DE Sports Blog: How the Bulls can bounce the Celtics next year

By Gus Bode

As much fun as the Bulls-Celtics playoff series was, I feel as if it would have been more fun had the games not been spread over a three week span.’ The NBA’ needs to go back to five-game first-round series or needs to not take a week off between games.

On to the fun.

The Chicago Bulls and their fans must have been shocked when they won the draft lottery and the rights to choose Derrick Rose.’ In turn, the Buls shocked the world by making it to the playoffs.’ But it shouldn’t end here.


As a life-long Chicagoan and Chicago sports fan, I’ve learned that management suscribes to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ theory.’ Unfortunately, that has led to disaster when mediocre teams out perform expectations and improvements are not made.’ I contest that the best thing to happen to the Bears last season was that choke-job effort against the defensively putrid Houston Texans.’ Had the Bears made the playoffs, there would have not likely been a sense of urgency that has been seen this offseason.

Jay Cutler would have just been a whisper, a pipe-dream, a ‘golly, wish that could happen here’ kind of deal.

Instead, Bears GM’ Jerry Angelo realized the team needed to take the next step and got the best available player on the market.’ Now, that’s what the Bulls need to do.

It’s time to take the next step.

The first step is for GM’ John Paxson to call head coach Vinny’ Del Negro into his office and have him stand on the spot on the floor where the trap door is located and make him disappear.’ If not for the misuse of time outs, or the inability for Del’ Negro to make arrangements on the fly (especially when it came to guarding Paul Pierce or Ray Allen), one could argue that it should be the Bulls taking on the Orlando Magic.

Instead, the Bulls’ season is over.

So this is where I’ll make my plea for the Bulls to give former Mavs head coach (and current ESPN’ analyst) Avery Johnson a blank check.’ He was the best man for the job last year when it was open and will be this year.’ Chicago isn’t a place where rookie coaches get their feet wet.’ Not in the third biggest media market.’ Not for a franchise that won 6 titles in the 1990s.


Then, the Bulls need to take Luol Deng’s contract and have it transfered to Ben Gordon’s account.’ Unlike Deng, Gordon has proved to be worthy of this up-tempo, high-scoring offense.’ Sure, he’s undersized and he isn’t the world’s best defender … but you can’t win if you don’t score … and Gordon knows how to score.

Deng proved nothing to me, other than he was a waste of space on the court and even more of a waste on the sideline as he became his own little sideshow as he tried desperately to find a doctor that agreed he was too injured to play ball.

The former first-round pick has no use in this offense.’ He can’t shoot the 3-ball and he can’t drive to the hoop. ‘ Sure, he’s athletic and lanky but all he can do is hit mid-range jumpers … sometimes.’ The Bulls already have that in Tyrus Thomas.’ And Thomas plays defense … evidenced by the dozens of blocked shots and rebounds he collected in his limited minutes.

The Bulls finally found a use out of Joakim Noah, who looked a lot like Tyson Chandler (circa 2008) whenever D-Rose found him on the open break.’ And that monster dunk over Paul Pierce made me think he finally turned the page.

Now, if the Bulls can find an inside low-post scorer (Carlos Boozer anyone?) then Chicago might have a title contender for years to come.

Or, if none of that happens, the Chi will be treated to another .500 team with the potential for more, but the unwillingness to make it happen.