The Chicago Bulls are on the upswing prior to the 2013-14 NBA season, which is scary news for their Central Division—and Eastern Conference—opponents. After losing all-pro point guard Derrick Rose to a devastating knee injury in April 2012, the Bulls should improve greatly on offense with his addition into the lineup at the start of this season.
Assuming Rose recovers his all-star form, the Bulls will once again be a nightmare on the offensive end of the floor for opposing teams. And Chicago won’t be lacking on defense, either.
The Bulls have been one of the NBA’s elite defensive teams in recent years, owing to the coaching style of Tom Thibodeau. A defensive specialist and former assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, Thibodeau has instilled in the Bulls a hard-nosed approach to defending the perimeter, making life very difficult for opposing teams.
These aren’t the Bulls of the Michael Jordan era, but still they’re circled on the opposition’s schedule. And with good reason.
Chicago’s defense is anchored by players like Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler, two of the league’s best perimeter stoppers. And as always, the presence of Joakim Noah in the middle of the defense provides stability around the rim.
United Center seats 20,917—with room for approximately 23,129 if standing room is factored in—and has been mostly full on game nights for much of the Bulls’ recent history. Bulls tickets were tough to come by in the early-to-mid 1990s, and not much has changed since the members of those dynasty teams retired.
Expectations in Chicago are still high, bolstered by the team’s eight playoff appearances over the past nine seasons. Whether the Bulls can maintain their recent high level of play will depend mostly on Rose’s performance. While the team has thrived on defense, increased competition from division rivals like the young Indiana Pacers will put those schemes to the test.
Having a point guard of Rose’s caliber may well be what tips the scales in Chicago’s favor come playoff time.
Chicago Bulls tickets bear Rose’s image for a reason. He’s not only a hometown kid; he’s the hometown’s hope for a successful season in the Windy City.