Matt: Not that we should take anything Bill Walton says seriously. I don't even think Bill Walton takes what Bill Walton says seriously. But it's echoed enough in other places where I felt particularly angry when he said it: That even without Dwyane Wade the Heat can win the Conference. Ok, maybe something THAT stupid isn't echoed, but the sentiment is that they're still viable without Wade.
I don't even think they'll make the playoffs, personally. Although they've proven me wrong lately, winning 7 of 11. (Eddie Jones helps, too) They bring up a real conflict of rooting (the 'rooting for bus to explode' kind) interest, because on the one hand I really loathe that team and want them to miss the playoffs. On the other hand them missing means the Knicks have a better shot of making it. Here's to hoping New Jersey and Orlando get in so they're both sitting at home.
But if the Heat DO make the playoffs, without (or with a severely hampered) Wade, I think the Bulls drill them. They're winning now by keeping the game slow and low-scoring, and the Bulls nearly had too much firepower for them last year. Sweeping the season series tonight likely won't elevate the Bulls into 'Eastern Contenders' (whatever the hell that designation means anymore) like Walton (or Barkley, who also thinks the Nets can win the East) place the Heat. But it'll be nice to see the Bulls completely destroy them tonight.
(I've placed reader chgobr's thoughts below.)
chgobr:It would be sweet to win four in a row, both now and against Miami. Is this a case of the unstoppable force verses the immovable object?
1- The Bulls are playing well and would love to have a 4 game win streak
2- The Heat are playing well defensively and have won 3 straight games.
3- TT can disrupt Shaq via a few great blocks
4- The Heat have the extra incentive of not wanting to be swept by our Bullies
5- After the amazing game Gordon had against Milwaukee will he have a let-down? Redd followed his great game against the Bulls going 3-16 against Orlando
6- Can Big Ben hold off Shaq?
7- Will there be a Thabo siting?
I am definitely hyped for this game. I usually get disappointed when I'm so hyped for a game a la Detroit.