Don't overreact; It's the injuries and the schedule

Bulls fans seem awfully upset lately, and who can blame them.   Not only have they lost six of the last seven games, but the six losses were all blowouts.   Management has made some mistakes.   I don't know if they'd admit them, but not signing Ben Gordon at the beginning of last season to a 6/54 deal when he tried to take it and drafting Taj Gibson over Dejuan Blair have been fairly critical blunders.   Redo on those two moves and this team looks pretty great right now.

That being said, it's no where near as bad as it feels right now.   I noted in preseason that this team's primary problem was that it had 7 starting caliber players, but no stars, and no depth after that.   If we had injuries in that group, we'd be in big trouble.   Well, with two guys down in that group welcome to big trouble.

Our starting lineup isn't good enough to win games vs other starting lineups.  Where we could make hay in an ideal world is when we go to the bench.   Hinrich and Miller coming in to the game with a sprinkle of Taj Gibson or James Johnson would give us a pretty large advantage vs the bench against most teams.   We'd look for our starters to break even and our bench to give us a large advantage.

Any given night some guy could step up and deliver the performance that wins the game.

However, missing two of those guys we now have another 50 minutes that need to be filled by Lindsay Hunter, Taj Gibson, James Johnson, and Aaron Gray.  50 minutes that were a distinct advantage for us have become a liability.   With everyone healthy, our starters needed to come close to breaking even.  With two significant injuries, our starters need to convincingly beat up the other team's starters.  

The Bulls simply aren't a quality team with any injuries to their prime rotation players.   Do you blame management for not finding better end of bench players?   I suppose you could, however what were the Bulls really going to do with the money available?   They had about 2 million to exceed the minimum salary to spread out over four players. 

Yeah, they could have maybe done better than Lindsay Hunter with one of those spots, but some other guy at the minimum wasn't going to make a huge difference right now.   The one mistake management made this summer was taking Taj Gibson over Dejuan Blair.   Unless Blair's legs turn into dust sometime in the season, he would have made a huge difference with this team.

On top of the injuries, the Bulls have played the toughest schedule in the NBA to date according to the Jeff Sagarin rankings.    To come out of that at 7-11 is pretty good.  In fact, under the circumstances, their record has exceeded their overall play by a considerable amount.

The tricky part now will be taking advantage of a softened schedule while they still have injuries.   They're about to roll through some games that should have been easy wins, but with the current injuries there are no easy wins.   If healthy, this team could still win 45 games.   If the team is always fighting off an injury, they're going to win closer to 35.

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  • It's really not about the injuries at all. That's an EXCUSE.

    The problem is the are getting BLOWN-OUT of games. They aren't even COMPETING out there. That's my main problem with this team, so far. It doesn't seem like they are properly PREPARED or MOTIVATED to play, game and game out. There is NO EXCUSE for them to play FLAT or UNINSPIRED basketball.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Didn't Golden State, with only 6 healthy players, beat Dallas this year?

    This is pro sports. There's no room for EXCUSES. I want to see a better EFFORT from this team. How about playing hard for 48 minutes? That's all I want.

    I don't mind seeing them lose to good teams like Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, Portland or Denver, but how about SHOWING UP and COMPETING, game in and game out?

    So far, they haven't done that. That's what's frustrating.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Having injuries doesn't effect effort and execution. Yes the players could be getting tired late in the game, but a bunch of these games have been decided way before that.

  • You're right Doug. Still, I have my doubts whether the Bulls can rebound later on. Even though the schedule lightens up a bit, the team is going to get there with no momentum whatsoever. Besides, so far, out of our top 3 players (Deng, Noah, Rose), only Rose has performed below expectations. Deng and Noah have both played quite well. Unless Rose really steps up his game (IF he has much more game to bring), I don't see how this team can squeeze into the playoffs. IMHO

  • I'm not screaming in caps, rather just pointing out that excuses don't work in pro sports. The Bulls have had problems COMPETING for 48 minutes, game in and game out, this year. That's their main problem, not the schedule or injuries.

  • I'm into making EXCUSES for the Chicago Bulls. They need to COMPETE better.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The Toronto game is a perfect example of them not COMPETING.

    Getting BLOWN-OUT by 20 points in the 1st quarter at home vs. an 8-13 team had nothing to do with injuries or schedule. It had everything to do with them NOT COMPETING.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    not into making EXCUSES

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    you said in an ideal world the bulls make hay with their bench. id like to draw attention to the world "ideal" here because thats all this has been to date. i too expected the bulls to have a good bench because supposedly they had two starting caliber players on the bench, but now that miller is done and hinrich is in one of his classic slump seasons, can we really expect that the bench will become an advantage? and if neither the starters or the bench are the strength, then what does this team have? the third worst point differential in the league is one reply. this has been really bad lately and has the potential to be merely bad going forward.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Outside of Joakim Noah, this team has NO HEART.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YhPSzGHFcM

    Where was Luol Deng, their captain, and Derrick Rose, their franchise player, when this was going on? Why were they quiet?

    You know why? Because Luol Deng and Derrick Rose are SOFT. They have loads of talent, but NO HEART whatsoever. That is the fundamental problem with this team.

    When you don't have HEART, you don't COMPETE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    This is having HEART and showing LEADERSHIP.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0CKXDxFQJw

    Derrick Rose and Luol Deng could learn something from MJ.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Actually I think Deng is a competitor mentally but is physically soft. Rose is physically strong but is not demonstrating sufficient aggressiveness to match his abilities. Unless this changes, I believe the big story of 2009-10 will be Rose not being the franchise player everybody thought he would be.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    EVERYONE on the Bulls roster, especially DERRICK ROSE and LUOL DENG, should watch this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWsgkauZb-U

    This is what LEADERSHIP and HEART looks like.

    (pay attention to the 3min., 6min. and 10min. marks)

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    "48 minutes of Intensity."

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Doug, you really do like to refute people's points absolutely rather then just saying, look the average real fan who has watched for years can see the basics of what's going on. However, maybe a journalist who has dedicated themselves to covering the NBA for example or a player or coach understand which factors have more significance that fans sometimes don't.

    Most of the points you're absolutely refuting when you keep stating the same mantra/point over and over again: it's the injuries and our poor bench thereof not the starters, people can still have validity maybe there points are just not as important a factor as the ones your stating. And it's possible on some points you're not perfect i.e. wrong. I think you should lighten up a little bit.

    You said no one expected anything out of Deng? I guess that would depend on who the no one is you're referring to. Every journalist I read in the country said Deng either could or would need to reemerge this season if the Bulls were going to be better then decent. However, I agree with you that many many fans were highly doubtful of Deng coming into the season. That's true. Now to me that view allows for both sides to have a point.

    Only other point I'd like to make is, you left out Derrick Rose as a major factor in Bulls success/failure. At least I didn't notice you listing him much in your main point about a weakened bench due to injuries(although Derrick was/has been injured, but I really don't think that's been a big factor anymore/those eight games where his play upped considerably). Personally I think your points are true, but also important is that Derrick has not been the all-star many thought he might emerge as or come close to. Also, Vinny, well I think you've noticed most fans and journalists alike have criticized his one dimensional, vanilla offense. Really not attempting to iso Taj, Miller or Salmons a little in the post to somewhat fill the void of no low post scorer I think has been a mistake(I'm sure you'll probably roast that remark, but that's ok). Oceipka and Meyers were stated as supposed to have more input/improve the defense. That would seem to leave Vinny with the offense as he certainly wasn't a defensive specialist himself in the NBA. Right now I don't think you can only blame things on injuries and the schedule - though they are important factors.

    I respect your views as I do everyone's here provided they are not completely dismissive of others or personally attack other posters(and I don't think you/Doug personally attack anyone). I hope I'm wrong about Vinny and the injured players heal up. Then we can all see how much are views mattered/were correct. Take it easy.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Maybe we would start winning if jerome james was playing......just sayin

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If DERRICK ROSE was a LEADER, he would have said something to LBJ.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YhPSzGHFcM

    Instead, he stayed quiet and speechless. In other words, he's SOFT with NO LEADERSHIP and NO HEART. He could learn a thing or two from Michael Jordan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWsgkauZb-U

    (pay attention to the 3min. and 6min. marks)

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I guess that's the reason why Derrick Rose is an Adidas guy and not a Nike guy.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Thanks Doug.

    We needed a positive perspective. The Bulls are missing two key players, and without them, our rotation do suck. Thomas is closing in on a return, which at least gives us another big to toy around with. Hinrich, while I'm not personally all that high on him, at least is ten thousand times the player Lindsey Hunter is.

    So you're right. It'll get better, and we did have a decent start to the year, which will help us.

    *Walks down the street, humming 'Always look on the bright side of life!'*

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Doug's right that 7-11 at this point, with this schedule is not much to worry about. I would have been a bit surprised if the team had a better record, especially if we could have known no Kirk and no Tyrus. Even during the recently "successful" seasons, the team had to play catch up after November. What is disturbing is that they've been beaten so soundly, soundly enough that the signs of tailspin are impossible to avoid. Just having Kirk back will make this a noticeably better team (substituting Kirk for Hunter? Um, yeah). Ultimately, it's up to the team, coaches and management to show if this is just an early season rough spot or the beginning of the bottom falling out. I think as the schedule eases, players get healthy and some minor moves get made, the team will get back where it belongs, a bit above .500 in the lower bracket of the EC playoff. We'll see.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    EXCUSES.

    That won't cut it. They have been BLOWN-OUT in 6 of their last 8 games. That's a concern.

    They aren't COMPETING!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Sometimes what you want to label "excuses" is just reality. 4 of those 6 games the Bulls were actually predicted to get blown out by much better teams (Lakers, Blazers, Nuggets, Cavs) - it would have been nice to surprise everyone, but it was unrealistic to expect a different result. The Jazz in Utah wasn't that surprising. Yes, it's frustrating. Yes, it would be lovely if the luxury tax were no concern. Yes, it would have been great if the org never made a signing mistake. But when it comes right down to it, once I take a deep breath, the Toronto game is the only one I'm really surprised at.

    I just choose not to take that out on the players. You apparently see lack of effort? I see guys who want to win put in positions where perfect execution isn't going to be enough, who do care about winning and therefore try to do too much. And if executing together isn't enough to make this team competitive against the top teams, then freelancing certainly isn't going to do it. I absolutely believe the guys are as frustrated as the fans are, but where we get to vent, they have every word and facial expression hyper-analyzed and end up with people accusing them of not caring or not trying.

    That doesn't mean I think the team is going to work as constructed long-term, so some guys will end up going, and with at least one guy (Kirk) I think he needs to be elsewhere for his own career as well as for the team. And I don't absolve the front office of everything, either - but I also understand they can't waive a magic wand and have the perfect team overnight, and that's especially true while 2 of the legitimate players are sidelined with injuries.

  • In reply to clancy:

    PLEASE stop making EXCUSES for the Bulls lack of effort. Thank you.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Maybe if you stop posting the same thing obsessively in caps...

    I reiterate - there's a big difference between "reasons" and "excuses." You're very good at posting sound bites, and pretty bad at considering/responding to the actual content of other people's posts.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    agreed.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    i neeeeeed to understand why people think our team is good..We're not truthfully..we're solid...thats it..really..san antonio doesnt look as good..cleveland showed it was a fluke and denver i guess didnt play hard the first time..utah,toronto,portland..i mean to get blown out by these teams..and say everythings ok...just read this and then tell me what you think is wrong...

    http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/rosenblog/2009/12/someone-wake-up-rose-at-the-start-and-mute-del-negro-at-the-end.html

    the truth on two of our problems...lets get byron to coach..look at his resume of point guards under him...ALL all stars..a true point guard coach..

    Cp3,J.kidd and b. diddy

  • In reply to clancy:

    LEADERSHIP, PASSION, and HEART is what they need, especially from Derrick Rose and Luol Deng.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    DERRICK ROSE LIVE CHAT:

    http://www.eastbay.com/promotion/promoId:5004119/derrick-rose/?&cm=57831P

    Check it out.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    He had some interesting answers.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I agree that there have to be questions right now about Derrick's heart/competitive spirit. Though I think coaching/having a mentor/atmosphere/talent level all play a part in bringing out this dismal side of Derrick we've seen for a good part of the season. That's not entirely an excuse either. And I'm not just talking about his game. I mean him as a person. He has looked lost. Surely a little more resiliency on his part is in order. I do personally think he has it in him to be a competitor nightly. It remains to be seen if that materializes.

  • In reply to SamS:

    Honestly, Derrick has always looked pretty much the same to me, on the non-basketball part. He doesn't have a particularly expressive face (the anti-Joakim if you will), and to me he looks very much the same whether the Bulls are winning big or getting blown out. Since the team is losing right now, I suppose it makes sense that people will interpret that expression as being disinterested or lost. I'm just not positive that's a fair interpretation of what's going on in his head.

  • In reply to SamS:

    Do you really think they would have been able to move Kirk given the amount of money he gets? I dont think there are many teams out there that would have taken Kirk...

  • In reply to SamS:

    The Bulls problem right now is that they can't score. Bulls have a 99.5 O-Rtg, which is bad enough for 27th in the league. In order for the Bulls to win a game, on average, they would have to have the 2nd best D-Rtg in the league, in order to score more points than their opponents. That's just how bad the Bulls offense has been.

    The cause of the problem is of course letting Ben Gordon go. Hopefully management learns from this in the future, and begins to understand how valuable a player who scores 20 points a game efficiently, while drawing double teams and being the entire focus of another team's defense is, who also spaces the floor, opening up the game for a point guard who likes to drive, and a small forward who likes to take midrange jumpers.

    I don't give the Bulls the injury excuse. They might improve a little bit, but their offense isn't going to improve any from having Hinrich and Tyrus back in there, and their defense will only improve so much, not enough to cover the gap between the Bulls' offense/defense which currently exists.

    You also have other teams with injuries, who are doing better than the Bulls, even with the injuries.

    The Hornets have been without Paul for a good chunk of the season, and have the toughest SRS in the league, and are still 8-11, better than the Bulls.

    The Rockets have been without Yao or McGrady for the entire season, have a tougher SRS than the Bulls, and are still 11-9, better than the Bulls.

    The Pistons, who are the team with the next strongest SRS after the Bulls have been the most injury bitten team in the league (except maybe the Rockets?). They have been without Prince and Hamilton for basically the entire season. They have Ben Gordon hobbling around playing 11 minutes on an injured ankle. (Now there is a guy dedicated to winning...for whatever reason Reinsdorf couldn't appreciate it).

    The Pistons are starting Rodney Stuckey, Chucky Atkins, Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jarebko, and Ben Wallace...yet they are, at 8-12, also a team better than the Bulls.

    The Pistons have only been blown out once this season. The Bulls have been blown out seven times this season, six of them recently.

    The problem is that the Bulls are not competing. History says that a team that gets blown out a lot, will also lose a lot more than they win. That is because if they're so bad that they can't compete with the good teams, than they are going to be competing with the bad teams, not controlling the games against the bad teams.

    Every thing points to the Bulls being horrible. Every statistical analysis of showing how a team is a good basketball team shows the Bulls being terrible. My most recent power rankings have the Bulls at 25th. John Hollinger's most recent have the Bulls at 27th. SRS shows the Bulls to be the 3rd worst team in the league as well.

    The problem isn't that the Bulls have a losing record after a tough part in their schedule while they've been injury riddled. The problem is that the Bulls have completely sucked during this period of time.

  • In reply to SamS:

    I disagree that Derrick Rose hasnt been aggressive.
    He has backed up his talk.
    He didnt play well his last 2 games but it wasnt because of a lack of attemtps.

    Since he actually said that he will try and be aggressive all game. He went

    20
    20
    14
    17
    17
    9 (but shot 9free throw attempts) which was his most by a mile
    16
    9 (in a shorten outting in 27 mins)

    I dont think any of us can complain with the shot attempts. The last two he didnt shoot well missing alot of chippys but he does look like he is attacking in the lane more without a doubt.

    So I disagree with Doug saying that he isnt backing up his word because he has definitely made strides. Give him a little credit on that at least.

  • Doug, this the part that fans (and players) get dissapointed with management. You are top 3 teams in the league (money wise) but act as a small market one. There is no help on the way because it will cost money. I think players see this too (Joaquim) and they feel like there is no support. Now I get why so much ex-players are part of coaching staff, they need bodies for the practice!

  • Noah, Deng, Salmons and Rose are all good players, Chicago sees Gibson as a good player too. Miller is a vet and still "good" although not as good as he once was. When these "good" players are in why are we looking horrible with our execution?

    I have a theory... maybe the players don't know what to do when it's all going bad as in, what players they need to go to. When this team starts to sputter call plays for Rose and Salmons, no need to see a play with Noah getting a 15 foot jumper, no need to see Deng trying to go one on one or posting up.

  • I agree.

  • Doug I think you're right on a lot of what you're saying here, but I disagree that anyone should have thought of Salmons as a top three guy...he's a role player at best...Im not a big fan...Also,

    "I don't know if they'd admit them, but not signing Ben Gordon at the beginning of last season to a 6/54 deal when he tried to take it and drafting Taj Gibson over Dejuan Blair have been fairly critical blunders. Redo on those two moves and this team looks pretty great right now. "

    I mean, define great? I still think we are NOT a contender with those moves (not even close) and we would have handicapped ourselves for next year if we did resign BG7. Look, we all knew exactly what this season was going to be...lets be honest. Yes, its a financial move and they are putting a bad product on the floor, but if its a means to an end, which I am still holding out hope it is, then Im fine with that...

  • In reply to Dmband:

    How would we be handicapped, if we unloaded Kirk Hinrich in the process? That would clearly have been the superior choice. Ben Gordon instead of Kirk Hinrich on any roster looks a lot more attractive to free agents.

  • It's an interesting look into DROSE's thoughts.

    http://www.eastbay.com/promotion/promoId:5004119/derrick-rose/?&cm=57831P

  • How about hiring a man Jerry Reinsdorf publicly called a "novice" to shepherd Derrick Rose into the NBA game?

    From a bigger perspective, just what does "it's no where near as bad as it feels right now" mean?

    To me, this "feels" like a team that will struggle, even if healthy, to make the playoffs. If it does make the playoffs, it'll be on the back of players that won't be coming back and/or don't have much upside. We

    Which brings us to the longer range goals. As I see it, the "plan" is to woo a major FA this summer. On every front I can think of, the Bulls are doing a bad job of executing that plan.

    1. They actually need to have max cap space. There are a variety of fairly reasonable scenarios (Salmons doesn't opt out, the Bulls can't unload Hinrich or Deng) in which they don't even have chance to bring in a max guy. So the Bulls have so far failed to secure themselves as a 2010 destination in the basic sense of certainly having the cap room.

    2. Aside from Derrick Rose (who hasn't stepped up), is there anything remotely compelling about the Bulls as a FA destination? Do we seem particularly up and coming? No. Do we seem particularly adept at evaluating talent? No. Do we have a reputation for doing anything and everything possible as an organization to win? Ha.

    In short, this team is failing at its basic "mission" for this season. You can say stuff like "well, we've suffered injuries", but every team suffers injuries. Teams build success by making good decisions. But the bottom line is the Bulls have made bad decisions on talent, and bad decisions in fitting it together and leading it.

    Those are not only failures in themselves, they're failures because FAs are watching and judging our performance. Why should a Wade, Lebron or Bosh come here vs. staying where they're at?

    I don't see it and that's a big time failure at the only goal that matters.

  • Thankfully the Blackhawks were on Saturday night or I might have thrown my TV off the balcony. What a pathetic effort. I think all Bulls fans could benefit from a crop duster spraying the city with Xanax after this weekends debacle....starting at Mr. Happy's house...my blood pressure went up just reading all those CAPS :-) That said all the effort inthe world isnt going to help until Kirk and TT get back. Like them or not they bring much better D...until then we might as well go easy on the panic button. None of this is really all that shocking. The Bulls are .500 team at full staff and clearly much much worse with 2 of their better defenders sidelined. Not a big shock. Not alot of options either.

  • I would suggest that going into the season, we all should have expected Rose, Deng and Noah to be our top 3 players.

    Rose is the #1 pick in the draft
    Deng is the highest paid player.
    Noah is the starter, Miller is a backup and a role player.

    I suppose that you could debate Salmons over Noah, but Noah adds more as our best rebounder and overall defender.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Bulls get killed in the paint against strong forwards and center, No-Shot Noah gets pushed around as if he was on roller skates. In the blow outs the other teams score at will in the paint.
    The trainee Pax drafted two forwards, even this dunce knows how weak the Bulls are in the paint.

    Deng like Hinrich is highly overated, these two core
    Paxson players are fragile and over paid! Did Paxson really believe that the Laugh-A-Bulls could replace Gordon's scoring, or was he just throwing this season away looking for the lottery pick!

  • Since you mentionsed executions, it reminds me of the coach who was asked what he thought of his teams execution, his reply, I'm all for it.

    Right now, most Bulls fans would concur.

  • I think the Bulls are in a good position at this point of the season. They've had a tough schedule and there is only one questionable loss on their record, and no losses against a team not expected to be in the playoff hunt. I wish the Bulls could've pulled out a win against the Bucks, but not having decent production off the bench killed that opportunity. I don't think there is another loss that I thought we should've won. I guess you can probably say the home game against the Nuggets, but they're head and shoulders better than the Bulls this season. The Raptors are in the same boat as us, unfortunately the Raptors are a bad match up for the Bulls. The Raptors did 3-1 in last year's season series against us.

    So, until the Bulls start loading up their record with bad losses. I'm going to have to look at our start as a positive. Sure, the blowouts stink, but there's no league rule that gives the team a extra loss for losing by a wide margin. A loss is a loss.

  • 1. Most likely? :) Every time I hear about Salmons being likely to opt out, I think of this scene from the Family Guy. No matter how people try to justify it, it's six kinds of crazy to say the Bulls just "had" to do X,Y, and Z to get cap space for 2010 but then it's somehow ok to leave a 30% wild card chance out there that's completely out of their control and can screw up all their planning and moves up to that point.

    2. How well does the team have to play down the stretch for it to be irrelevant? I certainly agree that it's better to win, but it also matters how they win. Sneaking into the playoffs due to the resurgent play of three guys that everyone knows are goners (Tyrus, Miller, and Salmons) doesn't strike me as very relevant to anything. Winning is better than losing, but FAs want to come to a winning team, not act as their replacements.

    And that gets to another issue with the organization attracting talent. Playing fairly well down the stretch shouldn't increase a prospective FA's confidence too much that the Bulls will suddenly turn over a new leaf and spend to the hilt in order to surround said FA with talent.

    Wade says "Boy, I can't wait to play with Derrick and Tyrus". Gar says, "Ahem... about that, we're actually not expecting Tyrus back". Wade, "That's ok, I know you guys have a record of paying to attract top talent". Gar (chuckles).

  • "The Pistons are starting Rodney Stuckey, Chucky Atkins, Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jarebko, and Ben Wallace...yet they are, at 8-12, also a team better than the Bulls."

    Didnt we just beat the Pistons?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    We beat the Cavs too, but they, just like the Pistons, both have a better win percentage.

    The Pistons were also without Charlie Villanueva when we played them. The Pistons were without their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best players when we played against them, and there best player was playing after just recently spraining his ankle (which is apparently pretty bad, as he was only able to play around 11 minutes against Washington).

    The Pistons have been completely hit by injuries, yet they still have a better record than us, which is sad. (And they also weren't getting blown out when they were losing).

  • In reply to awamboldt:

    The Pistons are percentage points better, same number of games back. I'd say the teams are in the exact same position - it's not like the Bulls are playing at full strength here, either.

    The difference is Bulls' fans are willing to be reasonable about the Pistons injuries and how they impact the team, but can't see anything but negatives for the Bulls.

  • In reply to awamboldt:

    Great article. Very realistic. Think about how much better off the Bulls would be with Ty Lawson and DeJuan Blair; two players who would not have been reaches at 16 and 26.

  • Pipe dreams with respect to quality FA signings for 2010....especially Bosh AND Wade...dont believe we will sign either as there is more than cap space that meets the eye....under the hood...being part of this organization does not seem that appealing. The only other realistic aspect that seems plausible is maybe signing Amare (if Kerr can help old buddy Paxon..wink wink) or maybe Boozer (but not likely either). Botton line, we have regressed this year, not just that team is not giving it all crap, but rather save room for next year subtraction by addition philosophy. Hope I am wrong, but we are headed for another mediocre seasons...and we will continue to pay top dollars as fans for the seats that dont warrant the occupation level day in day out...

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    Bulls are #1 in attendance: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/attendance

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    blame the owner.. for being personal with gordon..

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    gordon is a scorer, i rather have gordon back.. and trade deng..
    for me deng is overpay..

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    elton brand,lamarcus aldrige,pau gasol, players that should have been a bull, for life..

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    I THINK FOR ME AS A FAN, for me were not gonna compete for a championship this year anyway.. i rather trade deng,hinrich,salmon,pargo,brad, get a couple of draft picks,or a young stud. perhaps boozer or bosh. and build the team with Drose, because this is a different team now.
    and i hate to say this.. vinny is on is way out.. and he knows it.

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    I believe that the SRS rating, adjusted for schedule strength and margin of victory has the Bulls around 26th in the NBA. The sos issue really isn't a root cause due to the blowouts.

    The injury factor . . . its Hinrich and Tyrus. That hurts, but again, if you believe in the Bulls, Rose, Salmons, Deng and Noah should be enough by themselves to at least be competitive.

    The Bulls are playing like one of the worst teams in the NBA right now, with their core guys healthy. That says really bad things about the core players.

  • In reply to adkhanz:

    I knew 3 minutes in to the game that the Bulls were going to get blown out by the Raptors. They weren't closing out on shooters, they were staying perimeter, and giving up offensive rebounds from the get go. They didn't even seem like they had a game plan. Sorry, but when Jose C is covering DRose a screen and role should be the last option. Post him, cross him over, or even jump shoot over him at will. This Raptor team is last in every defensive category for a reason. Im from Toronto, so I have seen the Raptors lose to teams like Memphis, and Washington, so why are the Bulls not even keeping it competitive. We can blame Vinny all we want or blame it on BG leaving, but the Raptors blew out the BUlls at UC last year by 20 as well. THis group gets complacent constantly. At some point personal pride has to kick in. I've watched every game for the last 4 years and it frustrates me when they play like this because I know they are better. I hear people talking about making major changes to the squad, but I want this group to succeed. Why cant Chicago be the Houston of the East.

  • For not shooting well, the Bulls have been guarded pretty well from the outside. They're not making many 3s, neither did the Bulls Jordan's rookie year, they shot 18% as a team from 3pt range, but he still was able to attack. I know teams are packing it in, but Rose needs to have the freedom of breaking off plays and attacking the rim when it's there and there have been times when it's there but he's ran the play instead. The sooner Vinnie makes this team Rose and then everyone else, the sooner we can start moving forward as a franchise.

  • The grossly over rated and over paid Hinrich is nothing and now he is also fragile like Deng!

    No-Shot Noah is greatly improved after finally getting in shape. Noah gets pushed around in the paint by strong forwards and centers because he is weak and he does not have any help in the front line! The Laugh-a-Bulls can not compete in the paint against good teams!

    Your PR for Klank off the rim Hinrich the circle dribbling clock eater is very old! Look at Hinrich's current stats, he is an expensive joke. The Bulls could not give him away!

  • The Bulls are ranked 5th in SOS and Pistons are right behind them at 6th. They've had roughly the same difficulty in schedule.

  • No. Obviously there are things you can control and things you can't. The team can absolutely control whether it actually has enough cap space to offer a max contract next year.

    It has less control over it's success this year (and perceptions about the team in general, but still some control. It has even less control still over whether a free agent actually signs with them.

    If your plan fails because of factors beyond your control, perhaps it was poor planning, but maybe it was just bad luck. But if you've got a plan and you don't even do what you can to influence its outcome, that's just stupid. Expecting the team to control the factors it can control isn't expecting perfections, it's expecting competence.

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