High expectations afoot in Chicago, even though the Bulls’ unwillingness to give LeBron’s entourage run of the place (and bad karma dating back to the Jordan days) took them out of the King James Sweepstakes. On the bright side, they managed to land a decent booby prize in Carlos Boozer, the offensive minded big man they’ve needed for years, and two of his former Utah Jazz teammates, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.
Truth be told though, I think most people are getting way too excited about this team. Me, I’m taking a show-me attitude. For starters, I’ve never been crazy about giving big money deals to guys with proven injury histories, and Boozer fits that bill.
Also, I can’t fathom how anyone can be that geeked about a starting line-up with absolutely zero perimeter shooters. This is the NBA after all. Pretty sure every College team from Duke to Slippery Rock has at least one long-range threat. Who is that guy gonna be on this team? (A hint, it’s not this dude).
Sure, the counter to the argument is Derrick Rose’s ability to break down defenses, the scary prospect of him and Boozer in the Pick & Roll and a couple of talented slashers in Luol Deng and Ronnie Brewer, but if you are the opposing team why in the hell wouldn’t you zone this team for 48 minutes and take your chances? I know I would.
Defensively, things are looking up here, as their first year coach arrives with a massive reputation after his success in molding the Celtics fearsome D. Of course, This team doesn’t have KG, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo, but Joakim Noah is a pretty good anchor, and Rose and Brewer have enough athleticism to be assets on that side of the ball if they choose to work hard. Boozer, not so much, but either way the Bulls will be an adequate Defensive team at worst.
IF THEY GET LUCKY: Boozer stays in one piece for the duration, John Paxson all of a sudden learns how to do his job and goes out and gets some shooters, and Derrick Rose actually becomes the elite PG everyone already seems to think he is instead just a super-athletic open court player who plays the whole game in 5th gear.
IF THEY DONT: Ol’ Carlos comes apart, nobody on this roster is able to knock down 3’s consistently , CRAZY JOHN botches Joakim’s Noah’s extension, and everyone on the Bulls bandwagon is left wondering how this team only won 32 games with all this promise.
REALITY: This team is on the upswing and definitely looking at 50-52 wins this season (If Boozer doesn’t hurt hisself), but let’s save the annointing oil for when they get some shooters in there and get a little more battle tested. A sound round Play-off exit to one of the East’s big 3 sounds about right.
*Edit* So Boozer broke his hand and is expected to be out at least 8 weeks.
That didn’t take long.
The White Shadow, an epic 1970’s TV Series about an NBA Player who suffers a career ending injury and becomes the Coach of an inner-cty LA High School team, features main character Ken Reeves as a member of the Bulls, and even gives light to former Star Artis Gilmore and his monster Mutton-chops. The theme song is the goods, too:
Back shortly with the next one…