UFC 220: Fighters square...
Milestone within James' ...
Blues' offensive attack ...
Hornets on roll heading ...
Purdue visits Iowa looki...
All-Stars on display in ...
LAFC selects Joao Moutin...
Impey leads Porte on cou...
Pelicans face Grizzlies ...
Timberwolves try to boun...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Hawks sign Flip Murray...
Pistons re-sign Walter Herrman...
Pistons sign Walter Sharpe...
Pistons exercise options on St...
Steve
Steve
Steve
Steve
Brand has surgury
Brand, Maggette could opt out
Brand, Maggette could opt out
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
July 2014
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

News » Rose & Best supporting Factors


Rose & Best supporting Factors


Rose & Best supporting Factors
The last we saw of the Bulls , they were walking off the court in Boston after the Game 7 playoff loss to the Celtics back in May. But despite the disappointment of losing in the first round, there was an aura of optimism around the team that night because of the gritty play of the young Bulls throughout the series.

If the roster were kept intact (with a few tweaks here and there), many believed the Bulls were capable of stepping up a level. Of course, things didn't quite work out that way this summer.

Leading scorer Ben Gordon, who averaged 24.3 points in the playoffs against the Celtics, left via free agency, and the Bulls really made no significant additions, save for the drafting of forwards James Johnson and Taj Gibson.

Still, with training camp set to begin today, many in the organization believe stepping up a level remains a possibility -- if a few of the youngsters continue to grow.

Foremost on that list is point guard Derrick Rose, who had a splendid rookie season and was a near-unanimous choice as the NBA's rookie of the year.

But as good as Rose was last season -- 16.8 points on 47.5 percent shooting and 6.3 assists -- he spent a great deal of time deferring to his more experienced teammates.

This season, even though he doesn't turn 21 until Oct. 4, there's no reason for him to defer to anyone.

In fact, Rose being consistently more aggressive on the offensive end is one way the Bulls are hoping to make up for the loss of Gordon's production -- and that includes becoming the team's go-to scorer at the end of games.

We certainly saw during Game 1 of the Boston series that Rose is capable of scoring in bunches and dominating a game when he puts his mind to it. Frankly, he was unstoppable, and the Celtics didn't know what to do as the Bulls pulled off the 105-103 shocker.

While I wouldn't expect Rose to match his gaudy numbers from that night (36 points and 11 assists) on a regular basis, I believe he can bounce back from a couple of off-the-court controversies in the spring and summer to average better than 20 points and seven assists -- and make a serious push at becoming the Bulls' first All-Star since the Jordan era.

Losing Gordon actually could accelerate Rose's development because he won't be worried about getting Gordon shots.

For the Bulls to take a step up, Rose has to grab the reins and become the on-court leader, but this is far from a one-man team, and there's plenty of talent around.

With the first team practice set for Saturday, here's a look at four other key factors for the upcoming season:

THREE-GUARD ROTATION

Without saying so publicly, management isn't concerned about losing Gordon because they have John Salmons to step in at shooting guard.

Although Salmons isn't the explosive scorer Gordon is, he can create his own shot and brings more size (he's 6-6) and defense to the position. His acquisition at the trade deadline in February is the main reason the Bulls were able to turn their season around.

With Kirk Hinrich coming off the bench, the Bulls , despite losing Gordon, still have one of the better (and versatile) three-guard rotations in the league. They also added veteran Jannero Pargo for additional backcourt scoring.

DENG, HE'S GOOD

Another reason for optimism is the improved health of small forward Luol Deng, who missed the last 2? months of the regular season and the playoffs with a stress fracture of his lower right leg.

If Deng is healthy, he should be able to average in the upper teens (he averaged 14 points last season in 49 games), which also will offset some of Gordon's production -- and, perhaps, get some of the critics off his back who mention his $71 million so much it seems a part of his name.

Deng is still only 24 and added 15 pounds of muscle over the summer. There's no reason to believe he can't regain the form that saw him average 18.8 points three seasons ago.

DOUBTING THOMAS

Is this the year Tyrus Thomas finally gets it and starts living up to his promise (and draft position)?

We'll see, but Thomas, 23, is entering his fourth season and actually did show flashes last season when he averaged career highs in points (10.8) and rebounds (6.4).

Now is the time for him to show he better understands the game and game situations. On too many occasions in the past, he has appeared to be more of an athlete playing Basketball instead of an athletic Basketball player.

MEN IN THE MIDDLE

The weakness of the roster still is the frontcourt, but center appears to be more stable than it was at the start of last season.

The addition of Brad Miller (acquired at midseason along with Salmons) is part of the reason for that stability, but perhaps the biggest reason is the improved play down the stretch and in the playoffs of Joakim Noah. Early last season, some had dismissed Noah as nothing more than an energy guy off the bench.

But in the playoffs, he showed he could be effective as a starting center, averaging 10.1 points and 13.1 rebounds in 38.7 minutes. Noah has been working hard in the weight room this summer and could be poised for a breakout season if he can maintain his post-All-Star-break production from last season.

Bulls TRAINING CAMP

The team will practice at the Berto Center in Deerfield.

Media day: 11:30 today.

First practice: 10 a.m. Saturday.

Preseason opener: Next Friday, at Indiana Pacers.

Notable preseason game: Oct. 6, vs. Utah Jazz in London.

Regular-season opener: Oct. 29, vs. San Antonio Spurs at the United Center.

Key additions: F James Johnson, F Taj Gibson, G Jannero Pargo.

Key losses: G Ben Gordon, F Tim Thomas.

COUNTDOWN

34 days until the Bulls' regular-season opener against the San Antonio Spurs at the United Center, 7 p.m., TNT.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 26, 2009

 

 
Copyright © Pistonsclub.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.