Dec 19, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) handles the ball while being defended by Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Thunder Threat: Healthy Derrick Rose And The Chicago Bulls

Although majority of the talk this offseason was about LeBron heading home and Kevin Love joining him in Cleveland, the Chicago Bulls might have had just as good of an offseason.

Besides signing Pau Gasol, GM Gar Forman didn’t make any big time transactions. But, Forman and Tom Thibodeau have a healthy Derrick Rose back, which may be the biggest gain of the offseason.

With Team USA in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Derrick Rose finally looks like Derrick Rose again. His explosiveness and freakish athletic ability is back, and it is a scary sight.

With Rose healthy, and the addition of Pau Gasol to an already solid front court, the Bulls are a big threat to not only the Thunder, but the entire league. A core four of Rose, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Gasol, rookie Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson off the bench and Tom Thibodeau on the sideline is dangerous.

But, so are the Thunder.

If Oklahoma City can remain healthy, the dynamic duo of Westbrook and Durant is always a struggle to defend. With another year of development from Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka, this could be the year Oklahoma City gets over the top.

How will the Thunder matchup with the Bulls? Well, you have arguably the best two point-guards in the league matched up, which says enough within itself. Gasol and Ibaka is another big time match-up on the floor, as both bigs are long and active on both ends of the floor. The main question for Bulls fans is: Who would stop #35? Tom Thibodeau would most likely throw Butler and Tony Snell on Durant, which may not end up well for Chicago.

Bench wise, both teams are pretty deep. For Chicago, Kirk Hinrich, Doug McDermott, and Taj Gibson will be the guys to go to. For Oklahoma City, Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson, Nick Collison and Steven Adams lead the way.

The two teams will play twice this year, both in the month of March. On March 5th, the Thunder travel to the United Center, and the Bulls come to the Peake on March 15th for a Sunday afternoon game on ABC.

And who knows? Perhaps, the two teams will play another seven times, if you catch my drift.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook Thunder Threat

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