Friday, October 16, 2009

Bulls Links / Previews

Some previous BBS posts: Injury Update; Bulls Season Preview.

BleacherReport Bulls Preview -
The NBA season is quickly approaching and the Chicago Bull’s fans couldn’t be more excited. Not that they really did anything to improve their team this offseason, they just generally get excited before every season.

They keep hoping that Michael Jordan will walk back through the door and it will be 10 years ago and he can lead them to another title. Short of that happening, they probably aren’t going to go very far this season. If you’re looking for free NBA picks, don’t expect the Bulls to return to glory this season.

The Good News: The good news is that they still have Luol Deng, John Salmons, Derrick Rose, and Brad Miller. They added Jannero Pargo in the offseason which should help with depth in the backcourt. They still have a pretty good coach in Vinny Del Negro. They finished .500 last season without quite playing up to their potential.

I think John Salmons is a serviceable scorer and player at the shooting guard position. Deng is a borderline All-Star type player on the wing. Rose is an up-and-coming player in the backcourt. They really do have some pretty decent players already on the team.

Dime Magazine Bulls Preview
Last year we debuted the “Highs and Lows” system — previewing the NBA season by predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team. Same theme, different season…

Added: James Johnson, Taj Gibson, Jannero Pargo, Derrick Byars

Lost: Ben Gordon, Tim Thomas, Linton Johnson, Anthony Roberson

Ceiling: Eastern Conference semifinals
Everybody’s favorite underdog in ‘09 has the pieces to advance in the 2010 postseason. Derrick Rose leads the way, quickly climbing up the ranks as one of the best point guards in the League and taking his place as the focal point of the offense now that Ben Gordon is gone. John Salmons takes over as the #2 scorer; he averaged 18.3 points in 26 regular-season games with Chicago last season, and 18.1 in the postseason. Along with Rose, he’s another guy who can create his own shot, and while his long-range shooting isn’t as effective or consistent as Gordon, he is a better defender and can play the two or the three.

Impact Rookies -
Usually, pro athletes shy away from mingling with fans, but Chicago’s two newest Bulls, 6’9” forwards James Johnson and Taj Gibson, can’t wait to get out there and say hello.

“I’m just a laid-back, cool person, so if you see me, don’t be afraid to come say hi,” says Johnson. “I’ll have a conversation with anyone.”

“I get along with everybody real easily,” says Gibson, the more soft-spoken of the two. “Once I meet you, I’ll remember your name. I’m cool with everybody.” The two big-hearted forwards were picked in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft; Wake Forest sophomore Johnson was selected first, at number 16 overall, while the Bulls used their second pick to grab USC’s Johnson, a third-year player, at the 26th spot.

TT did not predict 20/10 -
There are reports going around that Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas suggested he’s capable of averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds.

That’s not exactly true. What happened at Thursday’s practice was a reporter asked Thomas is he envisions himself as a 20-10 player. At the same time, Derrick Rose walked past and gave Thomas a hard time for not wearing a shirt during the interview. But it did seem as though Thomas heard the question correctly.

“Yeah, I feel that’s something I can do,” he answered. “I have to figure out my role on the team first as far as the offensive end, figuring out where I'm going to get my shots. On the defensive end, definitely 10.”

So what he said was he’s confident he can average 10 rebounds this season, but doesn’t think his role in the offense will be to try to average 20 points. Not a bold statement by any means.


I have an interest in this because of my fantasy team (watch for a post early next week about that), but I think any NBA fan wants to know what Durantula thinks about +/- -
It's no surprise Kevin Durant is really pushing the team angle this week.

When asked by FanHouse if he wants to play for Team USA in the World Championships next summer in Turkey, the Oklahoma City forward couldn't stop talking about how badly he wants to represent his country. Sounds as if he'd settle for the role of scorekeeper.

Asked, though, about wanting to play next February in his first All-Star Game, Durant mostly just shrugged. This is apparently not a good time to be talking about such an individual accomplishment.

Durant made news on his Twitter page last Sunday by responding to an Oct. 9 ESPN TrueHoop post that, due to his poor plus-minus rating, Durant "has been killing his team.''

"Everybody that is doubtin' me as a player and my team as a whole ... all I can say is that we all are tryin' and workin' our hardest!'' Durant wrote. "What more do you want? Let me be the player I am," he added in another post. (The Daily Oklahoman reported his full comments.)

News travels fast these days. Soon, Durant's thoughts were all over the Internet.

Looking back a few days later, Durant wondered if he should have held his tongue, er, keyboard.

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