Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Chicago Gets Rude Awakening in Playoffs, Courtesy of Detroit

After Chicago swept Shaq, Dwayne Wade and the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat from the first round of the playoffs, many people started to speculate that the Chicago Bulls may be capable of making a deep playoff run. Despite their coterie of talent, Miami looked hapless against Chicago. Chicago's Luol Deng looked like an emerging star. Scott Skiles out coached Pat freakin' Riley, for god sakes. Anyone who had watched the Chicago/Miami series would have, understandably, said that Chicago's arrow was pointing up.

Well, Drive and Dish didn't really watch the Miami/Chicago series. We only watched game four (and only the second half, at that). We simply didn't think that Chicago was good enough to get past Miami, so we weren't really all that interested in the series. Chicago has made three straight playoff appearances, but have never been a threat to actually win a playoff series. Drive and Dish thought that this year's Chicago team wasn't really much different (save for Ben Wallace being better than Tyson Chandler) than the previous two Chicago teams. We thought that (even with an ailing Dwayne Wade) Miami had too much talent for Chicago. What we didn't anticipate, however, was how absolutely unmotivated Miami would be for the first round of the playoffs. Miami didn't take Chicago seriously. They barely even showed up to play.

So Chicago dispatched Miami easily. But sweeping an unmotivated Miami team, whose best player (Wade) was injured, was not a sign that Chicago is for real. It's merely an indictment of Miami.

Chicago has been blown out by Detroit in the first two games of their second round playoff series. Detroit is the best team in the Eastern Conference. They're probably the best team in the NBA. In fact, Detroit was probably the best team in the NBA last year, too (despite their playoff loss to eventual Champion Miami). The Detroit Pistons should win the NBA Finals this year. Detroit has highly skilled players at every position. They have serious depth. All five of their guys (no matter who's in the line up) can score and defend. And Detroit plays hard. Chicago is way outclassed.

So, we at Drive and Dish aren't surprised by how decisively Detroit has handled Chicago. Detroit is the best team in the league.

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