CHICAGO— The Chicago Bulls welcome in the Clippers to Chicago to play their first game without center Joakim Noah, who will be out for the next 8-10 weeks after having surgery to repair is injured thumb. The Bulls however may be catching a break by having their first game without their young center be against the LA Clippers. The Clippers are no cake walk but they’re definitely not that other LA team. Even without Noah the Bulls have enough talent to win and win for a long time, which they’ll need to do seeing as Noah is out until at least March.
The Bulls are right in the thick of a seven game winning streak and would love nothing more than to see that streak extended. They need to show that even when key peices of this team are missing, temporary pieces come in and do the job for the time being. A championship caliber team should not be a team that rests its hopes on one player and thats what makes the Bulls stand out as, bold statement here, the best team in basketball. Think about it, if Kobe goes down for three months, who do the Lakers have to lead that team? Pau Gasol? If Dwight Howard has surgery who do the Magic appoint leader in Orlando? The Bulls are built with layers, and this means is Joakim Noah goes down, Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose are there to keep everything together. Even If Noah AND Rose go down, Carlos Boozer is there to lead. That is the beauty of the Bulls, it the very definition of team effort. Carlos Boozer is out the first part of the season so Derrick Rose scores 30-plus points in seven games. Derrick Rose is banged up so Carlos Boozer posts three double-doubles and goes for 34 points when Rose needs his help. Thats why this Bulls team will be okay without Noah for the time being. It’s also why this team is so fun to watch and so easy to love. The Bulls had been trying for nearly a decade to restore the chemistry the Bulls had in the 90’s not only with each other, but with the city of Chicago. Now I’m not trying to say this team is as good as the dynasty, but it hearkens back feelings and emotions we felt about the dynasty. Rewind to any period in this decade post 2001 and pre-2008 and there wasn’t much love for the Bulls. The nickname Baby Bulls resurfaced and the dynasty years seem so far removed, almost like the myths you hear about Ancient Greece. This team is likable, like back in the 90’s; this team has real talent for the first time since the 90’s and it has a chemistry with all parties involved, that being players, personnel and most importantly the fans.
With a 16-8 with a comfortable lead in the Central. The Bulls are also to take on former Head Coach Vinny Del Negro for the first time since his falling out and firing last season in Chicago. Del Negro had a much publicized psychical confrontation with Bulls GM John Paxson regarding, ironically, the playing time of Joakim Noah. Del Negro has no regrets about his time in Chicago. “I’m very proud of the job that my staff and myself did in Chicago for two years,” he said. Del Negro also didn’t win over any respect from players and left on not so hot terms. It will be interesting to see how the fans in Chicago react to Del Negro’s return, although don’t expect there to be any added security.