With two to three games left in the regular season, the playoff matchups look to be set. There may be some last-minute changes among the lower-seeded teams. However, I do not see Chicago losing to the Knicks, 76ers or Bucks.
This would result in a meeting between the Bulls and the Celtics in the second round.
As of now, the Bulls' biggest weakness is Derrick Rose, the reigning MVP.
The point-guard matchup between Rondo and Rose is one of the best in the Eastern Conference when they are healthy. Both are quick, intelligent and excellent with the ball in their hands.
But what makes Rose such a great player is his agility, speed and power, attributes that his injuries will prevent him from using against the Celtics. As a result, Rondo figures to be able to out-match Rose in almost every technical aspect of the game.
With Rose looking like he will be limited physically, Rondo would have to be given the edge in scoring, rebounding, one-on-one defending and, of course, assists. The more minutes Rose plays, the more pronounced his disadvantages will become, especially during crunch time.
If his physical game is already not at its peak, the mental lapses that come with exhaustion will destroy the Bulls, and I don’t see coach Tom Thibodeau taking Rose out at the end of games.
If the national sports pundits still want to list Rose as a better point guard than Rondo, that’s fine. But this particular series is Rondo’s for the taking.