But after two years of raised expectations, it’s tough to get excited about this team, especially if you haven’t erased the first-round playoff loss to Philadelphia from your mind.
Depth and defense are a concern. Everyone loved the Bench Mob. They’re all gone, except for the best Bench Mobber of all, Taj Gibson, and in their stead are Belinelli, “stretch four” Vladimir Radmanovic, center Nazr Mohammed (who took his physical at the Berto on Tuesday), draft pick Marquis Teague and second-year guard Jimmy Butler.
So, their best player is out. Their two guard is on the wrong side of 30. Their two post players are massively inconsistent. Their best defender is coming off an injury. And four of their five most important bench players have departed. They replaced them with a former Bull who hasn’t been a starting PG in a few years, a 34 year old center who hasn’t been relevant in a while, a 31 year old forward who has never been relevant and a young wing player who hasn’t lived up to his first round billing.
It’s going to be a long season.