2007 Chicago Bulls Season Preview
The Chicago Bulls’ roster is filled with rookies and guys with one to four years of experience. Oh, yes, and then there’s that 14-year veteran Ben Wallace—a great upfront player. GM John Paxson didn’t make huge changes during the off-season but the drafting of Joakim Noah, acquisition of free agent, 11-year vet Joe Smith and resigning of Andres Nocioni have all helped underpin an already solid foundation.
In the frontcourt, center Ben Wallace (.453 FG%, .200 3P%, .408 FT%, 10.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 6.4 PPG) was a massive addition last season. Wallace gave the team a tough, upfront presence in every game he played. But the club had little scoring from the frontcourt. The drafting of Joakim Noah should eventually help in this area and with Nocioni (.467 FG%, .383 3P%, .848 FT%, 5.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 14.1 PPG) returning for a fourth NBA season and the addition of solid vet forward Joe Smith (.449 FG%, .000 3P%, .845 FT%, 7.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 8.5 PPG) to the ranks, the guys near the rim should be more of a factor. And don’t forget F/G Luol Deng (.517 FG%, .143 3P%, .777 FT%, 7.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 18.8 PPG), who continues to get better.
The top backcourt duo—fourth-year shooting guard Ben Gordon (.455 FG%, .413 3P%, .864 FT%, 3.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 21.4 PPG) and third-year point guard Kirk Hinrich (.448 FG%, .415 3P%, .835 FT%, .3.4 RPG, 6.3 APG, 16.6 PPG)—is back. Gordon is ultra-dependable and has become a go-to guy. Hinrich is one of the most durable players in the league and continues to improve. Chris Duhon (.408 FG%, .359 3P%, .752 FT%, 2.2 RPG, 4.0 APG, 7.2 PPG), who’s entering his fourth season, gives the backcourt some depth.
The Bulls have made the playoffs for the last three seasons, and this year they could possibly out defend those defensive juggernauts the Detroit Pistons, taking the division. Chicago posted 49-wins in 2006- 2007 and with so many of the guys who were new to the club last season returning, they could win more than 50 games this season. Watch out Detroit and Cleveland!