Chicago Bulls vs. OKC Thunder: The Best Possible 2011 NBA Finals Matchup?
I know it's early. It's WAY too early. It's so early right now that the schedule hasn't even come out yet. It's even too early for Miami to have enough players to put on the floor with the Big Three! BUT, who doesn't love crazy predictions, right?
Chicago Vs. OKC—ust the thought of it makes me happy. The newest could-he-be-the-next-MJ (Kevin Durant) vs. the depth of the Bulls. It's a match made in heaven, or at least made in free agency.
Let's start with the Thunder first. Kevin Durant decided he wants to spend the next few years of his career in OKC, and seems poised to make them a contender. Durant averaged 25 PPG in the playoffs with his side-kick Russel Westbrook adding another 20.
The Thunder played the No. 1 seed (and eventual champions) Lakers in the first round, and of the four games they lost, three were by eight points or less (including a one-point loss in Game Six).
Over in the East, the Bulls are very set to make a deep run in the playoffs. You think it's because they signed Boozer or Korver? Guess again. Here's the secret...it's simple...only two words: Derrick Rose.
Back in 2006, Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade lead his team to the Championship in his third season. Currently entering his own third season, Rose's numbers have jumped significantly in the past year, and he is in perfect position to emulate Wade in this respect.
With a deeper supporting cast to work with, Rose's assist numbers should skyrocket and his overall point totals are sure to only rise as well.
Aside from watching the tremendous head-to-head battle between Rose and Durant, which would be amazing, why would an OKC/Chicago finals be so great? Here are the top reasons, some of which are really fun to think about.
1. Even if the Cavaliers finish last in the league, their fans will rejoice in knowing that the Heat didn't make the finals and will be tuned in to see the future stars who stuck to their teams work their magic.
2. Non-Heat fans in general will be happy to see the big plans didn't work out.
3. Non-Lakers fans will be happy that the torch has been passed on and we aren't going to see another L.A. three-peat.
4. Chicago will prove to Lebron that he really missed out (that one is my favorite).
5. Durant will show what the NBA is really about: winning, and not business.
6. Oklahoma City can flex its muscles and prove to the league that they are the real deal and not a one-time fluke that won some games against the Lakers in the playoffs.
7. By not being in the Finals, the Boston Big Three might call it quits, thereby shifting the power in the East even more.
8. Whether it is Chicago or OKC who win it all, either Durant or Rose (or both) will start their path to superstardom.
It's obvious that not every NBA fan will be happy to see this matchup happen. Raptors fans will have lost Bosh, begun to rebuild and still didn't do anything. Heat fans will begin to wonder if it was all worth it. San Antonio fans will worry about what happened to their mighty Spurs. Lakers fans will be pretty upset that they didn't win AGAIN.
Regardless of the individual fans' feelings, this Finals meeting could rejuvenate the league. The young guns are what the NBA needs and both Durant and Rose are just waiting to explode.
I think this is the best possible situation for the Finals, but as I said, it's still crazy early on, and who knows what could happen. Durant vs. Rose with it all on the line...wow. I'm already getting excited.
Devoted to my buddy Adam for his birthday—because he made the call that this would happen last week... Let's hope he's right.
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