Written by: Andrew Wittry
The Chicago Bulls had their best shot to win an NBA championship since the Jordan Era this year but Derrick Rose’s torn ACL in the first round of the playoffs stopped their title hopes in their tracks. This year’s compressed schedule forced teams to play more games in a shorter period of time than typical seasons. In the future, Chicago will want to look into sitting their fragile star at various stretches throughout the season to ease the wear on his body. C.J. Watson and John Lucas III stepped up their play in 2012 to make up for Rose’s frequent absences to give the Bulls an 18-9 record without D-Rose. Even if Chicago is a good team without Derrick Rose, they are a great team with him on the floor.
While Carlos Boozer may have upgraded the Bulls’ roster, he is certainly a question mark in their formula to make a title run in the future. In arguably the three biggest games of the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers (the first game of the series, the first game after D-Rose was declared out for the season, and their elimination game), Boozer was very limited on the court. On those three occasions he scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, scored 9 points and pulled in 5 rebounds, and had only 3 points, respectively. With Dwight Howard becoming a free agent at the end of next season, the Bulls could leap to the front of the Eastern Conference favorites if they could pull off a blockbuster trade with the Orlando Magic or find a way to reel him into Chicago next summer as a free agent. Chicago needs to find a power forward or center who does not have the mysterious “off” games that Boozer is prone to having. Dwight Howard would provide a 20 point and 20 rebound threat on a nightly basis, not to mention the impact he has on defense. It is unlikely that Tyson Chandler or Roy Hibbert would be shipped out of New York or Indiana, especially since the Indiana Pacers are in the same division as Chicago, but those are two more players who would be good additions to the Bulls. Last but not least is Los Angeles Laker Pau Gasol. There have been trade rumors involving him throughout the season and LA is probably looking to make changes to its roster after getting eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals. Gasol certainly has more experience than Boozer in the playoffs and under pressure, which is why he would also be a good replacement for the Bulls’ current power forward. If the Bulls can put a consistent big man on the court against the Miami Heat, Chicago’s biggest Eastern Conference competition, along with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, there is little that the Heat can do with their current roster to counter him.
After the 2012 season, three members of the Chicago Bulls become free agents. Only one of those is of significant importance–John Lucas. Given D-Rose’s injuries this season, it would be a very smart decision to re-sign Lucas, even if Chicago has to overpay him. The other two players, Brian Scalabrine and Mike James, both play limited minutes for Chicago and there is no rush to resign them. With a handful of Bulls’ contracts expiring after next season, it is important for the Bulls to make a strong push next season on the court, in free agency, and in the trade market so that they can bring home a title to Chicago once again.
Perhaps you missed “Inside the NBA” on Sunday night following the Thunders demolishment of the Houston Rockets. If so, let me fill you in on a comment made by Charles Barkley referring to the day’s activities. Sir Charles stated “This may be the worst playoffs we have ever seen.” …
With the NBA playoffs just under way it is time to take a quick look back at the regular season and evaluate which individual players and coach made the greatest contributions to their respective franchises success this year.
We will start our in-depth analysis with Most Valuable Player, Candidates: LeBron James
Most observers of the NBA have all but already anointed the Miami Heat as the 2013 Eastern Conference Champions. In the West there seems to be more of a competition but the overwhelming opinion has the Oklahoma City Thunder emerging from there to meet the Heat. …