the right mix to take this up to another level? We’ll find out. But anything less than 50 wins in the regular season has to be considered disappointing. Anything less than playing for the Eastern Conference title this year would be the same. We’ve enjoyed the climb and watching the growth. But now we all want one thing. Big, big wins.