Aug 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; USA guard Derrick Rose (right) talks with assistant coach Tom Thibodeau during practice at Quest MultiSport Complex. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Most of the NBA news reels have quieted of late. Still, here are some intriguing takeaways from recent reports around the league.
Chicago Bulls looking more formidable as Rose regains form
Few teams were more active and successful during the meat of the free agency periods than the Chicago Bulls. Among their haul included veteran forward Pau Gasol, European star Nikola Mirotic and underrated scoring guard Aaron Brooks. Yet the one thing holding all the optimism about their title chances for 2014-2015 was the health of Derrick Rose. Their star point guard has played just ten games in two seasons thanks to two knee injuries. Many wonder if he can return with the same explosive and offensive prowess that made him MVP in 2011.
While his consistency has yet to come around, Rose showed in his first true game action for Team USA against Brazil that his highlight reel ability is very much intact. With more time on the floor to knock off the rust, the Bulls are looking more and more like serious contenders in the East.
Shawn Marion signing shows Cavs relying heavily on old bench
Adding LeBron James alone made the Cleveland Cavaliers favorites in the East as well. Their pending acquistion of Kevin Love via trade will only enhance those odds. Many also applaud their recent signing of free agent Shawn Marion who departed from his long stay with the Dallas Mavericks. On paper the move looks good, but behind the curtain is the realization that the Cavs are putting a lot of their hopes in an increasingly older bench. Marion just turned 36 in May. Their other notable signing, Mike Miller, turned 34 in February. Their experience is a big asset of course but it’s fair to wonder if their bodies can handle playing at a championship level into next June.
One thing is for sure. Both teams are expected to alter the landscape of the NBA this season.