Am I just going to pick against the Hawks in the hopes that they'll prove me wrong again? Maybe.
I've been seeing a lot of "Bulls sweep" predictions. I'm not sure what this is based on. Everyone seems to be willing to discount the Bulls struggles with Indiana, yet they're not willing to acknowledge that the Hawks played relatively well against the team that beat them by something like 7,958 combined points last year. That's cool. All signs point to a Bulls victory, but there aren't very many signs that point to a Bulls cake walk. Outside of one and a half positions, the Bulls do not have superior talent to the Hawks. The half is Carlos Boozer. He's not more talented than Josh Smith, however he does harness his talents better, so there's that. Otherwise, the teams are pretty evenly matched. The best chance the Hawks have to win this series is to speed up the tempo. The Bulls are too good defensively and the Hawks are too inconsistent offensively to play a half court game with them. The Hawks have wasted several years of being one of the most athletic teams in the league, but not fully using it to their advantage due to being coached by two men who want to run an offense that they don't have the personnel to justly execute. It's asking a lot, but they need to let Teague push the ball. Otherwise, they'll be playing right into the Bulls hands.
Anyway, the Bulls are a good team, but people are acting like they're comprised of a "been there, done that group" This group hasn't been deep into the playoffs together. They're young and they're vulnerable. Just because no one is willing to acknowledge it, doesn't mean it's not true.
Having said all that, the Bulls will probably win this series. But, I'm going to let the rose colored glasses wearing fan in me have this preview.
Hawks in 6.
For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion, or Hawstr8talk
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