This writer certainly realizes that there are eight other West teams in the playoffs. But if NBA fans have learned anything over the past two decades, when the playoffs come, don't bet against Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. This would be a fantastic series, with one team led by a veteran superstar and another led by an young, up-and-coming superstar.
Bulls: Derrick Rose. Outstanding point guard with a lightening quick first step and the probable MVP.
Lakers: Kobe Bryant. He's done it all and then some, one of the greatest of all time
Advantage: Lakers. Kobe's experience is something the Bulls simply can't contend with
Surrounding players and bench:
Bulls: Have solid players in Luol, Joakim and Carlos and a deep bench
Lakers: Have many quality players, especially Gasol.
Advantage: Bulls. The Lakers' age of many of their players gives the Bulls this advantage.
Bulls: Tom Thibodeau. Outstanding first year coach
Lakers: Phil Jackson. One of the all-time greats
Advantage: Lakers. Thibodeau is great, but he's no Phil
Bulls: Legacy of MJ and being the first Bulls team to win a Championship since he played.
Lakers: Working on another three-peat
Advantage: Lakers. The drive to accomplish a three-peat is solely what is driving Kobe and Phil.
And the winner is...
The Lakers. As good as the Bulls are this season, the team is young and has a gap at starting shooting guard. This is a huge improvement, and the pieces are there, but this is not the Bulls season to win it all.