Playoff Postmortem: Chicago Bulls

(image from
The Bulls can still smell success
(image by Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d ever have to write this article. By mid-season I became a Derrick Rose convert and believed they had what it takes to win the NBA Title.

They do have what it takes.

But they lost it all in the final 3 minutes of Game 5.

Joakim Noah gets bumped off
the playoffs by LeBron James
(image by the AP)

3 minutes.


How’d that happen?

Everybody in Chicago is still probably smarting from that.

But what hurts now should give them enough kick to do well again next season, and, hopefully, resurrect the glory days in the Windy City. #23 will never return, and NOBODY can surpass him, but when a team has #1, does it really need anyone else?

Sadly, the answer is YES.

The kind of YES that can deliver 18-20 points per game on a consistent basis, but will neither hog the spotlight nor the ball. The way Pip did it back then. The way Clyde did it for the Dream. The way Worthy did it for Magic.

Maybe I’m just too old school.

Or just old.

But there’s always something superbly special and satisfying about seeing one man bring out the best in those around him – the also-rans and average Joes (hello Steve Kerr) who would otherwise be nothing more than blips on another team’s radar screens. I believe D-Rose can be that type of player. He has already brought out the best in Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver.

Carlos Boozer, though, seems to be another story. And though he appears to be one of the hardest working men on the floor, he might be the one who needs to go.
Booze might not be what
Chicago needs
(image by Randy Belice/Getty Images)

He just didn’t click with the Bulls, especially when it mattered the most.

One could argue the same thing about Pau Gasol back in 2008, and then LA won 2 straight titles before the Mavs (Go Mavs!) swept them last month, but I just don’t think Booze can ever be his All-Star self with the Bulls. And the Bulls do need another All-Star on this roster to take them a notch higher.

I don’t think they should do a New York and get a stratospheric player like Dwight Howard or Chris Paul (though those two wouldn’t hurt one bit), but maybe ship in someone who brings a lot more intangibles to the table. Someone Gerald Wallace-ish. Off-hand I’m thinking of Danilo Gallinari or the up-and-coming Nicolas Batum. I don’t know.

Get that #2 guy, and slide Deng to #3. Korver and Bogans can alternate as designated shooters and Noah can clean up the trash. It should work, at least in theory.

And, well, if it does work, maybe it’ll be a long time before I have to write an article like this again.

Luol Deng is a well-loved workhorse in Chicago
(image by Fernando Medina/Getty Images)
Taj Gibson showed flashes of brilliance this season
(image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Kyle Korver is this generation's Steve Kerr
(image by Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose can still carry the Bulls to a bright future
(image by Fernando Medina/Getty Images)
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