Blogtable: A crystal ball for Chicago

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Loving the Cup | The Bulls’ future | A landing spot for Ray Allen

Derrick Rose is averaging 5.7 points in 19 minutes a game at the World Cup. (David Dow/NBAE)

Derrick Rose is averaging 5.7 points in 19 minutes a game at the World Cup. (David Dow/NBAE)

> Pau Gasol has played well in the World Cup. Derrick Rose … ehhhh. Thoughts on the Bulls this season if this is how Gasol and Rose look?

Fran Blinebury, Check your calendar, oh mighty Blogmaster.  Maybe I would be a little worried if it weren’t still summer.  I said in last week’s blogtable that Rose was the player that needed the World Cup most.  To get on the court, start to get his game legs back and just log minutes.  Anybody who expected a whole lot more in Spain has been hitting the sangria too hard.

Jeff Caplan, I’m not going to judge Derrick Rose by his play in the World Cup. Back during Team USA training camp he was blowing people away. He shouldn’t be in midseason form. Save that for midseason. As for Pau, I’ve been predicting a really healthy year for him, physically and especially mentally, having escaped from the drudgery that had become playing for the Lakers. In the East, the Bulls will be just fine. Still, it will take time for Rose to not only figure out himself, but also his team after so much time off.

John Schuhmann, Cleveland has a new roster and a new coach, so I thought the Bulls were bound for a better start, which could ultimately lead to a No. 1 seed. But Rose’s struggles have me tempering those thoughts. The key, though, is to play Thibodeau defense and have Rose playing his best in April and May. That’s certainly still a possibility. Even with Rose taking his time to get to full strength, the additions of Gasol and Doug McDermott, the offense shouldn’t rank in the bottom five again.

Sekou Smith, Well, if Pau plays like 2009-10 Pau and Rose plays like 2013-14 Rose, then Chicago … we have a problem. Rose is shaking off the rust, as expected. So I certainly don’t expect to take much of anything away from the limited National Team minutes he’s playing here. Things will change dramatically for him when he gets back to Chicago. Pau has reminded many of us why he is so highly thought of by coaches and executives around the league. If he’s back to being this Pau, the super-skilled low-post force that he can be, the Bulls have every reason to expect to be a true contender.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: If the way they’ve played through a handful of games is exactly how they would look all season, I’d say they would be OK this season, because no matter what seems to happen in Chicago, the Bulls always manage to turn out at least OK. But let’s be frank: This is not how these guys will look all season, particularly Rose. He’s working his way back from a long absence, and part of that journey back means taking some lumps along the way. He’s coming off the bench for USA Basketball, playing limited minutes, essentially using a high-level international competition as rehab. Meanwhile, Pau, loosed from all the different systems and coaches and changes in LA the last few years, is back to being able to play the kind of ball he likes to play. Overall, if I’m a Bulls fan, I’m encouraged.


  1. Someone says:

    Bulls are good but there are many question marks. Pau’s health/age, Rose’s recovery, Mirotic’s softness, McDermott’s rookie-ness etc. They can win the east in a best case scenario but who knows what will happen

  2. Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing work.

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  3. bullysix says:

    Speculation is going to be a big deal with about Rose until everything clicks. Until that happens we will read/ hear a lot of chatter about him and his game. Right now we are hearing constant harping about his play in the FIBA tourney. All you nay sayers just wait until tbe NBA season starts. Most intelligent fans rather wait for the season than to speculate about everything he does. Probably got fans out there who are complaining about how he uses the toliet.

  4. And I think Pau Gasol has a couple of good years left in him. Last year he was great in fantasy and that was playing for a coach whom he had huge disagreements with. This year he is playing with a coach who’s philosophy he embraces, with a slower defensively strong minded team, and an offense that likes to move the ball into the low and high post.

  5. This will be the first full season that we actually see Derrick Rose play against Kyrie Irving in four full games (knock on wood and barring any injuries). This could prove who is the best pg in the league and perhaps the EC champ. Much in the same way that CP3 and DWill ware competing 5 years ago.

    • Kid M says:

      Are you nuts? I mean, Kyrie is good and all, but he’s far away from being the best PG right now. Couldn’t even bring his team to a winning record last season, in the Eastern Conference! And I don’t expect Rose to be back in his MVP form, not after those injuries and being out for that long. CP3 is a much better PG than both of them and could potentially be on the MVP race by the end of the season as he usually is.

    • Dunha says:

      Irving is a better version of Lin, good offense horrible D. Curry, Wall and Parker are better than both Irving and Rose, right now.

  6. harriethehawk says:

    I’m not a Bulls fan, but I think they will have a very promising season. Barring any injuries or chemistry issues, I see them anywhere from1-3 in seeding. I still think they will be competing with the Hawks and not Cleveland. I’m sorry, Cleveland, barring chemistry issues, has got the Leastern Conference wrapped up in a pretty red bow.

  7. Butler, Gibson and Snell seem to be really important for the Bulls success this year too. As good as Butler and Gibson have been in the last 3 years – and they’ve been pretty good – they have yet to make a big leap.

    I think fans love the grit and the skill that both these guys bring day in and day out, but fans also have loved the potential for improvement these guys show. You can only love potential for so long, right?

    Would you agree that Gibson and Butler and second-year Snell can each take a significant step forward. If one of them does makes that big step, the Bulls can be a #1 or 2 seed.

    It’s not going to be ALL about Rose and/or Gasol, is it?

  8. mcmaximus says:

    I’m ride or die Bulls, but who concerns me the most is Kyrie Irving from the Cavs. A lot has been mentioned on how good LeBron and Love will be, but Irving is really benefiting from playing with Team USA. He’s finally playing defense, and his outside shooting looks to be improved. I can see him being in the MVP race next season even with LeBron and K. Love on the same team.
    If the Bulls are to win it all Coach Thibs will have to dig deep into his roster, and play the whole team. Thibodeau has a tendency to go all out with his starters early in the regular season and come April they are exhausted trying to defend the same team in a 7 game playoff series. The Bulls must go 10 deep with the 2nd unit getting more playing time than ever before. If the Bulls win it all, it’ll be up to Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler to develop into prime NBA players throughout the season.

  9. KET says:

    Chicago will be just fine Rose can take his time back even when he returns. The coach will probably give him around 30 to 33 minutes a game and in my opinion after 20 games he will be back to the rose that we know. Pau has always been a great professional, I think having a great defensive center in Noah will help him transition into the team with ease.