Can Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls become a top five backcourt in the NBA? That is the question on my mind this evening, and that very question had me on my toes all day.
The question itself has an easy answer. Of course they can! But that would be too easy.
Could two players who both led their college teams to national championships be one of the top five backcourts in the NBA? Can a player who led his team to the best record in NCAA history be a part of one of the top five backcourts in the NBA? Can the ex-sixth man of the year become a starter in one of the top five backcourts in the NBA?
They better be able to.
This question itself defines all the expectations the Chicago Bulls have for this season. If Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose are not one of the best backcourts in the NBA, something is really, really wrong.
How can it be possible that two players this exciting and with records as good as they have, not be one of the most exciting backcourts the Chicago Bulls have ever seen? If you combine last year's stats for both athletes, they average a combined 33 points per game, eight assists, and eight rebounds. Not too shabby.
Additionally, in order for either of the guys to stay on the floor, they are going to have to produce enough quality playing time to keep Larry Hughes off the floor. That motivating factor might be enough to put them both over the top.
Some players are better with different comfort levels, but if the Chicago Bulls want to rise to the top again, they will need to play with a sense of urgency—these two players especially. No more of this "we're getting used to the offense" crap. Derrick Rose is the first legitimate superstar the Chicago Bulls have seen since Michael Jordan, and he has the right man beside him in Gordon to shake things up.
I'm not sure if we will see Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon on the court together all season long. But something tells me that when they click, something special is going to happen.