While everyone—no, really, everyone—involved with the game of basketball right now is picking the Miami Heat to emerge out of the Eastern Conference this year and make the NBA Finals again, Scottie Pippen isn't so sure they're right. In fact, yesterday Pip wrote a letter to his former team, the Chicago Bulls, and told them that in spite of the fact that they lost their best player Derrick Rose to a torn ACL on Saturday, they're still the team to beat in the NBA. And, he says they need to start acting like it.

"Yes, you lost one of your brothers—a warrior in every sense of the word—but I know and you know you've still got a lot of fight left," Pippen wrote in the letter. "You're still the best team in the NBA until an opponent proves otherwise. So, go out there and play like it. You've earned that much with Derrick along the way, but you also won a lot of games without him. It's time to meet the challenge."

Call it wishful thinking. Or, blind optimism. Or, just plain old crazy talk. But, whatever you call it, we'll see how well Pip's letter to the team worked tonight when the Bulls take the floor for Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the 76ers. Should be interesting.

[via ESPN]

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