|Don’t mess with the Bulls, you’ll get the horns in 2010-11|
|Written by Adam Jun, Daily Vidette Sports Columnist|
|Tuesday, 28 September 2010 19:25|
“Here’s Michael at the foul line, the shot on Ehlo...GOOD! The Bulls win! They win! They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers!”
Not unlike many nights in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, it was good to be a Chicago Bulls fan the night that Jim Durham made that transcendent call on the Bulls Radio Network during the 1989 playoffs.
While reminiscing has its place, there is no time like the present and nobody portrayed that better than the young face of the franchise, Derrick Rose.
The former Chicago prep star, fresh off a busy summer where he started for the National team and helped the U.S win a World championship, was surprisingly outspoken on media day.
“The way I look at it, within myself, why can’t I be the MVP of the league?” Rose said. “Why can’t I be the best player in the league? Why? Why can’t I do that?”
The Bulls’ modest point guard looks ready to take the next step.
This offseason, Rose targeted his defense and shooting range as he continued his quest to become one of the game’s elite.
It’s hard to believe the unassuming superstar won’t be 22 for another week.
The hometown product will not be without some talented teammates as the ultimate role player in Joakim Noah joins him this season.
In what is now a distant memory, I remember being furious as a goofy, frizzy-haired, rail-thin, bow-tie wearing 7-footer strode to the podium on draft day, flashing a monstrous smile that only a mother could love.
Like many others, I couldn’t stand Noah’s cocky, flamboyant behavior as he coasted to the NCAA title two years in a row as a Florida Gator.
Even though he was a Bull, I vowed not to like him until he at least got a haircut and started showing some respect for the game.
I soon learned that Noah is a fearless winner with an immense amount of respect for the game, so much so that he called out Lebron James himself last year because Prince James was gloating in a lopsided win as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Another intriguing aspect of Noah’s game is he was brought up as a guard and has displayed superior passing. Noah even has some open-court ball handling to go along with a now bulky 7-foot frame, great rebounding instincts and a desire to play defense.
After some initial wavering on the topic, I’ve decided that those qualities are what make Noah even more valuable to the Bulls than Carmelo Anthony would be.
During the off-season, several upgrades were made to the roster in free agency.
John Paxson and Gar Forman did what they could in what was by far the most talented free agent class in the history of any sport.
While the Bulls were slighted by some first-class choices such as James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, they were able to add established power forward Carlos Boozer to the mix.
Boozer will bring a big body to help Joakim Noah shoulder the load inside and will be the Bulls’ first true low post scoring threat since Eddy Curry.
The former Duke standout also brings a defensive presence, rebounding and a smooth mid- range game in addition to his ability to score down low.
Last season’s Bulls team really needed a shooter to stretch the defense. Now they have one in sharpshooter Kyle Korver. Illinois State basketball fans might remember the former Missouri Valley Conference superstar from his days as a Creighton Blue Jay in college.
Just like his college and prep days, Korver can still shoot the lights out, posting a .536 shooting percentage from long range last season. That was good for tops in the league by a wide margin.
After being thwarted in their attempt to land JJ Reddick, the Bulls turned their attention to defensive minded guard, Ronnie Brewer. The Bulls made Brewer the third former Utah Jazz player to join the team.
C.J. Watson, a high octane backup point guard, was brought in at little cost to provide a scoring punch off the bench to help fill the void left by veteran Kirk Hinrich who is now a member of the Washington Wizards.
Tom Thibodeau, former assistant to Doc Rivers on the Boston Celtics, takes the reigns as the new head coach of the Bulls.
Thibodeau is credited in large part for the Celtics commitment to team defense that led to three conference championship games, two finals appearances and one title in the last three seasons.
Hey, if Thibodeau can turn Paul Pierce into a willing defender, then I’m a believer.
With the exception of Phil Jackson, who the Bulls tried unsuccessfully to pry from the Lakers, Thibodeau to me was by far the best potential head coach on the market.
While the super teams around the NBA loom large, this Bulls team is now truly a legitimate force. Mess with them at your own risk.