Chicago Bulls 2009-2010 team breakdown
Everything on this squad starts and ends with Derrick Rose. As the most knowledgeable Bulls fan at Hoopsvibe, this is only right that I set projections for the new season for this squad. Call it “expectations.” Call it “hypothesis.” Call it “predicting.” Whatever the issue maybe, this might be categorized as a pessimistic outlook. Was the first round playoff series against Boston a fluke or signs of bigger things to come?
Hate or love him, losing Ben Gordon was a huge loss because nothing was brought in to replace his 20 points and clutch shooting. The hate for him was strong especially from the Kirk Hinrich fans. Here is an undersized 2-guard who cannot play solid defense. Then what was the point of drafting him? Picking Gordon was not a mistake, but letting him leave without getting anything back is a huge one. I know they tried to trade him, but John Paxson was usually found on the bad end so nothing was accomplished.
Point Guard: Never had Chicago got a point guard as great as this. There is nothing much to say. Rose will continue to dazzle and impress with his spectacular game. He is a lock at this position for seasons to come. Keep plugging away at improving defensive skills and the jumper. He is as good as butter.
Shooting Guard: This is where it gets tricky. Early speculations say that Kirk Hinrich might not even start. John Salmons is the likely candidate, but he does not have the ability to close out games and he’s planning to opt out next season. Hinrich might be traded as well if the deal is right. Short term, there’s a fix. In the long run, Ben Gordon’s departure will be felt. Even Derrick Rose said that he helped take the pressure off of him.
Small Forward: Will the real Luol Deng please stand up? I think he already did and got injured again in the process. The Bulls are considering switching him to power forward and having rookie James Johnson take this spot or vice versa. It is a dumb move either way as the team is trying to be creative with what they have, which reeks of quiet desperation. Deng better prove that he’s not injury prone this season. He also better show some dribbling ability and heart. Isn’t that right Mister Softee?
Power Forward: This position is a hot mess. Tyrus Thomas cannot get it together. There is no one else on the roster who is worthy for this task. Gar Foreman still cannot find the answer. This hole is the weakest link in the chain. Without a scoring power forward, Derrick Rose’s potential is not fully realized.
Center: Joakim Noah is the long term center for Chicago. He is a budding great defensive player and I do not see anyone else replacing him. Noah is their defensive ace. Think of him as a jacked up super steroid version of Bill Cartwright. Yes, he’s that great. He stole the ball, dribble full blast (better than Luol Deng), and slammed the thing on Paul Pierce’s face. He did that.
The bench is solid with Brad Miller, Kirk Hinrich, and Tyrus Thomas. The glaring weakness still lies at power forward. Carlos Boozer’s name holds on to some kind of relevancy and Chicago faithful fans pray for Chris Bosh. Amare Stoudemire has become a sort of an afterthought. Inside Bulls’ inner circles, rookie James Johnson’s attitude has been questioned. Supposedly he is not motivated to work harder and gained some weight. You’re not off to a good impression, rookie. Way to go.
Realistically, Chicago makes the playoffs as the 5 – 8 seed. If nothing bad happens to Rose and they land Boozer (as of this writing, he’s still available) in grand fashion, Chicago should be a top 4 seed. Most likely that will not happen as the Bulls roll in as a struggling 6th seed.