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NBA Season Preview: Chicago Bulls

Dec 15, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Five Getty Images

2010-11 Record: 62-20 (best in the NBA, thanks to relentless effort on defense every night)

Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau (you can thank him for the defense)

Key Departures: Rasual Butler, Kurt Thomas

Key Additions: Richard Hamilton — a big upgrade at the two.

Best case scenario (that does not involve a highly unlikely Dwight Howard trade): The Bulls continue to be the league’s best defensive team and the deepest team in the league, Derrick Rose builds on his MVP award by taking his game to yet another level, and Richard Hamilton helps take some of the scoring load off of Derrick Rose. The team once again gets the team’s best regular-season record, makes some crucial offensive adjustments in the playoffs, and brings the NBA title back to Chicago for the first time since Michael Jordan left.

More likely scenario: The Bulls have another great regular season thanks to their depth and Derrick Rose being incredible, but disappoint in the playoffs by losing an instant classic of a series to either the Heat or the Celtics because of Rose’s difficulty scoring when he can’t get to the basket at will and the Bulls’ lack of a true #2 or #3 option to take some pressure off of Rose. (Until proven otherwise in a key playoff series, Carlos Boozer does not count.)

Prediction: 46-50 wins and a deep playoff run.

  1. albie23 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    I am not worried, if the Bulls want it, I know they can get it!! Nuff said!

    • wearshades88 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      What does that even mean? Thanks for the nonsensical post.

    • blueintown - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      Any post ending in “nuff said” should automatically be considered null and void. Nuff said.

      • comeonnowguys - Dec 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        Everything I say is a lie.

  2. thehangoutsportsshow - Dec 15, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Where do I begin… First like any real Chicago Bulls fan I wish we could trade up for Dwight Howard just like every other team in the NBA, but I know better. Rip is an excellent choice for #2 man, honestly I didn’t consider him while I was watching and waiting for Brandon Roy to make his way to the Chi (take care of yourself Mr. Roy… you will be missed). I definitely feel better about our chances of winning it all with the Hamilton acquisition.

    Kind of sad to see Brewer leave because I thought he contributed quite a bit of intangibles as well as stats to the bottom line. He did the bulls dirty work like some kind of basketball mafia hit man. When I’m playing 2k12 with my brothers/friends/sons I often refer to him as the “Dark Knight” when he’s on the court with or without the ball. I prey to God that Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver show up ready to play and are clutch. One or two made baskets by either one of those guys and it would have been Chicago vs Dallas in the finals… I digress.

    D Rose, Rip, and Deng!… thats a front line, we could possibly see 52 or 55 victories on the season, these boys will do damage especially if that team chemistry is in place day 1 against the Lakers. Speaking of the Fake show the Bulls will beat the Lakers on Christmas day in what I consider to be a statement game. Tom Thibodeau will be ready!

    The Hang Out Sports Show

    • willias1 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:58 AM

      Couple of things here Sultan. Ronnie Brewer didn’t go anywhere. Still on the suad. (Corey Brewer was traded to Denver today, it he ws never a Bull).

      Also, D Rose, Rip, and adeng would be a pretty terrible front line… However, as a backcourt rather, I’m a big supporter.

    • dirksimmons - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:11 AM

      I think you meant you’ll miss Bogans.

    • florida727 - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      DRose and Rip on the front line, huh? Don’t quit your day job. This one’s not going to work out very well for you I’m afraid.

  3. seriouslyhuh - Dec 15, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    46-50 wins….whoa….pretty bullish prediction don’t you think? Let me wangle up some cash and take the over on that one. Barring a Rose ACL, it’s hard to fathom.

  4. mistercharitystripe34 - Dec 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Rip Hamilton is a nice addition for the Bulls for the next two seasons, but Boozer and Noah have to learn how to compliment each other on the court. It looked fairly awkward many times when they were on the floor at the same time. Boozer was hurt for much of last season as well as in the playoffs, so let’s see if he can bounce back after plenty of time off to get healthy. Apparently, Boozer’s reported to be in great shape and 25 lbs. lighter.

  5. lmoneyfresh - Dec 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    I see no team in the east, outside of Miami, that stops the Bulls. The Celtics cannot and will not beat the Bulls in the playoffs. Are David West and Brandon Bass really going to put them ahead of the Bulls? I think not. If Rip stays healthy, that’s a huge upgrade over Keith “the invisible man” Bogans, both offensively and defensively.

    • dirksimmons - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:11 AM

      David West went to the Pacers, no?

  6. lmoneyfresh - Dec 15, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    And how the hell is Rasual Butler a key departure? I don’t think he saw more than 10 minutes of time on the court last season.

  7. glink123 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    who the fawk is John Kowlick? seriously.

  8. philtration - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    The Bulls won 62 games last season and Pro Basketball Talk says that there even better this year yet you predict them to win 45-50 games?

    Do you guys even watch basketball?

    • borderline1988 - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:27 AM

      Well, there was this srike thing in the summer and the season was shortened….
      Never mind.

    • florida727 - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      philtration – Dec 16, 2011 at 12:04 AM
      Do you guys even watch basketball?
      Do you even watch SportsCenter or read news stories on the Internet?

  9. chitownbulls - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    I think the Bulls win it all this season. I’ll take a disgruntled, disappointed, pissed off competitive beast like D.Rose, DETERMINED to come back to the playoffs and show growth and what he learned. All he’s talking about is his improved post game (Thibs complimented him on it while talking to the press), higher bball IQ, the hundreds of hours he spent watching Miami Heat film, his attempts to take over the game vs. passing to the open man, etc. and finally, his desire to be a more efficient player. He also worked on his conditioning by running all summer, even while on vacation.

    I don’t think he and the Bulls are denied this year. The only thing I’m hoping for is that they will maintain the Bulls franchise Finals appearance record… 6 titles in 6 appearances. We don’t lose when we get there. Gotta have enough left in the tank D. Fingers crossed and our journey begins tomorrow w/pre-season opener against Indiana.

  10. cadenjay - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    The Bull won 75% of their games last year. That equates to about 50 wins this year. But the schedule is tough but the Bulls are a better team this year and with another year of experience in Thibs system. I can only hope for a better year and hopefully a title.

  11. kansacity88 - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Yes, David West went to the Pacers! Don’t know where the connection with the Celtics came from, unless something just happened lately that I know nothing about and that’s highly unlikely……possible, but highly unlikely!

  12. summoe2c - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    This my predictions Orlando Magic/ Dwight Howard will shock the NBA news by dem trading him2da Bulls,watch n c!!

  13. KOBEshigawa - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    The main point I want to make here: basketball is not baseball. You cannot plug in a player and expect the team to become instantly better. With five guys on the court at one time, players need to adjust to that guy’s skills and how he’ll affect the offense and defense. For a guy like Rose? It’s going to be extremely difficult. The Bulls have tailored their team around him this year, so it’s going to be really hard to change five months of play when…or if he returns in the spring. The Bulls were very good in his absence this year, but how will the team play when they know their All-Star isn’t going to be walking through that door in a week? Or a month? Or three? They’ll stay afloat on their defense, but this team isn’t competing for a title this year.

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