Bulls

Is Brewer ready for the starting role?

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Is Brewer ready for the starting role?

We all know that the Bulls are in need of and should pursue a shooting guard, but what about Ronnie Brewer?

Brewer wants a shot at the starting role, considering he showed up to training camp healthier than last year when he suffered with a sore hamstring.

"Last year, I was a little unhealthy," Brewer told the Chicago Tribune. "Not that I felt like it changed the season because I feel we had a great season and Keith (Bogans) did a phenomenal job, and I did pretty well with the role I had. But now no matter who they bring in or if they bring Keith back, it's going to be a fight in training camp. We're going to push each other and make each other better at that two spot."

But Brewer wants to be No. 1. Can he handle it? He played a big part in the Bulls' bench mob, but what are his numbers like? Not too far off from his fellow guards.

Brewer averaged 6.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game last season. Bogans averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists while Kyle Korver averaged 8.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

See why we need to upgrade?

Whether Tom Thibodeau thinks he can handle it or not, Brewer is going to put up a fight.

"Whatever we've got to do to win, I'm all about that," he told the Chicago Tribune. "But me as a player, I've got to do everything I possibly can to put myself in a situation where I can go out there and contribute. "

This is when we dip into his free agent competition. The Bulls are ready to shop and Brewer will have to work hard to match up to the possible shooting guards available.

Restricted free agent Arron Afflalo averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 42 percent from the arc. Then we go to Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Marcus Thornton who averages 12.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists, shooting 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from the arc.

Already looking better...

Jason Richardson and Caron Butler are also options but Butler, who was at the Berto Center with the Bulls Thursday, is coming off knee surgery. He averaged 15 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists, shooting 45 percent from the field and 43.1 percent from the arc.

It's a nice wish, but I feel like Brewer may need some more time. The Bulls will have their eyes open for players bought out with the amnesty clause such as Brandon Roy, Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon. They'll be bringing in shooting guards the next few days as the free agent frenzy begins Dec. 9.

As for Brewer, "If my number is called, I will be ready," he said. "I feel like Thibs can feel confident wherever he puts me in the game."
Do you think Brewer can handle the starting role? Who do you want to see the Bulls pick up as a shooting guard?

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

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NBC Sports Chicago

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Kris Dunn thinks Zach LaVine could be 'a good defender in this league'

Kris Dunn thinks Zach LaVine could be 'a good defender in this league'

We all know what Zach LaVine is capable of doing on the offensive side of things. But what about his defense?

It's no secret that LaVine has had his fair share of struggles on defense, but Kris Dunn thinks highly of his 23-year-old teammate and what his potential is at the other end.

"On the defensive end I just told him, 'You're as fast as me. You're more athletic than me. There's no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league. You could be one of those guys who could be dynamic in the passing lanes because you're so athletic and fast.'" Dunn said of LaVine. "And personally, I like to score. If you get in a passing lane, that's a dunk for yourself and because you've got so much bounce that's when you get the crowd on their feet — maybe do a windmill, a 360, something.

"But I think he's been going a good job on the defensive end. It's not going to be easy. We all got to learn and I think we're all trying."

Improving his defense would obviously be a big step forward for LaVine (and the Bulls), and he knows it. 

“I think I had a lot better focus on the defensive end,” LaVine said when assessing his preseason. “I had some mistakes too, but I wanted to go out there and just really hone in on being more focused down there. I felt like I did OK with that. Still some areas I want to get better at, definitely off-the-ball I think I did a lot better than I had before.’’

LaVine and the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night in their season opener. You can watch Bulls Pre- and Postgame Live on NBC Sports Chicago before and after the game for highlights and analysis.