It may only be August, but it’s never too early to amp up your Bulls knowledge, particularly after a turbulent off-season like this. The theme of this year’s off-season has definitely been “out with the old, in with the new” – bench that is. After the Bulls brass changed up the roster quite a bit through a series of trades during NBA Free Agency, we’re going to have some new names and faces to get to know. Old faces like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are still around to provide us with some dunks, but the Bulls’ beloved bench mob is essentially gone. Check out who’s in and who’s out!
Yea that’s something to celebrate! If you missed it, PLEASE indulge as C.J. Watson sinks a game tying three point shot and sends the Bulls into their overtime win against the Miami Heat, 96-86.
God it feels good to beat the Heat (like I played in the game). Most importantly, the stars of the game were not the Bulls starting five, but rather the reserves. Our ever popularBench Mobreally gave it to Miami last night. Between Watson stepping in for a struggling Derrick Rose (if you can believe it, Rose had 2 points), Kyle Korver sinking 3-point bombs, Taj Gibson attacking all over the court, Omer Asik man-handling the boards, and we can’t forget about Luol Deng (yes, I know he’s a starter, but Coach Thibs showed his finesse and reworked the players quite nicely last night), the Bulls showed their depth alright.
So here’s the deal, the Bulls worked their magic last night, but we’re going to need superstar performances from our reigning MVP come playoff time. He has seven games left in the regular season to get his groove back. The next three games are against the Pistons, the Wizards and the Bobcats. To say it nicely, they’re not going anywhere this season, so this is the perfect opportunity for Rose to find his explosiveness. After those three games, if he’s still struggling, then I’m going to get worried.
Looks like Ronnie Brewer did his homework this off season. Six (seven depending what time you read this) games into his second year with the Chicago Bulls, it is apparent Brewer has developed a little more than just a consistent jump shot during the NBA lock-out. The man has some serious confidence so far this season.
The Bulls bench or “bench mob” is solid, with back ups like Taj Gibson and C.J. Watson (pre-elbow injury), but Brewer has stood out from the rest of the second unit. Unlike last year, Brewer is healthy and in shape – able to maximize on his shooting game. In Sunday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Brewer had 17 points while starting in place of an injured Richard Hamilton. Never considered a strong offensive player, mostly due to his strange shooting form, Brewer has always been a long-armed solid rock to the Bulls’ defense with excellent court vision, able to create turnovers and guard any opponents.
After the Bulls acquired Hamilton as a starting two guard, one can only imagine it was a bit of a shot to Ronnie’s ego, as he wasn’t going to be the Bulls starter. However, I think he used this situation as motivation. Yes it’s early in the season, and he hasn’t done anything miraculous, but I think we can expect much more out of Brewer offensively this season. He is taking the lead as the boss of the “bench mob” and in a season with a crazy number of back-to-back games, his strength/consistency will be key to the team’s success. And now with early season injuries to Hamilton and Watson, I expect his minutes to increase resulting in more shot attempts and ultimately making more baskets, which will only boost his confidence more.
Brewer told ESPN, “Playing with D-Rose and the level of defense [coach Tom Thibodeau] preaches, it kind of takes a little getting used to. This year was a little different. I came in in a lot better shape. Healthy, working on my shot and just been playing with a lot of confidence so far.” Get after it Ronnie B, Chicago is loving the new you.