Chicago unstoppa-Bull in long run

By Copy Chief

Two years and two knee surgeries later, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is back to competing at an All-Star level.

He dropped 30 points on 39 percent shooting against Golden State on Jan. 27, including a clutch step-back at the end of overtime to win the game, but Rose isn’t the only important player on the Bulls roster this season. This year’s team has a chance to go all the way to the championship and take the title.

With or without injuries, this team has willed its way to victory, holding a record well above 500, and it has nothing to do with luck.

When you give the man who is arguably the second-best coach in the NBA the deepest roster in the league, you have a recipe for almost-guaranteed success.

Despite recent reports of Bulls players collapsing under Head Coach Tom Thibodeau, the team has been snapping any and all losing streaks with intense gameplay that reflects the team’s true ability. 

January was a tough month for the team, which lost its fair share of games against strong and weak teams alike, but a bad month in the middle of the season means nothing to a team that has shown it can outplay any opponent in the league.

The team is naturally defense-oriented thanks to Thibodeau, but unlike the last two years, the players are also able to consistently put up numbers on offense. With Rose, Jimmy Butler, a shooting guard and small forward depending on the game, and the 7-footer forward Pau Gasol in the starting lineup, the team is practically guaranteed 60 points per game. Then there is the instant offense that is Aaron Brooks, the backup point guard and three-point machine who shoots almost 45 percent from behind the three-point line. 

It is also important to consider the height of the team overall. Taj Gibson, the shortest big man on the court, stands at 6-foot-10, but he also has a 7-foot-4 wingspan. That, combined with Nikola Mirotic, power forward, and Joakim Noah, center, explains the teams 45.6 rebounds per game, second only to the Oklahoma City’s 46.7 per game.

The Bulls’ play has earned a solid B on’s “Midseason Report Cards,” a reasonable grade considering the team’s recent performance. However, the team had a strong start to the season but has not been at full health for the majority of the last few months. With forwards Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott back in the lineup soon, Jimmy Butler will be able to play the shooting guard again—a position he dominated on both ends of the court. He made a case as the best two-way shooting guard in the league until Dunleavy’s injury at the beginning of the year forced him to be the small forward.

The team has all the firepower necessary to score and defend, and team chemistry can only get better as the team finds its rhythm. 

If the Bulls prove that their play in January was just part of a small slump—something many great teams have gone through in the past—and get their defense back to Thibs’ standards, they will dominate the league.