The Chicago Bulls will be vastly improved from last year’s disappointing first round exit in the playoffs. With the recovery of Derrick Rose going smoothly (so far) and the signing of free agent power forward Pau Gasol, the Bulls will be legitimate contenders in the East this year. Still, I am not convinced at this point they have enough to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy.
As we know, the Bulls’ hopes and dreams ride on the shoulders of D-Rose. They go as he goes, but as we saw three years ago when the Bulls lost to Miami in the playoffs, Rose can only take Chicago so far. He needs a strong supporting cast if the red and white want to be considered as serious title contenders. Although the addition of Gasol is a vast improvement over Carlos Boozer, the Bulls still have several holes on their roster.
First, the small forward position is a major weak spot on this team. Whether it is Mike Dunleavy Jr. or Doug McDermott, neither one should be considered a starting small forward on a title contending team. Both players are offensively minded and struggle to defend anybody. This is going to be a major problem when the Bulls face teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James.
Chicago’s bench is nothing to write home about either and is lacking in several positions. After Taj Gibson, Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich, their bench is filled with lowly veterans such as Mike James and Nazr Mohammed, as well as relatively unknowns like McDermott, Nikola Mirotic and Tony Snell.
If the Bulls want to be serious title contenders in 2014-15, they are going to need to sure up their squad through smart trades and free agent signings. Right now they are good, but not good enough.