by B.J. Delas Armas
on 10/28/2003 09:42:00 PM
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2003 - 2004 Chicago Bulls Key to the Season
Alright, this is the fucking season.
There's a weight of expectation on them to do some damage. ESPN and USA Today have them ranked as #15 in the power rankings and as the 7th seed for the playoffs. NBA.com has 1,2, and 3 (Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, and Tyson Chandler) within the top ten of players ready to break out this season. And with good reason.
That good reason is that these young guys are the core players of a team.
Last year Eddy Curry edged out dat motherfocker Shaq for the field goal percentage title, something Shaq held for seven straight years. Jamal Crawford fought through a whirlwind of adversity from early season benchings, cold spells, family deaths, to re-claim his job from acclaimed super rookie Jay Williams. Tyson has shown steady improvement in both years. These guys need to establish themselves as powers this year.
However, personally, I'm skeptical if these guys will ever live up to their full potential because there is too much depth that will cover up their mistakes. Donyell Marshall, Corie Blount, and Lonny Baxter will pull down rebounds when Eddy is too "lazy" to do his job. Marcus Fizer will score when Tyson is on his usual aversion to offense. Scottie Pippen and Jalen Rose will play defense when Jamal shirks his defensive responsibility. This type of depth is great for a championship team, but not so for a team relying on a young core because this young core is untested.
The key to this season's and preceding seasons' success will rely on this young core. Jamal, Eddy, and Tyson need to prove that they can carry the Bulls on their own through their own mistakes. That is, the team relies on them, and they create most of the momentum. And while we can rely on these guys, the big guys still seem to be teetering and tottering at the brink of their potential because of this three-year coddle treatment and thus as of now still seem to have trouble creating momentum for this team.
If they can't create momentum they won't be anything special. . .
But what do I know. I'm just a fan.
So, if they live up to potential I see: 50 wins
If they play up to their potential for like half a season: 43 wins
If they play the way they did last year with minor improvements: 37 wins
I go with the second one.
Labels: Chicago Bulls