Bulls Season Over; Looking Forward to Next Year
Since the big trade, the Bulls played great basketball. It all came to a head in this unbelievable playoff series with the defending champion Boston Celtics. The Celtics didn’t compose themselves like champions, but they pulled out the win in an anti-climatic Game 7 and sent the Bulls packing.
Regardless of the outcome of the series, the second half of the season was a wild success. Brad Miller and John Salmons, though having some glaring weaknesses in their games, brought a lot to the team and were clear upgrades over what the Bulls had been trotting out there. Hinrich hopefully raised his trade value and may have even shown something that lead some to believe he can start at the 2 for the Bulls next year. Noah took giant leaps forward, playing ferocious defense and even elevating his offensive game to “not the worst ever”. Tyrus still remains a question mark and Gordon will be out the door more likely than not.
The two big stories this season are stark contrasts. On the one hand, rookie Derrick Rose looked like more than just a future all-star. He looks like he will be one of the next big superstars in this league. On the other hand, rookie Vinny Del Negro looked like an idiot. With Ben Gordon on the way out and Deng coming back from injury, the lineup may look very different than it was and we will find out if Vinny can adjust.
The question is, was Vinny just a rookie coach learning the ropes, or is he really an idiot? It’s easy for us as fans to just assume he was an idiot, but it’s not easy to handle the pressure and difficult choices involved in head coaching. Am I trying to defend him? Maybe a little, but I want him gone as much as the next person. The problem is he won’t be gone. After the Bulls great play down the stretch this season, he will get another season at least, whether he earned it or not. Unless the Bulls play terrible to start the season, Vinny will be back. Sorry guys.
With very little cap space there probably won’t be any big additions through free agency, though it is possible Paxson will try to move Hinrich and either Deng or Salmons. While some people have suggested to me that Salmons start at the 2-guard spot, that seems like a poor idea. The main weakness in his game is his ballhandling, which is extremely suspect. If he were to line up at the 2, he would have to be handling the ball a lot, which could create a lot of turnovers.
Anyways, keep your heads up Bulls fans, the future looks bright. Derrick Rose will be here for many years and with the addition of Salmons and the growth of Noah, the Bulls are going to be playoff contenders in the East for years to come.