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Bulls Mon Oct 08 2012

Training for Bulls Training Camp

Bulls_200.pngMore exciting than an Adidas-produced Derrick Rose #TheReturn video series featuring 68% montaged images of calisthenics and core building movements, more tantalizing than the 146 Derrick Rose YouTube mash-up vids, and even more electrifying than Derrick Rose emo tweets about the CTU strike/Giordano's Pizza is the Bulls training camp sans Derrick Rose! To keep your physical and mental health at peak performance, here are some exercises to help you wake up and smell the Rose-less Bulls outlook.

Exercise #1 Do 33 sets of 13 reps of tempering your expectations for Joakim Noah's two weeks with KA-J

Every offseason fans come across a link that gets them animated with hope that their big man will finally fulfill his 1st round draft pick destiny. It's commonplace now to hear about a former NBA star getting paid to mentor a current NBA hoopster. This Summer Hall Of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon was hired by the Knicks to help their big men, Markieff Morris worked out with HOFer Ralph Samson, and Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah spent a fortnight with NBA's all time leading actor in kung-fu films, HOFer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No Joakim is not going to hook-shoot his shooting percentage from .508% to the .575% arena. And don't expect Noah to be a 20-10 either. All you can hope is that Kareem helped Joakim gain subtle advantage with his back to the basket and gave pointers in polishing his becoming 10-14 jumper. When Noah can get a Nate Robinson-sized amount of respect like Carlos Boozer does when facing the rim, then he goes from put-back machine to a center that requires attention. It's the little things that makes bigs big.

Diet Tip #1: Substitute this year's substitutes for last year's.

The Bench Mob from 2011 that couldn't win more than one playoff game against last years Philadelphia 76ers is better than the 2012 "Bench Mob" featuring Nate Robinson, Vladimir Radmanovic, Marco Belinelli, and Nazr Mohammed. As Micheal Winsover pointed out on chicitysports in his analysis of Bradford Doolittle stats of new bench vs. old, the new guys match up well to the old in offensive and defensive efficiency but are two points behind in wins above replacement.(side note: I quoted a pieces that quoted another pieces, sports blogging has become a game of "smart-telephone") However, this years reserves match last years non-starters in their defensive rating number and that's with out the tutelage of Tom Thibodeau. Thibs made Kyle Korver, CJ Watson, and even John Lucas defense competent under his system, there's no doubt this crop of new gym class heros(who it's worth mentioning have more offensive upside than the previous group) will follow suit.

Exercise #2 do a couple (in a Bridgeport accent) two-t(h)ree sets of not hating the player, or their game.

Playas gonna play the way they've played consistently over their career, that's what made them ballers. Carlos Boozer, Richard Hamilton, and Thibodeau's lack of giving youngsters meaningful minutes can be frustrating. Expect to see Carlos "not into it" all the while grabbing 9 boards and close to 20 points a game this season. Is it worth $15M a year, on paper, yea it is, in Bulls fans minds, no it's not. Which is why we're fans, and the decision makers are the decision makers. We need to score, and Taj Gibson can't reproduce that kind of production. Rip Hamilton will probably suffer an injury at some point this season, it's OK. It's a win-win, he cares about winning, he knows he let down Bulls fans last season, so he's going to put forth the effort more to score and have a bounce back season. If not Belinelli plays or Thibs gives minutes to summer league standout, Jimmy Butler. Will Coach Tom give a shot to the young shooting guard or first round draft pick Marquis Teague? Luckily he may not have a choice. Eighty-two game season, coupled with the fact that the Bulls may be playing from behind the lion's share of the season leads me to believe that Tom may against his better judgement will game plan for not playing these eager play-boys.

Rest for 2 minutes, drink some of the Bulls kool-aide.

And finally, Exercise #3: Take a "nine years of number nine Loul leap of faith."

Loul Deng made his first all-star appearance last year. Deng was named to the NBA All-Defensive second team. And played his bloody 'eart out for team Great Britain in the Olympics. No longer is Loul an under the radar type player. If he doesn't step up and out play himself from last year then he is at danger of being called overrated and the Bulls will be cemented in mediocrity. I don't see the scenario playing out that way. Unlike seasons prior he never went into the beginning of the year know he "had" to be the "guy" for this team. No season before would he even had been ready to take on that responsibility. Loul is a slasher with a decent outside shot , and he will get the ball whenever he pleases. He has plenty of help from potential all-stars Boozer and Noah, but he'll have to let them know when he needs it and not the other way around.

...And stretch. It's going to be a long season, this team is going to be good and that's no stretch.

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