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How some see the Bulls and NBA this season
by Sam Smith
Posted on Oct 22
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So what’s the view of the Bulls from the outside coming into this season? It seems actually a bit more optimistic from the Vegas guys than it does from the NBA guys. Which I actually think is a good thing for the Bulls as the Vegas guys’ jobs depend on paying closer attention to all the teams.
The NBA released its annual survey from its general managers last week and earlier this week I received a look at the odds from Bodog.com.
Bodog.com analyzed each team and is suggesting, at least on the Bulls, that no one exactly replaces Ben Gordon, but that Derrick Rose is the leading scorer at 18 points and with seven assists followed by John Salmons at 17 points. Sort of the scoring being made up across the board. The odds service listed those numbers for an over/under figure and listed other Bulls as follows: Luol Deng, 15.7; Tyrus Thomas 11.8 points and 7.5 rebounds; Joakim Noah at 7.4 points and eight rebounds.
Like the general managers, the bodog folks had the Lakers the favorites to win the championship followed by the Cavs and then Celtics and Spurs.
The Bodog.com estimates had the Bulls at 45-1 to win the title, tied for 11th with the Pistons, Hawks and Heat. That would have the Bulls in chances tied for fourth in the East, and I think they’d take that today if they could. The odds listed the Wizards, Raptors and 76ers just behind the Bulls. After the Spurs and before the Bulls’ group were the Magic, Nuggets, Trailblazers, Jazz, Mavericks and Hornets.
The estimate had the Bulls regular season win total at 41.5, though I assume that rounds up. In wins, that put the Bulls tied for fifth in the East with Washington, which, at this point, I think the Bulls also would take. The oddsmakers had Atlanta better with 44.5 wins, but Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia and Toronto just behind at 40.5.
That seemed relatively positive for the Bulls as a fifth spot in the East gives a team a good chance to make it to the second round of the playoffs.
The GM’s didn’t seem as sanguine about the Bulls.
There were some 60 categories and the Bulls and their players barely registered.
The only recognized Bull in the regular voting was Derrick Rose, fourth behind Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Aaron Brooks as fastest with the ball.
There were “others receiving votes” in most categories. Tyrus Thomas got into that list for Most Athletic, which was led by LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith. The only other Bull mentioned was in the “others” category as well with John Salmons in the Doing the Most with Least. The leaders were Mehmet Okur, Matt Bonner, Chuck Hayes, David Lee, Luis Scola and Hedo Turkoglu.
Here are some other leaders according to the GM’s
Toughest: Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade.
Highest IQ: Steve Nash, Bryant, Garnett and Jason Kidd.
Taking the Last Shot: Bryant, Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony
Head Coach: Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich and Jerry Sloan.
Most Improved Teams: Wizards, Clippers, Thunder, Raptors
Biggest Offseason Impact: Vince Carter, Ron Artest, Richard Jefferson, Shaquille O’Neal, Rasheed Wallace
Most Underrated Moves: Anthony Parker, Antonio McDyess, Rashed Wallace, Trevor Ariza, Brandon Bass, Shawn Marion.
Best Leader: Chauncey Billups, Bryant, Tim Duncan, Garnett, Kidd, Nash, Paul.
Best Finisher: James, Wade, Howard, Bryant.
Best Passer: Nash, Paul, Kidd.
Best at Getting Own Shot: Bryant, James, Wade.
Moving without the Ball: Richard Hamilton, Manu Ginobili, Ray Allen, Kevin Martin.
Best Shooter: Ray Allen, Jason Kopono. Also receiving votes were Joe Johnson, Kyle Korver, Rashard Lewis, Kevin Martin, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and J.R. Smith.
Best Home Court Advantage: Cleveland, Utah, Lakers, Portland
Most Fun to Watch: Lakers, Orlando, Denver, Cleveland, Golden State, New York.
Player to Start Franchise with Today: James, Howard, Bryant.
Most Likely Breakout: Kevin Durant, Anthony Randolph, Russell Westbrook, Louis Williams.
Best Point Guard: Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash.
Best Power Forward: Duncan, Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki
Best Center: Howard, Duncan.
Best Shooting Guard: Bryant.
Best Small Forward: James, Anthony.