Without Butler, we've seen this lineup deliver countless crucial fourth quarter minutes & memories. At its best, this lineup can thrill. At its most optimum, this matchup can suffocate anyone in the league -add Jimmy Butler to the mix, and things get creative. Butler was able to defend James (sort of) but now you have the ability to match him up with a shooting guard like Wade or JR Smith, and Butler will have a size advantage that in Thibs' system will suffocate. The addition of Butler's defensive game last year could not have been bigger, because now he'll complement Deng's taxing face-game with a front-court that defends the glass well, unless you direct your movement towards Boozer. Butler's going to be an All-Star soon, and now he'll be joining a potential defensive dream team. Everyone in this lineup is an All-Star, literally everyone.
Minus Nazr, this looks like a team that could closely contest the Raptors. The ability of the Bulls to play Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, and Kirk Hinrich off the bench can only be a great thing. Hinrich really showed up to play in Chicago last year and -barring any injuries, will be back to play another solid year of backup point. Hinrich knows his days of playing for the Bulls are limited, at the end of the year he becomes an unrestricted free agent and there's no way that the Bulls are about to part ways with Teague -who showed quite a bit of improvement during the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League. If Hinrich wants his title, he's going to have to keep this group honed in during practice and in-game, and when the time comes, we need Kirk to deliver. I'm interested to see how Snell can improve over this year, his shooting will need to become more proficient and he's going to want to eat something so he can stay in front of anyone in the league.
Lets Just Call Them Reserves Group
WE SHOULD SIGN SOME MORE PEOPLE. I really liked Teague's play in the summer league, it really reassured me that we have a solid backup point for years to come. He'll have to ditch town if he's looking to be a starter like Jeff, but if he continues to learn in this system he can really grow as a player. I'm not sold on anything of Murphy's except he appears to be an exceptional man. That being said, he's really good at breaking his nose and can't rebound or shoot.
It's time to start getting excited Bulls fans.
The defensive ceiling can't be broken, this team will be able to score and shutdown the best the Eastern Conference has to offer. It's time to bring another title back to Chicago.