Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Matchup: No. 1 Bulls vs. No. 5 Hawks
Regular Season Meetings: Bulls won two games, Hawks won one. The first meeting was a tight one, determined by three points in the Hawks' favor. The next two games were Bulls blowouts.
Previous Playoff History: The two teams have met in the playoffs four times:
1967 Western Division Semis (Hawks 3-0)
1970 Western Division Semis (Hawks 4-1)
1993 East First Round (Bulls 3-0)
1997 East Semis (Bulls 4-1)
Previous Series: Bulls beat the eight seed Pacers in five; Hawks beat the four seed Magic in six.
Drama Level: D+; the Hawks' revenge job on the Magic was the height of their drama for the postseason as all signs point to a humbling second round (again), though the Hawks are surely not going to repeat last year's second-round embarrassment and will be relatively involved in the series.
The Hawks, at the least, have momentum and the knowledge that they got the Orlando monkey off their back. They should have confidence.
That said, the Bulls have confidence too. They went through injury woes and a shocking lack of consistency against a very good Pacers squad that made the Bulls work for their second first-round pass in 13 years.
I'll always take the No. 1 seed who was pushed to the limits over a squad running off of adrenaline; however, saying history is not on the Hawks' side would be admitting it isn't on the Bulls' side either as the Bulls squad as it is has very little playoff experience, if any, past the first round.
So that leaves matchups. Derrick Rose is always fun to watch but both of these units are more team outfits rather then star-laden, so they don't pack a punch in the personality department. Nor does any one matchup seem entirely intriguing as one team will have an clear advantage over the other at each position (Atlanta has SG and PF while Bulls have PG, SF and C).
So, no disrespect towards either team, but I expect the series to not only be short, in favor of the Bulls, but lacking any of the bright lights of other series currently going on.