When watching the playoff games, it's tough to completely think through a Bulls-eye lens as to who I'd rather see win or lose. When I'm watching it's mostly instinct, like giggling while Detroit loses. Or simply hoping that each series go as long as possible so there's just more playoff basketball (also, overmatched sweep-ees are just depressing).
But if you were thinking on a higher-plane with only the Bulls in mind, you would likely root for expensive aging teams to flame out early, hopefully making their GM panic this summer by either firing coaches or doing the ol' roster "shake-up". The kind Pax may or may not want to do.
What if Phoenix is bounced in round one? Sam Smith has claimed in the past that D'Antoni and Kerr aren't exactly eye-to-eye in the first place, and D'Antoni could be deemed the dreaded 'point A to point B' guy. They could figure that the Shaq experiment was a failure, or at least be looking to move other players to compensate for his salary.
Denver's a team that has a tax-busting payroll and a likely first-round exit. They may be looking to move one of their top-5 earners (Iverson, Anthony, Martin, Camby, Nene) for anyone who'd play defense. Or perhaps simply make less money. And George Karl may be at the end of his tenure there.
As could be Avery Johnson in Dallas, another leader of a very expensive team that may not advance.
The Wizards just got pasted on Monday night to go down 2-0 against Cleveland. This summer both Arenas and Jamison as free agents, yet only one of those guys helped them get to the playoffs. Houston's also in a nearly inescapable hole and may figure the McGrady-Yao pairing will never really work.
Oh, and the aforementioned Pistons. Although if they're eliminated, they'd still talk as if they won the title...
I'm not saying I agree with any of this speculating from from other teams' perspectives...but I do think when addressing the delicate issue of a 'championship window', they could think as much. And with several players making serious money and any sense of 'attachment' seemingly gone, the Bulls are actually in a better position to acquire big names than last summer. Crappy timing, considering who was 'available' at that time, but what happens in these playoffs could make some players (or at least coaches) available that we wouldn't have thought of before.