Obama thinks Bulls will top Cavs in East

President Obama Likes Bulls' Chances (1:48)

President Obama talks about the rare times he gets to watch sports and explains why he thinks the Bulls are better than the Cavaliers. (1:48)

CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama, a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan, is hopeful his favorite team can get past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in this season's Eastern Conference playoffs.

"I tell you, the Cavs are starting to jell. But, I just like [Tom] Thibodeau as a coach," Obama said during an interview Friday morning on "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd. "The guy's tough; they play hard. [Joakim] Noah is a fighter. If [Derrick] Rose, even if he doesn't come back to MVP levels, if he's playing at an All-Star level? I think the Bulls can beat the Cavs this year.

"You remember what happened to Miami when LeBron went down there the first time? There's something to be said for team chemistry. And you look at San Antonio and how they've performed, part of that is just [Gregg] Popovich, [Tim] Duncan, [Tony] Parker, [Manu] Ginobili. They know each other, the system and they trust it. The people are selfless. It takes time to develop that kind of chemistry."

Thibodeau was appreciative of the support.

"He's got my vote," Thibodeau said with a smile before Friday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

But does he agree with the President's assessment about the Bulls' chances this season?

"You guys know I don't go that far," Thibodeau said. "I'm just worried about tonight. We know he's a big fan. We have a lot of respect for all that he's done and we certainly appreciate his support. It's great for our team. I know he supports all the teams here in Chicago, so we appreciate it."

What about his assessment of the veteran coach?

"I don't know if I'm tough," Thibodeau cracked. "We just appreciate -- we understand how much he supports us and it's greatly appreciated."