One of the most intriguing things about the upcoming basketball season for the Chicago Bulls is the backcourt tandem of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. Obviously the return of Rose has everyone in the basketball world buzzing, but with the emergence of Butler last year and Rose returning, this duo could be lethal.
Rose is a career 21 point per game scorer to go along with 7 assists. He is currently coming of ACL surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2012-2013 season. Having a dynamic two guard like Butler lining up next to him could help Rose out immensely because now that Jimmy is a viable option for Coach Tom Thibodeau it should open up lanes for Rose.
Rose has played in a combined 43 minutes over two preseason games, 20 minutes in the first and 23 in the second. He is averaging 13 points per game over the first two games and appears to be the same old Derrick Rose, maybe eve a little better. Rose said he is experiencing no soreness in his surgically repaired knee and even thinks that he is jumping a little bit higher, five inches higher. He seems to think he is in better shape that ever before his injury.
Coach Thibodeau says that Derrick will play the same amount of minutes this Saturday as he has in the first two preseason games, which should come as no surprise.
Rose is a powerful point guard that can get to the rim at will with the ability to finish. His 3 point shooting was coming along during the 2011-2012 campaign before he suffered his injury. If his stroke from behind the arc is still there, he’ll be one of the best players in the league. I know that that isn’t exactly a reach, but coming of an injury like that, it would be impressive.
Jimmy Butler came on strong last year towards the end of the year and into the playoffs. He only managed to average about 8.5 points per game to go along with 4 rebounds per game during the regular season, but those numbers jumped up to 15 and 7 during the last month of the season. To go along with the jump in numbers, there was also a spike in minutes played. During the regular season he averaged 26 minutes a game and during the postseason it went up to 41. In three of the five games against the Miami Heat in the second round of the postseason Butler played all 48 minutes.
I would expect big things from Butler this year as he continues to progress. He’s a good defender, and solid shooter, and a great hustle guy that has the capability of playing big minutes. While he has only averaged 7 points a game during his career, he has shot 47% from the field, 38% from behind the arc, and 80% from the free throw line.
With Rose back, the Bulls have one of the more dangerous backcourts in the Eastern Conference if not the NBA. There are a lot of expectations for these two, so production is needed to keep the Bulls and their fans happy. They will also have help from three man Luol Deng, and the big guys, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. This team was a top five team last year in the East without Rose, so having him back will help their chances immensely.