The Baby Bulls: Can Vinny Del Negro Return Them to an Elite Francise?

Heath McGuffCorrespondent IJune 3, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 30: Head coach Vinny Del Negro of the Chicago Bulls watches as his team takes on the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 30, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Celtics 128-127 in triple-overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

You may be thinking "baby bulls"? Come on. I know, I know the bulls made it to the playoffs, but then what happened?


Has anyone ever questioned the coaching of  Vinny Del Negro? Well I have. I feel during their epic battle with the Celtics, Vinny did a poor job in my opinion of rallying the Bulls when the Celtics were getting all the breaks.

Let me further explain my self, when Ray Allen hit those unbelievable shots to push the Celtics past the Bulls, I thought Del Negro did not do a good job of keeping the Bulls' spirits high.

At least I thought there was a lack of focus a few times. I saw Rose commit numerous turnovers and Gordon was playing out of control. Salmons made a few mental errors and the post did not get many second chance opportunities for the Bulls. Tyrus Thomas was settling for the jump shot and not attacking the hoop. They just seemed to not be focused. This is where I'm deriving the term "baby bulls."

I know they have truly amazing talent on both ends of the floor, and they are extremely young with the exception of Gordon in that starting lineup.

So coaching was a reason I think they did not make a very great run in the finals.

I don't see this happening again next season. I think that Vinny Del Negro is also a "baby bull" to the NBA. He was a man hired to a team in desperate need of a savior.

When Vinny took over he said this, "My efforts are going to be geared specifically toward getting the best out of each player – whatever their particular strengths may be that make them most successful," 

He made a few key trades to bring Brad Miller and John Salmons to Chicago. He sent Andres Nocioni and Drew Gooden to the Kings.

The Bulls were plagued with injuries during their playoff run which caused some problems with their lineup. These are a few reasons why I think they did not make it far in the playoffs.


The bulls have had a problem with attitude over the years, mainly concerning their rookies. They had problems coming from Joakim Noah in practice when he was a rookie.

There were concerns with Rose after winning the rookie of the year award, as he only said a few words when receiving that award. Many fans question the demeanor of Rose while addressing the media, in my opinion he is just a humble, and gracious guy.

Who is the leader of this team? I'm not sure i can answer this question directly because I did not see a leader on the Bulls team last season.

Overall team:

Now I think the Bulls are going to have one of the best lineups in the NBA next season. They have some of the most versatile athletes in John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas and Ben Gordon.

Thomas is the big, tall, man that can put the ball on the floor and find his shot. Salmons is a guy who can dribble, pass, and also shoot the ball well. Gordon can can do it all too.

I know the Bulls are looking into maybe keeping Gordon, but if he wants to go I say let him go. There are many superstars whose contracts will be expiring soon and others that I think bring about interest. Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson, and Lamar Odom are players that I find have a lot of promise and interest me.

Overall the Bulls are going to be a great team no matter what happens with the free agent deal. I also feel the "baby bulls" will have matured more in the off season and the team chemistry will be better.

I see a bright future for this young, talented team. Many great things will come Chicago's way in the next few years.

Championship Run:

I think the Bulls will not be denied a playoff birth next season, they will be one of those teams that just creates difficult mis-matches. The bulls will keep maturing and find a way to defend better.

The young starters will confide in each other this off season and find a way to grow as a team, look for them to come out next season and be ready to return this franchise where it belongs: among the elite.

To conclude, I would just like to say this, the Bulls are a team that will be kept under close watch by many. They will be a force to reckon with in the next few years.

I see this team returning among the elite teams in no time, and returning to the playoffs next season with the mind set to win it all. They have great talent and great players, they have what it takes to win a golden ball and I'm sure it will happen soon.


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