NBA / Oct 12, 2010 / 5:59 pm

Chicago Bulls 2010-11 NBA Season Preview

Derrick Rose (photo. Chad Griffith)

Derrick Rose (photo. Chad Griffith)

As the NBA preseason gets underway, we preview the upcoming campaign with the “Highs and Lows” system — predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team.

Added: Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Kurt Thomas, Omer Asik, C.J. Watson

Lost: Kirk Hinrich, Brad Miller, Hakim Warrick, Flip Murray, Jannero Pargo, Joe Alexander

Ceiling: Eastern Conference semifinals
The Blazers of the East have made it back to respectability with two straight playoff appearances, but now the expectations have been raised and it’s time to actually make it past the first round. After taking their crack at LeBron and D-Wade as megastar free agents over the summer, Chicago “settled” for a mere All-Star, Carlos Boozer (19.5 ppg, 11.2 rpg), who gives the Bulls the low-post scorer they’ve needed ever since Elton Brand left but doesn’t change the identity of the team necessarily. Booz is used to playing with top-caliber point guards, so he’ll gladly play his position and allow Derrick Rose to remain the face of the franchise … Rose (20.8 ppg, 6.0 apg) is athletically the best PG in the world, and a lot was made over the summer about how he’s worked on his outside shooting and defense. While that’s great for fantasy owners, it’s not like Rose is being asked to be Steve Nash for the Bulls. The common line is, “If he gets a three-point shot he’ll be a beast,” without realizing that he Rose is already a beast … Knowing their conference now includes Wade, LeBron, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson and Vince Carter, the Bulls have assembled a strong defensive unit on the wings. New pickups Brewer and Bogans, plus second-year forward James Johnson and Luol Deng can all handle defensive assignments against top scorers and at least theoretically hold their own. New coach Tom Thibodeau made his reputation on building Boston’s championship D, which could neutralize everybody from Kobe to Dwight HowardJoakim Noah (11.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg) returns as the lynchpin of the Bulls’ D after being involved in trade rumors throughout the offseason. His defense will complement Boozer’s offense and give the Bulls an effective inside combo, and although Boozer will miss at least two months with a broken hand, 2010 All-Rookie pick Taj Gibson‘s presence allows Chicago to avoid a big drop-off at the position.

Basement: First-round playoff exit
The Bulls were 28th in the League in three-point percentage last year. They addressed that issue by signing Korver, but their efforts to also land J.J. Redick fell through when Orlando matched his restricted FA offer. As its stands, there really isn’t another great shooter on the roster, only guys like Bogans and Deng who think they’re shooters … Boozer’s durability has always been an issue in his pro career, and this latest injury is just another setback. At a crucial time when Booz could be developing on-court chemistry with Rose and Noah, he’ll be sitting out … Noah is happy now that he’s got a $60 million contract extension, but will he get fat and happy and lose some of the fire in his belly? … Thibodeau was a rock star assistant on a great team, and he was thought to be ready for a head coaching job a couple of years ago. He has a talented team to work with, but what happens when the rookie head coach has to go up against Stan Van Gundy or Doc Rivers or Larry Brown in a postseason series? … Hurting Chicago the most, however, is simply the strength of their conference. The Heat, Celtics and Magic are the clear 1-2-3 in the East. Chicago is good, but did they get good enough in the offseason?

*** *** ***

10/12 — San Antonio Spurs
10/5 — Toronto Raptors
10/1 — Sacramento Kings
9/28 — Atlanta Hawks
9/27 — Portland Trail Blazers

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  • icey

    I can see the bulls upsetting the likes of Orlando or Boston
    they did take celtics to game 7 with a much less talented team

  • Stunnaboy09

    @icey

    Without KG, you’ve got to remember that

    Bulls losing Hinrich for nothing is going to come bite them in the ass soon…

  • http://www.fukoff.com Chicagorilla

    I would say this is a very optomistic look at the Bulls. VERY. I am a Chicagoan til i die but im also a realist. And the real is we gave an injury prone backstabbing idiot 80mil, which is already killed us for this year as we have to wait for his hand to heal then wait for him to get back in shape when thats over. As if that wasnt enuff, we turned down an offer for the most dynamic scorer in the L to keep Noah and his non existant offense. Then we gave him 60mil. So we have no room for any big name players and are stuck with a mediocre team who cant beat the elite teams of the L. Oh and please dont put SVG with other great coaches.

  • darkness

    Despite all the talk about Rose working on his three point shot and defense, during the world championships it sure looked like he still has no idea how to do either. His jumpshot looked as broken as ever (It looked as if he had zero confidence shooting 3s from high school range) and as the “athletically best” (according to dime) PG in the world he was getting torched in every which way by slow, un-athletic euro guards. I agree that the bulls have good wing defenders, and Noah is solid too. But Rose is a major liability against any team with a good PG. Boozer isn’t much of a defensive player either.

    Until he learns how to play D I cannot consider the bulls a threat to the Heat, Celtics, Magic. At this point, if by some miracle Chicago makes it out of the first round by beating Atlanta, there is no way they will beat Miami, Orlando, or Boston. No way.

    Also, we can’t just assume Boozer will automatically mesh with the bulls and push them over the top. D Williams was a great passer and decision maker so he knew how and when to get Booz the ball. Rose is a ball dominating PG with mediocre passing and decision making skills so it will be interesting to see what their chemistry will be like.

    You have to remember Deng is also coming back from injury and he needs a certain amount of shots. Noah wants to get his too. We all saw how terribly Rose played during the WC when he wasn’t dominating the ball, so ball distribution could be a major factor.

    Bulls ceiling, 4th place, and winning in the first round.

    Bulls basement, 5 or 6th place, and losing in the first round.

  • High Release

    I’m glad to see a tame assessment of this team. It seemed like more than a few folks were giddy about them for dumb reasons.

    Boozer is a fine player, but he’ll want and need to be fed like he was in Utah, filling that Karl Malone role. How will the more tenured boys feel about that? I’ve always felt that Drew Gooden did the same things, and has been less recognized for it. We’ll see how those Bucks/Bulls games play out, once Boozer gets into the lineup.

    Rose can penetrate, and the USA experience should’ve been very positive for him. But, you know, that shot… Is he better than Jennings? Not as a scorer, and I bet Yung Buck’s length and equal quickness puts him in front as a defender too.

    Too right about Hinrich. His peskiness will be missed.

    And this Thibodeau is a first year, first time coach. His new systems and modern hairstyle could be a shock to them. It takes time for all this new shit to gel, so right, put ‘em at 6th, behind the said 3, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.

  • MV

    hmm, the comments are very pessimistic. Has nobody seen the last two/three preseason games? And the none existent offense from noah produced 8 assists and 14 points in the last game (the game before it was 5 and 12, i believe). I don`t see any reason to think the bulls won´t be at least 4th in the east. They have a nearly 15 man rooster, where every one (but please not scalabriane) can efficiently contribute for at least 10 or more minutes. That´s quiet a very deep bench, which could compensate some injuries quiet well.
    Matthias

  • Citizen B.

    Chicago Bulls = continuing there excellence in being overrated season after season.

  • daghost

    @ chicagorilla: my man! Couldn’t have said it better. Must be a chicago connection thing. That boozer idiot is killing us. Never liked the dude and always thought he was soft. When he’s not shooting jumpers near the free throw line, he’s tripping over bags and breaking his hands. What a softie. As far as Noah, i do think we missed out on a great player in Carmelo, but at the same time, i didn’t wanna see Noah go for him. If we acquired Anthony, and already have boozer as a liability, who’s gonna be our defensive anchor? True Noah may not have the points, but he has the intangibles you need to win (his energy and fiery mindset is contagious and raises level of play). Noah’s not flashy, but he is just a winner and gets it done. I think with Melo, we would have lost that. What you think of what i said? Keep in mind that this is coming from a person who’s favorite player is CARMELO ANTHONY and LIVES in CHICAGO.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @Daghost

    Yeah I understand everyone not wanting to lose the energy guy in Noah, but as shown by Omer Asik, anyone can hustle and get rebounds. Actually I like Omer better because he gets rebounds in traffic and may actually be a good shot blocker (have to see him against a true big first). But that kid is showing just as much hustle and heart as Noah. Together they cause a lot of problems because you have to watch them on the Off-Boards. But with that said, if Chicago management knew Asik would be this good, would they have given Noah 60mill still? I wouldn’t.
    But with that said, Noah doesn’t look like his game changed any, his FT’s are the exact same crap he was shooting before the money. So i feel like he lied about working on his game in the summer.

    @darkness,

    did you really just come to the article to hate on Rose? None of what you are saying makes any sense or holds any weight. did DRose fluck your b!tch or something? Did he give your moms the Delonte west treatment? did you walk in on your sister blowing him or something? because your hate is coming from a deep down DARK place.

  • S.A.C

    I thought he (Darkness) spoke about Rose, Boozer, Deng, Noah the Chicago team and it’s opposition/playoff predictions on a whole????? Mmmhhhh?

  • S.A.C

    I mean Mmmhhh? Touchy!?