Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:07 am
Okay, so Heat fans are going to certainly jump on me for this idea as well as others, but I have mentioned in the past that the Heat should trade Chris Bosh to create a more balanced team. They, as in the Heat players and coaches, keep telling us it is only a matter of time before they gel. I am not buying it. How long did it take for Jordan and Pippen to gel with a player they hated named Rodman? Oh, that's right, that was the season the Bulls won 72 games. On there own the big three in Miami are great players, with Bosh being a tier lower then Wade and LeBron. I also understand that the real chemistry issues are with Wade and James and not so much with the thrid wheel named Bosh, but the Heat are never going to trade LeBron or Wade. They simply would never get enough assets in return for either of the superstars for it to make sense for them. Bosh could be traded however and i think I found the perfect team.
The Hornets are at a hard spot right now. They are a playoff team with a superstar Point Guard that might skip town. They are simply not good enough to contend in the west and will continue to be a 5-8 seed unless they make another move. Now add to that the reality that Chris Paul might be leaving and the Hornets certainly have to do something. Trading Paul is an idea that could be explored, but not today. I have other plans.
The Heat Traded Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony to the Hornets for Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, and Quincey Pondexter. Now Athony and Pondexter could be removed from this trade and the numbers still work out, but I think the Hornets might want a Center in return and Pondexter adds a little depth to the Heat.
Why this works for the Hornets.
By adding Bosh to the mix the Hornets give themselves a chance of keeping Chris Paul in town. They could then shop West if they wanted to for a better SG. A Paul/Bosh combo could be really interesting and with West fading it might be time to make a move like this. Anthony would just be a filler player at the center position, but a Paul/Ariza/Bosh trio might make some noise in the west. The real reason to do this trade always comes back to keeping CP3 in town, and if he still leaves for New York, the Hornets would still have a star player in town to draw a crowd in Bosh.
Why this works for the Heat.
The biggest issue with the Heat is chemistry, and having all three of your superstars being jump shooters is not helping them at all. They simply need balance and depth. This trade does just that. Jarrett jack is an underrated PG who can be a starter without an issue. He is certainly an upgrade over what the heat have now. He is explosive, has great size and strength, can finish at the rim, and is a solid defender. He is a much younger option then Andre Miller or some other washed up player they could target. I think Jack is a perfect low-profile player that can run the floor and hit open shots. Okafor gives the Heat the defensive-minded Center that can block shots and get offensive rebounds to create second chance shots for his teammates. Pondexter is a decent young SF that would give the Heat some needed depth.
Sure, this is not a super sexy trade for the Heat, but I think it is the right move if they cannot make some noise in the playoffs. If they win the Finals, or even get there then forget all that I am saying, but if the are out in the 1st or 2nd round then a trade is a must. Having 3 superstars can be the right formula, but not three that all shoot jumpers. They need balance. They need defense in the paint. Also, let us not forget that Haslem will be back and healthy. Here is what their new roster would look like:
PG Jack- Chalmers
SG Wade- Miller- House
SF LeBron- Pondexter
C Okafor- Big Z
Looks a lot more balanced to me. Any thoughts?
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:16 pm
Well the Allstar Game is over and we can move on to "real" basketball. The weekend, was for the most part, a waste of time to watch. Between watching the NBA field guys that cannot even shoot three pointers for the three point content and Griffin being handed the slam dunk contest, I really felt sick as a gazed at the TV. The actual Allstar Game itself was okay, but it was cool to see Kobe Bryant win the MVP even with LeBron doing all could to win it for the east. Anyways, I felt that right now was a good time to throw out my top ten lists. These ARE for play this season so far and for play I expect to see for the rest of the season. I have a Top 10 for each position and Top 20 for players overall and for Top 10 teams. Let us take a look.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:51 pm
Now that we have a good portion of the season done with and with the Allstar break coming up I think we have enough information to form a comparison between the super team that is the Heat and the super team that was the Bulls. I chose to compare the Heat against the 91-92 Bulls because it was Jordan's 8th season in the NBA and we are now in the 8th season's of both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. This is not an attempt to bash the Heat or the Bulls for that matter, but to look closely at the roster formula that both these teams use/used and see just how far away the Heat are from becoming a dynasty.
First we should look at the individual stats from the two key players on both teams and compare.
Jordan: 30.1 ppg, .519 FG%, .270 3P%, 6.1 apg, 6.4 rpg, .9 bpg, 2.3 spg, 2.5 tpg
Pippen: 21.0 ppg, .506 FG%, .200 3P%, 7.0 apg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 1.9 spg, 3.09 tpg
Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .512 FG%, .235 3P%, 6.5 apg, 7.0 rpg, 1 bpg, 2.1 spg, 2.79 tpg
LeBron: 26.1 ppg, .485 FG%, .349 3P%, 7.3 apg, 7.3 rpg, .58 bpg, 1.58 spg, 3.69 tpg
Wade: 25.0 ppg, .495 FG%, .316 3P%, 4.4 apg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 1.32 spg, 3.2 tpg
Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .490 FG%, .332 3P%, 5.8 apg, 7.0 rpg, .79 bpg, 1.45 spg, 3.44 tpg
A few things pop out when you look at the combined averages. Both of these super combos average the same amount point per game and rebounds per game which I thought was sort of cool. Both Wade and James are far better 3 point shooters at this stage in their careers then Scottie and MJ were back in 1991-92. Pippen and Jordan would go on to become pretty solid 3 point shooters, but they clearly were not very good at this point in time. Good thing they had B.J. armstrong and Craig Hodges sitting behind the arc to spred the defenses. Because Wade and LeBron shot better and more 3 pointers their field goal percentage average is lower then that of the Bulls' combo. What this means? Simply put, the LeBron/Wade combo are a better scoring combo in the light that they can do damage from more spots on the floor, while Jordan/Scottie shot a lot of 17 footers or simply scored in the paint as both were alltime greats at finishing at the rim. However, this does not mean that the Heat combo was better then the Bulls combo at scoring, because you have to factor in just how damn good MJ was at getting to the basket and finishing. I do not think that there has been a better player in NBA history at breaking down defenses and getting into the paint. Pippen was also no slouch at this either, and as good as LeBron and Wade are at getting to the rim, MJ and Scottie were better. The bottomline is that the Heat combo are more perimeter oriented while the Bulls combo looked to penetrate. I for one think both are good in there own ways, but in the end getting to the paint and drawing fouls creates more for the rest of the team and wins games in the playoffs, so I give the edge to the Bulls.
The Bulls combo also wins out in the other 4 catagories of Steals, Blocks, Assists, and Turnovers. Many Heat fans thought that the LeBron/Wade duo would certainly outshine that of the Jordan/Pippen duo but that does not seem to be the case. I am not poking fun or doing a "I told you so" thread, I am actually here to say that the Heat team as built is very close to that of a team that won 6 Championships. Now I may not like leBron as a person, but he is a great player and the best player in the game right now. I take issue with how he deals with the media and how he handles himself on the sidelines, but there have been worse players in NBA history in this regard. Let's move on shall we?
Lets look at the 3rd man on both of these teams. While many might want to call me out for saying that Horace Grant was close to as good as Chris Bosh, I will simply point to the proof.
Horace Grant: 14.2 ppg, .578 FG%, 0 3P%, 2.7 apg, 10.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 tpg
Chris Bosh: 18.4 ppg, .498 FG%, .316 3P%, 1.6 apg, 8.1 rpg, .71 bpg, .76 spg, 1.71 tpg
Okay, so what we have here is a case of a shooting power forward and a low post power forward. Bosh simply shys away from contact and loves to shoot jumpers which is not a bad thing, but when you have two superstars on the team that do the same thing you need to adjust your game. I do not think Bosh is the right fit to be honest. Infact a healthy Udonis Haslem might be better. The Heat need a banger in the paint that is not affraid of contact and enjoys defense. Horace Grant was a good defender and shot high percentage shots around the basket. He did not have a lot of range, but he was a perfect fit for the Bulls. Chris Bosh, to me is one of the most glaring mistakes the heat made. They would have been better off with a banger like Carlos Boozer or Amar'e Stoudemire, but they could have saved money and just added a decent defensive minded PF and they would have saved a ton of money. That money could have been spent on a decent Center that is younger then 40 and a starting level point guard. The league is full of talent at the PG position, yet the Heat have one of the worse starting PGs in the NBA.
The Bulls formula was better. Two superstars, and decent talent at every position. As it stands the Heat need help at the PG and C position and Bosh, while a nice talent, is not the right fit. Sure Bosh has big games from time to time and his scoring and range are nice, but he is not the right fit, period. The Bulls had Paxson and Armstrong at the PG and Cartwright at center, which was just enought to make the Bulls deadly.
When you compare the benches it is not close. The Heat have Mike Miller and that is about it, while the Bulls had Stacy King, Will Perdue, Craig Hodges, and Cliff Levingston. They had depth in the front court and that is an area that the Heat need to address.
So how far away are the Heat?
Not to far. what they really need to do, but I never see it happening, is to trade Chris Bosh for 2 or 3 good roleplayers. Maybe I will make another thread with trade ideas, or perhaps you guys can come up with some, but I bet the Heat can get 2 or 3 solid players for Bosh. They simply need a banger at the PF, a younger center that can play defense, and a sarting level PG. Look at what teams with good PGs and bigman have done to the Heat this season. Look at all of the Heat's losses this season and look at what players on the other teams had big games and what positions they played. The other issue is that as a team the Heat are WAY to perimeter oriented and they need to attack the rim with Wade and LeBron much much more. If you live and die by the three pointer, you are certainly going to die in the playoffs.
In conclusion, the Heat need to:
1. Move Bosh for 2-3 good roleplayers.
2. Attack the paint on offense.
3. Take care of the ball. Way to many turnovers from your stars.
The Bulls combined salaries for the 1991-92 season was 16.7 million dollars. LOL. That would buy you one star player in todays game. This is why the CBA is going to be ugly.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:50 pm
While the Magic have not been a super elite team this season they have been fairly solid. Dwight Howard is putting in another season with MVP-like numbers and is the front-runner for the DPOY. The Magic made that big trade and at first it looked like a great move but now I am not so sure. The main issue is Hedo Turkoglu or the Turkish Delight. He offers the Magic a player that can shoot from just about anywhere and that can also play the point-forward. The problem is his defense. He has to be the worst defender of all the starting small forwards in the league.
Last night allowing LeBron James to score 51 is insane, but that maight happen to anyone right? However Turk has had his share of defensive issues over his career and he now should be a major concern to any Magic fan. While the magic have the best bigman in the league, the other elite teams in the east at least have somewhat respectable players at the center position. The Boston Celtics have Perkins, Shaq, and even Big Baby to throw at him. The Bulls have Noah, Thomas, and Asik. The Heat have.... Oh I forget. Anyways, the Magic's biggest strength has been their play from Dwight, but the lack of a starting small forward might be their undoing come playoff time.
The Celtics have Paul Pierce, the Heat have LeBron James, and the Bulls have Luol Deng. "Luol Deng?" you say. Yes, Luol Deng. Deng completely outshine Turk last week with 26 points and 8 rebounds to Turk's 5 points and 4 PFs. Deng scored at will and at the same time shut Turk down. At some point in the playoffs the Magic will face one or more of these 3 players and it might be the x-factor matchup that sends the Magic home. The playoffs are a lot about matchups and without a perimeter defender to slow down the likes of LeBron, Pierce, and Deng, the magic might be in trouble. Against the Bulls Dwight Howard scored 40 points, but that was becaus the Bulls played him straight up and at the same time shut everyone else down. The magic can be beat even when Howard has a huge stat night. Turk struggles against aggressive defenders like Deng and at the same time cannot stop SF that are quick of the dribble and can shot from range. Turk is like a lost puppy on defense. And just like Turkish Delight he is mainly made out of soft jelly.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 11:26 am
Okay, it is well known that Carmelo Anthony is likely leaving Denver at some point. It could be as early as next week or at late as next summer, but the guy is leaving. The three teams on his list are the Knicks, Bulls, and Nets. I am not exactly sure what the other teams are willing to trade to land him but I am sure they can both offer nice packages as both have some nice young players. The Bulls have stated that they will not part with Noah in any deal for Melo and it is easy to see why. Of course Rose is not going anywhere and I think it is very unlikely that the Bulls will offer Boozer on December 15th simply because he is the scoring bigman that this team has needed for years. that leaves really only one offer that the Bulls can make and this is it.
Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, James Johnson, and a 1st rounder or maybe even two for Carmalo Anthony.
My question becomes: Does this make the Bulls a better team? I mean you really have to consider what the Bulls would be losing and what they would be gaining. Carmelo is a elite scorer that can hit clutch jumpers and back smaller guys down with his solid post skills. However, he is about as average a defender as they come. My real concern is his personality. He is yet another NBA player on a long list of players that have demanded to be traded. What happens if he beomes unhappy in Chicago? Will he cause major chemistry issues? If at some point he wants out he could cost us a title. It is not like the Nuggets are a bad team. They have bult around him prety well and have a good head coach. Does he simply want to be in a big city like Chicago or New York or is it about conflicts with team managers? Could he be a poison to a team? Call me drastic if you will but I am not sold on him and I think we might be giving up a lot in this trade.
Sure a starting lineup including Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah would be lights out and could compete with the big dogs. However, who comes off the bench? Kyle Korver and ... With no more Taj Gibson that would mean Kurt Thomas or Brain Scalabrine which is a hug drop off talent-wise. We would still need a better backup point gaurd because Watson has looked quite bad. We would also have issues still at the SG. I am sure Bogans or Brewer would be fine with the other four out there, but Wouldnt it be safer and a bit wiser to address real needs first like a bcak up point guard and perhaps a better shooting guard?
The Bulls would be losing a SF that can defend well and nail 3 pointers, can slash and post up in Luol Deng. They would also be losing a young power forward that is having a breakout season thus far in Taj Gibson. We could stand to lose James Johnson, but if it cost us 2 first rounders then we are selling out or future as well. It is a gamble and the Bulls are not in the business of taking a ton of risks. I think if we could goback in time and know that LeBron was going to Miami, then we could have kept Kirk Hinrich and signed Boozer and called it a day. The loss of Hinrich is causing our biggest flaw, a lack of a playmaker besides Rose. Once we have Boozer we should have plenty of scorig with Rose, Korver, Deng, Gibson, Boozer, and even Noah. Do we need another? Do we want to trade balance for another superstar?
I know people love to say that it takes superstars to win a title, well the Bulls have a young superstar in Rose and Boozer and Noah are both stars in their own right. Plus you have a Luol Deng that can drop 40 on you and you have both star power and balance. Titles are also won with good roleplayers as well as some depth. I am not saying a deep 12 man rotation is needed, but you need a solid 8 man rotation with 2-3 stars to win it all. Gibson will be a great roleplayer when Boozer returns and Korver, Brewer, and Asik are all nice players as well.
One more factor to consider is Derrick Rose. The guy openly stated he wants to be a MVP. He wants to be the best player in the league, so he certainly wants to be the best player on his own team. Carmelo Anthony is right now a better player then Rose, so would adding him upset Rose? Let us be honest here Bulls fans. Rose wants to be an Alltime great and he never reached out to LeBron in the offseason. Had he we might have seen a different Bulls team this year. one with LeBron James on it. Was it Rose's desire to be the best that kept him from even calling LeBron once? that is something only he knows, but it is certainly something to tink about. Adding Melo could upset Rose.
Well, that is the end of my rant. My question to you is if you think the Bulls should for Melo and trade how much?
Posted on: October 30, 2010 12:28 pm
I know I have come across as a flat out hater lately, so I thought I would clear a few things up and apologize for a few of my comments. I may have pushed this Heat hater business a bit too far and I am sorry. Most old time posters know me more as a quite guy that just likes to write about my Bulls. But this summer I got cought up in this whole LeBron mess just like most other people. I too was hoping that he would choose to come to Chicago, so yes I felt a little burned. What i am most sorry for is making fun of the city of Miami or even the fans of the Heat. I understand that there are true fans for all teams, even the Clippers. lol. So if I bent someone wrong, I am sorry.
The real point of this thread is to discuss the difference between a team hater and a player hater. I am not a team hater and I know that i have come off as one lately and again I am sorry. I am however a player hater, and i think we all are to an extent. There are just certain players that rub you wrong for one reason or another. I have had a long history of not liking Rajon Rondo becuase I think he is a dirty player and I did not like his hit on Brad Miller or Kirk Hinrich in the playoffs 2 years ago. I really hated that team even more when Garnett started mouthing off all the time. I never liked Paul Pierce that much after the whole wheelchair deal. Then they added the thug Nate Robinson to the mix. To top it off they added Rasheed Wallace who I have hated for years, dating back to him laughing at the Bulls bench during games with the Pistons. So for a small moment in time I was a Celtic hater. Not because I hate Boston fans or the city of Boston and not because I hate the Celtics as a team, but because I did not like the vast majority of players they had. It did not help that they won game 7 in perhaps the best playoff series i have ever seen.
Before that i did not like the Knicks because of all the punks on the team and I did not like te pistons either. Both of those teams have rosters with players I think are good so I take no issue with the Pistons or Knicks anymore. The Celtics still bother me a bit, but whatever.
This brings me to the Heat. I do not hate Miami or the Heat as a franchise and I know I have said a few thing lately that might make this sentence seem false, but I really have no issue with all of that stuff. I simply do not like the top three players on the team. It is that simple. Here are my reasons for hating.
LeBron James. I sat on my coach and watched the "Decision" just like everyone else. Word was out that he was going to sign with the Heat, but I still held out hope that he would say Chicago. I sat there like a kid with my older brother watching a well and hoped and dreamed of what could be. I looked past the hate I already felt for him for all his dancing on the court and no shaking of hands against the Magic, because I thought the Bulls might land him. I am a fan just like everyone else. Then when he said "South Beach" I knew it was over. I was not mad at LeBron for saying no to the Bulls. It was not until I saw the reaction from Cleveland that I realized how crappy it was to go on TV, on your own show, to tell the fans of Cleveland that you are leaving. that was a very low blow and showed not a bit of class. This is when he became my number one target over Rajonda Rondo (Yes, "Rojonda"! He was born with both male and female parts you know.). You see LeBron in a way is a capsule of what is wrong with the NBA today. He is so self-serving that he does not see that it is the fans that matter. He lacks class and comes off as an ego-driven monster. Now some will say he jointed the Heat because he was not selfish, but that is garbage. He will still put up the stats and in a few seasons Wade will begin to fade and LeBron will be averaging 30 points a night again. He joined the Heat simply to get championships because he knew he could not do it on his own and he tried. The underlining drive was not sacrificing for a greater cause (winning rings as a team) as many fans like to point out, but simply because LeBron wants rings and made a choice that would get him those rings. In short he took the easy road instead of sticking with his hometown team and making it happen there. In the end it is all about him and his rings, not about a the team. We all know now that it cannot be about the team with LeBron. If it was he never would have left Cleveland. The Cavaliers did have some good teams and they did try to build around him. Some will say they failed, but when you look at the last few additions you could see they were trying. I thought the Shaq and Jamison moves put them over the top, and they won a ton of games, but still LeBron could not carry them. I digress. The bottomline is that Lebron is still up to his ego-driven stunts like his new TV ad were he asks " What should I have done" and takes gabs at all his critics. He continues to show no class or tact and he is the main reason I dislike the Heat.
Dwyane Wade. You would think living in Chicago that i would love the home town hero, but I do not. Yes, he is a great player, just like Lebron, but when he made uneducated remarks about the Bulls organization it pissed me off. He stated that the Bulls do not retain prior players and allow them to grow within the organization. What a load of crap. Just because Michael Jordan is an owner of the Bobcats and not the Bulls does not validate this stupid lie. The Bulls have plenty of previous players working for the team. John Paxson is VP, Scottie Pippen is an ambassador for the team. The late greats Norm Van Lier and Johnny Red Kerr were both long time broadcasters that left us a couple years back. Stacy King and Bill Wennington are now both broadcasters for the Bulls and Bob love is always working for the Bulls. Even Adrian Griffin is an assistant coach and B.J. Armstrong was a longtime head scout. Wade's remarks were backhanded and only an attempt to lure LeBron and bosh away from the Bulls. He sold out on his hometown. To add injury to insult he then went to the Bulls and made it appear he was interested in signing with them this offseason only to shift the Bulls focus away from Bosh and LeBron. He is a snake oil salesman and a turncoat.
Chris Bosh. hard to hate on a guy that goofy looking but I do anyways. I do not so much hate him as I do lebron and Wade to a lesser extent, but Bosh still rubs me wrong. the guy always claimed over and over that a contender could be built around him but he never could manage it. Even after the Raptors added some nice players he could not lead them to the playoffs. Still he thought he was worth a max deal without question. That is another problem with the league today. Player way overvaluing themselves. Only about 10 players are worth max deals if you ask me. So my real issue with Bosh is that he has this ego that he is the best power forward in the game and that he could be the main man on a championship team, yet he simply followed Lebron and Wade around in the offseason like a lost dog. As much as Kevin Garnett bugs me from time to time, I would still take him in a 7 game series over Bosh at the drop of a hat.
So there you have it. I do not hate Miami or the Heat as a team, but rather the 3 stars on the team. I am sorry for letting myself wander from my hate for those three players and to start picking on a great city and fanbase like Miami.
I vow to never make a thread again attacking the city of Miami or it's fans. I will simply stomach my hate from now on. Sure I will still point out Lebron classless antics and such, but I will move away from focusing on the team and focus more on why I think players like LeBron are giving the NBA a bad name.
Thanks for taking the time to read my rant. I will pose a few questions for all of you.
Am I alone here in this Player Hater vs Team Hater thing? Do you you hate certain players but not so much the team? or are there just certain teams you hate no matter who is on the roster? I am more of the former. I hate based of certain players and not so much certain teams. Thoughts?
Posted on: October 3, 2010 6:37 pm
Okay, so it is time to start blogging again with the preseason starting this week and all. I am so happy the season is finally here and what a great season it could be for many teams that made big moves this summer. I think it goes without saying that the Miami Heat made the biggest moves but a few other made some solid moves as well including my Bulls. So where do the bulls stand in the East now? How many games should we expect them to win in the regular season? How well will each player perform? Will the Bulls make it out of the first round tis season? There are a lot of questions to answer so let us get started. I will first break down each player and then the team as a whole. I hope you enjoy.
Derrick Rose. Rose is certainly the new face of the Chicago Bulls and the first Allstar we have had since MJ and this being his third season we should get an idea of what we have here in Chicago. Most Superstars become superstars in the third season. Will Rose? Maybe. I do not think he will enter the ranks of Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, But I think he will become a bigtime player. A seond tier Superstar if you will. Last season he ranked 14th in point per game and I see him moving into the top 10 even with the addition of Boozer. Derrick has had to holes in his game in the past. One being his ability to hit from downtown which looks to be vastly improved, but the other issue, his defense, is still a big question mark. Rose has the size, strength, and speed to be a very good defender, he just needs to get there mentally. Coach T is a good fit to help Rose become the best player he can be and I think Rose will shine this season. His assist numbers should move up a bit with the addition of Boozer and Korver who both hit a high percentage from the floor and his scoring should increase a bit if he is sharing the backcourt with Brewer who is more defense minded.
Stat Prediction: 23 ppg, 8 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1 spg, .475 FG%, .350 FG3%
Carlos Boozer. The Bulls finally have their back to basket player that they have been seeking since Elton Brand was traded away nearly a decade ago. If healthy Boozer is the perfect fit in Chicago. I know I was pro-Chris Bosh before but that was mainly do to the fact that Bosh was younger and healthier. Boozer is really the better player if healthy and a great teammate. his ability to make the pass in the post and his pick and roll skills are a great match. If he gets the double he can pop it out to an open Korver, a driving Rose, a slashing Deng, or simply bounce pass it to Noah on the block. There really is not a player out there with his skill set that the Bulls could have snagged and the Bulls also got him at a bargin with teams like the Knicks overpaying for Amar'e Stoudemire and the David Lee deal. I am happy with this pickup as it does put the Bulls close to contention. The big looming storm cloud is Boozer's health. Last season he put up great numbers, but I am not sure the Bulls will see those kind of stats from him. He will not be great but he will be just what the doctor ordered.
Stat Prediction: 17.5 ppg, 3 apg, 9.5 rpg, 1 spg, .5 bpg, .525 FG%
Luol Deng. Here we have another player that is known to get hurt, but he had a solid rebound season last year and I think he is a perfect fit for a third option on any offense. I understand he is being paid like a number 1 or 2 option, but with Boozer and Rose taking the big shots, Deng can focus on defense with his long frame and he can also keep defenses honest with his ability to hit the open jumper. Deng is at his best when he is slashing and moving and we saw a lot of that last season and I think we will only see more. Luol is far from great at creating his own shot, but with Boozer drawing in defenders Deng could see more open shots in stride. Overall, I think the addition of Boozer will hurt Deng's numbers but I think he will be a more effective player with open lanes and looks.
Stat Prediction: 14.5 ppg, 2 apg, 6 rpg, 1spg, .485 FG%, .375 FG3%
Joakim Noah. I am a huge fan of Joakim Noah and his ability to get under the skin of other players and play nasty defense, but to be honest I am not sure he is going to get all that much better stat-wise as a player. I think he is close to his ceiling. He is a double double machine that can shot block and rebound like nobodies business. I simply cannot see him becoming a better scorer and he already is a good ball handler and passer for a bigman. Having Boozer in the paint could hurt his rebounding numbers a bit but his scoring could go up slightly. I think we all know what we are going to get from Noah when he steps on the hardwood. Energy, energy, and more energy, and he is just the type of player that most Championship teams have in the fold in one way or another. The Bruce Bowens, James Poseys, Dennis Rodmans, Ron Artests of the world. The players that are not affraid of anyone or anything and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.
Stat Prediction. 12 ppg, 2.5 apg, 10.5 rpg, 1 spg, 2 bpg, .500 FG%
Ronnie Brewer. I remember a few years ago when Brewer was getting a lot of hype as an up and comer. Those ideas have faded as Brewer has never been able to turn into the complete player that many thought he would become. He is very athletic and a good finisher, but his jumper is off and he is scary bad from downtown. However, Brewer has change his game and now focuses on being a defender first. In many ways he is a lot like Hinrich with his ability to matchup with the other teams elite player and slow them down or shut them down, but Brewer is bigger, stronger, and much more athletic then Kirk was and should fit in nicely even if he does come off the bench which I would prefer. A Brewer/Watson Combo off the bench would have defense and firepower. I am not expecting much from brewer this season, but think his defense will be a big part of the Bulls chances of advancing in the Playoffs.
Stat Prediction. 8 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3 rpg, 1.5 spg, .475 FG%
Kyle Korver. Korver was a great backup plan to J.J. Reddick and perhaps an even better fit for the Bulls. He Knows his place and his job is clear. Hit open threes all night long. Kyle is an average deffender at best but I like him as a starter for the Bulls at the shooting guard and splitting minutes with Brewer. I think his ability to spread defenses has to be utilized as much as possible with Derrick and Boozer. Having him come off the bench kills the whole reason we brought him in. He needs to be out there with Rose nailing threes and driving other teams coaches mad. With him in the starting lineup the Bulls would have a nasty starting offense that could blow up a big lead in a hurry and then the Bulls could slow it down a bit and bring in Taj and Brewer to play defense.
Stat Prediction. 9 ppg, 1.5 apg, 2 rpg, .5 spg, .480 FG%, .450 FG3%
Taj Gibson. With Boozer on board Gibson's minutes will be cut bigtime and thus so will his numbers. Gibson will continue to be a great defender and should have his way in the paint with most other teams bench power forward. Gibson is a jack of all trades kind of player in the mold of P.J. Brown. He is fundamentally sound but lacks the talent to be a star in this league. He will have a long career as a backup and a darn good one at that, but he just lacks the flash and skills to be a huge threat. He can be brought in to be a pest on defense or to slow down another teams bigman and he is always good for a shot block or two. The best thing about Gibson is his basketball IQ, which is very very high and he always makes great choices with the ball or without the ball. He will have a few games this season were he will put up big numbers but Boozer is the man now and Gibson needs to keep on adding bulk and perfecting his jumper which is not bad as it stands.
Stat Prediction. 6.5 ppg, 1 apg, 5 rpg, 1.25 bpg, .510 FG%
C.J. Watson. I think the Watson pickup might be the sleeper pickup for the Bulls this season. He is a great firecracker off the bench and he should do what the Bulls were hoping Pargo would do last season and that is to be a spark off the bench. Watson is fast and can score very well from within 18 feet or so. His 3 pointer is not great but he can get hot. His defense is a question mark but with Brewer sharing the floor with him the burden is less. I think he could be a great pickup but I will try and keep my hopes in check and wait to see what he looks like in the Bulls system. Scoring a lot of points for the Warriors is not hard to do. I think he will do just fine with the 10 minutes or so he sees every game.
Stat Prediction. 6.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 rpg, 1 spg, .450 FG%, .350 FG3%
The Others. Past the players that I have listed are some solid roleplayers that will not see many minutes unless there are injuries and the players that could see some action are:
Omar Asik. Will see minutes behind Noah and sounds like he has some offense in the post and is a decent blocker and rebounder. Must see him play on the NBA hardwood to see how good he really is.
James Johnson. Will see minutes perhaps behind Deng, but from what I have heard the Bulls brass are not liking JJ's work ethic. We need no drama so I hope this guy settles down.
Keith Bogans. 6 teams in 7 years is never a good sign, but he could see minutes if there is an injury and he is a solid vet and a consistant player.
Kurt Thomas. Yes, this guy is still in the league. He is a locker room vet that will be a nice to have sitting on the bench and keeping the guys focused. He is also good for 3 minutes a night during a blowout. lol.
Brian Scalabrine. The golden horseshoe himself is now a Chicago Bull so mark your calendars for June because we are going to the Finals baby!
The addition of head coach Tom Thibodeau was a fairly bold on the Bulls part and I liken him to Scott Skiles who we never should have gotten rid of in the first place. From what I have heard Tom has been pushing the Bulls hard in training camp as has made his place known and the players seem to have fallen suit. We all know that Thibodeau is a defensive wizard but I think we are all holding our breath to see what the Bulls offense looks like. To me it is simple. push the open floor with Rose on fast breaks for as many easy buckets as you can get. The Bulls will be quick and with Noah on the floor dangerous. If the fast break is stopped then set up the half court slow down game with Rose and Boozer utilizing the pick and roll or rune a series of high screens but leave Noah in the paint for rebounds and easy buckets. Noah no longer has to set those high screens with Boozer on the team and Noah never could hit the jumper or drive to the basket anyways. Keep Joakim were he belongs. The Bulls could also try to get Boozer down low in position first and run the offense through him. Let him decide with the ball in his hands. He has plenty of options. On any fast break were Noah or boozer are in the paint and Korver is standing on the 3 point line make the pass to Kyle for the 3 in stride.
What I am getting at is that the Bulls players pretty much spell out what needs to be done on offense and I think Tom knows this. Hand the ball to Rose and let him work his Magic. I really feel that the Bulls are a very balanced team and their chemistry should work out just fine. I know there are a lot of new faces, but they are all vets for the most part and everyone seems to know their roles. There really are no headcases on this team and a starting lineup of Rose, Korver, Deng, Boozer, and Noah is very explosive. If the Bulls want more defense then the starting lineup could be more conservative with Rose, Brewer, Deng, Boozer, and Noah. This linup has few holes. The Bulls bench is fairly deep. Not the best in the league, but solid with Korver/Brewer, Gibson, Bogans, Asik, and Watson.
I think the Bulls will be a top 4 seed. The Heat should lead the pack and the Magic and Celtics will most likely be ahead of the Bulls, but it could be close with those two. The Celtics cannot be counted out. I thought they were done last season at this time only to see them back in the Finals again. The magic could go either way. They do not look quite as sexy on paper as they did before the Heat and Bulls trades. The Bucks and Hawks will be in the mix as well. I could see the Bulls winning as many as 56-58 games this year and I would not be shocked. On the other end we could be looking at a team just above .500. I have to believe the Bulls are better then last season and even better then the team that won 49 games and swept the Wade/Shaq Heat in the first round and few years ago. Injuries will play a big part for sure with players like Boozer, Deng, and even Noah playing. The Bulls lost 10 game in a row last year late in the season when noah was out with his foot injury. The Bulls were playing great basketball at the time and could easily have had won 5 or 6 of those games and finished the season with 46 or 47 wins. Subtract Kirk Hinrich and add Boozer, Korver, Brewer, and Watson and the Bulls are a better team.
My Prediction. Record: 52-30. Advance to the second round in the Playoffs and push either the Magic or Celtics to a game seven but ultimately lose.
Possible Bulls Regrets. Not signing Tracy McGrady if he goes off with the Pistons.
Midseason Trade? Most likely not unless the Bulls can move Deng. The Carmelo Anthony for Joakim Noah trade talks will continue until the Bulls lock up Noah. If the Bulls do not lock up Noah then he could be part of a big trade of some sort. If the Bulls resign Noah and are above .500 by 5-8 games come the deadline then the Bulls will not be making any moves.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this preview. Please reply with your thoughts on my predictions or your perdictions for the Bulls or the east in general. I tried hard not to be bias so let me know what you think.
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)