Dispelling the Fans and Media's Biggest Misconceptions About the Chicago Bulls
There are plenty of misconceptions pertaining to the Chicago Bulls, and this slideshow will dispel a few of those.
One misconceived notion is that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is responsible for Derrick Rose’s knee injury. During last season’s playoff opener vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose tore his ACL late in the fourth quarter as the Bulls owned a 12-point lead.
People feel that Thibodeau should have taken the oft-injured guard out of the ball game long before since the Bulls were up by so many points with only 1:22 left to go in regulation.
Thibodeau shouldn’t take the blame, though, as that injury really could’ve happened at any point in the game.
Anyway, here are five false assumptions made by fans and the media regarding the Bulls.
Yes, Bulls Management Knows What They're Doing
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Some fans think Bulls management has simply lost their minds.
During the summer, GM Gar Forman got rid of several key players from last year's squad, making fans and the media believe the team isn't committed to winning games anymore.
Forman and Co. know what they're doing, though, and no, they aren't crazy.
Why re-sign everyone and pay the luxury tax when the Bulls aren't going to win a championship in the near future, especially with Derrick Rose set to miss a significant amount of time?
Management is attempting to save money and free up cap space in order to sign a star free agent down the road.
Rip Hamilton Does Have Something Left in the Tank
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Last season, Rip Hamilton's first as a member of the Bulls, was forgettable to say the least.
Injuries limited the former Detroit Pistons star to just 28 ball games, as he averaged only 11.6 points per contest, his worst numbers since his rookie year. He truly didn’t appear to be the perfect shooting guard acquisition that the Bulls hoped he would be.
Some people believe the 34-year-old Hamilton is too old and washed up to contribute anymore, but that’s not true. He has a little left in the tank.
No, he’ll never again be the 18-points-per-game scorer that he was during his Detroit days, but he’s still a valuable player.
Look for Hamilton to stay healthy this coming season and put up solid numbers, which will make fans forget all about last year.
The New Bench Isn't That Much Worse Than Last Year's
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One reason for the Bulls' success over the past two years is the terrific play from the team's bench, nicknamed "The Bench Mob."
In the offseason, Bulls management made the unpopular decision to dismantle the group. Omer Asik was let go and guys like Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and John Lucas III are now calling other cities home these days.
The new bench consists of holdovers Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler as well as newcomers Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, Vladimir Radmanovic and Nazr Mohammed.
People feel the Bench Mob 2.0 isn't as talented as the original. Well, those people are right; however, the remodeled second unit is almost as good as last year's.
Gibson is a great defensive player; Butler is primed to have a breakout year; Robinson is a spark plug off the bench; Belinelli and "Vlad Rad" can really shoot, and Mohammad is a decent replacement for Asik.
The 2012-13 Bulls Are Not Lottery Bound
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With Derrick Rose out for most of the season and the departures of several key players, both fans and the media predict the Bulls will fail to reach the postseason and will participate in the NBA draft lottery.
Sure, the loss of Rose will hurt and guys like Omer Asik and Kyle Korver will be missed; however, the Bulls shouldn’t have any trouble making the playoffs due to Tom Thibodeau's coaching and contributions from Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and others.
Chicago won’t finish the 2012-13 campaign with the league’s best record, like they accomplished the past two seasons, but they should end up grabbing the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Ping-pong balls aren't in the Bulls' foreseeable future, although a prospect like Shabazz Muhammad would definitely be a welcome addition to the team's roster.
Derrick Rose Is Not the Next Penny Hardaway/Tracy McGrady
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Derrick Rose—arguably the game's best point guard when healthy—will miss most of the 2012-13 season due to a devastating ACL tear which he suffered in the playoffs.
Some fans and haters out there believe D-Rose will never be the same player he was before the injury.
There has actually been talk that he's just another Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway or Tracy McGrady, or in other words, a superstar whose career will fall off dramatically due to the injury bug.
That, however, is so far from the truth, it's not even funny.
No disrespect to Hardaway and T-Mac, but at the end of the day, Rose's name will not be included in the same sentence as those two former stars.
Rose won't be as good as he was before the injury; he'll be even better as his jump shot will be much improved.