The players voted captains for this season (ht: Chicagoist, of all places), and your winners are holdovers Hinrich and Deng, and
new captain...Jannero Pargo Lindsey Hunter [I swear that post originally said Pargo]. This process and result never manages to get less lame. I know they're mostly in charge of talking to the officials, but is it that crazy for the captains to perhaps include your best player (Rose) , or the actual vocal defensive leader (Noah)? And this raises the Lindsey Hunter uselessness index to unprecedented heights.
With everyone practicing again, it looks like no prediction revisions are necessary, though I suppose Rose missing nearly all of preseason doesn't exactly help his great leap forward.
A few Bulls season previews were unveiled lately:
- ChicagoNow: (45-37). I poked at Doug a bit on my awesome twitter feed for his cheesy intro, but all in all he's not really as optimistic as he says. And he's one of the rare folks who isn't absolutely expecting Rose to become much better next season.
- By the Horns: (46-36). Now this is outright optimism. 'No sweat' on losing Gordon, Pargo is "a fearless and streaky shooting assassin", the Bulls have height and depth and skills, and bench guys good enough to startfor most other teams. And while it correctly illuminates the discrepancy between the Bulls offensive and defensive rebounding, the solution to the defensive rebounding is Noah&Thomas rebounding harder.
- BullBearSock: (48-34). Certainly comprehensive, though praising Salmons for being less of a black hole than Gordon isn't a good start.
- Marc Stein unveiled his initial power rankings, projecting a 'modest improvement' and a 5th seed.
- Basketball Prospectus has two projections, one for 36 wins and another for 45. And as a later announcement, you should all buy BP's book. It even features a blurb from yours truly, and it's actually in praise of a Bulls player.
Elsewhere, KC has some choice quotes (ht: ChicagoNow) from Luol Deng about his progress this preseason. It sounds like Luol acknowledges the lack of 'lift' he's shown, but feels it's a form of rust and conditioning, not some lingering aspect of the injury. What I do quibble with is this insistence (from no less of a source than Deng himself) that he needs 'rhythm' and a 'system' to be effective. If that is true, that's not a $70m player, even when healthy. But that contract's long done, so I'll settle for him being mildly overpaid as a 'system' player than wildly overpaid as a jumpless one.
And as a random other link, Steve Schanwald (yes, that one) explains why the Bulls moved their home start times up from 7:30 to 7 this season.