The expectations for the Chicago Bulls entering the 2016-2017 NBA season were nothing special. Many thought that the Windy City would struggle in many key areas. Their main concern was there three point shooting. Another concern was if Wade and Rondo would compliment Butler, or get in his way. The other real concern was if the Bulls had a quality player at the Power Forward position that they could start night in and night out. Well, many questions have been somewhat answered a month into this young NBA season. The Bulls have been shutting up haters left and right this season and they have the numbers to back their impressive 10-6 record up.
Chicago has shut up all the 3 point doubters across the NBA so far this season. Jimmy Buckets has really turned into an elite player, with his most impressive stat being 43 percent from downtown. Look out for Butler to be an MVP candidate maybe later in the season but most likely next season, as Westbrook Harden and Lebron are stealing the votes this season. Dwayne Wade has proved people wrong in his homecoming with his impressive three point percentage of 39 percent. That number is even more impressive when you realize Wade only attempted 0.6 three pointers a game last season with Miami. Dougie McBuckets and Nikola Mirotic have done what was expected from them in terms of 3 pt percentage, with both players shooting above 33 percent.
Dwayne Wade has had another great start this season, which is surprising considering his age of 34. Dwayne knows he doesn’t have the legs or speed that he once had, but he has replaced that with outstanding shooting. Dwayne, as already mentioned, is shooting almost 40 percent from downtown this season, a weapon he never had until this season. Wade’s offseason work ethic and basketball smarts will keep him as a great NBA player until his body totally gives up. Rajon Rondo has had a less than impressive start to the season, but is still averaging more than 7 assists per game, which is why Chicago signed him in the offseason. Dwayne and Rajon both said before the season that the Bulls are Jimmy Butler’s team. Bringing in NBA champions and them both saying that Jimmy is the star is very impressive, and shows that both are mature enough to know personal stats are nothing compared to their ultimate goal.
The power Forward position was a big question coming into this season for the Bulls. 3 players were in the conversation for the last starting spot. Bobby Portis, Nikola Mirotic, and Taj Gibson. Gibson was out there in the first game and hasn’t sat since. He has proven he is the guy that needs to be starting at the 4 for the Bulls. He leads the team in rebounds and is a gritty defender and plays his heart out every time they are on the floor, which is the heart of Chicago basketball.
The Bulls have answered some questions but still have some left to answer. Can they compete with the likes of Atlanta or Toronto, or even Cleveland? In my opinion, they have the ability to beat Toronto and Atlanta, but not Cleveland. When it’s all said and done this season I think Chicago will take 5th place in the East and take an early second round exit. Let’s be honest, the East is waiting for Lebron’s prime to be over. Until then, they are the clear cut favorite, everyone else is just playing for second at this point.