After Derrick Rose, who is the Bulls' best player?
Let's say Rose gets blanketed by triple coverage in the last five seconds of a tie game. Who else do you want taking that shot? Noah? Boozer? Deng?
In the last seven years, the Eastern Conference only had two championships: the '06 Heat and the '08 Celtics. That Heat team had Dwayne Wade and a still-useful Shaq. They also had the good fortune of seeing the Mavericks completely choke away the series.
The '08 Celtics trotted out Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Rajon Rondo was just a pup, but he was an emerging star.
And now we see Miami's Big 3 going up against the Thunder, who have at least two mega-stars in Durant and Westbrook.
Look back over NBA history, and the majority of teams who win rings have one major star and a really strong secondary player. Sometimes, the secondary player emerges in the playoffs. But without Robin, Batman can't get much done.
Unfortunately, it's harder than ever to rack up a constellation of stars. The league is diluted by too many teams. And star players often want star-sized contracts. The Bulls usually don't toss money around that way.
Chicago, for whatever reason, isn't the destination that L.A. is. It seems like a rite of passage that players wait until their first contract runs out, then bolt for the Lakers. It's absurd. Is it just our winters? In the last 13 years, only two "cold weather" cities have won titles (Boston & Detroit). It's entirely conceivable the best players would just want sun.
And it helps that Florida has no income tax.
But could you imagine Dwight Howard in a Bulls uniform? What about Kevin Love? The tradition of star guard and star big man goes way back in the NBA.
The Bulls are a well-rounded team, but you need killers come playoff time. Aside from Rose, you've got to look at that roster and wonder who else strikes terror into opposing coaches. We probably won't get a Big 3, but it might be nice to have a Big 2.
In the meantime, we'll just have to watch the NBA Finals and dream about next year.