Bulls’ Forward Taj Gibson Views Heat and Pacers as Chicago’s Biggest Obstacles In the East
The Chicago Bulls have watched the Miami Heat go to the NBA Finals three straight times while winning the last two titles. With a healthy Derrick Rose this season, along with a different bench unit, which teams will make it difficult for Chicago to break through in the Eastern Conference?
According to Taj Gibson, those teams include the defending-champion Heat and the Indiana Pacers. Here is what Gibson had to say about the Pacers:
“[The Pacers] have the same kind of style as us,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘They have a hard-nosed mentality like us, and the one thing about them is they like to feel like we overshadow them. You can see that when we clash, a lot of bodies are banging, and there’s a lot of trash-talking because they take the mind-set that we somehow put them below us.’”
When asked about facing the Heat, Gibson offered the following assessment:
“When we play Miami, it’s just a dogfight,’’ Gibson said. “Neither team shakes hands much before or after the game when we play Miami and Indiana. That’s when you really know it’s a dogfight. How much trash-talking is going on in those games that people don’t hear or see? We just don’t like either one of those teams.’’
While it is good that the Bulls don’t like the teams standing in the way of fulfilling their championship aspirations, they have to remember to play within themselves. When they faced the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last year, some of the players allowed their emotions to get the better of them.
For example, Both Gibson and Joakim Noah were ejected in Game 2 after drawing technical fouls for questioning the officiating. In Game 3, Nazr Mohammed was ejected after shoving LeBron James to the ground at midcourt. In order to beat the best teams, you have to keep your emotions in check.
If the Bulls can stay healthy, and not allow other teams to take them out of what they like to do on both ends of the floor, there is a good chance they will represent the East in the Finals next year.