CHICAGO — If the Bulls get eliminated from the 2011 playoffs, it will be because of a lack of flair on offense. In the NFL, it has long been said that defense wins championships, but I’ve always seen a flaw in that. How can you win with just defense and no points?
Short answer: you can’t. Long answer: you can’t but if you have some offense to give the defense something to work behind then you’ve got something.
The Bulls have defense but it’s an offensive spark that they lack. They tried this postseason the theory that Derrick Rose can do all the scoring and that has failed. As much as people in Chicago may hate to admit it, this team is still missing one final piece to make it an elite championship caliber team.
Right now all they are is a very good championship contender; Not the same thing.
Don’t get me wrong; what the Bulls have done this year is beyond remarkable and is the best thing to happen to the Bulls since the days of Jordan. But even he needed help and didn’t start winning until he had that one final piece. Derrick Rose may be the second coming, but he needs disciples.
An offense partner, if you will.
That guy can be a guy who may be on the out on another up-and-coming elite NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. That guy in question is their point guard Russell Westbrook.
Now the initial problem with this appears to be his position; He’s a point guard and the Bulls already have one of those–you MAY have heard of him. But the solution to this is Westbrook isn’t a natural point guard, he’s a shooting guard.
Hence all his shooting.
If the Bulls add Westbrook they add an element to their game that opponents will have to compensate for. Where they now have to be mindful of where Rose is at all times in relation to the ball, they’d have to do the same in regards to Westbrook.
In terms of who he would replace, Keith Bogans has his defensive redeeming features but if it came down to Bogans’ defense and Westbrook’s offensive prowess, Chicago would have no problem in leaning towards adding another complex layer to this team that just needs one more piece.
The biggest problem and potential flaw in this plan is not where Westbrook would play or who he’d replace but who would have to be given up to get him. Westbrook still has __ years left on his contract and he’s an NBA All-Star. If he has another good year his price tag will only go up and Chicago is strapped for cash. Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah are all locked up long term with big time contracts. Derrick Rose will get an extension that most certainty will eclipse the $100 million mark.
Westbrook is an up and coming star who already thinks he has arrived at that level, so not only will he command a lot in a trade but he will demand a lot of money. This may lead to a character issue and the Bulls aren’t the type of team that suits players of this nature.
No doubt the Bulls are missing a piece, and Westbrook may not be the best (or even a) option for Chicago but it’s a nice idea to kick around. It’s also something the Bulls will need to consider going forward. But how mainstream the discussion of adding another option gets all of course depends on the Bulls Game 3 performance.