Chicago Bulls: 5 Reasons Fans Should Be Giddy for the Start of Training Camp
You have heard from the skeptics, but the Bulls will experience some success this season. Their path to success begins with training camp. The key pieces to the Bulls' foundation are in place.
Sadly, Derrick Rose will be unavailable for training camp, as well most of the regular season. That should not deter you from being on the edge of your seats, watching the action with bated breath.
As much as you will miss Rose, his absence is not the reason to ignore the Bulls during their training camp. Rose’s absence is the very reason why you should pay very close attention.
It isn't the only reason, however.
Here are five reasons why you should be giddy.
Tom Thibodeau's Contract Extension
As the Bulls began their media day session, news broke (via the Bulls' official website) about the team agreeing to a contract extension with head coach Tom Thibodeau.
The four-year deal (CSN.Chicago.com) will keep Thibodeau on the Bulls’ sidelines for the foreseeable future.
The beauty of the Thibodeau’s deal is simple; the Bulls have one less possible distraction going forward.
This allows the focus to be on player development, not contract matters. It eliminates the questions that Thibodeau would have had to face going into a lame-duck coaching situation.
There was not a Bulls’ fan around who wanted to see Thibodeau gone.
The city of Chicago can let out a sigh of relief because he will coach the Bulls for at least four or five more seasons.
Joakim Noah's Improvements on Offense
With Rose out, the Bulls will need scoring. What better position for them to get scoring from than the center spot. If Noah’s offense can show improvement, the Bulls' chances at a successful season will jump exponentially.
Noah has shown flashes of becoming a good offensive player in the past.
He scored with his jump shot from 14-17 feet with enough regularity that defenders had to guard him. It would be exciting to see some improvement from his post moves, especially if he can make the patented “Kareem sky-hook shot.”
The Starting Lineup Is Already Set
The Bulls have already announced what their starting lineup will be (via CSNChicago.com).
They've decided the roles of several players and now they can rest easy.
This includes Carlos Boozer.
Many Bulls fans have shown their displeasure for Boozer and have long asked that Taj Gibson supplant him as the starting power forward. Realistically, Chicago needs Boozer for his scoring prowess. It is time to trust that he can be the player they thought they had signed during the 2010 NBA free-agency bonanza.
Richard Hamilton can also relax, for now at least.
The Bulls’ big free-agent signing last season played OK when he was healthy. OK doesn't cut it. Hamilton must play better this season and a full training camp will help him.
If he stays healthy and improves on the basketball court, the team will benefit greatly. Hamilton will benefit from not having to battle for his starting job.
The Competition Will Be Red-Hot with the Bulls' Reserves
The Bulls may have decided their starting lineup, but other jobs are up for grabs.
Except for Gibson, the reserves will have to earn minutes with their play during training camp. The biggest competition should be Jimmy Butler, Marco Belinelli and camp invitee, Marko Jaric. The three swingmen will battle for two spots.
I expect that both Butler and Belinelli will push Hamilton for the starting 2-guard position. Jaric is a wild card.
Jaric, one of five players to receive an invitation to the Bulls’ training camp, can do a little bit of everything. He can score, rebound, pass and defend well enough to be a solid contributor off the Bulls’ bench. His passing ability also gives the Bulls an additional option at backup point guard. It would not surprise me if he lands on the Bulls’ season roster at some juncture during the season.
Another competition that you should pay attention to is at backup center.
The Bulls made a statement by bringing in Kyrylo Fesenko. The 7’2” center from the Ukraine has a size and youth advantage over Chicago-native, Nazr Mohammed.
If Fesenko can impress the Bulls enough, the competition between him and Mohammed will heat up.
The Bulls are at the hard cap limit and barring a trade, they cannot sign (via CSNChicago.com) any more players until November 20th (ESPN Chicago). After that period is over, Fesenko is another player that should be on your radar.
Chicago Bulls Basketball Is Back and It Is Too Early to Write Them Off
Chicago Bulls basketball is back! That alone is a reason to be giddy.
There are very few expectations for the Bulls this season. Some basketball experts have written the Bulls off as they mention the contenders for the NBA title. You hear will hear teams such as the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics mentioned among the NBA Championship favorites.
No one has mentioned the Bulls.
The Bulls are seldom mentioned as even a favorite to win the NBA Central Division, as it is a foregone conclusion that the Indiana Pacers win unseat them this season.
For those who have written the Bulls off this season just as the experts have, allow me to change your minds.
The Bulls have more depth this season than the previous two. They have a balanced lineup that will feature scoring above defense. To top it off, if they are near the top of the Eastern Conference standings when Rose has the clearance (via NBA.com) to play, look out!
Rose at 75 percent capacity is still the best player in the winnable NBA Central. His possible inclusion into the Bulls' lineup makes them the team nobody wants to play in April and May.
The Bulls will be back! Are you beginning to feel giddy yet?
Video taken from NBA.COM.