Why We Should All Tune into the Bulls by Nigel Broadnax


Barring injury, this will be the year of redemption for the Bull Wonder, Derrick Rose. 

I don’t think there is another team that I am more excited to see this season than the Chicago Bulls. They’re back to try to avenge their disappointing five-game, first-round exit at the hands of the Washington Wizards.

A retooled roster should give them a pretty good boost over last season. One of the biggest transactions in the entire league was the signing of four-time all-star Pau Gasol to bolster the power forward spot. They’ve brought in extra shooters in Aaron Brooks through free agency and Doug McDermott through the draft. And they’re shipping in Nikola Mirotic, who’s coming off a decorated career in Spain, after holding on to his draft rights for three years.

With those moves, this team becomes so much more dynamic than they have been in seasons past. The combination of Gasol and Joakim Noah working in the high and low posts will drip with creativity. The instillation of floor spacing with the acquired shooters paired with Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy will loosen up the offensive flow. Jimmy Butler is poised to take another step as a stout player, and Mirotic has looked like a poor man’s Kevin Durant in preseason.

All of this is reason to tune into Bulls games this year if you’re an NBA junkie.

Think of this…I just listed all of those features and haven’t even mentioned Derrick Rose yet.

The 2011 MVP will attempt once again to pick up where he left off as one of the premier NBA talents — after failing to do so 10 games into last season. But this team looks so promising, that a healthy and elite Rose would be simply gravy as far as intrigue value.

If they do get the Rose they want, however, Bulls fans should be in for a treat.

Rose rinsed off his built up rust in the FIBA World Cup last month, and has climbed back into amazing player status during the preseason. He even scored 30 on 12-18 shooting in his last game — in 24 minutes of burn. If things stay on pace going into the regular season, his knee issues should be an afterthought. Michael Tillery sat in on the annual TNT preseason conference call, and Reggie Miller and Greg Anthony said the following of Rose:

Miller: “He’s going to have to have a mental approach to this season. To me, it’s all upstairs with Derrick Rose. After two years off, his body is almost over-ready. He’s going to have to change his game. He was more of a Tasmanian Devil type player, always attacking, getting bumped, going down…now he’s going to have to rely on his instincts. If Derrick can approach the game differently, trust in the jump shot and take pressure off of his body, he can have a very efficient year.”

Anthony: “The truly great players, their games have always evolved when their physical game wasn’t at its best. He’s a relatively young player, so I don’t think he’ll lose a ton of the explosiveness.”

With the table being so adequately set, you would think that head coach Tom Thibodeau has to be salivating over the variety of portraits he can now paint on the hardwood canvas. But maybe he isn’t so thrilled.

The Bulls depth is tremendous. In addition to the aforementioned players, Taj Gibson, Tony Snell and Nazr Mohammed are all worthy rotation guys bringing that total to 12. It may be their biggest asset, yet it could also be their biggest problem.

For starters, Thibodeau has built a habit of playing his players heavy minutes; sometimes even unnecessarily. Perhaps he’ll now see the value in spreading the playing time with the larger range of serviceable bodies he has now.

But if he stays in his old ways, a lot of guys could get restless with too much bench time. Aside from health, the only thing that could derail the Bulls this season is a team full of guys who aren’t happy with minutes.

Assuming those issues can be avoided, Chicago is a lock for an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. They have to be seen as, at the moment, the favorite in the conference over the also-reloaded Cleveland Cavaliers. The defensive capabilities, superior bench length and the slight edge in chemistry are all in place to beat them. It just has to be brought together perfectly.

But until we get to May, let’s just enjoy it game-by-game. 

4 Responses to “Why We Should All Tune into the Bulls by Nigel Broadnax”

  1. TheLastPoet says:

    Man I forgot how much I enjoy watching DRose play. He is Westbrook 2.0 and always has been ..

  2. Michelle says:

    I sure hope he stays healthy. If he does this could be an exciting year for Bull’s fans.

  3. Ron Glover says:

    As Bart Scott would say…CAN’T WAIT!

  4. Theodore E says:

    Might check out a chi game while on the city. Im tryna see that drip.