Will the Bulls have the Best Record in the NBA Again?



The Chicago Bulls led the NBA in wins last year, but like their #1 seed counterpart in the West, the San Antonio Spurs, they failed to reach the NBA Finals.

Chicago returns the same nucleus as last year, with some upgrades. On paper, they should be better. Then again, so will the Miami Heat, who eliminated them last year.

“I think the longer you are together, everything improves. Our goal is to be a well balanced team, those are the teams that do well in the playoffs, I believe we finished 11th in offensive efficiency, we were first in defensive efficiency, we can’t be one-dimensional,” Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Reigning MVP Derrick Rose has his long term deal locked up now, so that won’t be a distraction. He also claims to have worked on his post game, so there’s another weapon to his repertoire. And his work ethic is stronger than ever.

“The goal is winning the championship and if it takes me being in the gym for numerous hours, I’m willing to do it. I think that’s what pushed me this summer- really working on my conditioning, running everywhere possible,  I remember running in China everywhere I went in the country, it’s the most I ever ran, and by the time the season comes I should be in shape,” Rose said.

Unlike last year, Maybe Carlos Boozer will pull his weight this season, given that he’s lost quite a bit of it.

GM Gar Forman: “Carlos came into camp 20-plus pounds lighter. He’s in great shape.”

Perhaps the improved conditioning will make Boozer that true second banana that Rose sorely lacks. Booze gets paid like a superstar, but he didn’t live up to it during his first season in Chicago.

The only major off-season move was cutting Keith Bogans and signing Rip Hamilton- a good upgrade, especially offensively, at the two. This move augments Chicago’s offense similar to how Miami augmented their defense by signing Shane Battier.

“Any time you can put guys around him (Rose), to help not only him but help our team, you want to explore those opportunities and try to do that, obviously we have confidence in the guys we have on our team now,” Forman said.

“It was the first year that this group was together. Not only the players being together, but they were also together with Tom and his staff. It’s as a whole still a relatively young group and I really think you need to give teams a chance to grow and mature,” Forman continued.

Of course, Miami’s big three will be in their second year of playing together too.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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