How good have the Chicago Bulls been to start the season? Nothing short of phenomenal, with a shorthanded roster leading the team to not only the Number one seed in the East at the moment, but the number one record in the NBA, at a very respectable 15-3 at the time of this writing.
An even scarier question for the rest of the NBA, to ask is: How good could the Bulls be? It's hard to tell since the full roster has barely been 100% healthy. The likely answer, however, is championship calibre.
That being said, this article explores the reasons for the Bulls' fast start into this truncated NBA season.
A big reason for the Bulls' early success has got to be accredited to the team's chemistry. It has been some time since a Chicago roster has displayed the kind of unselfish basketball the Bulls have so far this season.
Just look at the roster. The Bulls have a MVP playing point guard. Derrick Rose is surrounded by two crafty, veteran and willing passers in Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng. If you throw in the outstanding high-low passing ability of bigs Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, the Bulls have showed the ability to routinely score by making the extra pass.
This obvious chemistry between the guys in the locker room is a great sign of not only a strong second portion of the season, but of a promising playoff run. If the Bulls have good scorers who are also willing to make the extra pass on the court against Miami, a playoff series could end differently this season.
Bet you didn't see this one coming.
No matter how many times the Bulls defense is praised, and Tom Thibodeau's impact on the Bulls, in terms of defense, is mentioned, it will never be enough. The value of the the defensive talent on this roster can't be determined.
The Bulls started out the season, according to Stacey King and Neil Funk, with the greatest consecutive defensive efforts at home in the history of the NBA. Granted, it will be nigh impossible for the Bulls to maintain that level of play in a condensed season, but it certainly helped lead to the fast start this season.
Mike James who?
An unfortunate by-product of this condensed season appears to be large amounts of injuries to not only the Bulls, but other teams throughout the league as well. Derrick Rose, CJ Watson, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Rip Hamilton and John Lucas III have all missed time this season because of injury.
For any other team, going several games without a combination of a sizable portion of your roster less than 20 games into the season would be disastrous. The Bulls depth, however, has kept the team on track to be the number one seed again. A bench group headlined by Taj Gibson and Omer Asik has been nothing short of phenomenal, and promising rookie Jimmy Butler has yet to earn any significant minutes.
At this point, the Bulls depth is the single biggest reason for the team's success this year. And if the Bulls manage to beat Miami, the depth will again be the reason