Bulls player preview: Brian Scalabrine

Bulls player preview: Brian Scalabrine

With fans preparing for the upcoming NBA season, let's further analyze each Chicago Bull to gauge what kind of impact they could have as the team looks to reach the next level. You can also check out the player previews for Omer Asik, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and Taj Gibson.

Player: Brian Scalabrine (F)

Age: 33
Salary:
His contract is worth the veteran's minimum and not fully guaranteed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

How did he perform last season?: After getting minutes early in the season due to Carlos Boozer's right hand injury, Scalabrine was essentially a player-coach throughout the year. He provided leadership and knowledge of coach Tom Thibodeau's system, having spent time with the reigning Coach of the Year for three seasons in Boston. Although playing time was hard to come by for Scalabrine, he was well-liked by teammates and coaches, embraced his role and became a fan favorite at the United Center -- and arenas around the league. Yes, it was a fun season for Scalabrine, who received MVP chants on the road at times. As for the Bulls' title chances, the former NBA champion didn't feel the team was ready to get past the Miami Heat and win it all a season ago.

"You lack experience at playoff level," he told HoopsHype.com this summer. "Derrick Rose needs to go through the bumps and bruises of the playoffs to get over the hump. If you watched the games against Miami, the Heat knew how to get over the hump. ... So you have to get that -- being there and making it. I can only assume Rose has been working his tail off this summer thinking about Miami and what he’s going to do down the stretch playing against LeBron [James]. You have to go through that."

Areas for improvement: Following a March 15 contest against the Washington Wizards, fans at the United Center were upset that Scalabrine missed a three-pointer that would have netted them a free Big-Mac. Afterwards, he said he would polish that aspect of his game in case he's in that position again.

Expectations for 2011-12 season: Barring injury, count on Scalabrine to remain in Chicago the entire season. Because of Kurt Thomas' departure, the Bulls will need Scalabrine for depth in practices. Other than that, he will be asked to play the exact same role he did last season. The Bulls are unlikely to trim their roster any further, although they are looking to add a big man who could back up centers Joakim Noah and Omer Asik.

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