The Bulls' preseason is over. What did we learn?
We learned that Derrick Rose is very good, but that he's not yet perfect. That's OK. We can wait a year for perfection. (Any longer than that, and we'll be shaking our fist at the sky.)
We learned that Larry Hughes, despite his distinguished career of making shots, is not only convinced he needs to be on the floor, but seems to have won over Vinny Del Negro. Then Hughes got injured, which probably made most Bulls fans happy. Now he's not going to be gone very long, which probably made Bulls fans sad. In other words, we learned that Bulls fans don't like Larry Hughes very much, or if they do, they're deeply confused about the object of the game of basketball, which is to make shots rather than miss them.
We also learned, slowly and not altogether convincingly, that Vinny Del Negro really has no idea what he wants to do with the team. It's not the same as not having any idea how to coach. We suspect Del Negro is actually an OK coach. He seems to get it. It's just that he doesn't really know how he wants to treat lineups, who he wants to start, and how his rotations will determine the way the Bulls play, or vice versa. It's all still up in the air.
That's why the beginning of this season is going to be a long one. In some ways it's exciting. A new team, a new coach, some different faces, that sort of thing. In other ways it's terrifying -- the Bulls are going to be a big Del Negro-led experiment for at least the next few weeks. Vinny's going to be tinkering every night. A little bit of that is fine, but too much of it breeds a lack of confidence. That was the sort of thing that got Scott Skiles fired.
Hopefully Vinny figures it out quickly. Until then, this Bulls season could end up being more painful to watch than the last.