Blog Entry

The Chicago Jazz.

Posted on: July 16, 2010 9:31 pm
          Well most people understand that the city of Chicago is world renowned for it's love of Jazz music and the city is still a jazz hot spot in America, but this is not the jazz I am referring to. I am pointing to the fact that the Bulls three free agent signings this offseason have all come from the Utah Jazz. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of a team name swap between the Bulls and Jazz. I mean there has to be far more cows in Utah then in the city of Chicago right? I digress. The real point of this thread is to look at the moves the Bulls have made and determine their place in the east.

Carlos Boozer. It seems pretty clear to most fans and experts alike that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh planned on playing with eachother from the get go. The only real question was were it was going to happen and in the end that place was the Miami Heat. That being the case the Bulls' management has made all the right moves with what was left. I am on record for liking David Lee for the Bulls over Carlos Boozer mainly because I felt that Lee would come cheaper. I was wrong. Boozer ended up being the cheaper option and in many ways the better fit. The Bulls have been lacking a back to the basket scorer since Elton Brand was traded away ten years ago. To be a contender a team must have an inside out game. Just about every championship team in history had a playmaker/outside scorer coupled with a scoring bigman. You will be hard pressed to find a historic team that lacked one of those two. The Chicago Bulls of the 90's are clearly the only dynasty to lack a star bigman. Boozer gives the Bulls one of the best offensive bigman in the game today and when I say offensive I do not just mean scoring. Boozer is one of the best passing bigman in the game and he is also one of the best at running the pick and roll and the pick and pop. He also knows were to be to grab offensive rebounds and he is also good for setting a solid pick. His defense is average but is better then Amar'e Stoudemire's or Chris Bosh's. He is a hustler and a perfect fit to play alongside Joakim Noah.
          The real deal with Boozer however is his back to the basket game and his ability to draw the double team. The Bulls have never really had a post player on the level of Boozer that can draw the double team. Now imagine the decisions defenders will have to make. Rose demanded the double team on the perimeter just about everytime he touched the ball last season. Infact, in the playoffs the Cavaliers ended up putting LeBron on Rose but he still averaged 27 points per game. Now teams will have to worry about throwing the double on Rose because Boozer is so good at finishing around the basket they will risk getting scored on in the paint with a simple bounce pass from Rose. Last season the Bulls did not have this. Defenders could rotate off their man to slow down Rose. What happens if Rose drives? Nothing good for other teams for sure. Again boozer gives Rose that inside scorer to pass to when team colapse on him. Lastly, with regards to the Rose/Boozer paring, the PnR and PnP game between Rose and Boozer will be one of the best in the league. Rose shoots a high level jumper from inside 18 and word is he has worked on his three point shooting all summer and is said to have gotton it nailed down. Boozer is also a very good jump shooter as well. This will be the bread and butter for the Bulls this season and should be a nightmare for opposing teams.
          The pairing of Joakim Noah and Boozer is also one of the better combos in the paint in the NBA. In some ways they are like oil and water in regards to the style of play but together they are a perfect match. The Bulls led the league last season in rebounding and now have added Boozer so it is likely they will reclaim mark this season as well. Noah is the ultimate team hustle player and while his jump shot and scoring in general is below average he excels at everything else. He is a top rebounder and shot blocker and is one of the nastiest post defenders in the game. Boozer may be a good rebounder but he is not a shot blocker of a great defender. Noah will be right there to put back Boozer's missed shots or take the pass from Boozer if he gets the double team. Both Noah and Boozer have high basketball IQs and both can handle the ball and make the pass. In my eyes they are a great match.
         Boozer's effect will be felt beyond just Rose and Noah. Luol Deng and the other shooters will benefit from Boozer drawing defenders into the paint and they will surly be on the receiving end of many passes from Boozer for open looks.
           Kyle Korver
. I understand that this is not a sexy signing. Nothing really looks that sexy after the moves that the Heat made but it filled another big need for the Bulls. Last season the Bulls lacked a player that could hit from beyond the arc. With Ben Gordon gone so was the threat from downtown. Teams were able to colapse on Rose when he drove the lane and they were able to play loose defense in general on the perimeter. Korver will come off the bench but should still see big mintutes. About 25 minutes a game. He will play behind Deng and Brewer and will give the Bulls instant offense off the bench. Korver is a bit one dimensional and is known mainly for his great shooting ability but he is a solid passer and can grad a few rebounds. His defense is a bit below average but is not bad. He was not signed to defend he was signed to hit big shots in close games and he will do just that.

          Ronnie Brewer
. Well the Bulls did not get their first choice which was the Magic's J.J. Reddick, but in many ways Brewer might be the better longterm choice and he came quite a bit cheaper at nearly 8 million less over three years. The Bulls really wanted to add a shooting guard that could shoot from beyond the arc and Brewer is clearly not the player, but he is still a great fit. Two years ago many thought Brewer was going to become a star in this league. Maybe not a superstar but many felt he could average near 20 points a game. However he got injured last season but is back in shape and he offers the Bulls an athletic and big shooting guard that can both drive and finish and control the ball. He is able to run the offense as well as play off the ball and he could be an intersting fit with Rose if Rose's three point shooting is as good as people are saying it is now. Brewer can at times run the offense and in turn make Rose the off guard. Brewer's drive to the hoop will draw defenders and he can simple kick it to Rose who could either shoot the jumper of take teams off guard by driving himself. The bottomline is that Brewer may indeed offer the Bulls more options on offense then Reddick would have and Brewer is a better defender then Reddick to boot. It has been quite some time since the Bulls had a shooting guard that could dunk the ball with little effort. Gordon rarely did and I am not sure if I ever saw Kirk Hinrich do it so that should be fun to watch for a change.

          More signings to come. The Bulls are not done making moves. They are talking with Brad Miller right now about him resigning and they are saif to be looking at both Matt Barnes and a backup Point Guard. The Bulls will certainly add two more solid roleplayers to this team making them one of the deepest teams in the league. I unterstand that depth can often be over-rated and that teams need superstars to be elite, but Boozer is clearly a star and Rose is on pace to have a breakout season and become a superstar. Last season he ranked 14th overall in points per game and I only see his scoring and assist numbers going up this year with a complete team around him. The Bulls also signed Turkish center Omer Asik. If the Bulls resign Brad Miller I am sure we will see very little of him on the floor, but I have watched a bit of tape on this guy and he looks like he could be useful for a few solid minutes each game. He has length and is a good shot blocker and has some solid post moves but he is really just a project and I do not have high hopes that he will ever be a true contributor to this team.

          So were do these moves put the Bulls in the east
? Not really an easy question. Most have the Heat going to the Finals as they seem to be adding solid roleplayers around the big three. I would not count out the Celtics or the Magic either. I think the Bulls fall in place with those 2. I think they could compete with any of them in the playoffs but the Heat seem to be the team to beat. The Celtics are aging and may fall down a few notches this season but I thought the same thing last summer so I will hold my tongue on that one. The Magic have not made any real moves so I am not so sure they will make it out of the east. The bottomline is that the Bulls have a shot and are a true contender for the first time since MJ left town.

Here is how I see the playoff seedings looking like next season in the east.

1. Heat (62 wins)
2. Magic (56 wins)
3. Bulls (51 wins)
4. Celtics (49 wins)
5. Bucks (48 wins)
6. Hawks (46 wins)
7. Bobcats (43 wins)
8. Knicks (41 wins)

Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: August 11, 2010 5:36 am

The Chicago Jazz.

The Bulls might have missed the boat on Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, David Lee and Chris Bosh, but what they brought in was solid. 

Carlos Boozer isn't getting any younger, but he'll be a help down low. 

Kyle Korver knows he won't be getting huge mins., but he'll help to stretch the defense when he's out there.  This pickup could help more than it seems.

Ronnie Brewer could still become more of an impact player.  Like you pointed out, people thought he might become a superstar, and he's young enough that he could still surprise people and step his game up now that he's in Chicago.

Not getting T-Mac might be the best move the Bulls made during the offseason.  With all of his injuries over the last few seasons with the Rockets he's bound to have more now that he's with the Pistons.  Good to see he won't be playing his home games at the United Center.

Taking the East is a lot to ask out this team.  The Celtics have expearience, the Heat are stacked, and the Magic aren't that far off of their own trip to the finals.  Even the Hawks could surprise people.  Chicago should take the division easily.  Getting out of the second round won't be easy come next spring.  Four other tough teams to get by, one of the five won't be getting out of the first.  Right now that should be Atlanta, but a lot moves could be made between now and the trade deadline.

Since: May 17, 2009
Posted on: August 3, 2010 5:59 pm

The Chicago Jazz.

Hey Cliff, Nice entry.

At least I know my Jazz had a solid team if everyone wants their players, lol...

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2010 9:51 pm

The Chicago Jazz.

Good blogpost ChiTown.  I'm with you on the Bulls front office.
I would have liked JJ Redick (which they tried and made a good offer) or maybe a stronger push for A. Morrow, but when it's all said and done, they did what they could.
The latest on the rumormill is that LBJ didn't like that Derrick Rose never "reached out" to him.  Oh well.  I would have been happy
with LeBron - no doubt.  Could have made us the Eastern Conference favorites.  But at the same time (and I've said this on other boards)
Chicago does not want a prima donna - and we don't want someone who wants us to beg for him (anybody notice that there were no parades for LBJ and Wade in Chicago???).  They would prefer the blue collar attitude of a Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.  These guys are going
to be fan faves this year. 

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: July 19, 2010 9:41 pm

The Chicago Jazz.


Thanks for the nice reply buddy, I can not wait for this season to begin. I really like the overall feel of this team. The Bulls depth is great and they are not even done yet. They will certainly add another big and a backup PG for Rose. All things considered the Bulls brass did a fine job this offseason. It will be interesting to see how Ronnie Brewer works out. I just wish he was a better shooter. I guess we will see.

Just so you know I am going to do the Best/Worst case senario Threads/blogs again this offseason like I did last year. I was pretty close on a few of my prediction and I will be intersting to see if I can predict this season and I love to hear what you and others think will happen. So keep an eye out for those.

Take care.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2010 3:36 pm

The Chicago Jazz.

From what i've seen, he looks a bit like Noah in terms of style of game, more a finisher, rebounder and shot blocker. I am very interested to find out how much heart he has. If he is anything close to Noah in that respect, the Bulls had an absolute STEAL in the 2008 draft, not to mention in the second rd.

I want to see how the second unit gels as team mates, as most NBA teams with high salary 1st team units tend to drop off talent wise on the bench.

I believe if this Asik kid has some offense and defense, that the bench will be deep. The Bulls can then rotate in fresh legs and force opposing teams into trying to keep up with them.

One point i want to make is that although the 5 likely starters the Bulls will put on the court will try to hold thier own against the Miami's, Orlando's and Celtic's starting 5, thier bench will be an advantage.

This team is becoming very deep.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2010 1:24 pm

The Chicago Jazz.

Omer Asik is a good player overseas and is a real 7 footer with size and is athletic. He is not your typical long range shooting bigman from europe. He is a shot blocker and rebouder whose offensive game is in the paint. He needs to work on his quickness and strength but he looks like he could become a solid roleplayer in the NBA. Here are a couple of links with details on him.

He also had a game were he had 19 blocked shots. The guy has skills but I want to see him playing against NBA talent before I get too excited.

Since: May 29, 2008
Posted on: July 17, 2010 5:24 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: July 17, 2010 9:53 am

The Chicago Jazz.

As a Jazz fan, I will miss these three. Boozer took a lot of heat here in Utah with his attitude, but he brought his A game every time he was on the court. Brewer and Korver are fan favorites because of their hustle and, well, they are just great guys. Add them to a great point guard, Turkish center, solid PF and wings off the bench and you have an eerily similar team to what we've been watching for years.

With that said, I can confidently predict what you will have this year in Chicago. You will have three new players that will miss a total of 1/3 of the season because of injury. You will border on 50 wins. You will get out of the first round of the playoffs. A very good team. The problem is that Chicago will want a great team.

Best of luck this season. We will be watching with an interest in Utah.

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