Martin Luther King Jr had a dream. I feel confident that his dream was not watching two teams a combined 8-12 in their last ten games compete to prop up their rapidly fading dreams of first place in the Eastern Conference. Despite their recent swoons, these two teams have shown signs of regaining their ideal states as of late.
The Derrick Rose dream has been kept alive by his recent molten hot streak from deep, scoring 32 on 6-9 (nice) shooting from deep against Washington, 29 on 5-8 shooting from deep against Boston, and 23 on 4-10 shooting from deep against Atlanta. While it’s slightly concerning that all but three of his 20 point games this season have come with three or fewer attempts from deep, at least he’s actually hitting these shots. Eventually, Rose will feel confident enough in his body’s ability to take contact to actually start taking advantage of the lanes his shooting is opening up, but until then, all we can hope is that he keeps hitting them.
Meanwhile, the LeBron James dream got back on course after a two week layoff, with the Greatest Player Alive dropping 30+ points in each of his three games back after a near two week layoff. While the Cavaliers have fought their way back above the .500 mark, they’re still 6th in the conference. The good news is that their version of the big three (LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love) is playing excellently together. The bad news is that those three playing together is an increasingly rare occurence. Love might play tonight, however, and if he does, I would expect the Bulls to get roasted by him, as they have pretty much every opposing big they’ve faced in 2015.
Regardless of how this game goes, one of these two teams will likely win the Central Division and perhaps both with head into the first round of the playoffs as a top 4 seed. Whether or not they can compete with the dream-like Hawks is another matter entirely, and probably the main focus of these last four months or so of play.
Key Matchup(s): Jimmy Butler vs LeBron James. THE LEBRON STOPPER LOL!!!!one1oneeleven
Jimmy’s gotten back on track a little bit as of late, and will likely play 35-40 minutes matched up directly with the best player on this planet. So doing well would help, I think.