Re: ISH's FIVE QUESTIONS: Chicago Bulls Edition
1. TRUE or FALSE: Joakim Noah is more important to the Bulls success than Derrick Rose.
False. Joakim Noah is my dude. He's everything you want out of a player regardless of sport. I like to say that Derrick Rose is the heart of the Bulls but Jo is the soul. They are the top 2 players on the team clearly but Rose was one of the best players in the league and a former MVP. Derrick has a lot to prove again coming back but so does Joakim in the health department. Jo has missed A LOT of regular season games the last 3-4 years. It's time to limit his minutes slightly and make sure he is primed for the playoffs. This is the Bulls team as constructed, last chance at Miami as constructed.
2. TRUE or FALSE: Jimmy Butler is THAT good.
"Before the 2011 draft, one NBA general manager said about Butler, "His story is one of the most remarkable I've seen in all my years of basketball. There were so many times in his life where he was set up to fail. Every time, he overcame just enormous odds. When you talk to him — and he's hesitant to talk about his life — you just have this feeling that this kid has greatness in him."............
I love that quote, Im not saying i think he will ever be a superstar or even an all-star(decent chance), but with where his defense was at last year combined with what looks to be an already passable outside/3pt shot(38%season/40%playoffs), a 40 inch vertical, and 6'7/220lb frame....there's a lot to like. He has the perfect coach and team to reach his potential. With Rose back, its hard to predict Jimmy's numbers, but those 2 are gonna be a problem for a lot of teams.
3. TRUE or FALSE: Despite Thibodeau's defensive genius, Bulls need to improve their offensive creativity.
I will at least say their 4th quarter offensive creativity. This team has no real newcomers outside of Dunleavy, so improvement has to come from within and through continuity. I think Jimmy and Deng w/ Derrick in the 4th will really help Rose when getting doubled. Boozer needs to have another year like he did last year and the Bulls offense all together will be MUCH improved. I predict a top 5-7 offense.
4. AGREE or DISAGREE: More Taj Gibson, Less Carlos Boozer.
I forget who hit it on the head but it's definitely a situational matter. If teams play small ball, especially Miami w/ Lebron at 4, then youre gonna probably have to go w/ Taj in the crunch since he and Joakim have shown the ability to stay w/ LBgay better than most bigs who have to switch onto him because of a pick. However we know Boozer is a much better scorer and happens to be a great passer most of the time. Thibs has had his hands full w/ this situation since Taj's rookie year.
5. The one "X Factor" that can catapult the Bulls over the top East competitors is:
INJURIES: Rose and Noah namely. Deng has been playing through a wrist injury that could have been surgically repaired 3 seasons ago. He doesn't get enough credit for his toughness. Deng also has had his longest break from basketball maybe in his whole career with missing the end of the playoffs and having the summer off w/ no commitments to England bball or anything else. Hinrich will absolutely miss some games but the 2nd unit REALLY needs him for the playoffs. He has always bothered Wade and steps up to the challenge against Miami.
This team has had one shot at Miami healthy in 2011 and that was when Derrick Rose was 21/22 and had not been out of the 1st round. Noah wasnt what he is now and Boozer was in his first year in Chicago and wasn't all that good. This team if healthy is as loaded as they have been in the Rose/Thibs era. I think if healthy the Bulls finally overcome the Heat if they meet in the playoffs, but i also don't think the Bulls will stay healthy enough. I just have to go w/ the track record of injuries the last 3 seasons. The Bulls are an injury plagued team. Will be interesting to see if Miami finally gets bad luck w/ injuries. And dont tell me Wade was injured last year, because that man is always injured and is only getting older and more broken down. Thats just who he is now.