Warriors: Stephen Curry, Toney Douglas, Nemanja Nedovic
Bulls: Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Marquis Teague
This matchup depends heavily on how Derrick Rose looks upon returning from the injury that kept him out for the entirety of last season. If he can be the same player he was before his ACL injury, Rose will compete for the MVP and the Bulls could challenge the Miami Heat for the best record in the East.
I fully expect Rose to return to form, but I also expect him to struggle at first. Missing over a year of basketball is going to hurt him at least a little.
Even with the injury, I still have Rose ranked ahead of Curry. Rose is an MVP winner for a reason. He has carried his team in the past and his phenomenal game doesn’t have many holes.
Curry showed last season that he is capable of carrying the Warriors, but he has spent too much of his career (college and NBA) being a “Cinderella.” It is time for him to step up and carry the Warriors into the top-tier of NBA teams.
Rose still needs to work on his jump shot, but he is one of the best in the league at finishing at the rim. He has great athleticism and is lightning fast. Scoring and passing have never been problems for him, but I’m glad to see him shooting a high percentage from the free throw line. In college, free throw shooting prevented him from winning a championship. He obviously doesn’t want that happening again.