The Bulls roster is kind of like your candy bowl on Halloween. They have that nice mixture of cavity balls, sugar daddies, shock tarts, dark chocolate, and white chocolate (I really am not comparing any players to candy, I'm just trying to make a point). The point is, this team is a mixture of guys who don't seem like they should gel, but put them together and and you a sack of goodies that little kiddies would love to dip their fingers in. OK, before the hook comes out from stage left, and I get stuck on some sex offender website, I will jump into my Chicago Bulls preview, player by player.
Derrick Rose- Big D isn't the type of player you expect a sophomore slump from. He has a cool headed, is extremely athletic, and his outside jumper has plenty of room to improve from last year. If he can evolve as much as other young prodigies, he may indeed be receiving some MVP votes by the end of the year. That's right, M....V....P! Between his 1st and 2nd year, Lebron James averaged nearly 7 more pts/game, an assists and a half, 2 boards, and half a steal more per game. If Rose does that, he will average 23 pts, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. Let's not forgot, he shot .222 from 3 point land last year. If that goes up marginally, the 23 points per game might not be out of reach.
Joakim Noah- After coming off a preseason where he averaged nearly a double-double (10.3 pts, 8.5 rebs) the Bull’s center is turning into a decent big man in the east. If his game gets as big as his hair, this playful son-of-a-tennis player might be the Joakim Noah of his Florida days. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Tyrus Thomas- Tyrus the tornado sometimes does more harm than good, but as he and his Rastafarian-looking counterpart have developed, the Bulls might not need an all star big man to reach the final stages of the post season. Then again, if Tyrus finally puts up numbers as freaky as his athleticism, they might already have one.
Luol Deng- In his 06-07 season, Luol averaged 18 pts, 7 boards, and over a steal per game. After a season where he had plenty of rest, some think this is the year Deng morphs into the player everyone thought he’d be fresh out of Coach K’s system. Then again, he is only 24, hardly scrapping his prime.
John Salmons- If it weren’t for the fact John Salmons forget how to miss in the clutch against Boston, the Bulls might still have a need for Ben Gordon. Salmons watched his pts/game average jump 6 points over his past two years. If he can average 20 pts/game this season, while maintaing his 45% from the field, he might be a valuable third option for Chicago.
-Kirk Hinrich- Captain Kirk never missed more than 7 games in his first 5 seasons as a Bulls. Last year, he missed 31. Even though his numbers were down last year, there is no reason not to think Hinrich can return to his form of 3 years ago when he was featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. If he does, you might see David Stern handing him the 6th man award come playoff time.
Brad Miller- Assuming neither of his eyeballs are stuck to Rajon Rondo’s fingernail, Miller will play a big role off the bench. He’s versatile, and if Vinny can get his veteran some more breathing minutes each game, he should be healthy and effective come season’s end. Thankfully, over playing Brad shouldn’t be a problem with the addition of two solid draft picks
The Rookies- To some, James Johnson’s best attribute is his size. He is an inch shorter than fellow power forward Tyrus Thomas, but 20 pounds heavier. He also could be a great counterpunch to Thomas on the floor. While Tornado T is flying over opponents, Johnson can plow through them with brute strength, unlike the Bulls other first round draft pick. Even though Taj Gibson is built like a scarecrow, but he has certainly been surprisingly frightening to opposing teams this preseason. The rookie averaged 12 points and 5 boards per game, and played well as a starter throughout. If Taj can give Chi-town that kind of production throughout, we may see this “Joe Smith wannabe” content for rookie of the year in the East.
The rest-The bulls, again are surprisingly deep. They have 9 players who can all contend for a starting spot, and then Jannero Pargo is a quick spark plug off the bench. Even players like Lindsey Hunter and Chris Richard can give the team a few quality minutes.