The 2016-2017 Bulls Experiment

The 2016-2017 Bulls Experiment

The Chicago Bulls had a disappointing season last year and there's a few reasons why that happened.  Fred Hoiberg was brought in to coach after Tom Thibodeau left for Minnesota to coach the up & coming Timberwolves.  Hoiberg coached at Iowa State & designed a fast paced offense that took some time for the Bulls to get used to since they were a defense-first team under Thibodeau.  When a coach begins with a new team, they don't always click right away until they get a feel for each other.  Coach Hoiberg's first year didn't pan out the way we hoped so fans are chalking it up as a period of adjustment.  Their second issue was Derrick Rose not returning to form the way everyone expected after having 2 separate knee surgeries in consecutive years.  Injuries are very common in the NBA and can end a players season or even their career if it's serious enough.  Joakim Noah was sidelined with a shoulder injury for almost the entire 2015-2016 season and missed several games in past years due to various afflictions.  Over the summer, the Bulls traded Derrick Rose & let Joakim Noah go with hopes of putting their major injury concerns behind them.  Unfortunately the team now has 6 players who have gone through significant knee surgeries which could lead to missed games from key players later this season.
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"The 3 alpha's" Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo & Dwyane Wade look on from the bench late in the game in Brooklyn on October 31. The Bulls dominated the Nets 118-88. Image source: fansided.com

The Bulls made some moves during the offseason, they added Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant, drafted Denzel Valentine & recently traded Tony Snell to the Bucks for 2013-2014 rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams.  On the flip side, they lost Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Mike Dunleavy, E'Twaun Moore and Aaron Brooks.  There's been a lot of intrigue & curiosity about the newcomers, like how much Dwyane Wade has left in the tank for his age (34), can Rondo regain his form that won him a championship in Boston, and most importantly, can the new players coexist & not butt heads with each other?  It's hard to tell when Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo & Jimmy Butler all thrive when the ball is in their hands.  An early concern during the preseason was lack of outside shooting & how the Bulls would space the floor.  Through the first few games of the season, D-Wade has stepped up to become a threat from 3-point range & joins Doug McDermott & Nikola Mirotic among the team's best.  Through the first 3 games, the Bulls are 3-0 for the first time since the 1996-1997 season.
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Dwyane Wade finds his outside shot during the first game of the season against the Celtics on Oct 27 at the United Center. Image source: Getty Images

The concoction of new players to this year's roster is interesting & has a lot of fans wondering if the experiment can work.  Will the "3 alpha's" (Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade & Rajon Rondo) play off each other effectively enough to make the playoffs?  Only time will tell, but they have played extremely well to start the season & you can expect to see a lot of exciting match-ups against some tough teams.  Grab your seats from Gold Coast by clicking here & catch all the action live!
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