Despite their rejuvenated status as contenders, the Bulls should not start clearing shelf space for the Larry O’Brien trophy just yet. I see some serious problems that need to be corrected before the playoffs.
1. Bed of Roses
The rest of the roster has gotten too cozy with Rose carrying the scoring load, as well as him taking over close games. Without the MVP, the Bulls fail to strike fear into opponents, and that is something chemistry can’t fix.
The Bulls need another scoring option. Luol Deng is a lock-down defender, but not a huge scorer. Richard Hamilton is a great shooter, but with Dwyane Wade on the mark, he will be less effective. The front office should be aggressive before the trade deadline if they want to get out of the East.
2. Inconsistency of Carlos Boozer
Boozer is a shadow of his former self. Although he’s shown flashes of All-Star potential this season, Boozer’s defense is lackluster and has resulted in fewer minutes. The Bulls need a double-double out of him on a regular basis. With his terrible defense, 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds just won’t cut it.
3.The Miami Heat
Even with Rose, the Bulls are not good enough to beat the Heat in a seven-game series. The Big Three neutralize Rose’s impact on the game. At full strength, they will be the definitive favorites going into the postseason.