But before the season starts, I'd like to take a quick look at the roster. First up, the point guards.
Preseason stats: 21.9 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 48.4 FG%, 43.3 3P%
Suffice to say, watching Rose kick ass in those last two preseason games was pretty awesome. It was all working for him: the drives, the floaters, the jumpers. He did scuffle a bit down the stretch against the Wolves, but that may have been a byproduct of fatigue as he continues to get his conditioning back.
Something to note about Rose's offense in the preseason was a lack of free-throw attempts. Last preseason, he got to the line seemingly double-digit times per game, although that changed once the regular season started. This year, he got to the line four times per game in the preseason. He got to the rim a ton, so it was likely a combination of avoiding contact, no defense and lack of calls. I'm not really concerned, but just something to watch for.
On the other end, Rose was a plus. Kevin highlighted his strong defense against Kyrie Irving, and most opposing point guards had little success. Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea (who was just waived LOL) strangely had their way with Rose, but that's likely just a blip.
Now, while Rose looked great in the preseason, I'm not going to come out and say that he's officially "back." He certainly looked the part, but he also looked the part last preseason as well and we all know how that turned out. It's going to take some prolonged regular-season success for me to feel confident in saying he's "back," but what we saw in the preseason was definitely encouraging.
So just please stay healthy for his sake and for all our sanity. If he does, I think he'll be playing at an All-Star level in no time.
Preseason stats: 25.1 MPG, 7.9 PPG, 3.3 APG, 1.4 RPG, 40.7 FG%, 25.9 3P%
The man who won't ever go away and will most definitely be a future Bulls coach. Hinrich was basically useless the first few preseason games, making just north of a quarter of his shots and "leading" a second unit that couldn't do much right. Then he turned back the clock and put forth a monster effort against the Hornets, which helped make his final preseason numbers a bit more respectable.
Hinrich is sure to see plenty of court time this year at both the 1 and 2. We know Tom Thibodeau likes the two point-guard lineups, so expect Hinrich to share the court with Rose a good amount. While that duo was awful together last season, I don't mind it too much as long as it's not overused. For example, I want little part of those two closing games together unless Hinrich really has it going.
Ideally, Hinrich would just play solid defense and shoot from the left corner so I wouldn't have to hate on him so much. But that's probably too much to ask for. I'll settle for solid defense and a shooting percentage actually above 40.
Preseason stats: 19.5 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 2.6 APG, 1.4 RPG, 37.3 FG%, 38.5 3P%
I feel like people are going to have a love/hate relationship with Brooks this year. At times, Brooks provided a solid scoring spark for the reserves a la D.J. Augustin and Nate Robinson. But at others, he was chucking bad shots and missing open shooters. Brooks is also a pretty big negative on defense, as evidenced by Irving lighting him up when Rose hit the bench.
While Brooks can be maddening, it appears we're just going to have to get used to it. I didn't think Brooks would be a mainstay in the rotation, but with Tony Snell offering absolutely nothing, the diminutive guard seems to have a spot as one of the backup guards. Brooks' scoring and outside shooting gives him some value, so hopefully he avoids jacking too many bad shots, especially with some talented players on the second unit.