The Chicago Bulls' Top 5 Training Camp Storylines
We are over halfway through September, which means that training camp begins in the very near future. Training camp is the fans' first look at the new team that the Bulls will be putting on the court come November. It is also the first chance some of these players will ever get to play with each other.
At the end of a long offseason, there are many questions left to be answered. Here are five such questions that we have heading into training camp.
Are the Bulls Committed to Thibodeau?
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Tom Thibodeau has been head coach of the Chicago Bulls for the last two seasons now. In that time, he has amassed a record of 112-36, a playoff record of 11-11, two top overall seeds in the league and a Coach of the Year award. Needless to say, Chicago has been exceedingly successful under Coach Thibodeau.
Despite that, the Bulls have not yet agreed to an extension with him. On a podcast of "The Bulls Beat with Doug Thonus," K.C Johnson revealed that management has been skeptical of paying coaches ever since they dished out big money to Scott Skiles. It will be interesting to see whether the Bulls choose to commit to Thibodeau, or if they keep their options open.
Joakim Noah's Ankle
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In the playoffs last season, Chicago fell victim to a barrage of injuries during their series against the Sixers. After Derrick Rose, the most significant injury was to starting center Joakim Noah. Noah rolled his ankle sideways, and missed the rest of the postseason.
This would be a non-factor at this point regularly, but Joakim was held off the French Olympic team because he did not pass his physical. If Noah's ankle was still an issue back in August, then it could potentially be the signs of a far greater malady. We have to keep an eye on that.
How Do the New Additions Fit?
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Chicago is a very different team than what they were last season. They have six new additions—Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague, Marco Belinelli, Nazr Mohammed and Vladimir Radmanovic—and the bench is based on offensive creation rather than defense, like the previous "Bench Mob."
With different offense comes different styles, so it will be very interesting to see how this team fits together. We'll get some early looks during training camp.
Is Boozer in Shape
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Carlos Boozer has been one of the most polarizing figures in Chicago sports the past few seasons. He has always put up decent numbers in Chicago, but they tend to be empty numbers, numbers that do not add up to winning.
Boozer also has a reputation for not putting effort forth on the defensive end, and just being an overall lazy player. Much of this has been attributed to his condition and overall athleticism. If Boozer comes into camp in shape, then he could have a great season. If not, we could be worried.
Derrick Rose's Progress
Last April, Derrick Rose tore his ACL, and Bulls' fans hearts stopped for while. Five months later, Derrick is well on the path to recovery. However, just like always, we want to know how far on the path to recovery Derrick truly is.
The original diagnosis that Bulls team physician Dr. Brian Cole gave us was approximately 8-12 months. That would put Derrick back on the court around January (though most estimates put him back at the All-Star break). Since then, all we've heard is that Derrick is ahead of schedule. When Rose comes back healthy will be a constant theme of this season.