Bulls lose; fall out of playoffs; Deng hurt

I said early in the year that the Bulls couldn't coast through the schedule at the end of the year like they typically do.   They needed to perform better early because making it up on the back 9 wouldn't be as easy in years past.   Boy is that proving out true.   Could things have really gone much worse?
Derrick Rose was very good on offense again, but the Bulls had nothing else, especially in the second half.   Without Joakim Noah (and possibly Tyrus/Salmons becoming Flip/Hakim), the Bulls can't seem to defend a rock.   They're giving up extremely efficient scoring all game long to every opponent.

Things aren't going to get easier either.   Things especially fell apart once Luol Deng was injured, and Deng may not join the team on the trip to Orlando as he has an MRI on his calf.   Luol is the Bulls best remaining defender, and the defense threatens to go from suck to blow if he misses any stretch of time.

If you're stretching for some positives, and boy, do you need to stretch, the one thing that could be said about the Bulls right now is that their best players, by far, also coincide with the only players on the roster who are locked in long term.   They're locked into Joakim, Rose, and Deng who are the primary players making things go in a positive fashion.

Still, this game is ugly.   If the season were to end today, the Bulls would swap the 11th pick of the draft with the 17th pick in the draft while missing the playoffs.   John Salmons would likely opt out of his contract, and the Bucks fans will laugh their asses off at us all summer long for giving them a trade up in the 1st round, two 2nd rounders, and the player who drove them into the playoffs ahead of us just so we could end up in the same cap position we would have ended up anyway.

The only possible way to prevent this scenario is to beat out Charlotte for the playoffs [boy does that look unlikely right now] or to completely fall in the crapper and not win a game the rest of the season [even then we may not be bad enough to beat out the Clippers for 10th in the lotto standings].

More or less, we have entered into the zone of maximum pain.   I can't rip on the trades at the deadline.   They needed to be done to ensure 2010 flexibility, but I outlined a worst case scenario that could happen, and the Bulls are about to live it.

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  • DECISION TIME:

    Lottery or playoffs?

    The Bulls players and coaches need to make a decision on where they want to go.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Lottery,Lottery,Lottery!

    Start Murray and Warrick and play all the kids. Keep Deng and Hinrich on the bench, everybody with a brain knows what these two overpaid guys can do already!

    Let's see Alexander, Johnson and Richard. Let's hope they shine!

    Noah if he gets well, takes many months to get in shape, he is toast for this year.

  • In reply to Alex:

    This is sure to impress potential free agents...

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Exactly. I can't stand this "win a championship or lottery" mentality. Why the extremes? Makes no sense.
    Win as many games as you can every year. Play the best you can every day. It's really quite simple.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Alex-

    Why dont you just admit your a Pistons fans so we can all move on with our lives.

    I not sure how you can say Noah is a bad player when his absence has had such a significant impact on our play as a team. So I ask you, if he's so bad, then why are we playing so poorly without him?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Hey Dmband

    You are grossly miss quoting me:

    Noah has improved this year, I have said that before!

    Noah was not in NBA shape for the first 1 & 3/4 seasons.
    Did he have foot problems or was he lazy?

    Noah came to the preseason in shape for the first time ever!
    After 1/2 a season he is hurt, if he heals how long will it take him to get into shape-6,8,10 months or longer. Is he fragie like Deng?

    Noah gets pushed around by guys like Kamen and Bogut and he disappears against better forwards and centers. Noah's lack of bulk and strength could be improved if lifts 3 times a week. Realistically some guys will never muscle up, it is a fact of nature. Now throw in his rep of being lazy and his track record of being out of shape.

    Noah is a long rebounder and nothing more. He is not an all star just a role player that if in shape, helps the Bulls.

    Based on Noah's track record, he has been productive for a total of 3/4 of a sesason out of the 2-1/2 seasons he has been with the Bulls. Do you think he will be of any use for the remainder of this 1/2 of a season----logicaly Noah should stay off his feetb until he is 110% well and then he must get into top shape!

    I am a big time Bulls fan. Did you see Klank Hinrich get murdered by Deron Williams.

    Gordon kept the Bulls in many games, he is clutch! Hinrich is nothing but a clock eating, career streak shooter who belongs "glued to the bench" Klank is an attack killer.

  • In reply to Alex:

    please stop .. ben gordon is gone people .. its over ..

  • In reply to Alex:

    Alex-

    You're right...Gordon's in the process of leading the pistons to the championship.....oh wait...they're horrible.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Hey Dmband,

    That is not what I said. Let me clarify it again. Gordon, when he was with the Bulls could get his own shot and was clutch when the game was on the line. I don't care what he does with the Pistons. Klank Hnrich is nothing and should be glued to the bench where he can count his money along with the fragile Deng.

    Obviously you can read and write, ask you Mom to explain the word comprehension to you! Don't post until your afternoon nappy!

  • In reply to Alex:

    I also think its funny how everyone here is assuming if the Bulls dont make the playoffs, they wont be able to attract a FA, or also, based on personell, they wont be able to attract a FA. I ask you, how the hell are the Knicks going to attract anyone then? We are in a decidedly better position than the majority of teams who will be able to offer a Max FA contract, with a all star point guard who doesnt want to be "the man".

  • In reply to Alex:

    Hey Doug-

    You cant tell me that NY has more marketing oppty than Chicago...its 2010...its not as if we are comparing Toronto to New York...we still live in a metropolitan area thats 3-4th largest market...at that point you are splitting hairs in terms of who has more marketing oppty.....

  • In reply to Alex:

    Right now as we speak the Bulls would be getting the 11th pick in the draft....if we keep losing and land in the top 10 im fine with that. Like other posters are saying...theres some talent out there in this draft. Whiteside has been making big noise...then you have X.Henry,Monroe,Aldrich, Cousins etc... all good players. So if the Bulls do end up sucking it up the rest of the season and land in the lottery or TOP 10...i still think we are looking good. It has to be top 10 though so the Bucks cant swap picks with us.

  • In reply to Alex:

    I love playoff experience and it certainally good for our players....BUT if we dont make the playoffs and land in the top 10 of the draft...I still like what we are doing. Say we grab Xavier Henry and then sign Amare/Bosh or Boozer in the summer...that team is looking good...

    Rose, cheap FA
    Hinrich, Xavier Henry (6'7' SG for the Future)
    Deng, James Johnson
    Amare/Bosh/Booz,Taj, Warrick?
    Noah,Brad Miller

    Top 3 team in the East imo

  • In reply to Alex:

    I still think if we dont make the playoffs, Free agents will come here....just look at the Bears for instance. Bad team but we had the money and we have the big market. Teams around the league know the Bulls are a good team when healthy. I still think players will come here if we dont make it.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Has a guy ever gotten a bigger contract because he was injured before? I think Noah can point to the recent play when negotiating an extension as a big point in his favour.

    The Salmons trade may well go down as the third worst move of the Pax/Garr era (obviously the Ben Wallace signing and drafting Tyrus being the top 2).

  • In reply to Alex:

    Hopefully if we dont make the playoffs...we land safely in the top 10 of the draft. If we dont...and Milwaukee swaps picks with us...that blows.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    James Johnson

    He played 11 minutes last night and had a total of 11 "points" when you add points, rebounds, and blocks, no turnovers.

    Was it simply garbage time or is JJ beginning to learn how to play in the NBA?

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    In reply to rkraneis:

    "Points"? Really? We're doing this now?

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Doug, If the bulls finish with the 11th spot for lottery, but then the actual lottery is played (May) and we move to the top 3, then the pick is ours, right?

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    I know some people including Doug like Pax, and think overall he's done a good job with the Bulls. But while I agree picks like Noah, Deng, and going with dedicated character guys like Kirk, Ben etc. You have to appreciate that stuff yes.

    But I will say this. I think there is a major flaw in John's thinking/mode of operations. Take the Deng signing. Though it was Jerry who completed the negotiations, John repeatedly has uttered the nonsensical misnomer, "Well you don't want to lose a player, and get nothing."

    Let's think about this. Should resources that can be dedicated for other players and team staffing flexibility be considered nothing? If there is to be no limit when negotiating/resigning a well liked and viable player, does that make sense for the team's budget/future to sign other players? Did the Deng overpay and the fear of losing something for nothing in the end make us lose something far greater which is roster flexibility? Not to mention Hinrich and what many have observed in John's relationship with players Noc etc. as the buddy factor rather true market value business decisions.

    Take what I consider the second blunder. Becoming so locked into the 2010 Free Agent bonanza strategy that you do things you know you probably shouldn't. What are the odds of Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh leaving their respective teams and more money to come and play with a franchise with a history/decade of mediocre to losing basketball teams? D-Rose is a special player, but does he yet show leadership, star charisma, get the calls etc. to attract a big name guy? Maybe some day, but right now I'd have to say no.

    So you've then locked into this 2010 strategy with no flexibility to change your thinking/evolve as the situation changes/realities emerge. Plus you have overpaid and handcuffed yourself with excessive dedication of team resources to two players well beyond their value relative to winning. And from all accounts we had the opportunity if not obligation to dump Kirk's exorbitant salary, but failed to do so? But who could we have acquired to replace Kirk at the guard spot. What would we have done? Surely there are guys we could have signed if even a slightly below average player to accomplish the greater good which is free us from a major crippling over dedication of resources.

    I don't know about you, but I'd say those are some pretty big flaws for Pax and now Gar/Pax. And now where are you left? Being "forced" to dump Salmons in a panic at all costs. You give up at least a decent player for inferior players, switch positions in the lottery, give up picks..? Appear as a failure to all interested parties. The point is they should never have been in this position of a $5 to 6 Mil salary forcing them to make trades/moves they really didn't want to make. It's like a game of Chess. When you make basic strategy blunders early on, it forces you to make moves later on you don't want to make.

    Finally, what does common sense tell you about a financially conservative team? Are they the ones most likely to deal in the realm of acquiring attractive, big name free agents? Or is it teams like Miami, Cleveland, Dallas, Boston(Red Sox/Pats), New York(Yankees)I don't know. I'll tell you who it's not. It's fiscally scrounging, conservative teams who when they do try something glitzy sign guys like Ben Wallace that's who.

  • In reply to SamS:

    Shorten it up, guy. You lost me at "but i will say this."

  • Its a little early to be talking about the lottery.

    As of right now I think the bucka are going to swap our pick since I don't think we will fall into the top 10 but we could possibly miss the playoffs.

    Doug, What do you think it is with Vinny and JJ. JJ has shown signs of production in the minutes he has given but still doesnt recieve more and we continue to lose. What do you think it is?

  • "The Zone of Maximum Pain," from Executive Producer Jerry Seinfeld. Thursdays at 9 on NBC.

  • Core Bull Players leading the way:

    Klank off the rim Hinrich, the career streak shooter with his "shut down" defense and his circle dribbling clock eating attack. Deron Williams is still laughing!!!!

    Deng, who when healthly is average at best and hardly ever shows up at crunch time! Now he is hurt again! He will have more time to count his money!

    No-Shot Noah who missed his first 1-3/4 seasons because he was not in shape. Now after 1/2 a season he is toast. Everyone with a brain can see that this Florida fairy's track record shows that he won't be in shape for the rest of the year!

    Don't worry, Joakim he has qualified for a big raise from Paxson!

    Paxson will more than likely trade down this years lottery pick!

  • ....and surprisingly the Bucks beat the Celtics last night.

  • Tyrus is sorely missed. Once again, we give up on young, talented players and end up in the same place year after year.

  • Too Bad Tyrus never devolped, was it this "kids" fault or was it he coaches or both! Look at Gibson, he is mature and a big surprise!

    In regards to coaching, Johnson and Noah were not in shape to run the floor as rookies and Noah wasn't in shape for 3/4 of his second year. Isn't that an indictment of the Bull's coaches and staff????????

    Pax made a terrible mistake by trading for Tyrus. On a good day Pax is clueless!

  • The sky is not falling, people. Yes, they're out of the playoffs right now, but still only a couple games out of the fifth seed (although they would have to do some leap frogging).
    Also, in basketball, having the best player is important and the bulls have the best player of the five teams fighting for the four spots. Yeah, I just said it.

  • Does thinking Rose is better than Wade make me a homer? Oh well.
    And I still think the Bulls can and will make the playoffs... again because they have the best player.
    But since you disagree, do you care to make it intereting? I got $1.00 that says they'll make it.

  • I'll probably forget by then (which may stengthen your argument that I'd actually pay), but if I remember, you got a deal.
    Seriously though, I don't fancy myself a prognosticator, I'm just optimistic. This type of outlook seems to make me a minority in the sports world (and has subsequently cost me a dollar or two in the past too).

  • So the only protection we have on our draft pick is if its a top 3 pick? I would of at least protected it for the lottery... Damnnnnn....Bulls are looking stupid right now lol

  • Is that what they meant by "Glue guy" for Kirk.....a guy that should be glued to the bench lol

  • doug why do they keep thinking about the lottery when we have to swap picks ? mil is slotted 5th! wer in deeeeep trouble .. we look like the worst decision makers ever with that trade .. yes we needed to .. bbut really to our division? if we fall by more than one or two games out of the playoffs.. paxson and vinny are out of here .. p.s did you ever hear of some college kid name whiteside? the next dwight .. he avg 5 blocks a game and has a couple of triple doubles with blocks..

  • hassan whiteside , greg monroe , xavier henry , james anderson cole aldrich & willie warren .. who should the bulls take ? we have to trade up in this draft if we fall outta the playoffs and not have a free agent waiting.. i know amare will come even if we dont make it .. but i get the feeling he would choose new york over chicago and we would be left with nobody who deserves that max.. we could build a team with that money .. like hinrich for mikael piterus and trade for david west who has two yrs left with a contract under 10 million ..

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