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News » Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-10-08When the Bulls opened training camp at the Berto Center, a common theme was vowing to be better defensively this season. Under first-year coach Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls turned into one of the league's highest-scoring teams but gave up more points than they scored while finishing 41-41.

"We're all on the same page that we must get better defensively," general manager Gar Forman said.

"We'll emphasize defense. We'll emphasize rebounding," added Del Negro. "Offense usually takes care of itself."

There haven't been many roster changes since the end of last season. The biggest was losing guard Ben Gordon, the team's top scorer for the last four years, to Detroit in free agency.

At the same time, the Bulls might be better off defensively without Gordon, an undersized shooting guard at 6-2. They'll now have 6-6 John Salmons at the two spot, with defensive standout Kirk Hinrich coming off the bench.

"We're going to miss Ben's explosive scoring a little bit," Hinrich said. "But we've got guys who can score. It was five years, I guess, so it's a little different not having him here. I've known for a while he wasn't going to be here, though."

The Bulls signed Chicago native Jannero Pargo to be an extra shooter off the bench. Since leaving the Bulls in 2006, Pargo spent two years with New Orleans, then played overseas last season for Moscow Dynamo and Olympiacos in Greece. Two rookie forwards, James Johnson and Taj Gibson, are the other newcomers.

Another significant change would be a healthy Luol Deng. The veteran forward missed the final 29 games with a stress fracture in his right tibia. He's still sore but made it through the first week of training camp with few concerns.

"We've got to play a team game," Deng said. "We've got to be unselfish on the court. I think defensively we're expecting to be better. We're really trying to focus on that in this camp and offensively, we're trying to move the ball a lot better than we have in the past."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 8, 2009


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