Chicago Bulls: Consistency Will Be the Question Until Derrick Rose Returns
The Chicago Bulls have played three games so far in the 2012-13 season, going 2-1, with wins against Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers, and a loss to the New Orleans Hornets. The Bulls will be a team characterized by inconsistency until Derrick Rose gets back, especially on offense.
The Chicago Bulls look effective so far relative to expectations of this team. Right now, the Bulls are shooting 44.9% from the floor, and averaging over 25 assists per game thus far, which is two assists better than last season, and fourth best in the league thus far. Chicago is also holding teams to 87 points per game thus far, good enough for second in the NBA after five days of action. The defense has been as effective and disruptive as ever, and has managed to lead to offense as well. This team has all the marks of a Tom Thibodeau coached team. It is encouraging that the team is assisting the ball at a high level, and creating easy looks for each other in the absence of a go-to scorer.
While the team is looking good, there are many troubling signs, albeit expected. Without Derrick Rose in the lineup, Chicago is forced to live and die by the jump shot. In the first two games, Rip Hamilton and Carlos Boozer were able to knock down their jumpers and get good looks. In the third game, the Bulls got good shots, but did not knock them down. There is not a single player who really has the ability to create their own shot at a high level on this roster. Because of that, the Bulls will be exceedingly inconsistent on the offensive end of the floor.
The Chicago Bulls are still talented enough that their defense and hot shooting can lead to victories over any team in the NBA. However until Derrick Rose comes back, Chicago will have trouble scoring consistently, and can lose to any team in the league on any given day. When Rose comes back, this team could be a team that no one wants to play in the playoffs.