By Rikki Greenberg
The Bulls were in desperate need of some star power last season and they finally got it in the form of first round draft pick Derrick Rose. With a repeat of last seasonâ€™s dismal finish (33-49) looking more likely each game, it’s no surprise that watching a talented basketball player like Rose (16.7 PPG, 6.2 AST and 2.7 defensive rebounds) is by far the best thing the Bulls have going these days.Â The 2008 season started out on a more positive note (thanks to the youthful point guard) and media wasted no time headlining Rose.
So why all the brouhaha over a player who isn’t of legal age to drink? Because the Bulls haven’t been this excited about a player since Michael Jordan.Â A strong presence in the running game, Rose provides a much needed spark to the Bullsâ€™ lackluster offensive scheme. He’s quick and isn’t afraid to run the break multiple times a game. For someone of Rose’s height and weight (6’3, 190 pounds), he still shows no fear when a 7-foot defensive center is hanging around the paint in front of the basket.
When moving from coast to coast, Rose’s speed and athleticism is even more obvious. Instead of looking awkward and choppy like Chicago Bulls backup center Joakim Noah (4.4 PPG, 6 TOT and 1.2 BPG), Rose runs up and down the court with fluidity and ease.
When Rose is on the court at the point guard position, he’s the reader/leader of the offense.Â As a player who favors the running game as opposed to the half-court offense, the Bulls can greatly benefit. Some of his Bulls teammates seem to sleepwalk through games at times (power forward Tyrus Thomas and small forward Larry Hughes often come to mind), so his speed and handles are something the Bulls need to take more advantage of.
However, an exciting, new player who makes a lot of noise on the court cannot solve the Bulls’ problems.Â An inexperienced coach in over his head and a glut of guards are just some of the issues they have. Then thereâ€™s the lack of defensive presence and pitiful offensive production.Â Maybe it was the injury bug that bit three of the Bulls key players- point guard Kirk Hinrich with a thumb injury, small forward Luol Deng and power forward Drew Gooden with ankle injuries. While we’re at it, let’s throw in a lack of team chemistry into the mix as well. Whatever the reasons may be, the Bulls better figure it out fast or else this extremely long season is going to get even longer.