The Bulls recent 102-91 victory against the Pistons at the United Center produced a sneak preview into what kind of team the Bulls could be as they work to live up to those pre-season predictions of a possible eastern conference crown.
The Bulls starters were finally together for one of the few times in this young season and the results were impressive as the team displayed their new found offensive potential spearheaded by Derrick Rose. Utilizing his considerable speed Rose controlled the pace of the game and repeatedly penetrated the pistons defense for passes to his teammates.
As Pau Gasol said to Sam Smith, “It was great to have everyone, a full roster on the floor, available and healthy. Now we’ve just got to keep it that way. It’s great to have (Rose) on the floor, difference maker, very explosive, gets to the hole. He’s a key player for us. “
Joakim Noah added “ Derrick’s a hell of a player.” “ To have your best player on the court, floor general, means a lot. When he’s out on the court, he demands so much attention it opens up a lot of easy opportunities for everyone else.”
It seems like Rose put his time off to good use. One refreshing trait is Derrick’s ability to drive, elevate and find teammates with what seem to be laser shots. Few NBA point guards throw cross court passes off penetration and It’s a coaching adage in some circles that one should not leave ones feet to complete a pass. Derrick however, and he showed signs during the World Cup that he has added a number of new passes that are delivered with a crispness that on occasion catch his teammates off guard.
Unlike the San Antonio Spurs who on offense rely on ball movement only after a one dribble slash into the crease the Bulls will have the added advantage of seasoned play maker who is just about impossible to keep out of the lane.
When you throw in his speed and decisions on the fast break the Bulls will benefit greatly on offense as the season progresses.
Joakim Noah had his best outing so far this season scoring 13 points with 14 boards and showing the grit and mobility that he is known for. Noah’s start to the season was tough as he had to overcome off- season knee surgery along with the finding of his place in an offense featuring Pau Gasol who does just about everything better than Noah with the possible exception of Noah’s heart and incredible defensive footwork.
If players were cars then Noah would be a Camaro SS to Gasol’s Jaguar. Paired with Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic, The Bulls have what makings of the best front line in the league.
Albeit Detroit is an improved team under new team president and coach Stan Van Gundy but the Bulls served them and now it’s on to The great north and the Raptors.