Putting this Bulls season into perspective

Going into the season, I felt the Bulls had maybe a 10% chance of losing in the first round, 40% of losing in the 2nd, 30% of losing in the ECF, 10% of losing in the finals, and 10% of winning the whole thing.  

The Bulls managed to make it to the ECF which constitutes better than my preseason expectations.    In doing so, we saw many important things to be excited about for the future.

Derrick Rose proved he is a franchise player

This should not be minimized.  Derrick Rose is a top five player in the NBA, and the Bulls will never be more than one player away while he’s on the team (granted that one player might be another superstar, but still).

Without this step, the Bulls would have had no chance to win a title, and Derrick has been so good for so long, that it’s difficult to remember that going into this season it was hardly a given.

Going back to his performance in the summer with team USA, Rose didn’t look like he was on the same level as Kevin Durant for example.   However, Rose has proven that he’s the best PG in the NBA, and better than all but a couple of players.

He’s 22 years old, and while I think his game is one that might not last much past 30, he still has another eight years or so in his prime for the Bulls to throw something special around him.   That’s a lot of time for a player this good.

Luol Deng put together perhaps his best overall year

This guy went from “how can we get him off our roster” to “we love you Luol!” in one season.   Most importantly, he became a decent three point shooter, and I’m sure with the way he’s used in the offense, he’ll continue to improve in that aspect of his game going forward.

He proved he could stay healthy while playing massive minutes, including a deep playoff run, and he’s again a staple of the Bulls starting lineup going forward.    Besides the three point shooting, Deng improved his ball handling while slashing to the basket, and improved his play in the clutch considerably.

He’s still not the marquee second option we wish we had, but this was a guy we thought we should get rid of just to do away with his contract, so his comeback puts the Bulls in a much better spot going forward.

Joakim Noah didn’t fold after signing a new deal

I certainly didn’t expect him to, but he’s proven to be an excellent player, and watching him in this Miami series, I can tell he’ll be key in our ability to defeat these guys eventually.  He can defend LeBron/Wade for stretches in isolation, something perhaps no other center in the NBA could pull off.

Something that will give the Bulls tremendous flexibility to defend them in the future.  Noah still needs to work on improving his play in the post a bit, but his strengths are incredibly valuable for Chicago, and he seems to have improved his skill level considerably from the previous season.

Omer Asik is a keeper

Omer has the makings of a starting caliber defensive center.  He needs to hit the weight room, and he needs to work on some offensive moves, but here’s a guy that you didn’t know what you’d get out of, and he’s proven to provide tremendous depth for this team’s front court rotation.

Taj Gibson had another excellent year of development

Gibson’s a solid player, and he’s shown increasing skill on knocking down that mid range jumper as well as playing tremendous defense and playing with great hustle.   Gibson’s also risen to a starting caliber player level this season.

If Gibson can improve his low post moves a bit, he could become a fairly dynamic offensive player as well.   Granted, Gibson’s fairly old given how early into his career he is, so there may not be that much improvement left in the tank, but what he gives the team is already excellent.

The Bulls are excellently positioned for the future

Besides having an MVP and a young team with room to grow, they also have two future firsts on top of their own.   Miami’s this year and Charlotte’s upcoming.   They also have several non guaranteed contracts this year (Bogans, Pargo, Lucas) that they can use to trade to take back salary without giving any out, as well as more similar type deals in the future.

That combination should allow them to make something happen at draft time or in the near future otherwise to fill the few holes they have.

Tom Thibodeau looks like a tremendous coach

I know people will complain about how he was ‘outcoached’ the last series, complain about some rotation or play call, but the truth is, Tom Thibodeau is a fairly elite coach right now, and he’s likely to improve.

Could he wear thin on guys eventually?   Yeah, maybe, but we’re not locked into the guy for a decade.   To go from Vinny Del Negro is like going from a Festiva to a Corvette, and the bitching is like complaining that the Corvette isn’t a Ferrari.

Ronnie Brewer looks well positioned to help the Bulls for a long while on defense

Brewer started the season off someone disappointing, but by the end, he was playing quite well.  He’s knocked down the mid range jumper with a fair amount of consistency, finds ways to get garbage buckets, and he played absolutely tremendous defense for the Bulls.

Chicago still probably wants to upgrade the SG position, but Brewer’s a valuable cog in the Bulls rotation going forward regardless of who they bring in.

Carlos Boozer has a lot of flaws, but can still help this team

We noticed in great detail that Boozer’s not exactly the offensive creator we’d hoped he would be.   He gets most of his baskets with play off of Rose, and when the Bulls just dump the ball into him, the results have been inconsistent.

He also has shown no ability to defend which has cost him crunch time minutes at various points this season.

That said Boozer gave us more offense then we’ve gotten out of the front court in a long time, and while they clearly need to be careful about how they use him, the Bulls need that kind of punch up front.

Kyle Korver’s roll will probably shrink

He can still help the team some, but in the playoffs, Miami easily exploited him defensively, and he was unable to connect on shots.   With his age and athleticism likely declining further, things aren’t likely to improve for Korver.  It’s hard to see where things go for Korver from here, but I’d wager it’s fewer and fewer minutes per game in an increasingly specialized role.

C.J. Watson needs to find his game

C.J. played well at times this year, but the adjustment from score first open court player to controlled pass first point guard wasn’t always smooth.   The Bulls would be well served to figure out a way to play to C.J.’s strengths more.

That said, C.J. was a much better defender than I thought he’d be, especially coming from GS, so that was a huge positive, and I think he has plenty of room to improve after playing in the system for a year.

The aging vets gave the Bulls great contributions

I’ve complained about Bogans for much of the year, but he was outstanding for a 1.8 million dollar signing and while I felt he played too many minutes at times, he always played hard.  I’ll hope that the Bulls find an improvement, but I’ll be happy to have him back on the bench for another season if he stays.

Kurt Thomas was truly incredible for what he gave the Bulls this season.  I don’t know if he can repeat or if he wants to play another year, but he truly shocked me with the quality of his play relative to the tools he had to work with.

All in all, this was the most enjoyable Bulls season for me ever

No, they didn’t win, but it was great watching this team grow and improve.   It’s great knowing that the arrow is still likely pointing up in terms of team growth.   While I suspect they may not match their 62 win pace next season, I also expect them to play much better in the playoffs.

This is a team that needed a lot of deep playoff experience, and it got it.   They’re well positioned to make a run at the title for the foreseeable future.  It may not be a great day for Bulls fans, but it’s a great time to be a Bulls fan.


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  • only thing im going to remember is that the outcome was determined before the season even started with the illegal free agency activity, and then helpd along by the refs. I have no interest in next year because the same thing will just happen again.

    the fans in Miami only show up when they are winning titles, the bulls fans always show up, thats why the NBA gave the title to the heat in 2006,and thats why they're giving it to them this year.

  • Nice piece. Hard to think about how great a season it was with this salty taste in my mouth. But going into season they beat expectations. Then as I watched the team expectations grew and the loss was disappointing.

    I can't believe the collapse last night and the continued horrible reffing. That series was so lop-sided in calls. And the announcers didnt even mention it. Rose would get tackled and mugged and they wouldnt show a replay (or call a foul). Wade cried about a call last night going to the lane on a fast break in the fourth and they show that replay where Rose BARELY put a forearm into him and Steve Kerr was whining saying that should have been called a foul. Is it just me or did everyone of the refs forget we had the mvp on our team? The heat outplayed us down the stretch is all their wins but the bullcrap calls leading up to it would have given us bigger leads. At a minimum this series should still be going on. Lame the NBA wants the heat in the finals that badly.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    The TNT announcers were all over it in game 4. I was at game 5, so I have no idea if they mentioned it then.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    My thanks to Doug for putting together one of the best Bulls Blogs on the net. Unfortunately, Miami will crush Dallas. I don't foresee a close series at all, which just pisses me off even more. I also see Howard going to LA. I also don't see us moving Boozer. I've got to believe his defense will improve over the summer. We need Asik to develop quickly, all he needs is a consistent Jump Hook, so I'm Hopeful. We also need someone who can create on the offensive end while not hurting us on Defense. I don't see any free agents out there that excite me, so we are going to have to get lucky in the draft. I really believe that we are only 1 player away from winning it all. Here's hoping one of our 2 late first rounders pan out.

    Great Season overall, Can't wait for next year.

  • In reply to cpuhala:

    Boozer's been in the league for years, he's not going to magically improve his defense in 2 months over the summer during his vacation in between 9 rounds of golf and chasing loose young women in Vegas.

    We're more than one person away. GarPax will need to earn their money this summer because the Heat aren't going to stay stagnant. Said before this may be the worst Heat team we'll play for some years to come. They don't even have a Center and true PG. They'll be adding pieces too.

  • In reply to gwill:

    you're right about Booz, but the Bulls are not more than 1 player away

    I still believe we are better than the Miami Heat. I really do. We could no doubt use more poise, more experience, more scoring, but we will improve from within. I said that last year. I said Rose would make the jump to greatness much in the same way Durant did the year before going into his 3rd. Well its scary to think this 22 year old has just scratched the surface, but he has, and his teammates are young & willing as well.

    That's the thought I will leave you all with Bulls fans. Rose is the youngest MVP in the history of this great game. Think about that for a moment, and on all the great players to have played. A young man who is as dedicated & motivated as they come, with the natural ability to match.

  • In reply to cpuhala:

    I want Asik to not just aquire a jump hook, I want him to bring the sky hook back. I can visualize it right now. Also, a 15 foot jump shot would go a long way with him, esp his confidence. Get a couple post moves, in a couple years he could be a good 2 way player. With the way he Ds up, I would dare say great

    Other Bulls improvements I would like:

    -Taj: As others have mentioned, make the mid range knock down, start developing a 3 to become a stretch 4, and add bulk

    -Noah: Post moves, dribbling, 15 footer, finishing

    -Boozer: Drop weight while keeping strength, study film, stay healthy

    -CJ: Train with Rose

    -Brewer: Shooting

    -Deng: Post scoring, film study, 3 pt, jump hook, dribbling, finishing in traffic

    Like to see K Thomas back, Bogans & the expirings moved if beneficial, Scal back, Rasual Butler back & in rotation, Korver used more properly & perhaps less. If a move is out there that clealy makes them better, by all means pull the trigger, but don't be pressured to make a change for change's sake. Asik & Taj's value will be even higher next year. Every year that passes that Cahrlotte pick becomes more valuable. Draft some stashable Euros, trade the 2 1sts & the 2nd for futures, or draft a 2 guard or a big with good value. Next year's draft is loaded with top end 2 guard potential. Strike then. They could put a package together and possibly get a guy like Austin Rivers or Harrison Barnes. You're close Bullies, you're very very close. And young.

    Thanks for a great blog Doug, a great year. Thanks for the memories & excitement Chicago Bulls. This is just the beginning.

    Have a great summer
    -Chi Ry(an)

  • tell me how having 3 whining b***hes in the finals crying about every other call is good for the nba?

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Because 1 of 2 things will happen:

    The Heat win, validating Stern's argument that the current financial model creates an inequity of competition (note: not saying I agree, just saying it will be the first thing out of his mouth during the CBA fight)

    Dallas wins, giving Stern the ability to say 'See, told you we weren't biased against any team or Cuban.'

    Now, ask how it is good for the fans (though, I kinda like having a team to totally dislike...haven't had one since the Detroit Red Army dominated the NHL), and that is a totally different conversation.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    First a big Thanks to Doug for running this forum. It is always my first port of call for Bulls news and views and I think you can tell from the comments so far that the majority of contributors to this site are true Bulls fans.

    I too am so happy with waht the team has accomplished this season, so a big THANKS to all members of Cheicago Bulls organisation. Compared to pre-season expectations we have over performed; yes the manner of the defats to the Heat in the ECF will leave a bitter taste but (like OKC) we are still a young team and have a lot of growing to still do.

    I look forward to free-agency (what ever the next CBA will make it) and the draft to see how GarPax looks to make adjustments to personnel.

    I look forward to seeing how much our players develop over the summer. This is the first off-season under Thibs who I'm sure will be giving each player specific areas to work on.

    Imagine a team where Derrick was a consistent 3pt shooter (ala C Paul); imagine an Afflalo type SG; imagine a consitent Luol; imagine Carlos not being a defensive liability; imagine Joakim with a jumpshot. Thats what keeps me a happy Bulls fan even though we were beat-up in the last four 4th qtrs the future's so bright I gotta wear shades.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Can't agree Rose is the best PG, when fully healthy Chris Paul is clearly better. He didn't have much playoff success but hey, there's no way NO had any business taking two playoff games with their roster. I mean put it this way, Westbrook held the Thunder back from being a true contender, if they could trade him for Paul or Rose with a guarantee they'd both be healthy would they even hesitate to pick Paul? I can't see why they would even think about taking Rose. Nor would most other teams, I'd go as far as to say ask 29 out of 30 teams hardcore fans and I bet they say they'd rather Paul.

    It's funny to end up winning more games than I thought they would but overall for the season to be disappointing in many ways. Rose wasn't as good as I thought he'd be, I thought he'd put up 25 a game but on better efficiency. Noah was what I thought he'd be to start the season then tailed off after injury, likewise with Boozer. Brewer never really did what he did with Utah, Gibson had a horrific offensive stretch in the middle of the season, Watson sucked at shooting most of the year ... really only Deng playing all 82 games and Thomas/Asik being awesome exceeded what I'd hoped for. I don't know, maybe that means I've overestimated the league if I only expected 55 wins?

    I don't see why this team can't win 60+ again next year. They're legit, just find a third wing to put in the rotation with Deng and Brewer (which may cost Gibson, but please not Asik who is a far more important player) and I think they can take anyone next year. It'll be another dicey series against the Heat to contend with of course, but get past them and the West seems pretty soft now.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'd disagree about the Paul thing even if they were both healthy. However, since Paul has been so shaky health-wise, it becomes rather moot. Rose took an absolute beating this season, and kept coming back for more. Paul would still be on an IV drip laying in traction in some hospital if he took 1/2 of what Rose did.

    As for the Bulls, and speaking of Rose, I do see where they could fail to win 60+ games next year if they don't make some sort of change at SG. The blueprint is out on how to stop them offensively; and it is mostly because there is a gaping hole at SG. Trap/zone the hell out of Rose.

    Also, Boozer is a question mark for next year. What 20 or so games will he miss? Will he play well in the other 62 or so games, or will he play like he did in this playoff run?

    If the Bulls do make a change at SG for the better, I don't think there is much to worry about, since it would open up a lot more things to counteract any potential drop offs in productivity (Korver, like Doug mentioned).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    It is not a great idea to compare CP3 to Rose. Rose is still learning. He would have been a senior in college and PG is the most difficult position to learn. Off-course, we saw a lot of weaknesses in Rose. But, put CP3 instead of Rose on this Bulls....they would have been swept by Miami with most games not even being close. The fear of Rose shooting and passing is what gave some free space for the other Bulls. CP3 flourished against the in-turmoil and broken down Lakers for a couple of games.
    In all honesty, there were multiple reasons for the failure against the Heat. Thibs's brain cramp in substitution and not giving rest for Rose, Boozer and Noah being utter failures for the most part, Rose showing his inexperience..

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Would the Thunder rather have Chris Paul or Derrick Rose to play as the second fiddle to a different franchise player? I don't know. That hardly seems like a reasonable way to determine who is better.

    I'm not sure how we can say how he had no business winning two games from La. LA went on to get swept by Dallas. It seems in retrospect that probably several teams could have won two games from LA.

    I think you're selling Rose way short, but that's just my opinion. I guess the fact you're disappointed with his improvement shows why there's a stark difference between that view though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You're arguing LA isn't very good because Dallas beat them up? I think that's just based on the expectation that Dallas weren't legit, they beat the Thunder pretty easily too. Either way Chris Paul won two playoff games with Carl Landry and Trevor Ariza as his 2nd and 3rd best players. And people say Rose has no help so he has to take bad shots ... Chris Paul had a 67% TS% in that series playing with those scrubs!

    I'd take Rose for the future given his age and Paul's injury history, but if I wanted a guy for one game it's Paul. Even on this Bulls team. IMO with Chris Paul the Bulls beat Miami.

    As far as being disappointed with Rose's improvement, I don't see how you can't be. He's better but he's probably not better enough if the Bulls want championships. Yes he's better defensively, but everyone is, how much is that player improvement and how much is that coach improvement? Offensively most of his improvement this year comes down to the refs calling the marginal fouls a bit more fairly for him. His midrange shot was worse, and the three point range improvement was really a two edged sword, I hope someone tells Rose he was assisted on 60% of his made threes, because it feels like 2/3 of the threes he was taking were where he'd dribble it and jack it up himself.

    Rose being a top 5 player doesn't come close to passing the stats test, and I can't see how anyone who watched the Miami series can say it passes the eye test either unless they're a Bulls fan or a member of the media looking to defend the fact they've hyped Rose as such all year.

    IMO this team is far closer to the "Piston's model", it's a bunch of very good players with no true superstar in terms of production (rather than hype). Although Ben Wallace was probably closer to being a true superstar (in his prime, not the crap the Bulls got) than Rose is right now.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Guys I know some of us value what Boozer gives us down low, but I'd really like to see him gone. Taj is the future for us at PF, and trading him to fill SG would make Boozer's shortcomings at PF even worse. It will be very hard to move Boozer, but I think we need to put an effort into doing so.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    after careful thought, I really don't want to lose Taj or Asik at all

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I think it's going to be extremely hard to move Boozer, and I doubt any team would want him (especially after the playoffs). The NBA is full of over paid, under producing players, and he is who we are stuck with. If we can move him for a legit 2 guard (not saying that will happen) then go for it, but I don't see him garnering much interest from the rest of the league.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I don't think bulls are well positionned for the future. With their assets and pieces, they can only do small improvements given Noah, Boozer and Deng are almost untradable because of their heavy contracts.

    Improving a little bit SG position(affalo, smith, Courtney lee ...) won't be enough to beat the miami heat. Trust me.

    Im my opinion, to beat the heat, the bulls need another star next to Rose. It's that simple, Someone'else who cam explode in scoring(a volume scorer). I think our real chances to stand in front of the heat the next years is to team up ROSE AND HOWARD !!!

    I know Bulls arent in Howard wish list but If Rose can convince him, it's gonna be awesome. Just imagine the best PG and the best C in the same team.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    My concern is Howard clogging up the paint... Much like our jumper-less Noah.

    We should have been playing Big Sexy all series long. His grit and grind combined with a high IQ is enough to keep him in for 15+/game. When you think about his pick and roll ability (sets good screens and hits the 15 footer) I don't see why we continued to clog the middle and run ineffective PnRs with Noah.

    I love Noah, I do... but not as much as I hate the Heat. Get me a 2 guard, a stretch 4, and someone to get the hell out of the way playing the 5. We only need a Howard to go up against, well, Howard.

    Trust me, if we get Dwight... I will be ecstatic. However, it's not only unrealistic, but doesn't mesh well with Rose's game. Until the kid turns 30 and starts relying on jumpers, just get out of the way. If our 4 and 5 cannot hit anything outside of 10 feet, what is an opponent's motivation to not just hang out in the key the whole time?

    At this point, I'd take half a ham sandwich for Booz just to get him off our books. If someone wanted Noah for, say, Harden... Mayo... shit, I'd take it. We need another guard who can create his own shot, stretch the floor, and play solid D. Enough of these one way players...

    I know we were the best regular season team and we made it to the ECF, and I don't think we need an overhaul, but, we have a special player and need to get some damn talent around him.

  • In reply to JohnGalt:

    Must keep -

    1) Rose

    2) Deng - His salary makes him to tough to move. Plus, who plays SF if he's gone? There's a reason he played 40+/game.

    3) Asik - Great backup. Keep him another year while he doesn't cost a thing and builds up his stock.

    4) Gibson - See Asik.

    5) Brewer - Ridiculous D. Excellent backup. We've seen his shooting improve throughout the year.

    6) Butler - Still waiting to see what he can do with this squad and maybe 15+/game

    Take 'Em or Leave 'Em -

    1) Noah - At this point, as much as I like him, he's dead to me. A poor man's Rodman without the lock-down D. Sure, he's the "heart"... We don't need heart, we need scoring.

    2) Korver - Against the right teams, he's a nice spark. A little bit too streaky for my liking. I'd almost rather have the creepy looking guy on Milwaukee.

    3) Bogans - I love Bilbo. Will I care if he's on the team next year? Only if the organization thinks he's our answer at the 2 guard. Backup only.

    4) CJ - Decent backup. I see potential. Am I invested? No. Plus, he's definitely not the guy to go 1-2 with Rose.

    5) Big Sexy - How many games does he have left?

    Get Rid of Them NOW -

    1) Boozer - I know. It's a fantasy. Please, some team... Give us a 2nd round pick in 2015. Anything to get him off the payroll. What a great last name wasted on such a lame duck.

    2) JL3, Pargo, Scal - Package them with Carlos and pray someone bites. Like I said above, half a ham sandwich will do. Anything to get us back the 14 mill per that Pax wasted on a consolation prize.

  • In reply to JohnGalt:

    Does anybody know if Detroit would trade Gordon for Boozer?

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    I am sure GarPax will check with every team like they did last summer with Hinrich/Deng etc.. He is a regular season stat-maker if he is healthy. Sacramento might be able to use him...if we can get Casspi/Thornton/Dalembert for him. I think he can do decently with Cousins(who can make jumpshots unlike Noah). Remember he was doing decently playing alongside Kurt Thomas. I think it depends on the draft though if the Kings take a big man or not. I think NJ,Orlando(giving us Reddick, Ryan Anderson) or if Kevin Love starts doing a Melo might be possibilities.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Doug, please comment on Pippen's ridiculous statement that now Lebron is a better player than Jordan.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Would rather have Crawford.

  • In reply to JohnGalt:

    Trade Boozer to OKC for Harden and Collison, and move Gibson as the starter. In my opinion, Harden is overshadowed by Durant and Westbrook. Let's get the next Manu Ginobili.

    F Deng
    F Gibson
    C Noah
    G Harden
    G Rose

    Reserves: Asik, Brewer, Korver, Collison, and Watson

  • In reply to JohnGalt:

    Magic get Noah, Boozer and Asik
    Bulls get Howard, and whatever leftover crap to balance the books.

    Just an idea.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I would love to disagree with you. I need to believe that the Bulls are one player away, but I have a feeling we are going to see 5 years of Lakers/Heat Finals.

  • In reply to cpuhala:

    And yes, I know it's Mav's/Heat this year.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    It is difficult to say either way. We can all claim this and that based on history but we have no idea on how Rose will grow his game. Noah has been very disappointing after his injury and we need to see if he has that next level? I believe he can get a jump-shot because of his accuracy with his Free Throws.
    It is important though to see for one more year with a couple of good SGs who can create a shot and relieve pressure of Rose. We are basing this on one post-season. A lot of teams will give good players back for our players now because of their ECF achievement especially if they are young and on decent contracts like Noah and Deng.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Awesome article...but i need to vent!!! First of all the refs were ridiculous. 2nd of all I am sick of Boozer lazy flagrant fouls that changed the game. Also, Steve Kerr was very bad... criticizing the bulls each time and hearing all the insults made me puke (and he use to be a BULL). We need more Hubie Brown as an analyst. The collapse was very upsetting, I almost threw my remote on my beautiful 40" Samsung HDTV as the buzzer rang the end of the game and lastly, you are 110% correct - "It may not be a great day for Bulls fans, but it's a great time to be a Bulls fan."" NOW i can smile and look forward to DRose next season!!! yea GO BULLS!

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    The proof will be in the pudding there.

    The thing is, I'm sure die hard fans of their teams hated the Jordan era, but it was undeniably good for the NBA because it drew casual fans.

    Will the Heat draw casual fans? So far it seems the answer is yes.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It's deeper than that. Trust me this Miami heat isn't good for the health of the league.

    What's next now ? How to beat them ? The teams have only one answer : it's to form a big three as them. Imagine the imbalance when all of the nba stars will be concentrate in 4 or 5 teams !

    Not to mention the value of draft pick will decrease. Where will be the point to draft a first pick if you know he will leave your team because he isn't winning ? Every players won't sign extension because they want to be FA and see the offers. Look even a bad player like Perkins said he wanted to test the market !! Where are we going omg ?

    Seriously, on top of that Miami heat fans are the most annoying, childish and stupid fans of the nba. They are just like their superstars. They will be tiresome for everybody.

  • because the heat fans won't show up if they not getting there, the bulls fans will come anyway,the nba basically already has thier money,no point in appeasing them.

    you saw all the proof you need at the end of the game. Wade starts a 3,gets contact,goes to the line. Rose does the same thing,nothing. Lebron travels,nothing,rose travels, traveling is called.

    the nba wants Lebron to be their next Jordan,and they are going to do everything to make sure it happens.

  • Thanks Doug..for keeping a good perspective and pushing simple to understand but technical articles throughout the year. Your articles had way better analysis than ESPN or Hoopsworld or websites like that.

    This year will end on a great note if the 3 d-bags end up losing to the Mavs. Then our off-season will be more bright and it helps the confidence of Rose too if he sees someone defeat the d-bags that it can be done.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agreed, Doug honestly I've been a sports hack since I was a little kid watching sportscenter back to back with baseball tonight and then watching them both replay over and over. I've spent my life gobbling up sports articles and you really give readers what they want. You are one solid editor away from being a flat out pro.

  • IMO,these are the things which each player should improve on in the off-season:
    1. Rose....3 pt shooting from the places he missed a lot and ball handling/passing
    2. Deng....rest and handling the ball, 3 pt shooting
    3. Boozer....lose weight and improve some lateral quickness and study videotapes on defense. Practice with Noah/Rose
    4. Noah....jumpshot, weight gain, energy management and finishing hard.
    5. Taj...3 pt shooting, post moves
    6. Asik...hook shot, FT
    7. Brewer...practice with Rose.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I mostly like the list

    I doubt Taj is going to ever develop a consistent three point shot. I'd probably prefer he develop post moves, a post fadeaway, or a 1-2 dribble pull up jumper.

    I'd imagine Deng/Boozer probably don't have much improvement left in the tank really, Deng probably gets more consistent with his 3, I doubt Boozer really improves on anything. At this point, I think you hope Boozer doesn't come back worse.

    It will be interesting to see where Noah's game goes. I'd probably rather see him have post moves then work the jumper because his release is so slow and low that I doubt his jumper is ever too much of a factor, and I doubt he ever reworks his shot.

    Asik just needs to improve his hand and work on the Mikan drill a 1000 shots a game.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I remember reading one of your posts about Taj working on his 3 pt shot through-out last summer but was not ready to take it in a game. I think he can be stretch 4 at times depending on the other big man.
    Boozer probably is not going to learn any new skill. All we want is him to be healthy, lose some weight(which will improve his quickness) and work with Rose/Noah on positioning for both offense, rebounds, passing..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    IMO we mustn't care aboot Boozer anymore. Bulls should trade him !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Good luck finding a sucker for Boozer. I wish we had signed Amare.

  • Don't get me wrong, Rose is great but everything is going to Rose's head and the same thing that happened to James is happening to him. After he got MVP he ignored his teammates and tried to do it all himself. "It's all on me" he says. That's why they lost this series. He needs to include his teammates like he did before he was receiving all this recognition. Also, a point guard needs to be a good passer and playmaker and Rose isn't that or refuses to be that. He would be better off at shooting guard. The reason Lebron is playing better now is because he got all that hate and now ignores the audience and his image. Just focuses on basketball.

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    I'm sorry but this statement is completely false.

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    Also have to disagree, they would all pass the ball around, not create anything, then give the ball back to Rose with 6-8 seconds left on the shot clock and he would have to make something happen out of nothing. I think deep down from what I've read about Rose, he'd rather have 0pts and 20 assists a game a win, than be the leading scorer of his team. He just doesn't have consistent shooters around him to enable him to do things like that. He would also get more assists if people would make shots and then no one would even be saying that he's not a playmaker or good passer.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Typo: "20 assists a game a win" should be "20 assists a game and win"

  • I'm too young to have been cognizant about the development of Scottie Pippen when he arrived on the Bulls. I'm wondering if what we think of Luol Deng is comparable to what we thought of Scottie? In other words, I think Luol still has room to grow, and is it too much to hope that he could actually develop into a legit second option? Not saying we don't need a SG who can score, too, but if Joakim can improve offensively, and Deng can get just a little more dynamic, that would seem to solve a bunch of our scoring woes. Thoughts?

  • In reply to bfranke:

    Ever hear the phrase 'Iron sharpens Iron'? Scottie had MJ to go up against daily (and vice versa...MJ faced stiffer competition on the practice floor than in the actual games, and it showed for the both of them). Obviously, Deng doesn't have that kind of competition on the team, nor will he ever, likely; but a little tougher competition would be to his benefit. I don't see how he continues to improve facing up against Brewer, Korver and Bogans daily.

    Another reason the Bulls need a solid 6'6" or 6'7" SG....someone to match up with Deng daily to improve them both.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    I think ther eis virtually no chance that Deng can develop into someone like Scottie Pippen.

    He's not as lengthy and no where near as athletic. His ball handling skills aren't anywhere near the same caliber either, and his athletic difference prevents him from finishing or defending as well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Are we all forgetting the hundreds of times Pippen dribbled off his foot? I can't tell you how many times that was brought up to me by my Dad and his buddies when I used to proclaim the Pippen love.

    Sure, he can dribble better than Deng, but hell... even Noah can.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    forget about Luol. He can't create his own shots and will never be a star. It's been now 6 years since he's the nba. he won't get any better. GarPAX made mistakes when they refused to trade him for Gasol, Kobe and Garnett in 2006/2007 !!

  • Actually, I think Deng is pretty close to Pippen in a way. He is pretty athletic,lanky, finishes well, shoots well, good BB IQ. Deng played pretty good defense on LeBron.
    The only thing which he lacks compared to Pippen is ball handling and passing. Pippen was very much ahead in that and I don't think Deng will ever get to Pippen's level. That's why Pip is a HOF.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    deng is an excellent defender of course, but you gotta think back to pippen's days and he was just unreal. Probably the best defensive player I ever saw, he could probably guard positions 1-4 effectively, Deng cant pick up point guards (and quick shooting guards). Pippen was a one man trap, its like that shit they do to Rose with 2 or 3 guys he could do it by himself.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    dont forget pippen almost won MVP in 94.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He can do everything Pippen did but create his own shots. That's why he can't take pressure off Rose ! I would trade anytime i get a good offer !

  • This season had to have been the best season ever for me. It was fun all year long. Rose's quote of "Why not?" really was the theme of the season, IMO. Next season, if anyone says the Bulls can't do something, my reply will be "Why not?". This team proved so many things this season, especially with this group. The ending wasn't perfect, but the future is so bright. I can't wait to see how this team will progress over the next few years.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Read my post below. Someone has got to explain me how do you the future bright !

  • I'm not putting any players under the bus because I love how this team has been constructed, but if we're going to win now and be a dynasty, we need to trade Boozer and Noah for Dwight Howard and JJ Reddick. I'd love to see that happen.

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    If Bynum is truly unavailable, Noah may just be the best big the Magic could get for Dwight.

    Not sure if the Magic take back Boozer, but if the above trade scenario was possible, I'd support it.

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    Anyone from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area? I wanted to check to see if there was room on board the Mavericks Bandwagon for the next 2 weeks or so??

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    I would do that trade, but the Magic won't.

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    +10000000000000000. exactly we need Howard ! he is our only savior !! We aren't in howard wish list but things can change if Rose can convince him !!

  • noah is a bumb his ass was on the bench the entire 4th qrtrs replaced by a white center asik,then in ther last game by k.thomas,your not going to be able to sign a good enough 2 guard with the money you have so you will have to deal asik or gibson and you cant trade gibson because you cant count on boozer,and now the bulls have all there money tied up in boozer and noah,bulls still suck and paxson and forman are still bums

  • In reply to scoobydop:

    Why does it matter that Asik is white?

    Seems a bit racial to me.

  • In reply to scoobydop:

    Get a life dude, and then buy a brain. Its not Noah's fault he was on the bench the 4th quarter, its the coaches decision. Obviously the Bulls don't, "still suck". They made it to the ECF when NO ONE BELIEVED THEY WOULD. They won the MVP, COY, EOY, and got the first seed through massive injuries. We lost a team with 2 of the leagues 5 best players, and we led or were tied in the 4th quarter LATE in every game. My friend, you are the only bum.

  • In reply to jgingeri:


  • Thanks Doug for keeping this blog alive. I love the NBA. I think the Bulls are great and hopefully will get better. Draft is next month and I expect news from the Bulls.

  • AMEN

  • +1000.

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