So I have been wondering what it would be like if the Lakers faced off against a Chicago Bulls team that featured Lebron/Wade/Bosh on their team. I thought to myself, would the Lakers be able to beat a team as stacked as this? Well, I did a very non mathematical and biased analysis, and came up with this (Note all this is hypothetical, it could mean nothing come July 1):
Note that this would be in a playoff game, so it factors in experience, leadership, coaching, and matchup problems
(Also note i'm doing this with the CURRENT ROSTER, YR 2009-2010)
(oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this is my OPINION, and I have not seen some of these players play enough to judge just how good they are. I am going on what I have heard about them, as well as what little I have seen. If I’m wrong about something, please voice it :))
Matchup Wise vs. Bulls
Pg: D. Fish vs. Rose (adv: Rose)
I would give my the advantage to Rose of course, even though Fisher has proven himself time and time again to perform big in the clutch. Rose is just too fast and strong for Fisher to guard effectively, and the only way I see to contain him is with a team defense, or just let him shoot 3s the whole game. However, comes playoff time, I have only seen Rose perform well in 1st round exits, where fisher is already a proven clutch performer on the biggest stage. Rose would probably still abuse fisher, but you can only reveal a players true nature on the championship level.
Sg: Bryant vs. Wade (adv: Bryant, by a hair)
I will come out and say that Kobe is not young; but neither is Wade as young as he used to be. Wade, from what I have seen is a driver and slasher that can knock down the jumper and 3 pointers, but not as consistently as Kobe. Wade is fast, but Kobe is cunning and a terrific defender, and would not give wade an easy time. Wade is also a good defender, but I feel his reputation is somewhat inflated by his steals total, which he gets mostly from passing lanes. Also, this is Kobe Bryant were talking about, someone who knows how to get the job done, regardless of who is on him. Wade would do his best on Bryant, which could hurt his offensive production, but this works vice versa as well. I believe that these two would be evenly matched, but Bryant would prevail in the end due to his killer instinct and will (not to say Wade does not possess these things).
SF: Artest vs. James (adv: James)
Artest is also not getting any younger, and James has started to reach his prime. However, Artest is a veteran, and now he knows how to win, and I can see him stepping up his defense to a new level to try and contain Lebron. Lebron is also not the worlds best dribbler, and we have witnessed Artest simply take away the ball from strong forwards, as well as poke the ball away. Lebron will get his points (and there will be a lot of them), but they will not come easy, and since the Lakers possess a strong interior defense, he may end up shooting perimeter shots with Artests hand in his face, which is exactly what we want. Offensively for Artest, he may get his spot up 3’s with Lebron patrolling the paint looking for the big block, but I do not see Artest being very effective anywhere else, considering James is just as strong if not stronger than Artest but possesses more athleticism and quickness.
PF: Gasol vs. Bosh (adv: Gasol)
This is where I think the Lakers would shine offensively. I believe that Gasol would eat Bosh for breakfast. Gasol is just too skilled offensively for Bosh to handle, plus compiling that with his new “toughness” he earned from the Boston series, I can see Bosh getting abused (however, this depends if the Lakers decide to get Gasol the ball). Offensively, Bosh is a very talented player as well, and will get his points too, but Gasol has proven to be a capable defender, and should be able to contain Bosh’s drives, and contest his 18 foot jumper.
C: Bynum vs. Noah (adv: Bynum)
Probably the biggest question mark match-up because of Bynum’s health, this could be a turning point in the series. Bynum gives the Lakers the interior presence to make James and Wade second guess a drive (although I have never seen Wade be passive, always taking it strong to the hoop). He also has the potential to be an offensive behemoth, although Noah is a very strong defender, Bynum is simply stronger and longer. Noah is practically a 0 on the offensive end, besides from clean-ups and (lucky?) jumpers. However, Noah brings heart and hustle, which are always useful and usually effective. Going up against 0s on offensive (aka Kendrick Perkins) seems to make Bynum’s job so much easier at patrolling the paint and altering shots, without having to worry about his center hitting many jumpers. However, the biggest factor, of course, is health. A healthy Bynum greatly improves the chances at 3 peat.
Bench: Odom, Sasha, Farmar, Brown vs. (uhmmmm...) Pargo, Gibson, ???
The bull’s bench to me is a question mark, because I hardly see them play, and also because of all the cap space they are clearing I have no idea who they are going to move. I do know that Gibson is a very solid player, but that is about it. For the Lakers, it’s safe to say Farmar is gone and Brown is on his way, so I will just talk about our two favorite players. Matching up with the starters, Odom would be able to guard Bosh hypothetically, and SHOULD be able to effective offensively, but you never know with Odom. Sasha (I say his first name because I’m too lazy to attempt to spell his last name), if his shot is falling is useful, but defensively should get his ass handed to him by Wade.
Leadership: adv: Lakers
Kobe and Fisher know how to win, simple as that. Wade has seen 1st round exits since his championship, Lebron has not made it to the Finals since being swept by the Spurs, and Bosh has never been on a winning team. The Lakers are champions and the all these players besides from wade have not learned how to win yet on the highest level, which gives the Lakers an advantage.
Coaching: adv: Lakers
ASSUMING JACKSON COMES BACK, this is a no brainer. If he doesn’t, it could get very interesting...
Clutchness: adv: Lakers
Discounting Kobe’s horrific Game 7, Kobe will win games for you. Fisher will win games for you. Maybe Gasol will even win a game for you. Artest (gulp) has the potential to win a game for you (or destroy your chances). Even Sasha will win a game for you (On a side note, I almost died when Sasha went to the line... I kept thinking to myself, the Lakers season is on the line, and it’s all up to Sasha?!). Bosh I believe has a tendency to disappear in the 4th. Lebron’s clutchness is up in the air, considering he has performed big before, but has faltered recently. Wade, in my opinion, has always been clutch, but can he be clutch against the Lakers? Rose is also capable of scoring in the 4th, but with Lebron and Wade on the same team? More on that in the next section...
Chemistry: adv: Lakers
Even if the Lakers HATE each others guts off the court, when it comes to basketball, they have a very nice team play going on. Most know what the other is going to do, and more importantly, they trust each other offensively and defensively. Hell, they just won back to back, so they must be doing something right by each other. On the flipside, I have strong doubts of a Lebron and Wade combo (Plus Rose!). I believe Bosh could become a 2nd fiddle, but Lebron and Wade AND Rose both dominate the ball so much, its hard for me to believe them being as effective together as them being separate. However, you never know what can happen in a year, and they could find a way to be unselfish, which is a very scary thought, although very unlikely.
In conclusion, I believe that the Lakers will prevail, because they are a team that has just won back to back ships, and knows what it takes to get it done. The bulls would be a new team glued together by talent and money, and would need the perfect coach to balance their egos. I believe the Lakers possess enough team defense to prevent huge scoring outburst by Lebron or Wade, and have enough offensive firepower to attack the bulls constantly and score at will. The Bulls would be effective regardless however based on sheer talent, but in the end, I believe that extreme talent vs. extremely good but just barely as good as the other team talent plus experience plus will, would prevail.