Chicago Bulls Offseason
The “lost season” is finally over. Most Bulls fans will not admit this, but they are happy the off-season has begun. The “next man” theory can succeed in the first round of the playoffs, but when one is playing against the defending champions and the best player in the world, it just does not work. The Chicago Bulls’ season ended in Miami after an amazing display of courage and perseverance where they played without their best two players and battled through injuries and sickness. Chicago’s management must now determine whether this team can win a championship as assembled and make another run at it, or whether they set their contracts up to make a run at a superstar in 2014.
The addition of Rose will be the biggest “free agent” acquisition during the offseason. He is a legitimate superstar that gives this team a dimension that they just do not have at the moment. Rose will make Butler a better player because he will have open three pointers and will be able to cut to the basket from the baseline. It is also important that the Bulls keep Marco Bellinelli and add another shooter. Marco is not only a spot up shooter, but he can also create his own shot from time to time. Does a starting lineup of Rose, Butler, Deng, Boozer, and Noah give you a shot versus the Heat?
Jimmy Butler could be the key to the Bulls’ future because he adds a dimension that they have never had – an athletic shooting guard who can defend three positions and is developing his offensive game. Deng and Butler give Coach Thibs two wing defenders that allows them to take turns defending the other team’s best player. The team’s injuries this season could be due to their lack of depth. In 2011-12, the Bull’s had one of the best benches in the NBA and were known as The Bench Mob. After losing Asik, Watson, and Korver this offseason, the Bench Mob was a shadow of itself. The biggest lost was clearly Asik because he usually closed games and allowed Noah to rest throughout the season. Without Asik, Noah averaged over 40 minutes per game and suffered through foot injuries during the season and post season.
What do the Bulls do with Carlos Boozer? In a season of uncertainty, Boozer was the rock in the center. He played every game and was a double-double machine. The problem with Carlos is that he disappears when his team needs him the most. In the series versus the Heat, anybody that watched the games knows that Boozer was a liability on defense and was not providing the scoring that warrants him to be on the floor. If he is not scoring, one can’t play him! So amnesty, trade him, or keep him?
Many Bulls fans thought that this season was a lost season. Losing Rose to a knee injury, losing the entire Bench Mob, and not making any big additions during the offseason or the trading deadline will do that to a fan base. But a funny thing happened along the way; heart and determination proved enough to make a lost season into an unforgettable playoff run.
Ruben Parga @RFParga82