NBA Predictions: Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant Destined To Lock Horns in Finals

Forget about the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers. The 2012 NBA Finals will give fans an All-Phil Jackson series, pitting Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

And wouldn't you know it? We'll all be treated to an early-season preview on Christmas Day!


Why the Bulls Will Get There

The Bulls already have everything they need to win the Eastern Conference and compete for the seventh title in franchise history and the first since Michael Jordan's second retirement. Tom Thibodeau's team closely resembles a younger, more athletic version of the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons squad that Larry Brown coached to the NBA title.

More specifically, the Bulls have a fantastic point guard who can score (Derrick Rose), a small forward who can hit outside shots and lock down opposing wing players (Luol Deng), a power forward with a lethal jumper (Carlos Boozer) and a center who can wipe the boards clean and protect the rim from time to time (Joakim Noah).

Oh, and Rip Hamilton.

The Bulls led the league with 62 wins last season and would've put up a better fight against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals had anyone other than Rose proven capable of hitting a shot.

Hamilton should fill that role perfectly and then some. The dip in Rip's scoring was much more the result of his discontent with then-coach John Kuester than any emergent flaws in his own game, so it's reasonable to expect that there's plenty left in his tank.


Why the Lakers Will Get There

As for the Lakers, they still have plenty of questions to address before they're in the title conversation, though they figure to have them answered in time for another run at the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

And there's no shortage of them to get through during the condensed 66-game season, between Mike Brown's ability to fill ...

About the Author