Can Chicago recapture the greatness that they once had with Rose at the point?
Preseason action has started and thankfully for the Bulls, Derrick Rose’s knee hasn’t acted up after seeing some action. The core group of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer only has a few years left in their prime and for Chicago to have any chance at a championship, they need #1 facilitating the action as their “quarterback”.
The Bulls have one of the best defenses in the league, allowing just 92.9 points per game and Rose will make up the difference that they were sorely missing offensively. He’s a former NBA MVP player and in his best season, averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game. That said, numbers aren’t going to win Chicago games; it’s Rose’s ability to take over a game by penetrating to the hoop, ball distributing, and his ability to hit the big shot. Look for an energized Derrick Rose to ease back into action and hit his peak during mid-season.
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With great size in the middle in the form of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer, the Bulls should dominate once again on the defensive end of the court. What makes these players so good is that everyone knows their role and all have a soft touch offensively. While Deng is primarily an offensive player, he can grab some rebounds and seems to pick the team up when either Boozer or Noah is having a poor game.
Carlos Boozer can be slightly inconsistent, but provides the best overall combination of offense and physicality on the defensive end while snatching rebounds. Joakim Noah has been a winner ever since his days in college at Florida under head coach Billy Donovan.
Noah usually thinks defense first with his lengthy wing-span. He’s a terror in the middle that can collect rebounds and reject anything that comes his way. He’s also an emotional player that can spark a fire under this team in an 82 game grind.
All 3 of these players are very unselfish and look for them to flourish with Derrick Rose back on the court.
Carlos Boozer will be joined by his former Duke teammate, Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy will provide great relief, coming off the bench as he’s a great passing big-man that can also rebound and shoot the ball as a 6 foot 9 shooting guard.
One player that will be very important to this veteran ball club will be backup point guard, Kirk Hinrich. We haven’t seen Derrick Rose for a prolonged period of time since his injury. Rose’s “PT” could be cut by a few minutes and Hinrich is the perfect veteran player, who has had experience as a starter to fill in for Rose. He brings great energy to the court and can pass and score. Kirk Hinrich’s presence on this team shouldn’t be underestimated.
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This is a wait and see situation as everything is riding on the health of Derrick Rose. The Bulls are an easy 50 win ball club and possibly much better, but Rose has to have confidence in making cuts with his previously injured knee. Look for Chicago to be a major contender. This team has experience that teams like the Thunder don’t have and they still have a few good runs in them. Their defense is what separates them from other elite teams.
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