|2011-12 Team Rating|
|2nd Overall||2nd Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
Luol Deng gives the Bulls a legit second All-Star, a duct tape player for Thibodeau. Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer have clicked lately, finally learning to work high-low together.
Blame it on the injuries, not the results. Bulls fans are aching for Derrick Rose (back) and Rip Hamilton (thigh) to log long minutes together. Ronnie Brewer started strong, has dipped of late.
They're 20-5 holding teams under 100, 12-0 when the other guys score less than 85. C'mon, this is Thibodeau ball.
Taj Gibson has been a lonely helpful big (Kurt Thomas is gone, Omer Asik has been off). But depth has been evident everywhere else, especially going four (!) point guards deep when needed.
The Bulls haven't lost two games in a row since Feb. 5-7, 2011. Biggest blemish: 5-5 mark heading through last week vs. .500+ teams.
Chicago had its preferred starting lineup for just five of its first 32 games, thanks to injuries to Rose, Deng and Hamilton. It has kept winning, so it's hard to quibble, and most of the hand-wringing in town is being done in fear of future games, not troubling performances past.
Last spring the Bulls craved more potent offensive options but Hamilton hasn't stayed on the court long enough to even know if he's capable in that role. With Rose's game limited by his aching back, no one in or outside the locker room feels secure about getting out of the East.
-- Steve Aschburner
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|