My Hopes for The Bulls This Season

10/31/12 in NBA   |   Fishchick17   |   36 respect

October 26, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) shoots the ball during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Joyce Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Schultheiss-US PRESSWIREThe Chicago Bulls kick off their 2012-2013 season tonight at the United Center in Chicago vs the Sacramento Kings. Expectations for this team are all over the board, mostly due to the fact that Derrick Rose may play at some point during the season or may not. Team expectations have ranged from:

1. Without DRose, this season is a wash.
2. Decent, winning 40 games.
3. Winning the Central division.
I have not heard anyone say they think the Bulls have a chance to win it all. 

So, what are the expectations for this season? I know Thibodeau still has the goal of winning every single game, since his mentality does not seem to alter at all. But as fans, what are we looking for in these Chicago Bulls to call this team a success? 

When Jordan was injured in 1985, the Bulls record was 30-52, yet they still made the playoffs. Jordan put in heroic efforts coming back, racking up 63 points in one game vs the Celtics, but the season was basically considered a wash. The Bulls lost in 3 straight in that playoff series, but the memorable moment for me was watching Jordan, back as Michael Jordan. Playing like only he could. That made the whole year worthwhile, knowing Jordan was back to being Jordan, and 6 titles were on the way-well, OK, we really didn't know that at the time. But it was fun thinking it.

My Hopes as a Bulls Fan This Season Are:
1. Get Rose healthy.
Without a doubt, this has got to be the number one priority for this team, and I am certain that it is. There has to be no doubt, that when Rose comes back, he is without a doubt, healthy, strong, confident, and did I say 100% healthy already? This kid is the Bulls future, and however long it takes DRose to get back to the player he was, that is how long he should take. There should not be an expectation anywhere in the system of when he will return, only when he is ready and gets all the OKs from every doctor he has.

2. Give Jimmy Butler and Marquis Teague playing time.
Teague is a rookie and a young rookie at that, coming out early from Kentucky after only one season. He will need to time to learn the NBA game. And Jimmy Butler looks to have a huge upside, but needs the minutes in the game to develop his game and grow. I hope Thibs give both these young players a chance to play and grow.

3. Watch Boozer and Noah Step Up.
Boozer and Noah are two key components to a Bulls team with or without DRose. Boozer needs to be consistent in his scoring this season and step up his defense. Boozer cannot rely on his teammates for scoring. Boozer came to Chicago because of his ability to score. He needs to show he is capable of that night in and night out.

Noah will also need to step up his scoring. While his shots never look pretty, if he is able to connect on his rumored new skyhook, and hit his jump shot consistently, that will help not only the Bulls this season but in the future. And while Noah can be a force on defense, he will need to bring it every night.

4. Hope that Deng is Still Deng.
Luol Deng is a machine. Last year he brought it on offense and defense night in and night out. Hoping his wrist is healthy enough to make it through the season so Lu can do what he does best-everything!

5. Keep Hinrich and Hamilton healthy.
Both of these guys are getting up there, and the daily grinds of the game seem to show their face to these guys more often than most. Hinrich and Hamilton, when healthy, still bring a lot to the floor and could be key in the Bulls success this season.

6. See what the Bench Mob 2 has got.
Besides the amazing Taj Gibson, it is all new faces on the Bulls Bench Mob. Their individual statistics reflect higher numbers across the board than the original Bench Mob, but is that going to translate to strong team play for the bench unit? To be determined.

If all these things happen, does that mean the Bulls will win 50 games? Make the playoffs? Win the Central division? Watch DRose come back for the playoffs and blow our mind? I'm not willing to say the season is a wash. The talent is still here, and Thibs will be sure they play solid D every night. But they will miss Rose's leadership, court presence, scoring, and speed-without a doubt. But I think this Bulls team could surprise a lot of teams. I'm thinking 45 wins, and the playoffs.

Let's Go Bulls!
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