Korver or Brewer? Tom Thibodeau says SG's a camp battle

Per CSN Chicago:

"Obviously I think we have depth. We evaluate by performance," said Thibodeau after Wednesday morning's practice session. "We're
pretty sure on four starters. We have one position that's up for grabs
and then playing time with our bench will be determined by how people


Now I suppose it's theoretically possible that Omer Asik has outplayed Joakim Noah enough that the Center position is up for grabs, or maybe Carlos Boozer really deserves to be a 6th man.  James Johnson did get in great shape, and Rose could be the first franchise player to specialize in coming off the bench...

Or we could simply be talking about Brewer vs Bogans vs Korver here.  I'll say Bogans is probably out right away.  He's the lowest paid and least talented player of the three, so the question becomes who do you want to start next to Derrick Rose?

I'm going with Kyle Korver as my starter.  The Bulls always need some shooting in the lineup and their two best shooters are Korver and Watson.   Watson certainly isn't going to start, so you maximize the amount of time you have at least one shooter on the floor by playing Korver in the starting lineup.

This could put added pressure on Rose defensively, as he'll have to take some SG matchups which would overwhelm Korver that he'd at least have a shot of defending.  The extra wear on him defensively could take away some from his offense as well which might cause the Bulls to go to a zone or simply to make sure Korver has a man behind him ready to help.  

They'll definitely need to scheme around Korver to protect him defensively, but it's typically not too difficult to protect one poor perimeter defender.  This team had a #1, #2, and #7 defense with Ben Gordon playing far more minutes than Korver will see, and if you believe the press, he's the worst defender on the planet (I don't believe that as an FYI if you're new). 

Rose needs to step up though, because while protecting one poor perimeter defender probably isn't that difficult, protecting two when they play the PG and SG positions will put a tremendous strain on the big men and make it difficult for them to avoid picking up fouls.  

All that said, we know Korver's going to play a certain amount of minutes, so whatever defensive shortcomings they'll need to be addressed while he's on the floor regardless.  I'd rather have him out there when his strengths will be on greatest display, and that's playing full time with Derrick Rose.


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  • Brewer is the starter, because Korver needs to back-up Deng.


    Today is the big meeting between Melo and George Karl, among others.

    It's on the verge? He just changed his twitter background to red/black shoes.


  • Oops...I meant Korver needs to back-up Melo.

    He's dropping hints that he wants to be on the Bulls. The Nuggets' colors are not red and black. Those are the Bulls team colors.


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Melo not coming...

  • True or false: Deng is a better perimeter defender than Korver.

    Why am I the only person on the planet who thinks that if Korver and Deng are on the floor together, Deng is more qualified to guard the SG? People seem scared to have a 6'9" guy guarding SGs, but Deng is quicker, longer and more athletic than the 6'7' Korver.

  • Anybody know why Melo would change his twitter background to red & black shoes?


    Keep an eye on it. That's all I'm saying.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    What was it before I forgot?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Who cares???? After the "Summer of Lebron" you're not tired of "searching for clues"?

  • In reply to MrHappy:


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Go find clues for who shot JFK, and let the rest of us read about actual basketball.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    He has already said he wants to go to the Bulls. But Denver doesn't want Deng's contract. So it is no-solution time now. We have to move on. The only chance Bulls have is after Dec 15 to Feb deadline(when we can trade the new guys). And even there, I am not sure if Denver just wants the capspace or take some ordinary talent back. If that doesn't happen, then something bad has to happen in NY like Amare getting injured for Carmelo not to go there in FA.
    Didn't LBJ move his office to Chicago?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    When you have Thib's D, and Taj and Joakim backing you up, you can probably get away with Korver using all the tricks of steering and using the baseline as a defender the way Pax did. Not that Korver has Pax's athleticism(?), but I think it could be the perfect situation where Korver actually can play some real minutes at the two.

    But I wouldn't put the spotlight/pressure on him by starting him there. You start Brewer, and then see How Korver fits in real minutes at the SG. If things work out well enough eventually maybe he becomes your starter, but either way Brewer will see a lot of minutes at the SG so Korver or Brewer will likely be the "starter" in name only. I don't like platoons, but a good coach can give each guy more minutes depending on matchups, and then if one guy is simply playing very well/terrific(and better then the other) then you find minutes for the other guy at the SF etc.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think the SG starter is as much about how Deng and Rose are doing with their 3pt shot and whether teams are really able to stop the Rose/Boozer PnR. If we are able to generate enough offense using Brewer, then we are better off, but that is far from certain.

    Also, Brewer has been hampered by a gimpy hammy.

    I am happy having a certain degree of uncertainty about line-ups going into pre-season, just to have something to watch for. Also, chemistry is going to be important to watch for.

  • In reply to scogo1:

    that hamstring has been fine for well over a year! He would not have passed a physical otherwise. That's why Pargo is with the Hornets instead of the Warriors (who he signed with first). The Bulls are not paying all of that money to someone with a "gimpy hammy!"

  • In reply to hinton980:

    Brewer missed practice today with a tight hammy...

  • In reply to bullsville:

    My thought is that part of the reason the position is up for grabs is that Brewer didnt look good early in the week because of his hammy, and finally now got a day off. When Thibs saw Brewer wasn't able to play to his potential, he put the 2 spot up for grabs...

  • In reply to bullsville:

    Back in the Scott Skiles days, he always benched Gordon to get more defense into the starting 5. But Gordon was the only guy on that team who could create his own offense, so Skiles always had to put BG back in the starting lineup. Without him that Bulls squad couldn't score enough at the start of games. But this team has 2 guys in Rose and Boozer that create their own offense. With good ball movement scoring shouldn't be a problem.

    Brewer brings too many options on the perimeter defense not to start. Not only would he guard the top shooting guards, against teams with a great PG and a non-scoring SG Brewer could guard the PG to help Rose conserve his energy for running the team. So start Brewer and let Korver back up Deng or Brewer depending on the matchups. If it turns out that starting 5's offense isn't good enough without a 3-pt shooter, then make the change to Korver starting at the 2.

  • In reply to scogo1:

    I have to disagree with you on this one. In fact you even make the case against yourself. Can't have two poor defenders on the perimeter at the same time. I know Rose has worked on improving his defense but let's give him a chance to prove himself at the start of the season. As far as having shooters in the starting line up, we already have two. If you want to qualify as long range or 3-point shooters, then yes we would need Korver. However, both Deng and Boozer are good shooters from mid range and 16-23 feet range. And don't forget Rose's improved range. With three starters needing offensive touches, (Rose, Boozer and Deng), we need the other two to focus on defense and rebounding. So Brewer should start. Then you bring in Korver at the 8 minute mark to relieve Brewer while Rose is still on the court and they can overlap for 2-3 minutes. Remember Korver is more suited for SF than at SG. So maybe keep Brewer in, shift Deng to PF and bring Korver at SF for short spells. Either way Korver is too much of a defensive liability in the starting unit. It also makes sense to have him on the second unit to stretch the floor for Watson. So the second unit of Watson, Korver and Gibson looks solid with some minutes sprinkled amongst JJ, Bogans, Thomas and Asik in low doses.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    u only need to comment once on the subject, saying it three times in different forms gets annoying. and way to point out the obvious, i didnt know the nuggets colors werent red and black and that ours were, thanks for the insight.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr Happy-

    I dont dispute that Melo wants to come to the Bulls, however its extremely important to note that Carmelo Anthony is currently niether the GM or the Owner of the Denver Nuggets. While he may WANT to play for the Bulls, I think the Nuggets have made it very clear they have specific needs/requests they need to be fulfilled. What Im saying is his twitter background is irrelevant to the deal getting done.

  • In reply to Dmband:


    I know it is irrelevant.

    However, I do believe Melo is signaling his desire to play for the Bulls.

    Case in point...

    - He re-tweeted a BleacherReport article about him being the missing piece to beat the Miami Heat this year.

    - He tweeted about the album "BreakLights" and a song called Blackout, which mentions the Chicago Bulls.

    - Now he is promoting his new M7's in Red and Black, not Blue and Yellow.

    With JerseyChaster, Yahoo (Marc Spears) and ESPN (Bill Simmons) all saying that Melo wants to be on the Bulls, I'm thinking he does.

    Hopefully, the Bulls' brass and Denver brass' can reach a trade agreement, sooner than later.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I'm with Mr. Happy on this one. Love clues that point to the Bulls even though we always get burned.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think Melo's primary concern is signing an extension under the current CBA. If Melo truly wants to win he will play out this year and then sign to a new team without requiring his new team to deplete its roster and assets.

    If Melo is willing to go to free agency it completely ends the small amount of leverage Denver has over Melo. The Big 3 took less money to play with a winner, will Melo?

    For example, if Melo was going to New Jersey wouldn't he want them to keep Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and draft picks? NJ's a better team with those assets plus Melo.

    A winner doesn't want to join a depleted team, only a money grubber wants that.

    Fortunately, I believe Bulls are too smart/conservative to deplete their team for Melo.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Great, now Noah can go trick or treating and sign his extension the following day. LOL

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think you guys who are hoping for more 3-point shooting from Deng are going to be very, very disappointed, if you go by what he said at the first day of camp:

    (This is from the NWI Times, but I couldn't find it on their website, so I copied this from Tuesday's print edition):

    Veteran forward Luol Deng, bothered by injuries much of his career, declared himself the healthiest he's been in some time.

    "The one thing I'm really excited about is I can go back to moving without the ball", Deng noted. "The way our team is made up now, the chemistry, and Coach trying to play the inside game, I won't have to do so much on the perimeter.

    "The inside game... that'll allow me to use my 'instincts' and just play basketball."

    That doesn't sound like a guy who is planning to shoot a lot of 3's.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Not to put too much of a damper on the Melo coming to Chicago thing. But his High School colors were Red, Black, & Yellow. And Jordan Brand has released Red & Black Melo's in the past along with Orange & Blue and Carolina and Yellow. That would cover Oak Hill, Syarcuse, and the Nuggets. Just sayin'.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Re: Korver V. Brewer:

    I am of the opinion you play your best defender full time. 3 point specialists are better served coming off the bench, typically to provide a much needed spark on offense, or to hit the other team fast and score some points in bunches. Ill take Brewer to start. But it certainly doesnt hurt to have some camp competition.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    The deadline date for contract extentions has been moved from Oct. 31st to Nov. 1st.


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    He's just messing with our hopes the same way LBJ, D-Wade, and Bosh did. These divas are very childish and trying to screw with the chemistry of the Bull's team like when we thought Kobe was going to be a Bull. They saw what that did to a young team but it will not work this time. If we ignore them when they do things like that, they might just stop and let due process decide the outcome of who we have on our team.

  • Still not sure why you'd want to make things harder for Rose on defense, where he is already a little bit suspect, and easier on offense, where he is already adept. Rose is going to be able to score no matter how much the defensive SG cheats, or get an assist. Look what he did last year playing next to guys who couldn't shoot and a big man who couldn't post. Now imagine what he could do if he can rest on the defensive end...

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Rose needs to be challenged and improve. For him to become a superstar, take his game to the next level and properly lead this team he needs to become a two-way killer and that means improving his defense drastically. Not all this year, but certainly marked improvement over time.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I agree. Rose's defense is already suspect and asking him to help more on defense is not good. Let's see for half a season how his defense is before we make any judgement on his role on defense. The PG position has become very good in the NBA and it will demand a lot of defensive attention every game

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    When Korver is in the game Deng will have to play the SG position to plug a hole of 2 weak defenders (Rose and Korver)playing in the backcourt. Deng will help Rose in the back while Boozer or Noah wanders away from the paint to help Korver if needed. That's the only way Rose and Korver get to be on the floor at the same time.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    What about Watson, whos to say he cant start next to Rose, yes I know he's relatively short for the position but what if he's really showing up in practice, you dont seem to acknowledge him as a possible starter....

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    If Korver is making shots...I think we should let him start. I guess that's why we need a wing player who is primarily an offensive player with decent defensive skills. It depends on Deng actually. If he is making 3 pt shots regularly, Brewer can start...
    If Deng is playing like Brewer, then you need Korver

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I disagree. I would rather start the game frustrating the other team with with defense. I argue that starting Deng and Brewer along with Rose and Noah, gives us additional athleticism and length to get into the passing lanes and create offense out of defense. Brewer finishes better than Korver as well.

  • Not that I like the idea, but the Suns did this with great success last year. Their second unit got so good, they would play well against opponents' starters giving their own starters extra rest.

  • This is all about what Thib's coaching philosophy is. He might claim that this is all about who's playing better in camp, but I see him having a stance in one of these two philosophies. 1.)Start your more defensively oriented unit(with Brewer) in order to wear down the opponent mentally. Then bring your shooter out to hit shots that, in theory, will be against mentally drained defenders. 2.)Start the more offensively oriented unit(with Korver) to wear down the opponent physically up and down the floor. Then bring in the defensive unit to bury the opponent.

    Then again you can wear down teams physically and mentally on either sides of the court. Either way I see this ending up being a game by game starting lineup at SG.

  • Deng is already the third option on offense (Boozer, Rose, and Deng). If he becomes a true three point threat then he could compete for becoming our second option over one of the other two.

  • From what I have read(and seen on a limited basis) about Korver he struggles on defense in general, but really struggles chasing 2 guards around. Apparently he is almost/barely servicable when defending small forwards.

    I agree that Brewer can backup Deng also, but to start the season Brewer should start at 2 guard, just to set a defensive tone and because counting on Rose to be the defensive presence in the backcourt is foolish at this point in his career, he has way too much on his plate offensively.

    Maybe Brewer can move to small forward when Korver plays 2 guard, or when Watson does.

    As for our buddy Ben, Defense is primarily a function of effort or wanting to do it. The next time that Gordon puts forth a legitimate effort on defense will be the first.

    I don't know where that ranks him on the planet, but it still makes him the worst defensive player that I have ever had the displeasure of watching. Which is why I will probably love Brewer.

  • And Deng is more qualified to guard power forwards than he is to guard shooting guards, so Korver isn't guarding 2's.

  • Sounds awesome, I look forward to reading it.

    I've always thought that Deng could hit ~37% or so from behind the arc shooting 2-3 a game. He finally got up to .386 last season shooting 1.2 a game, I hope he takes the next step- it could really, really help our offense.

  • It actually wouldn't shock me to see Bogans starting at SG as he is a mix of Brewer and Korver.

    He defends well, but not as well as Brewer.
    He shoots the 3 well, but not as well as Korver.

    I could see him starting and playing 15-20 minutes a night, with either Korver or Brewer on the floor at the end of the game depending on the situation and opponent.

    The disclaimer being that I grew up in Kentucky, so you have to take anything I say about any former Wildcat with a huge grain of salt...

  • Wow the more we talk about Deng's athletism, size, defense, etc the more I'd like to keep him and see what our current team can do together. I agree with starting Korver because Deng and Brewer are too similar, but Deng needs to guard the SG because while Rose is improving his D, he is our primary weapon and runs the teams Offense and shouldn't have to cover for Korver at SG...PGs in the NBA have gotten very good in the past few years and while Rose dominates let's not ask him to be the defender of both guards.

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