As we're barely into the season, one way to separate the posers from the real deals is by looking at records vs. winning teams. Nothing new here. But, when you look at it, you'd think more on this board should be jumping for joy. First, let's look at last year's playoff teams in East:
So, nothing startling here. The top 4 teams were the real deal. (Although that Miami number is pretty scary.) Now, let's look at this year:
New York: 2-4
Before the skeptics chime in, I'm not saying the Knicks are a better team than the Heat. But, I am saying I think the Bulls and Celtics are both better than the Hawks and Heat (especially if you really look at how those teams will match against them player for player). 1-4 is terrible. And, any argument about it being a new team doesn't really jive when you consider how many new players the Bulls have, including an allstar that's sitting on the bench right now.
Atlanta at 0-4 is really frightening, particularly since they've all played together and should be at the top of their game. I thought the playoffs last year proved they were a poser and made that $120 million Joe Johnson contract arguably the worst of the summer. I think they will be stuck in mediocrity for a long time.
Point being, I really do think the Bulls are the 2nd best team in the East when you consider we're not even at full strength right now. Someone posted that we'd be lucky to be the 3rd seed. I disagree. We'd be lucky to get the 1st seed. Anything below that would be well earned. And I think we're on our way to the best season since the Jordan era.
P.S. On a side note, if you were Melo and in late December/early January you were looking at the Knicks and Bulls, is it even a contest?