The Bulls came to Atlanta after beating the Sacramento Kings by 40 in Chicago. Well, apparently the momentum carried over into Atlanta has the Bulls thrashed the Hawks last night. In this game, some glaring points were obvious. And one of those points isn't the pro-Bulls crowd in Atlanta.
The Bulls have been a team all season that most haven't even considered as coming out of the Eastern Conference. Most of the fans have been screaming about the Heat and the Celtics coming out of the East. Well, D Rose and the Bulls have something to say about all of that. They are the best defensive team in the East and they are better in the key areas that count in the playoffs: rebounding margin and field goal percentage defense.
Its also very obvious that Bulls PG Derrick Rose is the MVP and that SF Luol Deng is the MIP(Most Important Player). Deng is playing the best basketball of his career and has answered critics in regards to his durability and his overall play. He will be a key factor in guarding Paul Pierce or LeBron James in the playoffs. He will also make Pierce or James guard him on the offensive end because of his improved three-point range and ability to slash to the hoop.
The Hawks are a team on the downslide. Plenty of players aren't happy in their roles on their team. One move that needs to be made is that PF Josh Smith needs to be traded. He is their best commodity to try and get a center or draft picks to help rebuild the Hawks team. By trading Smith, the Hawks would then be able to move C Al Horford to his natural position (PF).
Another big move that needs to be made is that the Hawks need to add a number one scorer. And this statement isn't a swipe at SG Joe Johnson, but he just isn't a consistent go-to guy that can carry a team like Rose, SG Kobe Bryant or SF Kevin Durant can. He would be the perfect Robin to someone else's Batman. Maybe that person will come if they trade Josh Smith.
The most obvious change the Hawks need to make happen quickly is the Hawks need to find an owner and give this team a new direction. It seems like the ownership has been hesitant to make any moves because of the fear of scaring off potential buyers with high-priced players. And this is why the Hawks are who they are this year and why I don't think this team will be a factor in the playoffs. They will do their usual unimpressive exit in the playoffs.
If the Bulls are able to get the top spot in the East, they will be dangerous because they are the best home team in the NBA. In the case of the Hawks, after the thorough annihilation they just took, there has to be some soul-searching done. This Hawks team will more than likely face the Orlando Magic and that means Dwight Howard will be on full display. That doesn't sound too good for the Hawks.