Have the Bulls Peaked?
The NBA history is filled with teams that have always been good, but could never reach the level of greatness. The 1997-98 Pacers, the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns, and the 2001-02 Sacramento Kings are all examples of teams that were great during the regular season, but never could beat the best teams when it counted.
The Bulls are dangerously close to being one of those teams. The Bulls have a superstar in Derrick Rose that is a MVP talent when healthy. A center in Joakim Noah that is arguably one of the top 3 centers today. A coach that is highly respected in for his defensive strategy. However the Bulls are in the Eastern Conference that for the past four years has been dominated by the Miami Heat.
The Heat are a dynasty in the league now, and the Bulls are in danger of become a sidenote in the Heat championship story. The Bulls lack the superstar talent at multiple positions that most championship teams have. If you take out the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons, every championship team has had at least two superstars that can take a game over if one star is struggling.
The Bulls do not have that luxury, the current roster only has Rose to rely on to carry a game if the team is struggling offensively. Noah is a good player, but he lacks the offensive move set to truly take over a game in the playoffs. The rest of the team can be considered as role players at best. With one player having to carry the load in the playoffs, it is easy for the opposing coach to game plan to take the best player away.
This puts an extra emphasis on this offseason in Chicago. If the Bulls do not grab one of the top tier free agents the team could be this generations Atlanta Hawks. A team that always makes the playoffs, but has never been able to get the respect of being called a contender. The Bulls are slowly falling into that trap, if they miss on all of the free agents they will continue to take steps backwards.
The Eastern Conference is improving with teams like the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards having great young talent. The Bulls should fear those teams overtaking them in the east. If that does happen, the Bulls would be a fridge playoff team at best. They will struggle to escape the first round of the playoffs with consistency, and will hardly challenge the top tier teams. Rose’s future with the team will then be put in question if they cannot contend. The Bulls front office needs to make a push to acquire talent, or the Bulls will be entering another rebuilding period. Bulls fans all remember those years.