The Chicago Bulls will be without Derrick Rose for a good chunk of the season, which segways into the perfect opportunity to ask Chicago Bulls fan, @_BryanCrawford some burning questions.
1. Some would say Chicago had a ‘TURRIBLE’ off-season, how would you say Chicago did?
Considering where they were financially over the summer, I thought the Bulls did about as well as they could’ve done. Fans were attached to the “Bench Mob” and hated to see them go, but they also had a lot of unrealistic roster ideas which bordered on fantasy basketball as opposed to the realities of the NBA. This new team is a group of “rentals” essentially, but when your best player goes down and you’re committed to paying four guys over $11 million annually, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done.
2. Do you think Derrick Rose should take off the entire season or make a return? Expound.
I’m of the opinion that he should come back this season — not just in the playoffs — and I think he will. Even though the Bulls won’t win a championship, it makes no sense for him not to try and acclimate himself back to the speed of the game that he’s spent a considerable amount of time away from. Let him play, let him get his feel back, let him build confidence that his knee can handle the rigors of the NBA. Then give him a summer to continue to get improve so by the start of training camp next season, he’ll be ready. I understand being careful, but it’d be stupid to keep him on the shelf longer than necessary.
3. What’s your prediction for the Chicago Bulls this season as far as record and playoff seeding?
I think the Bulls are good enough to win 47 games this season and make the playoffs anywhere between seeds six through eight. But more than any other team this year, health will play a big part in making this season a success without D. Rose, or an epic failure.
4. Is Carlos Boozer complete trash in person as much as he is on 2K? I jest, what are some things Boozer needs to elevate — can I use that word? — his game this season?
During the regular season, Carlos Boozer is as solid as they come. Of course we’ve seen him play less and less with his back to the basket in favor of shooting jumpshots, but from a production standpoint, he’s actually been pretty good. Where he struggles is in the playoffs where the luxury of playing against a new guy or a new team is gone. He’ll need to perform better in the postseason, plain and simple. There’s no other way around it.
5. Keys for Chicago’s success without Derrick Rose are _____.
Low-post play and defense. Without D. Rose on the perimeter, Chicago will have to play an inside-out game and get a lot offensively from Joakim Noah, Boozer, Taj Gibson (if he’s retained) and even Nazr Mohammed. And any Tom Thibodeau coached team will be a solid defensive team and they should be able to win a lot of “ugly” games on that side of the ball.
6. A non-Chicago Bulls question: Initial thoughts on the James Harden trade?
I thought it was a great trade for Oklahoma City. Could they have afforded to max Harden out, sure they could. But is James Harden a max player? Of course he’s not. Paying four guys more than $10 million per gives you virtually no financial flexibility (see the Chicago Bulls) and OKC was smart in dealing a guy who is more or less replaceable. As for Houston? I have no idea what they’re doing. But that’s what happens when you use math to build a team and not good, old-fashioned, common basketball sense.