Friday, April 18, 2008

The state of the Bulls

Jim Boylan's firing in Chicago gets me wondering about what Pax will do in the offseason. The expectations have been high for the Bulls the last couple of seasons, but the club hasn't improved quickly enough and the guys don't seem to be jelling like they did with the Hornets, who also have a good, young nucleus.

It's possible that public comments from some of the young players over the last two years could have had an impact on chemistry.

As for the new coach, I'd look for Pax to go after an established guy. Skiles certainly got the most out of the Bulls roster the last few years, so there will be pressure to match Scott's performance.

What the new coach has going for him is a good core of young players. The question is whether Ty Thomas can become a consistent and reliable performer every night. Hinrich is another question: Can he get better or has he peaked?

I'll also be interested to see how the mid-season trade of L. Hughes and Gooden fit in with a full training camp.

Elsewhere, Ben Gordon's a great off-the-bench scorer, but his size can give opposing teams a matchup advantage there. Small forward Deng is underrated, in my opinion, because he's tough to defend.

Energy guys are hard to find and can play a valuable role. Noah and Nocioni (left) both play hard and get their team extra possessions by hustling for loose balls, etc.