Posted on: July 16, 2010 9:31 pm
Well most people understand that the city of Chicago is world renowned for it's love of Jazz music and the city is still a jazz hot spot in America, but this is not the jazz I am referring to. I am pointing to the fact that the Bulls three free agent signings this offseason have all come from the Utah Jazz. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of a team name swap between the Bulls and Jazz. I mean there has to be far more cows in Utah then in the city of Chicago right? I digress. The real point of this thread is to look at the moves the Bulls have made and determine their place in the east.
Carlos Boozer. It seems pretty clear to most fans and experts alike that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh planned on playing with eachother from the get go. The only real question was were it was going to happen and in the end that place was the Miami Heat. That being the case the Bulls' management has made all the right moves with what was left. I am on record for liking David Lee for the Bulls over Carlos Boozer mainly because I felt that Lee would come cheaper. I was wrong. Boozer ended up being the cheaper option and in many ways the better fit. The Bulls have been lacking a back to the basket scorer since Elton Brand was traded away ten years ago. To be a contender a team must have an inside out game. Just about every championship team in history had a playmaker/outside scorer coupled with a scoring bigman. You will be hard pressed to find a historic team that lacked one of those two. The Chicago Bulls of the 90's are clearly the only dynasty to lack a star bigman. Boozer gives the Bulls one of the best offensive bigman in the game today and when I say offensive I do not just mean scoring. Boozer is one of the best passing bigman in the game and he is also one of the best at running the pick and roll and the pick and pop. He also knows were to be to grab offensive rebounds and he is also good for setting a solid pick. His defense is average but is better then Amar'e Stoudemire's or Chris Bosh's. He is a hustler and a perfect fit to play alongside Joakim Noah.
The real deal with Boozer however is his back to the basket game and his ability to draw the double team. The Bulls have never really had a post player on the level of Boozer that can draw the double team. Now imagine the decisions defenders will have to make. Rose demanded the double team on the perimeter just about everytime he touched the ball last season. Infact, in the playoffs the Cavaliers ended up putting LeBron on Rose but he still averaged 27 points per game. Now teams will have to worry about throwing the double on Rose because Boozer is so good at finishing around the basket they will risk getting scored on in the paint with a simple bounce pass from Rose. Last season the Bulls did not have this. Defenders could rotate off their man to slow down Rose. What happens if Rose drives? Nothing good for other teams for sure. Again boozer gives Rose that inside scorer to pass to when team colapse on him. Lastly, with regards to the Rose/Boozer paring, the PnR and PnP game between Rose and Boozer will be one of the best in the league. Rose shoots a high level jumper from inside 18 and word is he has worked on his three point shooting all summer and is said to have gotton it nailed down. Boozer is also a very good jump shooter as well. This will be the bread and butter for the Bulls this season and should be a nightmare for opposing teams.
The pairing of Joakim Noah and Boozer is also one of the better combos in the paint in the NBA. In some ways they are like oil and water in regards to the style of play but together they are a perfect match. The Bulls led the league last season in rebounding and now have added Boozer so it is likely they will reclaim mark this season as well. Noah is the ultimate team hustle player and while his jump shot and scoring in general is below average he excels at everything else. He is a top rebounder and shot blocker and is one of the nastiest post defenders in the game. Boozer may be a good rebounder but he is not a shot blocker of a great defender. Noah will be right there to put back Boozer's missed shots or take the pass from Boozer if he gets the double team. Both Noah and Boozer have high basketball IQs and both can handle the ball and make the pass. In my eyes they are a great match.
Boozer's effect will be felt beyond just Rose and Noah. Luol Deng and the other shooters will benefit from Boozer drawing defenders into the paint and they will surly be on the receiving end of many passes from Boozer for open looks.
Kyle Korver. I understand that this is not a sexy signing. Nothing really looks that sexy after the moves that the Heat made but it filled another big need for the Bulls. Last season the Bulls lacked a player that could hit from beyond the arc. With Ben Gordon gone so was the threat from downtown. Teams were able to colapse on Rose when he drove the lane and they were able to play loose defense in general on the perimeter. Korver will come off the bench but should still see big mintutes. About 25 minutes a game. He will play behind Deng and Brewer and will give the Bulls instant offense off the bench. Korver is a bit one dimensional and is known mainly for his great shooting ability but he is a solid passer and can grad a few rebounds. His defense is a bit below average but is not bad. He was not signed to defend he was signed to hit big shots in close games and he will do just that.
Ronnie Brewer. Well the Bulls did not get their first choice which was the Magic's J.J. Reddick, but in many ways Brewer might be the better longterm choice and he came quite a bit cheaper at nearly 8 million less over three years. The Bulls really wanted to add a shooting guard that could shoot from beyond the arc and Brewer is clearly not the player, but he is still a great fit. Two years ago many thought Brewer was going to become a star in this league. Maybe not a superstar but many felt he could average near 20 points a game. However he got injured last season but is back in shape and he offers the Bulls an athletic and big shooting guard that can both drive and finish and control the ball. He is able to run the offense as well as play off the ball and he could be an intersting fit with Rose if Rose's three point shooting is as good as people are saying it is now. Brewer can at times run the offense and in turn make Rose the off guard. Brewer's drive to the hoop will draw defenders and he can simple kick it to Rose who could either shoot the jumper of take teams off guard by driving himself. The bottomline is that Brewer may indeed offer the Bulls more options on offense then Reddick would have and Brewer is a better defender then Reddick to boot. It has been quite some time since the Bulls had a shooting guard that could dunk the ball with little effort. Gordon rarely did and I am not sure if I ever saw Kirk Hinrich do it so that should be fun to watch for a change.
More signings to come. The Bulls are not done making moves. They are talking with Brad Miller right now about him resigning and they are saif to be looking at both Matt Barnes and a backup Point Guard. The Bulls will certainly add two more solid roleplayers to this team making them one of the deepest teams in the league. I unterstand that depth can often be over-rated and that teams need superstars to be elite, but Boozer is clearly a star and Rose is on pace to have a breakout season and become a superstar. Last season he ranked 14th overall in points per game and I only see his scoring and assist numbers going up this year with a complete team around him. The Bulls also signed Turkish center Omer Asik. If the Bulls resign Brad Miller I am sure we will see very little of him on the floor, but I have watched a bit of tape on this guy and he looks like he could be useful for a few solid minutes each game. He has length and is a good shot blocker and has some solid post moves but he is really just a project and I do not have high hopes that he will ever be a true contributor to this team.
So were do these moves put the Bulls in the east? Not really an easy question. Most have the Heat going to the Finals as they seem to be adding solid roleplayers around the big three. I would not count out the Celtics or the Magic either. I think the Bulls fall in place with those 2. I think they could compete with any of them in the playoffs but the Heat seem to be the team to beat. The Celtics are aging and may fall down a few notches this season but I thought the same thing last summer so I will hold my tongue on that one. The Magic have not made any real moves so I am not so sure they will make it out of the east. The bottomline is that the Bulls have a shot and are a true contender for the first time since MJ left town.
Here is how I see the playoff seedings looking like next season in the east.
1. Heat (62 wins)
2. Magic (56 wins)
3. Bulls (51 wins)
4. Celtics (49 wins)
5. Bucks (48 wins)
6. Hawks (46 wins)
7. Bobcats (43 wins)
8. Knicks (41 wins)
Posted on: March 28, 2010 10:25 am
At this point there is really no reason for the Bulls to not try and make a push into the 8th and final spot in the east. Losing will not move them into the bottomline 10 in the league and therefore secure there lottery pick from the Bucks who have the rights to swap picks. The Bulls have an uphill battle however but they do have a strong history of finishing out seasons strong and slipping into the playoffs. Let's take a look at what needs to happen.
First and formost Derrick Rose is going to have to step it up and play like not just and allstar, but a superstar. We need to see a lot more of the 27-7-8 that we saw against the Rockets. Derrick needs to score to make up for Deng sitting on the bench. The Bottomline is that the Bulls fate is rested on this young rising superstar's shoulders. Can he step up to the challenge?
A close second in order of importance is the Bulls having a healthy Joakim Noah. With a healthy Noah and a determined Rose the Bulls can upset anyteam in the NBA. Without Noah the Bulls simply are below average, but look at what he can do with even 10 or 12 minutes. If he can start playing around 20 minutes strong in the last ten games then the Bulls have a real chance of sneaking into the playoffs. Taj Gibson has had a great year but he cannot be asked to fill in for Noah at this point. Brad Miller is flat out getting old. He looks good in small stretches and that is all the Bulls can ask of the savvy veteran.
As is stands the Raptors are sitting at 35-36, while the Bulls are 34-38. The Bulls have 10 games left while the Raptors have 11. The Bulls simply need to win two more games then the Raptors to finish out the season. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker so the Bulls need a better ending record. A tie would mean the end of the season for the Bulls.
Of the ten games remaining for the Bulls only 3 or 4 look like sure losses. The Suns, Cavaliers, Celtics, and perhaps the Bucks will pose serious challenges. The other 6 games include the Pistons, Wizards, Bobcats twice, Nets, and the Raptors. The Raptors schedule looks about the same. They have the Cavaliers, Hawks, Celtics, and Heat to deal with.
It is the home stretch and crunch-time. It is time for a team's star or stars to shine and lift their teams up and carry them. The Raptors have Bosh and we have Rose. The Bulls are at a disadvantage but there is still hope and if the Bulls can get it together and turn back into the team they were a month ago then they have a real shot.
Posted on: March 31, 2009 9:58 pm
Well the Bulls just blew a tight lead to the Pacers and have only 6 games left this season. Two big games still are on the schedule. One versus the Pistons on the Road and one versus the Bobcats at home. A loss to the bobcats could spell out "no playoffs" for the Bulls, but a win against the Pistons could mean the 7th seed. Anyways, besides John Salmons lighting it up for the Bulls, I have really noticed that Tyrus Thomas is becoming a very solid player. It is almost like a lightbulb came on, even though it is only a 25 watt bulb, and I think we are starting to see what kind of player he will become. Let us look at his play for the last two months (28 games).
Here are his totals for the last 28 games:
375 points, 224 rebounds, 58 blocks, 35 steals, and 31 assists.
What does that break down to?
13.4 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 1.25 spg, 1.1 apg, while shooting .474 from the floor.
So a question must be asked. Is this the best we are going to see or is the sky the limit? You can always reply that the answer is somewhere in the middle. Tyrus has always looked a bit lost on the floor but he looks much better as of late, so I am wondering if he is slowing coming into his own. As a Bulls fan I of course want to see him become a star in this league. He surely has the talent and athletic ability to be a monster on defense and a great rebounder. He also has started to show he can hit the 15 to 17 footer pretty well. Now if he can learn a few moves down low then I think he could be a star in this league. I think it all falls on him though. Will he grow up any more? Will he run the floor with passion? Will he give it his all? Will we have to wait until his contract season to see how hard he can play?
There are a lot of questions and tyrus has all the answers. There are many moments lately when he just does something amazing and I get this little butterfly in my stomach thinking that he just might turn into something great, but as a Bulls fan I know not to get to excited.
Well since I got you here, here are my predictions for the rest of the Bulls season:
Bulls end season with a record of 40 and 42 and land the 8th seed. They play the Cavaliers in the first round and lose in 5 games stealing a win at home in game 3. Derrick Rose wins Rookie of the Year Award.
I copied and pasted from another of my threads, hence the correct prediction that we would indeed lose to the Pacers, so I guess I am 1 for 1 right now.
Posted on: March 10, 2009 3:27 pm
Wow, just when one team in the east looks like it is going to take charge and secure the 8th seed they stumble. As of today, with less then twenty games left in the season, the race for the 8th seed seems tighter then ever. Not that it really matters to most NBA fans or even the teams involved for that matter, but as a fan of one of those teams I find myself biting my nails all the time. On one hand I would like to see the Bulls in the lottery again with a chance at a nice draft pick, but the fan inside really wants to see the Bulls in the post season even though it would mean getting their butts kicked by the Cavaliers or the Celtics. I think the playoffs would be good for this young team and Derrick Rose would maybe take yet another step towards stardom.
Well here is a list of the teams that are fighting for that final spot. Who do you think will land it and why?
So which of these six teams do you think will land that final spot? Does it matter to you the fan? Also, of these six teams which one has the best chance at giving the Cavaliers or Celtics a scare?
Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:50 pm
Here we go:
Posted on: February 14, 2009 6:36 pm
Posted on: February 7, 2009 11:51 pm
Here we go.
Posted on: December 17, 2008 7:47 pm
Well, another week passes and the Bulls look as if they just can not get over that hump. They seem to be comfortable getting one game away from .500 and then breaking down and losing. How many times are they going to get to 1 game back and then just blow another lead? It turns my stomach and if you are a Bulld fan you have to be wondering if this team will ever get their stuff together and win a few games in a row.
OK, we all know that Ben Gordon is playing his best basketball ever so far this season and that Derrick Rose is the real deal and will be our leader for years to come. Drew Gooden has become a pretty solid post player and Larry Hughes is a nice 6th man.
What we have to be asking ourselves is if Joakim Noah will ever be anything close to an impact player? What happened to Thabo Sefolohsa? Does Tyrus Thomas know what the word consistency even means? Will Luol Deng ever return to his old self and start shooting around 50% from the field like he used to? I really can not figure out this team right now. I mean, they lost to the Bobcats for heaven's sake.
I think the Bulls missed their shot at .500 for the time being. Even if they do beat the Clippers tonight, they then face the Celtics, Jazz, and Pistons. Then after that they face the Heat, the Hawks, the Nets, and the Magic. How many of those games will the Bulls win? My guess is around 2. That will leave the Bulls quite a few games back of .500.
They only bright spot is that the month of January offers a light scheldule. We can only hope the Bulls get their act together. Kirk Hinrich will then be returning and the Bulls will run into some roster issues. How much playing time will Kirk get? Will he even be effective?
Ups and Downs of the week:
Up - Drew Gooden has a monster game against the Knicks with 22 points and 16 rebounds in a win.
Down - Thabo Sefolosha has played only 21 minutes and scored 0 points since November 19th.
Up - Derrick Rose's Assist numbers are rising and he has averaged 8 per game in the last 6 games.
Down - Bulls lose another overtime game. This time to the Bobcats. Ouch!
Up - Ben Gordon is shooting over 45% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc.
Down - Derrick Rose have a bad game shooting 3 of 16 from the field while playing 47 minutes.
Up - Tryus Thomas looks like the player we all know he can be with a big game against the Bobcats.
Down - Andres Nocioni's stats are down across the board this season. I hope he gets back in shape because I love his game and his passion.
Player of the Week: Ben Gordon. His game is solid on all fronts. He is still small, but he is shooting as good as ever and his defense has looked pretty good as well. Do not get me wrong he is no Kirk Hinrich when it comes to playing defense, but he is twice as good as last season's Gordon.
Clippers at home - Bulls 96 Clippers 99. I think the Bulls will come out strong again but will be to tired to pull off a win.
Celtics on the road - Bulls 91 Celtics 104. Boston will run away with this game. They just out-class us.
Jazz at home - Bulls 100 Jazz 95. bulls play well against the Jazz and I think we have a chance at home.
With one win this week the Bulls will be 3 game back of .500 and things will only get worse before they get better. Go Bulls!