Celtics vs Bucks is going to be a good series. Miami vs Philly should be a good series as well. All four of these teams have been together for awhile (plus or minus a player or two). That's probably the biggest difference between these top four teams and the Bulls....team cohesion from playing together longer and having fewer major disruptions during this past season with COVID and injuries to key players.
The Bulls kind of came together and then completely fell apart....whereas Boston did the complete opposite. So moving forward, to me it seems two key things needed for the Bulls to get better next season are health and time. Then some better quality back-up size at the 4 and 5 along with a better back-up PG so, if Zo is out for extended periods of time the Bulls don't turn into a team of players trying to create everything (mainly jump shots) off of the dribble with a lot of isolation players playing hero ball. More consistent bench scoring would help as well. I thought Coby could be that sixth man, but he's just way too inconsistent.
Am I off with this assessment?
I haven't given up on Coby since, remember, he started the season late recovering from surgery for which he couldn't play last summer, and because of the circumstances I never believed he was used well. Or fairly—there's no fairness in basketball!—but he was told to be just whatever they needed that day and never really put into a specific role. Anyway, he's got another season to work it out. Your sense about the continuity is all everyone spoke about post season, which is accurate about those top four teams, but also what everyone talks about after the season. After all, no one—OK, maybe Kyrie—suggests trading teammates. Other than the Bulls, unfortunately, it really was a terrific first round with so many competitive games and series even if they didn't go to seven. It also gave further evidence that you, too, can be a GM since I recall their preseason survey had a Nets/Lakers Finals. OK, I had the Nets, too. But not the Lakers! Welcome to the new NBA, finally. Super teams are dead. The superstar diaspora has evened out the competition. I think we'll be looking at six to eight title possibles every season for awhile. Hello, Bulls?
Joel Embiid apparently is out the first two games against Miami. Of course, a huge blow and makes them, it seems, a big underdog. But I also thought despite the results Milwaukee didn't look that great against the Bulls and would lose to Boston. And may still, but it sure didn't look like it Sunday. And Golden State/Memphis, wow! That's really all you were hoping for with the Bulls, to get in games like that at home even if they lost. Which as I watch these games has given me some pause and concern about the Bulls makeup.
I've talked about the need for a spot up shooter, a rim protector, a penetrating guard, though at the margins as it was mentioned at Arturas Karnisovas' post season wrap. But many of these teams still playing have a lot of young athletes who push the ball and make quick twitch shooting decisions compared to a more deliberate game. True, Milwaukee isn't that (yes, Giannis), and we know the wily veterans come through in the playoffs. But, you're right, there are a lot of smart kids out there.
The Bulls may also have to take a look at that athletic component.