Chicago Bulls' 'To Do' List

It has been about two months since the Chicago Bulls season ended at the hands of Miami’s ‘Big Three’.  Losing in the playoffs always hurts for a while but losing to Lebron James and the hated Miami Heat made the Eastern Conference finals even harder to swallow.  Then to make things worse, rumors that were being ignored were finally confirmed when the lockout began leaving fans clueless as to when basketball might be played again.

So while some players like Deron Williams are starting to agree to play elsewhere, I have decided to give a ‘to-do’ list to keep each of the players on the Chicago Bulls busy and to improve for next season (whenever that is) to help me get over the playoff loss.


In Alphabetical Order

Omer Asik:

Despite 2.8 ppg last year, Omer was huge off the bench.  It was his rookie season and he showed no fear on defense.  The seven-foot ‘Turkish Hammer’ is exactly what you ask for from a bench player and fit perfectly in Coach Thibodeau’s system of defense first.  Since last season was his first, he has a lot of opportunity to improve.


He is so strong on defense, he needs to translate that to offense.  There are so few true centers in this era in the NBA.  Due to the success of finesse-styled forwards like Pau Gasol and Chris Bosh, the art of the true center has been almost forgotten about.  If Asik, listed at seven feet tall, were to utilize his height and learn some serious post up skills like Dwight Howard or players of the past like Shaq, he would get more minutes and he would turn into a high valued bench player and possibly become a missing factor due to the fact that Noah is more of a power forward than a center.


Keith Bogans:

Watching Bogans last year made me want to pull my hair out.  The starting shooting guard had one of the worst Player Efficiency Ratings in the league last year at 9.02 according to  Thibodeau plays him because of his defensive skills and because Brewer had leg problems.  To Bogans’ credit, he will give any opposing shooting guard in the league a headache but he seems lost on offense.  With the point-scoring of Rose, it would be difficult for most shooting guards to really establish a scoring role, but Bogans is a shooting guard that cannot shoot or create anything for himself.  The bulls need a SG that can atleast average double digits and Bogans is not getting that done.


Ask Korver how to shoot.  A shooting guard should be able to hit an open three…Bogans cannot.

Ask Rose how to create offensively.


Carlos Boozer:

It is going to take a lot for me to get over Boozer’s performance during the playoffs.  He was so off that some games he probably would have served the team better if he just did not play.  Now that I have that out of my system, I can say that he did pretty well during the season considering his extended time off due to injury and I expect better numbers baring another injury.


Boozer is listed at six feet nine inches tall but I think he was given an inch or so because of his position. He has pretty good post up skills but a lot of times he will be outsized.  He has a pretty good midrange shot and I would tell him to keep working on that and develop more of a finesse game for the times when he is being defended by someone bigger.  Then most importantly, he needs to gain his confidence back and quite what they call “statue defense” where he doesn’t move his feet.  He is being paid $16 million per year for a reason.  Boozer needs to be the go-to guy when Rose is being double-teamed or is having an off night.


Ronnie Brewer:

Brewer is another one of the role players that fit well last season because of his agility and defense.  He is very athletic and I would prefer Thibodeau start him over Bogans.  Brewer isn’t the shooting guard a lot of people are hoping for but as far as productivity goes, he’s at least as good as Bogans at defense and better on offense.


Similar to Bogans, Brewer is not a strong shooter.  He should do what Rose did last offseason.  He should find a shooting coach for the rest of the summer, find an open gym and shoot.


Luol Deng:

Deng has such a well-balanced game. He is one of the most underrated defenders in the NBA right now.  He also averages over 17 ppg which is exactly what you’d hope from him.   He is very versatile in the fact that he can shoot the three and is also one of the few players on the team that can create his own plays.


I’m not quite sure if this is for him or something I should put for Thibodeau ‘s game plan but I really think he should be the team’s number two weapon.  During the first round of the playoffs against the Pacers, Rose sprained his ankle.  Rose started settling for jump shots and he was not making them.  The Bulls struggled then because they had no one else to depend on.  If Luol gained some confidence, he has the skill, size and athleticism to be the next go to guy and lead the team when Rose can’t.

Taj Gibson

Gibson is full of potential and athleticism.  He was dealing with depression due to the loss of three of his friends before the season began and the loss of his grandfather in February and still was a big player coming off the bench.  Also when Boozer was injured, Gibson really filled in well.  He was another player that the bulls went to when they needed defense and he delivered.  His numbers aren’t too impressive but if you look at some breakout games like when he scored 17 with 18 rebounds against Dallas, you can tell he has the potential to be a very good player.


If Gibson keeps improving then Bulls fans will start to want Boozer traded even more; especially since Gibson is a much better defender.  I have no idea how Gibson’s depression affected his court play and I have all the respect for him for how he handled it and how he played through it.  If Gibson can get stronger and develop a midrange shot, and combine that with his athleticism and intensity then the Bulls might have the best bench in the league.


Kyle Korver

As most 3-point shooters are, Korver was very streaky during the season.  He shot over 42% from 3-point range this year, which is great when you need someone to make some threes in a tight situation.  When you think of that and the fact that he normally shoots over 50%, you would think he should start…then you see him defensively and you reconsider.  Also, he cannot create anything for himself offensively.


Stay confident and find an open gym and just work on footwork.  He needs to be able to move his feet laterally on defense.  It will help a lot for defense and a little on creating on offense.



His season was set back and his numbers were off because of his and injury and he wasn’t very effective in the playoffs.  He should be a averaging a double-double and after his injury he couldn’t get it done.  However he is still secretly one of the most important players on the Bulls due to his energy and hustle.  His defense and rebounds are still unbelievably important.


Every year Noah has come back stronger.  His to do list is to continue to get stronger and continue his intensity.  He needs to work with Boozer too so the Bulls’ play in the paint can take some pressure off of Rose.  His attitude is key to the Bulls’ success.  He is going to be playing in France soon, which could be good to maybe develop different style of post play and improve his offense which would be awesome since his scoring was lower than expected.


Derrick Rose

There was so much argument this year over who deserved to be MVP.  I could give a whole article as to why Rose deserved it but it’s too late for that.  Derrick Rose became the youngest MVP ever by receiving the award last season.  So you would think he doesn’t need a to-do list.  But until his shooting percentage is 100%, he can still improve.  It is easy to wonder what would have happened in the playoffs had he not injured his ankle against the Pacers.  Whether he admits it or not, it affected his play.  He was settling for jump shots and was not confident driving the lane.


Rest.  Due to the injuries of Noah and Boozer, there was significant time during the season when Rose had little scoring support beyond Luol Deng.  He even admitted after the season was over that he was running out of gas during the playoffs.  Rose put too much pressure on himself.  He needs to continue to work on his shot a bit more and keep his confidence.  Next season I expect Rose to be just as electric while being a little more efficient during games and throughout the season so when playoff times comes around, he will have enough energy.

C.J. Watson

Watson’s season was very underrated.  He did so well coming off the bench for Rose.  He is one of the most consistent backups in the league.  At times he tried to do too much but he did everything you could ask from a backup PG.  He is a huge reason why the Bull’s bench is one of the best in the league.



Watson is pretty well rounded.  He can shoot and he works the offense well.  (I have an idea where he starts at PG and put rose at the SG position because by definition the PG shouldn’t really be the leading scorer, but that will never happen)  He does well when Rose needs a break but he shouldn’t expect to be anything more than that.

Tom Thibodeau

Thibodeau took a .500 team and turned them into the team with the best record in the league at 62-20.  He deserved coach of the year.  I love his defense first system and you could argue that the Defense is a huge part of the success of the Celtics and Bulls over the last 5 years because of their defense.

To Do List:

Continue the defense-first mentality.  The Bulls were not the best in the league because of Derrick Rose, but because of their defense.  The rest of his to-dos are to read this article, tell his players what I have said, bench Bogans, and give Gibson more minutes.

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