For the Bulls, a lot depends on the left knee of Derrick Rose, but also the health and stability of everyone else on their roster. What does the season have in store for them? And for you, should you add them to your NBA picks?
Despite the loss of Derrick Rose all season, the Bulls had a solid year before the injury bug started biting. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah were All-Stars, and Carlos Boozer actually almost made the ASG, posting numbers of 16 ppg and almost 10 rebounds in both the regular season and postseason. Boozer also played in 79 games last season, which is the most he’s played since 2007-2008 with the Jazz.
Even though the Bulls played their asses off last season, they still fell to the Heat rather easily in the 2nd round. Noah was battling plantar fasciitis and was not himself, while Deng had to miss the series after a botched spinal tap at a hospital. After those injuries, there was zero chance. The band for the Bulls is getting back together for one more run at the Heat, and among the other teams in the East, they are the one with the best chances of knocking off Miami, albeit it will have to be with a 100% Rose on the floor for the whole season.
Chicago didn’t have a lot of room to make moves this offseason, but while they have lost more than they have gained, they are still a very good team. Obviously, Rose coming back counts as an addition, but after him, the drafting of Tony Snell and the free agent signing of Mike Dunleavy are both huge for this team. It gives them a lot of additional three-point shooting, something hey desperately missed last season, and Snell should also play a small role as a defensive substitute for Deng, who led the NBA in minutes played. Although Tom Thibodeau usually doesn’t give rookies very much playing time, Snell’s game compares a lot to Kawhi Leonard. If he comes anywhere close to that upside, I like his chances of getting 10-15 minutes per game this season off the bench.
The Bulls did lose Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli, but Dunleavy will fill the void of Marco, while 2nd year point guard Marcus Teague is expected to be the bench firecracker for the Bulls in place of Robinson. If every piece falls into place, they have what it takes to win this year, not only in the regular season, but the playoffs as well. The Bulls owned the league’s best record the two years prior to 2012-2013, and if Rose is healthy, there is no reason to think they can’t do it again.
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The Bulls are +1000 in the NBA Odds to win the NBA Title nest season. That is only behind the Heat and Thunder, and tied with the Rockets and Nets. The Eastern conference has gotten lot better this offseason from top to bottom, and no longer will it be a conference where the bottom few seeds might be under .500. This will be the toughest season for any team in the East, but the Bulls can play defense with anyone, and if Rose is Rose, I like their NBA odds here. If anything they have the best shot of anyone to knock off the Heat, and for that reason, I would add a hedge on the Bulls if you are favoring the Heat once again with your sports picks this offseason. No player has destroyed the Heat’s defense like Rose, who has averaged 26.4 points per game in 9 starts against the Heat in the regular season and the playoffs.
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