The NBA 30 in 30 is a look at each team as the coming 2013-2014 season approaches. This look reviews their current roster, last year's experience, new developments and a prediction as to where the organization will end at the conclusion of the upcoming year of NBA action.
The Chicago Bulls have been one of the more interesting teams to watch during the last few seasons. Ever since Derrick Rose came to the team back in 2008 this group has slowly developed into a force within the Eastern Conference. Last year they played well without their leader for an entire season as he faced criticism for not stepping onto the court. Now, they have to bring everything back together as a unit under the direction of Rose.
When reviewing the Bulls, one must start with Rose who sat out all of the 2012-2013 year with an ACL injury. As the post season loomed detractors began to attack him for not playing even though reports of him practicing were running across every sports outlet. That time has to be put behind him as the Bulls will need his ability to score. Last year they were 29th in the league in points per game so Roses 21 point average and 6.8 assists will help improve the team in that area.
Defensively this unit is as sound as ever. Joakim Noah was on the ballot for Defensive Player of the Year as he averaged 11.9 points and 11.1 rebounds with 2.1 blocks per game. The former Florida standout plays with a level of intensity that inspires his team; especially when other players are not performing. Carlos Boozer was close to averaging a double-double of his own. Even though he is smaller than most power forwards the combination of him and Taj Gibson are a good enough alternating group to serve in Chicago.
The one looming question is what will the Bulls do with Luol Deng. Deng was the Bulls leading scorer last year but rumors have placed him on the trade block coming into this season. His 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds will be very valuable not only in Chi-Town but to any team looking for a late season acquisition. If he continues to battle with injuries, such as those that kept him out for much of the post season, do not be surprised if he is moved to a contending team.
High expectations await this Chicago Bulls team that is finally playing at full strength for the first time in more than a full season. Watching to see if they can return to their dominant form will be one of the most captivating stories of the year.
Expected Starting Roster with 2012-2013 Stats
Derrick Rose, PG: Did not play
Kirk Hinrich, SG: 7.7 PPG, 5.2 APG
Luol Deng, SF: 16.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG
Carlos Boozer, PF: 16.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG
Joakim Noah, C: 11.9 PPG, 11.1 RPG
Expected Season Finish
4th in the Eastern Conference