Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
- PG - Derrick Rose, CJ Watson, John Lucas
- SG - Richard Hamilton, Ronnie Brewer,
- SF - Luol Deng, Kyle Korver, Jimmy Butler
- PF - Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, Brian Scalabrine
- C - Joakim Noah, Omer Asik
General ThoughtsWe've all heard the phrase: Defense wins championships. I've been a long-standing believer of this concept, and it still holds true, but how about this one? Defense wins in lockout-shortened seasons with virtually no training camp. Doesn't really have the same ring to it, but hear me out on this one. The Bulls have an advantage that most teams don't have early in this season in that their entire game is based on fundamental defensive principles, and with basically the entire cast of characters from last year returning, they will have the edge early in the year when the ball is rolled out. Derrick Rose is a top-5 player, the reigning MVP and I'd expect nothing less than a repeat performance this year (not necessarily the MVP, but at the level). The Deng/Boozer/Noah trio returns, and that's a pretty ridiculous 2-3-4. One note on Boozer, I believe that he got crapped on a bit much last year simply because he was saddled with an injury early in the season, the team took off without him, and he never recovered IMO. That being said, he's certainly on the hot seat here. Rip Hamilton was brought in as an extremely shrewd pick-up to start at the 2. They've had a glaring need there for some time now, and he suddenly provides them with a wing dynamic they haven't had in Rose's career. I also think he fits well with a ball-dominating guard like Rose because Hamilton does most of his work off the ball running off screens, and slashing through the lane. The bench is pretty nice now with Watson, Brewer, Korver, Gibson, and Asik forming a legitimate second-unit, and with Gibson, they have a guy that most teams would kill to have play significant minutes up front. This team was the #1 seed last year, and with the Hamilton acquisition, I can see them edging their performance from last year's regular season.
Boozer. With as good as the Bulls were in 2010-11, a "Boozer-like" contribution from him this year could push them over the top. I don't expect the 20 point, 11 rebound guy that he was in the final year in Utah, but a return to the 56% field goal form would be an asset, and if he can team with Noah to own the boards like they should, it would help them.
Predicted Finish1st in the East