The season preview: Barely more worthwhile than any form of list or ranking blog post, but lagging far behind a decent golumpki recipe – as far as level of importance. Yet here we are again, dear readers, at the dawn of another NBA season. Many casual fans or the disillusioned may have taken the offseason, well, off. Where are the wretched and damned to turn to in order to be blessed with the current makeup of your Chicago Bulls, if not the #11 Bulls blog on all of the interwebs? Given these circumstances, I roll up my sleeves, throw back a few manhattans, and pour my drunken soul into another Chicago Bulls preview, 2012-13 style.
A Lady’s Word If you are new to Bulls fandom (God help you), then you will probably want to know about this evangelic point guard named Derrick Rose. He is by far the Bulls bestest player. You will probably also want to know that he blew out his knee in the first round round of the playoffs last season and is out until he
prematurely #thereturns. Thus, the Bulls have to start the season sans Rose, while he rehabs and shills sneakers.
In Rose’s stead is former – and now current – Bull, Kirk Hinrich. Subtracting the player the offense was built around (I use “built” there very loosely) and adding a possibly broken-down point guard – who peaked somewhere above mediocre – is about as tasty as it sounds. (dash) Given that Hinirch’s ability to carry the workload and the level he can attain are both very questionable, AND not knowing where Rose will be at when he #thereturns, makes this position a mystery at best. Yet, unlike a delightful TV movie mystery starring Shelly Long, this one can end with the good guys in ruin, as there are many more mysteries in this Bulls lineup and very few givens.
The Heart Begets Her (Ze Questions) I will try to get through these question marks quickly, as they are of little fun. Bullet point time!
- Our Man From Sudan Apparently, when you run from Sudan to Team GB and eventually land in the US, only to turn into a successful NBA player, little things like a torn wrist ligament bother you not. Luol Deng jacked up his wrist during last year’s regular season, endured through the playoffs, led a symbolic/noble/pointless charge with Team GB in the Olympics, chose to skip surgery, and is now back to start the season with the Bulls. Surgery was recommended. Lu went with hard work, the middle finger, and spinach. …So… there’s that.
The Bench Mob, We Don’t Talk About the Bench Your Chicago Bulls have clawed their way to consecutive regular seasons crowns (in soccer and Boozer’s world that would make them champions!) with a deep team that, among other strengths, punished lesser benches with their superior second unit. That all changed in the offseason, when the upper brass decided to scrap that advantage, overpay for Hinrich, and fill the bench with jobbers.
- Carlos Boozer The human question mark.
- Rip Hamilton & Whatever is Behind Him Rip is not exactly the picture of health. Furthermore, the Bulls are lacking a contingency plan here. Marco Belinelli looked like total shit (at best) in the preseason, and he is the presumed replacement for the duct tape and rubber bands that is Rip.
WhenIf Rip does go down, one possibility is that we will see every fans’ dream of a Kirk-Nate back-court leading the way!
- Points More points are required than the opposition in order to record a win. With or without Rose, the Bulls had an inconsistent offense that often got bogged down in the half-court setup. Without Rose and offseason “reinforcements” offering little help will make for some interesting efforts on offense.
- Depth More than a question, the Bulls depth is straight up non-existent (ref: the bench and Rose).
A Woman’s Will (Ze Strengths) There are weaknesses on this Bulls squad, sure. That does not mean we are going to sit on the couch with a tub of ice cream and a box of tissues. This is a team that claimed back-to-back C. Boozer Regular Season Wins Awards, gawddammit! There is light at the end of the silver cloud!
First and foremost, the Bulls have one Thom Tibs at the helm, a defensive Dr. Strangelove. Defense wins games, right? The Bulls stout D and rebounding will keep them in many
ugly games against superior opponents, laying in the weeds to snatch a win.
Second and secondmost, the Eastern Conference is rather poor. This conference sees the Heat at the alpha dog, with the rest of the pack far back in the rear view mirror. The Bulls are a playoff team in this conference by default; and I think it is realistic that they can sniff a fourth or fifth seed.
Last and finalmost, a healthy Chicago starting five (even without Rose) is one of the more wily veteran squads in the East. These are no longer the “Baby Bulls”. Your Chicago Bulls are, for better or worse, weathered and wise.
She Carries On If nothing else, this will be a more interesting regular season than the previous two. A mid-week fixture against the Raptors last year would have been a likely yawner. This season, who the hell knows what will go down! Games will be gritty, hectic, often ugly, and, hopefully, exciting.
As for this #11 Bulls blog, NB is withdrawing from the arena of game-by-game reviews this season. Time commitments, golumpki dinners, and prostitutes are sapping up too much energy to also carry the workload of the game reviews. But buck up, little guy; we will still be here. And who knows, maybe with the lighter burden, our quality will be more focused and improve. Maybe – just maybe – we will be a sleeker, fitter NB 2.0! Probably not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?