There is always a set of goals in mind for every team from season to season. Most of the time it ends with winning a championship. Jimmy Butler took it a step further when he unveiled what the Chicago Bulls need to get done.
Taking down Miami Heat is top priority with Derrick Rose back
Great rivalries are what mark the popularity of sports and there is none more entertaining in the NBA than the one the Bulls have with the Miami Heat. Their regular season contests never lack a playoff atmosphere and the records against each other are always split. Unfortunately, in the minds Chicago fans and players, that isn’t worth much. The two times the teams have met in the playoffs, the Heat have won rather decisively. Back in 2011 it was a clear experience mismatch and last season the Bulls had no Derrick Rose, Luol Deng or Kirk Hinrich for the entire series. All three should be back and hopefully healthy. That is a big reason third-year man Jimmy Butler, the biggest surprise of last season and the new starting shooting guard believes the mission ahead of the Bulls is ending the Heat’s bid for a three-peat. He gives the defending champs all the credit in the world for winning the title but also made it clear the three-peat was made famous in Chicago. To him it is a title that must be defended and the Bulls will play harder than ever before to prove Miami is not invincible.
Antawn Jamison interest could give Tom Thibodeau another strong big
The key to succeeding in that mission was first and foremost getting Rose back. His return is slated for early October when the preseason begins. Though it may take some time to regain his old form, head coach Tom Thibodeau is confident fans will be pleasantly surprised by how much more of a complete player he is. The other part of the equation is the roster itself. In years past the Bulls made their hey as a defensive juggernaut with Rose providing the needed offense. That may not be the case anymore. With Butler, who averaged 13 points per game in the playoffs, the starting lineup becomes a little more balance. However the real influx of offense may come through the bench. Chicago added veteran big man and 3-point shooter Mike Dunleavy in free agency. There is also athletic rookie Tony Snell is has similar characteristics to starter Luol Deng with the added touch from long range as well. The Bulls believe they have a strong enough roster as is, and they may be right, but that hasn’t stopped their pursuit of more help. The latest name to pop up is Antawn Jamison. At age 37 he is not the superb player he was years ago but still believes he can contribute if given the chance. That is something he thinks the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t do. He has a point. In the 2011-2012 season he averaged 17 points per game but dropped to nine when he came off the Lakers bench. For the Bulls he is an enticing name who brings size, experience and an ability to shoot. He’s stated he wants to join a team that will win but also let him play. Chicago will find ways to get him on the floor. The question of course is will it be enough?
The Chicago Bulls are loaded for bear. Jimmy Butler believes that, especially with Derrick Rose back. Their top priority is taking down the Miami Heat. Whether guys like Antawn Jamison want to join in that quest or not is immaterial.
Photo Credit – NBC