Notes from Bulls loss to Orlando

I have mixed feelings about the Bulls loss to Orlando.  Sure, Orlando played it's starters more down the stretch, but the Bulls played theirs more overall.  The outcome of a preseason game never particularly matters to me, and there's no shame in dropping one to Orlando at any point of the year.
So for the Bulls, I'm not that upset at the fact that they lost.   There was, however, one thing that bothered me most of the night while watching the game.   The off the ball movement of the team just seemed very stagnant.  The Bulls took a whole ton of contested jumpers, and they didn't seem capable of having more than one player move off the ball at the same time.

They passed the ball around, but they weren't creating openings with their passes, because there wasn't enough movement to do so.  Overall, the offense just didn't seem crisp in it's execution, nor did it seem to open up good looks at the basket.  The problem with this observation?   The Bulls shot 50% against one of the best defensive teams in the league.

I'm not sure how to reconcile that in my mind exactly, and I only watched the first half, so the execution in the second half (which I'll watch tonight) may have been much better.   Going through the box score, the only guys who really struggled were Pargo (though he had five assists and six boards), Johnson (who barely played), and Deng (and 5/12 isn't THAT bad).  Everyone else had a decent (or better) shooting night.  

John Salmons looked particularly effective to me attacking the basket, and had two outstanding slashing moves to the basket for layups in the first half.   Kirk Hinrich shot the ball well, and according to the box score even hit some clutch shots.   All in all, the Bulls hung around with one of the best teams in the league while playing without their best player.

There's little to complain about.


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  • Doug,

    Yesterday, I think we saw the difference between a top level team (with good coaching) that wants to win and a mediocre team (with subpar coaching) that still needs to learn how to win.

    I have to give credit to SVG, who decided to have Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson and Jameer Nelson (4 starters) on the floor for the last 5 minutes of the ball game. He CLEARLY wanted to WIN that game last night. At the same time, I have to criticize VDN for playing Pargo over Salmons with the game on the line. He CLEARLY didn't care about WINNING that game.

    Whether it's the pre-season, the regular season or the playoffs the best teams want to win each time out. If this team expects to elevate their play to a championship level, their head coach better learn that. Pro sports is about WINNING, nothing else!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Left Pargo in for way too long. Id prefer we would on someone more hopeful instead. I also remember noticing Pargo in, then seeing Kirk in as well...then thought, WHAT?

    With Rose out I see letting Pargo play and Kirk sit....But do we really still need Pargo in when Kirk is out there? Made me remember a little bit of Vinny rotational blunders from yesteryear.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    It's not about going for the jugular, but rather gaining experience for the regular season. I believe SVG put his starters back in the game, so they could practice closing out a tight game. Most of the time, in preseason, the back-ups are doing that. I'm surprised VDN didn't pick up on that. For some reason, he decided to try an experimental lineup, which I highly doubt would be used in a tight game when it matters most.

    On top of that, SVG now has a 15-3 record against the Bulls. Yesterday, might have been a good time to start reverseing that trend. All yesterday's loss did was add to Orlando's psychological advantage against the Bulls.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    I'm wondering if there is something to the fact that Hunter hasn't seen any minutes during the last few pre-season games and VDN has chosen to go with Byars instead...mmm. Maybe VDN believes in my theory of making Byars the 13th man on the roster and letting Hunter be the 14th man and focus on mentoring DROSE.

    That would be smart.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Salmons > Deng when it comes to beating his man off the dribble and therefore should have the ball in his hands more often. I'm already tired of Deng settling for jumpers with a defender right in his face due to the fact that he doesn't have a quick first step and cannot create and space for himself.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    cannot create space for himself*

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Also, Hunter has not been playing because he has the flu.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I haven't been able to see any of the games other than the London game. Based on what I am hearing and reading, I am really worried that Deng is going to be a dissaster again this season, healthy or not.

    I think that he is a player that can only produce in certain very structured offenses, perhaps something like the Princeton offense, or maybe the triangle. Since the Bulls under Del Bimbo barely have any structure what-so-ever Deng is doomed, and so are we.

    He never seemed like a particularly good athlete to begin with, but his athleticism seems to be declining even as he enters his prime years as an athlete. To me he looks like a ground pounding, flat footed, mechanical player.

    Maybe he is another of those African kids who are really a lot older than they say they are. To me he looks, moves and plays like an old man already, not a good thing for a guy with his game, or lack thereof.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    You bring up good points.

    I was disappointed in VDN's "closing" lineup because there were 3 guys outthere that can't really create their own shot. As I recall, Hinrich was at PG, Deng was at SG, Thomas was at SF, Gibson was at PF and Miller was at Center.

    Outside of Hinrich and Deng (sometimes), who can really create their own shot out of that group? It would have been nice to see Salmons outthere. He can create is own shot and might have been the better offensive option, rather than having Miller take some tough shots. Hopefully, VDN learned his lesson.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I am overall happy with the Bulls team, and our personnel. Ny complaints are as follows:

    1. Vinny deliberately messing with a rotation that should be set! Tyrus deserves to start and had a great game against Minnesota. He was brought in with 1 minute to play in the first quarter (and sucked) - but I still don't blame him for being pissed.

    2. End of quarter plays. Especially to close the first half. Bulls had a full 24 second clock and let Pargo dribble around and get stripped and that is AFTER they drew it up in timeout! Was Del our X's and O's guy? If so - we are in trouble and can't expect to pull out many close ones.

    3. Lastly, on a similar note, retarded lineup at the end of the game. Essentially Hinrich was the only shooter in ther! Gee, I wonder who we should focus on...

    So - it is my hopes that we can continue to take our momentum forward and not sabotage it with our (Vinnie's) retardedness...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    watch what happens now that gordon is gone....kirk gets a significant amount of minutes and plays better that way, hes not a guy that can come of the bench with limited minutes and play up to his potential, so Im glad we got rid of our guard overflow problem :)kirk is a starting point guard on any team other then the Utah Jazz, New Orleans Hornets, and Chicago Bulls in my opinion

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    btw I heard kirk played SG in college, and if thats true, well even regardless of that i think hed play fine as shooting guard aslong as u start him....

  • haha and at least a half a dozen others

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