New coach, new plan:
New coach Tom Thibodeau (pronounced Thib-uh-doe, not Tib-uh-doe, he confirmed) provided a brief, vague description of the offense he plans to run this season.
"We're going to start with our defense and our rebounding," he said. "I believe if you do those things well, it puts you into the open floor. You obviously want to play with pace. I think you try to get as many easy baskets as possible.
"The first thing we're looking for is layups and dunks. The second thing would be deep post ups and the third thing would be open jump shots. We want to play with a quick pace, we want to get the ball in the paint, play inside-out and we want to play unselfishly."
Derrick Rose: ‘Why Can’t I Be MVP?’
Hope springs eternal for all players and teams at this time of the year, and guys are unafraid to say what they really think. Here’s D-Rose, via the Chicago Sun-Times: “If still-blossoming Bulls point guard Derrick Rose doesn’t develop into one of the NBA’s great players, it won’t be because he doesn’t have the desire. During the Media Day festivities at the Berto Center on Monday as the team officially opened training camp — the first practice was scheduled for this morning — Rose spoke boldly when asked about his individual expectations for the upcoming season. ‘They’re high,’ he said confidently. ”The way I look at it, why can’t I be the MVP in the league? Why can’t I be the best player in the league? I don’t see why not. I work hard, I dedicate myself to the game and sacrifice a lot of things at a young age, and I know, if I continue to do good what I can get out of it. If that’s me going out and doing whatever, I’m willing to do it because in the long run I know it’s gonna help me.’ Said teammate Joakim Noah: ‘Derrick is an unbelievable talent and things have really changed around here since he’s been in Chicago. If Derrick feels that way, that’s good for us.’”
Joakim Noah's Perils
Be Careful What You Push For
Joakim Noah and the Bulls have four weeks to find each other in the middle. Noah is negotiating an early extension with the Bulls; in fact, these negotiations were the reason Noah skipped playing for the French national team at the FIBA World Championship. The only other '07 first-round draftee to sign an early extension so far was Kevin Durant, who did so quickly and quietly, as almost all sure-bet max players do. Noah, Al Horford and Jeff Green might end up as the only players of their class to settle business this summer instead of reaching restricted free agency a year from now.
A year from now, that is, assuming the league and union find a labor solution, something no one assumes. That's why this last month of negotiating is fraught with such peril for Noah and the Bulls, because no one knows what the league will look like the next time the parties can negotiate.
Joakim NoahRemember when FanHouse's Sam Amick laid out what the owners would be looking to institute in collective bargaining in 2011? A hard cap below the current cap level that would require teams to cut players at discounts to shrink payroll down to the threshold, in the process crushing new player salaries. Whether that will happen (and how long a lockout it would take to get players to accede to it) remains to be seen. But that's what the owners want: a smaller, harder cap.
Boozer's game perfect fit for Rose
At the news conference introducing Carlos Boozer in July, Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Boozer was the team's No. 1 big-man target heading into free agency.
Many people dismissed that comment as sour grapes because the Bulls went hard after Chris Bosh and only came to terms with Boozer after Bosh announced he was heading to the Miami Heat.
While it's true that the Bulls pursued Bosh because they believed it gave them a better chance of attracting either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, it's also true that Boozer is a better fit.
Simply put, Boozer is a more accomplished low-post scorer than Bosh -- and turns the Bulls' biggest offensive weakness the last few years into an obvious strength.
How much of a strength? Well, the first option in new coach Tom Thibodeau's halfcourt offensive scheme will be to throw the ball in to Boozer in the low post.
New coach Thibodeau has plenty to say
Derrick Rose wants to dispel one thing right away -- the perception that new Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is just a mild-mannered man who watches a lot of tape and doesn't say much.
Yes, he watches a lot of tape, there's no debating that. But people who think he just keeps to himself, just don't understand.
"Man, if you don't talk, he'll talk for like two or three hours," Rose said with a laugh after practice on Tuesday afternoon. "So you've got to shorten your conversation with him real quick. You got to come up with a good lie or something. Have one of your friends call you and say you got to go pick him up or something ... he'll talk to you for hours."
Rose was kidding, kind of. The 21 year-old point guard seems to enjoy working with the first-time head coach, but it's clear that fans and players alike still have a lot to learn about Thibodeau, aside from the correct pronunciation of his last name. (Note: The "H" is not silent. It's Thib-bo-DOUGH). The longtime NBA assistant got his first chance to change people's perceptions on Tuesday as he conducted his inaugural training camp practice as head coach. It was a day the 52-year-old dreamed of for years.
"It was great," Thibodeau said. "I actually couldn't wait to get started. The guys have put a lot of work in. They're focused and they're motivated, so [I'm] pleased with the effort. We have a lot of things to clean up, but it was a good first day."