Wednesday 23 August 2017 / 08:20 AM

CHICAGO BECOME UNDERDOGS WITH TEETH

With Dwyane Wade’s move to Chicago over the summer, the Bulls have transformed from being irrelevant to a team people look at and say, “oh shit, they have Dwyane Wade now.”

However, even with Wade, the Bulls are still an underdog. Only now, they are an underdog with some teeth. Their primary strength is not in their scoring ability, even though they do have some significant firepower with the two former Marquette University players in Wade and Jimmy Butler.

The Bulls’ strength is in that duo’s ability to boost the performance of every other member on the team.

Wade is known for his selfless style of play, his ability to feed his team, and create momentum-shifting plays. The Bulls also acquired Rajon Rondo, of Boston Celtics 2008 Championship fame. As a point guard, Rondo still has an incredible ability to move the ball around and create openings for his teammates. It is going to be interesting to watch Wade and Rondo play on the same team together, because they possess the same sort of team-first character.

Wade is used to being the guy proving people wrong. His move from being a potential Heat lifer to a new team means he’s got a lot to prove yet again at 34 years old.

“I was always the underdog, and it was OK because I embraced that,” Wade said.

“That just pushed me and pushed me, and even getting drafted fifth pick in the NBA, I was still an underdog.”

Wade’s athletic ability might be capped at a certain age, but his basketball IQ is something he can carry with him into his early-40s if he wanted to. The veteran leadership from this future Hall of Famer is enough to leave ripples in the Bulls organization for years to come.

Now, if any of the rumors of DeMarcus Cousins leaving the Sacramento Kings pan out, we might be looking at a Championship calibre team soon enough. The Bulls will have a championship point guard in Rondo, a fired-up small forward in Butler, the All-star and Olympic center in Cousins, and the veteran and legend shooting guard in Wade.

I want to see this move happen because the Eastern Conference has been a stomping ground for LeBron James for too long – and I say this as a Lebron James fan. From 2011 to 2016, either LeBron’s Heat or the LeBron’s Cavaliers annihilated the Eastern Conference with ease. Adding some more competition to the East is only going to help the Cavaliers play at a higher level come Finals time, or even allow the new incumbent to spread their wings.

The thought of another Cavaliers-Warriors rematch is only half-exciting now with Kevin Durant joining Golden State; some variety wouldn’t exactly hurt. I still think that no matter what the outcome is with the other teams in the Eastern Conference, we are still going to be watching a rematch – but that doesn’t mean the Eastern Conference Playoffs shouldn’t be any less interesting.

A Chicago Bulls-New York Knicks meeting in the playoffs would be very exciting to watch, as both of these teams have started to look even more dangerous with their Summer ’16 additions.

Until the pieces fall together, we can only make predictions based on what we’ve got. So far it appears we have a team in the Bulls that will definitely make it to the conference semifinals, and maybe the conference finals.

But this is a different Eastern Conference than it was last year. It’s still the same Cleveland, but every other team is getting increasingly more competitive. With the addition of Cousins, the Bulls should assume the No.1 challenger position in the East and give the Cleveland Cavaliers a run for their money.

[YouTube – NBA]

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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