Bulls frontcourt puts them in position to compete for #1 seed

John Hollinger's computerized rankings have the Bulls ranked 5th.   Jeff Sagarin's computerized rankings have the Bulls 9th.   In the East, they trail the Celtics in both sets, and also trail the Magic in the Sagarin rankings.  

Why use Hollinger and Sagarin?   They show where the Bulls are right now.   Right now, without an all-star who may be joining the team as early as Wednesday.   Even without an all-star caliber player, out for the whole season, the Bulls are ranked, without bias, as the 2nd or 3rd best team in the east.

And he's coming back.

Derrick Rose is the engine that makes the Bulls go.  He's the most important player on the team, if he were out, the Bulls would be screwed.   However, Derrick Rose has been able to hold up his end of the bargain for awhile, the difference is the front court never could.   Not anymore.

The Bulls finally have a front court to be feared.   A year ago, Joakim Noah went out west and got abused by the great big men in the conference.   This year, he held his own and significantly outplayed Pau Gasol.  

Taj Gibson looks like a starting caliber PF in the NBA, Omer Asik looks like a legit backup center, and we haven't even seen Carlos Boozer yet.    In the past, the Bulls always had very good perimeter play, but they never had anything on the interior to match up with the best teams whom always have strength up front.

With a healthy, integrated Boozer, that's no longer a problem.   How many teams in the NBA have a better, deeper set of big men than Chicago?

Noah, Boozer, Taj, Omer
vs
Lakers: Gasol, Odom, Bynum
Mavs: Dirk, Chandler, Haywood, Marion
Celtics: Garnett, Shaq, J O'Neal, Perkins, Davis
Magic: Howard, Lewis, Gortat

Are those frontcourts better?   Maybe.   I'm probably taking the Lakers over the Bulls in that group up front.   The other guys?    The Mavs and Magic are better with their first option, but worse at the 2nd and 3rd.   The Bulls would outrun the Celtics something fierce and kill them with athleticism.

Even against the Lakers, the Bulls wouldn't be overmatched.   The Lakers would just have an edge.   Realistically, no one else is even in the picture.   For over a decade we've been complaining about our front court, but that problem has been addressed.   It's also been addressed with a group with lots of talent that complements each other well

Gibson and Boozer have quality midrange shots.   Noah and Boozer can operate in the post with their back to the basket.  Gibson and Noah can both play uptempo and out run their opponents.  Gibson, Noah, and Omer can all protect the paint and block shots.   All four can rebound the basketball well.   Omer and Boozer have bulk while Noah and Gibson have speed. 

It's not just the talent, but it's the way the pieces fit that give the Bulls a front court that can match up with anyone, play any style of game, and win.   They can mix and match their bigs to defend against anyone or play a variety of styles of offense.

The Bulls have already shown they can play with anyone.  They're never out of a game and play with passion and energy.  It's the 04/05 team rebooted with more talent.  A lot more talent. 

The pieces are there, the bar's been raised, Chicago fans are developing expectations.   The Bulls will only go as far as Derrick Rose can take them, but he's no longer driving a bus with three wheels and a lawn mower engine.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • Good stuff, I was just thinking about this very thing. I'd probably take our frontcourt over anyone's except the Lakers and Magic. If we're talking long term, I might have to rethink that a little. So far Roy Hibbert has surprised the hell out of me with his play, and the Pacers are making me a little nervous, although not really. I also think the Bucks need to be included in any talks about frontcourt, seeing as a healthy Bogut is probably better than anything we have (but as a group we're superior).

    Speaking of frontcourts, I'm actually looking forward to playing the Magic more than any other team in the league for a true barometer of where the Bulls are at the moment. In the past, it's felt like they could outplay us whenever they felt like it. With Rose looking like a shadow of himself against Howard (when he's not lying on the floor in pain). That game on Wednesday will go a long way in either bolstering, or tempering my excitement about this team.

  • Excellent point about how the Bulls now have the variety players to exploit all the match ups in the front court. It's a long way from where we were this time last year, TT went down with an injury, Miller was looking on his last legs and Gibson was still looking like a guy that might one day become good enough to be a third big if we were lucky.

    It's funny how I have become sold on Boozer even though he hasn't played a game yet. This time last year I was really against Boozer, but the way he's really seemed keen during the games and also to get back out there goes against the rep he had in Utah. Also the play of the rest of the team has made me feel like we need less out of him, we don't need him to be a superstar for this team to be really good, if he can put up 18/10 per 36 (which is worse than any of his Utah years) on his usual efficiency I think that would be enough to push this team into contention.

  • REALITY CHECK:

    Adding Carlos Boozer alone won't allow the Bulls to compete for a #1 Seed. They would need to add another SG and move Keith Bogans down in the rotation to create more balance.

    What gets the Bulls over-the-top?

    Replace Luol Deng and Taj Gibson with Carmelo Anthony and Carlos Boozer, then the Bulls will compete for a #1 Seed in the Eastern Conference, as well as an NBA Championship.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Let. It. Go. Why do you use every post to write some innane love letter to Carmelo Anthony?

    The guy's a good scorer. We'd probably score a little more with him on our team. We get it. You're not discovering anything. Your point is recycled and boring. Next.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Dan, well put. Let's stick with discussing the players we have and not hypothetical situations. The Bulls are coming together as a team nicely. GO BULLS!!!

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    adding to this team will come due to the Bulls MGMT allowing flexibility. But that will be in Jan/Feb which is fun to think about but when a team can play well and upgrade within such as Boozer everyone gets better from 1-5 and you can agrue 1-7 due to having the option of resting some players which shouldnt go un-noticed this is a good team with or without Melo which is already proven

  • In reply to ChardBull85:

    Chard,

    You are right. The Bulls are a good team even w/o Melo. However, that doesn't mean they can compete for a #1 Seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Boston and Orlando are better.

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    Excited to get Booz into the rotation. We need to ease him in, no need to rush, we have a good core of young guys gaining much needed confidence that will serve us well late in the season.

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    Logic,

    Except the FACT that it was a NAIVE statement, just like the one you just made. "Coming together nicely" doesn't mean the Bulls, as is, can compete for a #1 Seed in the Eastern Conference.

    That is a CLUELESS assumption by Doug Thonus. And as usual his CLUELESS FOLLOWING backed the idea.

    Most of you need to COME BACK TO REALITY.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    The biggest question right now to me is Boozer.

    That post about his return date being Dec. 10th or 11th elicited some criticism that perhaps Carlos would take longer then he needed to/keep the team waiting after he was cleared to play.

    My initial response was let's not go with past history concerns/media hype, and make negative comments/criticism until we see how it plays out/give him a chance.

    However now I'm getting a little worried that his comments to the media about not wanting to give a firm date and "I got to have a little mystery."

    What the hell is that? 'I got to have a little mystery??'

    I don't know, to me if you have an iffy history with injuries/playing through pain/taking uneeded time off you don't joke around about it with intrigue and playful banter. This just makes me a little paranoid/leery that he may not play as soon as he's cleared to do so. If he does OK in practice, and the Bulls feel he is ready to play, then they should tell Boozer he's cleared to play, and tell him they plan on announcing, as they would with any other player, that he's been cleared to play.

    Now if Boozer has a problem with that then I'd probably hold off the announcement, but really if his perceived change last year into being a reliable player more comitted to D is correct then he should let the Bulls announce when he is cleared to play.

    Then he should play. That would lead to a ten minute easing in/getting his feet wet against Orlando/or Boston as Doug suggested.

    If I'm wrong on the announcing when a player is good to go then someone let me know, but certainly with Derrick, Kirk(when he was here), Taj, Jo, it seems like the team/doctors stated when the player was deemed ready, and then the guys pretty much came back without delay.

    I just hope my concnerns are for naught, and Boozer does fine in practice, the team says he's cleared to go/will play soon, and then Boozer willingly says let's go for either Orlando or Boston. I should mention I also read a a comment from Boozer where he said he would be playing with pain because he wanted to come back soon, and start playing with these guys.

    Hopefully, he plays Wednesday, and then his minutes increase every game, and the injury question heals/dissapears as it should.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    The next two games are a good barometer on the team. That said adding Boozer might screw up chemistry for a little while. If the Bulls play well at Orlando...then it is a good indicator that they are a contender rather than winning at home. I think they won at home last year. A hot shooting Orlando team can easily beat up on the Bulls because of their perimeter defense and can be bad in the same way.
    The one thing we don't have is Noah backing down and then throwing the ball to a wide-open 3 pt shooter. Maybe Boozer will help the Bulls develop that part of the game.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I really, really wish this team would pump the ball down low to Noah on the block especially late in games. I know that's supposed to be Boozer's role when he debuts (not returns) but it'd be great to see Noah continute develop post skills.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Take it from Thibs, when asked what concerns he has about chemistry once Boozer returns, Tom replied "None"

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Dan,

    I didn't write a love letter to Melo.

    I just responded to Doug Thonus' CLUELESS CLAIM that the Bulls can compete for a #1 Seed in the Eastern Conference.

    That's pure FICTION, unless the Bulls add another SG or make a blockbuster trade for Carmelo Anthony.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Here's hoping the bulls have experienced their only major injuries to the front court for the year. And I think you could actually argue that Noah is just as important to the team with his rebounding and hustle and defense as Rose on a night in/night out basis. You could argue...

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I was thinking the same thing, we almost tanked the entire season last year when NOah was out with foot issues.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    i beg to differ. All the games we lost were under 10 points. If we had boozer. We would have not lost 1 game this year. Keep that in mind! GO BULLS. 1st seed all the way. We have to work with what we got.

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    Vin,

    Taj Gibson played well in Boozer's absence.

    The PF position isn't why the Bulls lost the games they have. Not having a CONSISTENT SCORER FROM THE WING or a CLUTCH performer and/or CLOSER is why they lost the most of the games they have so far this season.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    That is an assumtion that would hold more water if the Bulls struggled late, but they don't.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Against quality opponents, to every game we have lost late, we have won late. The Bulls just need to play for a full 48 & they will be a #1 contender with or without Melo or another dominant wing

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    Does Deng play for 48 minutes?

    Melo does, when he's healthy.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    REMINDER:

    Let's not forget that LUOL DENG scored 0 points in the 2nd Half vs. the Los Angeles Lakers and 0 points in the 3rd Quarter vs. the San Antonio Spurs. The 3rd Quarter being the Quarter where the Bulls lost that game.

    Deng isn't elite, like Melo, because he isn't CONSISTENT.

    I said from the start of the season that the SF position was the X-Factor position for this Bulls' team. Therefore, If the Bulls want to be a #1 Seed in the Eastern Conference or even compete for an NBA championship vs. teams like the Lakers and the Spurs, then Deng need to be more CONSISTENT (48 min. production) and AGGRESSIVE (8-10 FTA's).

    Unlike Deng, Melo doesn't have those problems on the court. He's consistent and aggressive.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Deng has scoring droughts no doubt, but you can't overstate what his defense brings. And for the last time, WE ALL KNOW DENG ISN'T ELITE YOU FOOL! WHO HAS EVER. AND I MEAN EVER SAID DENG WAS ELITE? We'd all like to have Melo instead of Deng, sure, but the deal is dead, in fact it never even took a breath. Your Melo Deng trade had about as much life as an aborted fetus. GET OVER IT.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    guru,

    When did Deng make the All-Defensive team? He hasn't.

    Melo is just as good of a defender as Deng is.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    Go re-examine their schedule, so far.

    They have at least 5 losses where they failed to CLOSE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    news flash Derrick Rose is gonna be the bulls closer.

    The bulls also dont need another star at sg to win. Look at Miami, its not working. Bulls need ronnie brewer to be able to shoot 3s. He cant and probably will never be able to but, that is what they need.

    Players that can defend, cut well, and shoot tend to develop into big name guys but if the bulls can find someone young enough that does not hold the ball and stop offensive flow. So guys like Shannon Brown or... His contract runs up at the end of the year. he is from Chicago. He can fly so he should fit well in an uptempo offense tibs wants to run. The only problem is he is 6'4 not 6'6.

  • In reply to TNBull:

    Mack,

    Newsflash: Rose isn't a good CLOSER.

    He's failed 5 times out of 7 opportunities this year.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It's not Taj he's replacing. Boozer will come in, which means Taj comes off the bench. Taj will still get big minutes though. So essentially Boozer is replacing minutes that have been taken by Omer, Lu at the 4, JJ, Scalabrine, etc. The same minutes are still there to go around, but now they won't be taken up by the end of the bench.

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    Saying that the Bulls have no chance to compete with Boston or Orlando without even seeing how they perform with Boozer(the most significant addition to the team since probably Rodman) is both assinine and clueless.

    Calling Doug and everyone else who isn't facebook friends with him makes Mappy Pelosi both the TRULY CLUELESS ONE, as well as the TRULY ASSININE ONE.

    The best solution to this pestilant plague of assinine, clueless Mappiness is simple

    IGNOR, IGNOR, IGNOR.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bigway,

    Live in denial and stay CLUELESS. I actually know the game of basketball and what a championship team looks like.

    You, like so many on here, are just CONTENT to SETTLE for a 50 win season and a Central Division Championship.

    The Bulls, as is, aren't good enough to compete for a #1 Seed in the East, yet alone an NBA championship.

    You are the one that needs to be IGNORED.

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    Vin,

    The PF position has been strong with Gibson replacing Boozer.

    It's the lack of CONSISTENCY on the wing or the ability to CLOSE OUT opponents where the Bulls have lost games.

    Melo solves those issues.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Doug, thanks for emphasizing how Bulls frontcourt is now an asset for the first time since 2004-05. So many people forget how good Chandler, Curry, Davis were on that team and that 2004-05 was the last time Bulls had a competitive frontcourt.

    I really don't want Bulls to trade Taj or Asik. Bulls should keep this frontcourt together because teams don't advance in the playoffs without a strong frontcourt. Hear that Miami?

    I don't know how they're going to accomplish it, but Bulls need to add a quality SG without giving up too much. Whether they trade the Charlotte pick in February or with a mid-level exception in July (if the new CBA allows it), Bulls need to ADD that SG, and not trade any of their 4 frontcourt pieces in doing so. I'm not saying it will be easy or that I have the proposed trade already figured out, I'm just saying that's what Bulls need to accomplish. It's up to GarPax and Reinsdorf to take the final step towards legitimate contender.

    With a SG who is a scoring threat Deng wouldn't look as offensively challenge as he does sometimes (though I value his play, I should add). That SG is the one missing piece to improve the wing positions and ADD to the strengths of: 1) D-Rose, and 2) the frontcourt, that will allow Bulls to move to elite status.

    This is also why Bulls need to consistently play/develop JJ into either a trade asset or a contributor they want to keep.

    However, I don't think Bulls will make a move anytime soon. They will play with Boozer for the next two months and see if a trade develops at the deadline in February. If not, that SG may be an off-season acquisition.

    For various reasons (new CBA, luxury tax, sold-out UC, good team already) I think Bulls management is content to ride out this season as is unless a major upgrade is available.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree on the sg. He doesnt have to be amazing just a scoring threat and it will probably come during the offseason as a free agent or something for draft picks.

  • In reply to TNBull:

    Mack,

    At the minimum, that's what the Bulls need to compete in the EAST.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hey, didn't you see Carmelo sat out the game after us with flu-like symptoms after playing only 3 minutes? The guy really needs to MAN UP if he wants to be a CHAMPION.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    msalivar,

    Melo has a very bad stomach virus, which happens to be worse than a stiff neck. At least, he tried to play, unlike Derrick Rose.

    Still CLUELESS!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You're a doctor now?

    How is a stomach virus worse for a basketball player than not being able to turn his head in a certain direction? And oh yeah, D-Rose also played over 90 minutes the last two games. What a sissy!

    Anthony: Averaging under 74 games per season in his career.

    Rose: Averaging 79 games per season thus far in his career.

    Mr. Happy: Averaging 12 dumbass, unresearched comments per post.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    My guess is that Mappy Pelosi is smoking the same pot(or is it crack)that caused Melo's "very bad stomach virus"

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bigway,

    I'm clean. It's you and a few others that are HIGH when it comes to your CLUELESSNESS, regarding the game of basketball.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Dan,

    No, I'm not a doctor, but there is a difference between a stomach virus and a stiff neck. A virus causing you to be weak and lose energy, while a stiff neck does not.

    Melo's illness is clearly worse than Rose's stiff neck.

  • I was just thinking the same thing today. The Bulls have the #3 SOS, and have competed in every game. If not for a couple of bad breaks (Nuggets end of game, Knicks shooting the lights out), the Bulls would be 11-4 with a very hard schedule and without Boozer! It's time to start talking about them as an elite team.

    Small statistical side note -- you should use Sagarin's Predictor rankings. They are much more accurate than the Rating or Elo_Chess. Elo_Chess was essentially created solely for the BCS, where you can't factor in score margin (which is by far the best predictor of future outcomes).

  • The Bulls front court shouldn't be a problem, it's the back court that is fairly weak without a good quality shooting guard and 1 injury away for Rose in being out of contention for anything. I don't know what the Bulls are planning to do but the way the Bulls have been letting other team build leads on them, in the long run this team will wear down in using too much energy trying to come back from these big deficits. Someone will eventually go down with an injury from players being too tired and IMO they do need to make a trade of some sort to sure up their lack of scoring in the back court. I don't know what shooting guard they can go after but they do certainly need to get someone cause they are expending too much energy in coming back from these big leads.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Boozer is your big addition, & Brewer to the starting lineup with Bogans only getting situational minutes could be an improvement as well.

    The Bulls need to figure out how to hit the gas pedal once the race starts. They obviously have the talent to blow teams away, b/c they are doing it in stretches. Just need to figure out how to do it for 48. But they really don't need to do that, at least energy wise against all but the scrappy teams like us. Just come out strong, put your foot against thier throat as they are lying on the ground & wait for them to give up. They need to start stronger! I'm hoping Booze will help eventually.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    They just aren't coming out with defensive intensity, at least not on the perimeter. Noah has it, but there's not much he can do when the opposing wings are doing whatever they want to get into the paint. And it really seems to be killing Taj with fouls, especially with his ankle and foot.

    If you've noticed, every time they go on a hot streak offensively, it starts with defensive intensity taking their opponents off their games.

    I really think it comes down to Bogans vs Brewer. Deng is a very good team defender, and he can get up in someone's face alright, but he really doesn't have the hardass attitude we need. Rose is doing alright defensively, but it's still the same issue. I do think Bogans is a good defender, but we need Brewer in there to start because he's been bringing a relentless attitude that gets everyone else going. Noah does to, and I don't know why, but it's just not sparking the guys on the perimeter like Brewer has been.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    yep, & defense leads to easy offense which leads to momentum

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think that Boozers return allows Thibs the opportunity to bench Bogans and start Brewer. As soon as Boozer is ready to start, the switch will be made.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Lakers with a healthy Bynum are scary and to me nearly unbeatable.

    Gasol without Bynum is beatable, as Naoh and Roy Hibbert have proved in the last week.

    As much as I hate to do it, I have to hope that Bynum continues to have knee problems at least until Kobe finally breaks down, whenever that is.

    If he doesn't Kobe might not only surpass Jordan he might start challenging Russell.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Kobe can win 3 more rings, hell 4 more rings, the fact is people will always say Shaq was the best player on the first three teams, and some will even say Pau is a bigger asset to the current team(my self not included).

  • HA!

    Give him time to work that one out on a trade machine......

  • I completely agree. That's why stats can only tell part of the story of a team. I read people like Doug because he knows the team well, and can add insight beyond what can be seen using statistics. I was just trying to make a (small) point that Sagarin's "Predictor" is the best Sagarin model to use.

    I will say that the Predictor is far better than the typical ESPN expert. Marc Stein and Bill Simmons tend to overvalue close wins and recent streaks instead of looking at the overall picture.

  • In reply to npr1998:

    yes, stats are great, if you understand that every stat must be interpreted with some critical thinking, & that it carries with it at least 1 defect that must be compensated for.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and stats are also unbiased unlike your typical objective ESPN analyst or "expert" as they like to call themselves

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Omer Asik

    How interesting that Omer is mentioned as part of the big four for the Bulls. I think few people were predicting that at the start of the year.

    Omer Asik certainly clogs up the middle when he's in.

    This is going to be a fun season.

  • I understand the desire to have the best possible player at every position. But as currently constructed, Boozer's post offense would be more beneficial to the Bulls than a high-scoring 2 guard...unless that high-scoring 2 guard also plays defense at a high level. The offense hasn't been a problem. The Bulls are already in the top 10 in point differential and points scored (which should get even better when Boozer returns). They're out of the top 10 and closer to the middle of the NBA in team defense so I'd rather see an upgrade there than on an already top 10 offense that's still waiting for an 18+ppg scorer to return. And a defensive upgrade might even take place with the current roster seeing as how defense usually takes longer to incorporate than other aspects of the game.

    Even while the Bulls were winning 6 titles, people were saying they needed an upgrade at the center and PG positions. Many say the Lakers could use an upgrade at PG even though Fisher has been the starter for at least 3 (and maybe 4?) of their last 5 titles (Ron Harper was the starter for the 1st title of LA's 3-peat). As Miami and their 3-amigos are demonstrating, it's not just about stockpiling talent. It's about putting complimentary talent together.

    The Bulls might be in the bottom 3rd of the NBA in 3-pt shooting, but so were the Lakers (title) and OKC (50 wins in the ultra-competitive West) last season. I'd like to see how the Bulls look with Boozer before they make a move to improve the perimeter offense that might also degrade the perimeter defense.

  • In reply to magestew:

    yes, and quality shooting, high scoring plus defenders at the 2 don't come cheap.....maybe in 5 years we can get one with the Charlotte pick

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    or a diamond in the rough who aquires his bird rights while with us

  • In reply to magestew:

    I'll second that Richard. Aisk's got pretty good hands.

    You're also right about this being a fun year!!!

  • In reply to magestew:

    Dyslexia kicked in. Sorry Omer. Go Bulls!!!

  • Yes, it is about Reinsdorf and the luxury tax isn't it? All the best teams go into the tax to resign their top players, resign draft picks if they pan out (like Taj), and add via the MLE. Will Reinsdorf? He's taken the first step with resigning Noah and soon will again with resigning Rose.

    In the past didn't Reinsdorf state that paying the luxury tax only makes sense if its for the last piece to create a champion? We'll see soon enough.

    Whatever they have to give up (unless they go the MLE route), I don't think Bulls should trade one of their four froncourt pieces. I think that would weaken the team and be a mistake. Bulls now have a frontcourt that can stay competitive for 5 years, I wouldn't mess with it.

    Though Deng's contract makes trading him unlikely, any other backcourt player besides Rose is a trade candidate, though with little trade value.

  • The Bulls also need to cut down on the turnovers. That's another stat that should when Boozer returns because Rose won't have to try to force as much offense for himself and his teammates as much as he does now. He'll be able to drop the ball into Boozer, who'll frequently score, get fouled, or hit cutters and spot-up shooters for buckets.

  • In reply to magestew:

    I actually think this is where the Bulls get the biggest bang on the bucks paid to Boozer. It is fairly easy to double (and in a couple cases, triple) down on Rose when the game gets tight. Once Boozer returns, I think a lot of those double teams go away. Coupled with Noah's improved passing (he was always decent, but he seems much better as of late), I think the Bulls can start giving opponents something to think about late other than just 'Rose drives right' or 'Rose drives left' or 'Rose drives up the middle'.

  • In reply to saigman:

    That's something a lot of people seem to forget when they complain that we don't have another guy to create on the perimeter. Everyone getting playing time is a good and willing passer, and both Noah and Boozer are excellent. We might not have a lot of guys to initiate the offense, but that doesn't mean as much when you can move the ball like we can. Thibs just needs to get more ball movement into the half court game. As much as I love Rose, if he's having trouble penetrating, we tend to get stagnant.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Agreed. And more than one creator on the perimeter isn't a guarantee of good chemistry. They could very well end up bumping heads. One guy might end up standing around useless until the other guy throws the ball to him. Good team ball movement will almost always have an edge over an offense built on a player or players exclusively taking turns dominating the rock and going one-on-one or one-on-more than one.

    It's up to the coach to foster that kind of sharing of the basketball and Thibs is doing an outstanding job of that (unlike Spoelstra in Miami). Rose is obviously the primary ballhandler but Noah, Taj and even Deng are doing a better job of passing to guys who move without the ball than they did last year.

  • In reply to magestew:

    There's always room for improvement, though, and think we'll see that improvement when Boozer is incorporated into the rotation.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    or when he is getting a half dozen of his shots blocked leading to fast breaks the other way.

  • In reply to saigman:

    I think Noah is the best passing bigman in the game, as do many NBA observers. I's say that makes him way more than decent.

  • Mr. Happy,

    Looks like your boy Melo decided not to MAN UP last night, took himself out early.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    I believe he has a really bad stomach virus. That's a lot worse than a stiff neck. And Melo certainly MANNED-UP vs. the Bulls, didn't he?

    Check yourself, before you speak stupidly.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    There's the pot calling the kettle black

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    & the point still remains, your God, Melo, refused to MAN UP last night

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Rose's career games played avg: 79.5

    Melo: 73.4, w/ 69.3 over the last 4 seasons

    You're right, he did man up with a nice game winning mulligan inspite his sub 40% shooting night

    like I said, a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, and its not Dr. Happy, so you're damn not sure qualified to say if a stiff neck is worse than flu like symptoms

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    Melo plays a physical brand of basketball.

    That's probably why he gets banged-up and misses some games.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    #1:

    - Add a SG...Compete for a #1 seed in the East.
    - Make a BLOCKBUSTER TRADE FOR MELO...Compete for an NBA Championship.

    It's as simple and complicated as that.

    Let's not be CLUELESS or OVER-EXCITED about this team's potential.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Instead of fantasy trades how about we focus on the roster we have, win the east and win the finals. Why not. 3 top players Rose, Booz and Noah. Good complimentary pieces Deng, Korver, Brewer and CJ and decent fringe with Bogans, JJ and Asik.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    ado,

    GET A CLUE.

    I am focusing on the roster the Bulls have.

    It's not good enough to win a championship. The need a CLUTCH scorer and a true GO TO GUY, who doesn't disappear in stretches of the game.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    Stomach Virus>Stiff Neck

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    No it isn't. Melo tried to go, while Rose did not.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    got to hand it to you though Happy, Sam Young looks good at the moment. I am watching him against the Heat right now, seeing what he's got, might be a good fit for the Bulls if we had enough to get him. He D doesn't look bad either.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    he really plays energic basketball, could be a good fit in Chicago

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You forgot the Ilgauskas-Anthony-Dampier-Howard frontcourt

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Off-topic: Did you read Tracy McGrady's comments about LeBron. At the end, McGrady says he can never be a spot-up shooter and needs the ball to be effective....It was actually good he was honest. But the Bulls could have used him on the second team..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    schaum,

    McGrady's wrong too.

    LBJ is a bad fit with DROSE. Deep down, they are both PG's.

    MELO is the superstar that would fit best with DROSE.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    SECOND REMINDER:

    Derrick Rose isn't the ideal CLOSER. Like Deng, he lacks CONSISTENCY.

    CLOSING FAILURES...

    vs. OKC...Rose could have CLOSED them out, but went 1/6 in the 4th Qrt.
    vs. BOS...Rose could have CLOSED them out, but failed to get a shot off in regulation.
    vs. NY...Rose could have CLOSED them out, but couldn't convince Thibs to play him in the 4th.
    vs. LAL...Rose could have CLOSED them out, but had 0 FG's in the 4th Qrt.
    vs. PHO...Rose could have CLOSED them out earlier, but missed a 5 footer trailing 108-107.

    * Rose did CLOSE out the Rockets with 16pts. in the 4th and the Kings with 12pts. in the 4th.

    Melo would be the ideal CLOSER for this Bulls' team.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Melo is not going to the Bulls. Period.
    Now argue who is stronger Batman or Spiderman because it's as relevant.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    maybe the most factual statement on here

  • In reply to TNBull:

    Mack,

    That's not FACT. Look up the definition.

    It's all SPECULATION where Melo will end up. All I'm saying is the Bulls need him in order to compete with the top level teams in the NBA, especially given the FACT that Rose is NOT A CLOSER and Deng tends to DISAPPEAR at key stretches during games.

    Go ahead and dispute that. You can't!!!

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Please don't get him started on the batman thing again, that took up half the summer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bigway,

    It's a common analogy throughout the NBA.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    ado,

    That's SPECULATION on your part.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    seriously? have you watched this kid? He lights it up in the 4th quarter. Sorry he was down by like 20 going into these quaters. He is a beast at the end of the game maybe not the last second but he plays great in the fourth and he will be better in the 4th once boozer comes back and gives him a rest in the 2nd and/or 3rd quarter.

  • In reply to TNBull:

    Boozer is safe offense. When Rose gets double teamed then instead of Rose driving on a prayer and making the magic shot Booz will post up and demand a double team himself, then look for Deng, Rose or Korver to knock it down. This will insure Rose does not go into late 3rd quarter or 4th being down double digits. It will give us stability and offensive consistency. Also Taj will have an easier time scoring himself going against benches.

  • In reply to TNBull:

    It is not certain that Bulls will make any moves at the February trading deadline. Management is likely quite content to play the roster they have now that Boozer is returning. That is important to remember whether we fans are pinning for a SG or Melo or whomever...

    But if Bulls do make a move either in February or July, I personally hope they keep the Noah-Asik-Boozer-Gibson frontcourt together. They are well-matched and complimentary.

    If they add a great wing, but weaken the frontcourt in the process it is a dicey/risky move. Because teams with strong frontcourts advance deep in the playoffs, while teams without strong frontcourts watch the playoffs on TV along with us, the fans.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I think the big reason we don't make a move if we stick with the roster is because it takes two to tango. Every team's management knows their team isn't perfect, but they're not able to trade trash for treasure unless some other team gets desperate to dump a player.

    And as you say, despite the "guards league" stuff we keep hearing the teams that get it done have front courts. Even when the league was weaker the Nets lineup of Kidd/Carter/Jefferson was never good enough to overcome a lack of front court.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    your criticism of the NY game is hilarious, b/c he couldn't convince Thibs, you really believe that ?

    How many games did he bring them back in the 4th?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    It's not hilarious. The Bulls shouldn't lose at home to NY.

    Thibs and Rose get the blame.

  • Doug, what are the updated odds for Jo to make the all-star game?

  • Thank you for this response, Doug. This is really that only response necessary for these idiotic Carmelo posts. Regardless of how much you love (or don't love Carmelo), or how much better (or worse) you think he his than Rose, or whatever, IT DOESN'T MATTER. Because Denver never would have and never will take Deng and Gibson for Melo. In fact, the whole premise behind this guy's "Melo is a SUPERSTAR, so we should trade our 2nd tier guys for him" is beyond logically flawed. If he's that good (and FWIW, I think he is that good), then why would Denver take Deng (overpaid 3rd man) and Taj (potential 3rd or 4th option down the road who will get overpaid by someone in 2 years) for him? They wouldn't. This provides zero benefit for them. They'd be better off letting him go for nothing than taking on Deng's contract and renting Taj for 2 years. And so every post about Melo on this message board is a waste of everyone's time.

    Anyway, keep up the great work on the blog Doug. This has become my first destination for Bulls news, hands down.

  • In reply to rorypshea:

    As usual one of the most reasoned responses to the TRULY CLULESS ONE.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bigway,

    You wish. Get a mirror.

  • In reply to rorypshea:

    Rory,

    Another CLUELESS poster on here.

    Get familiar with the concept of a "3-team trade."

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    My god, you are such an asshole. I cannot imagine how miserable you make people around you. I am beyond thankful that my interaction with you in life is limited to this message board.

    In any event, I encourage you to propose a realistic 3-team trade that makes sense for any team other than the Bulls. To do so, you'll have to find a team willing to take on Deng--who is at best an overpaid third banana--in exchange for either a superstar or some really good young assets. I am beyond speculative that you can. Just for starters, Sacramento is not an option--they have no desire to acquire Deng's contract just so they can win 25-35 games the next 4 years. Regardless, I am willing to entertain this discussion if you can propose a logical trade, not just some trade that you came up with on a trade machine that only makes sense for the Bulls.

  • In reply to rorypshea:

    you said it right, at best a third banana, and about to become at best the 4rth banana on this team.

  • side note in regard to Wednesday's matchup with the Magic:

    Orlando on the 2nd night of a back to back (1st game Detroit)...hopefully they can give tehm a game so Orlando is not just resting starters

  • you can say the same about Rose though. If he goes down you can still run your offense through Boozer.

    plus Watson has proven capable of scoring.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I replied without finishing your post, and I agree, we are deeper at frontcourt than backcourt, but I think Noah, with everything he does, is pretty hard to replace. Its funny that we are talking about it now, b/c I was going to pose this very question soon.

    I think it is debateable though. Like how Pippen's value was much closer than people realized. I'd side with Rose, but I'd hate to lose either.

  • those tip ins are huge too. They are like an octane booster for your shooting percentage. Adds 5-10%

  • and would give a FA hovering around the MLE a further incentive to sign with a championship contender

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and I don't think the luxury tax issue with Reinsdorf is even debatable. To me they have already gone into it. They pretty much went up against the cap last year, they have already commited to increasing Noah's salary by some 8 mil right? They are obviously not going to let Rose walk, that will be about another 7 mil increase depending on the new numbers, minus the 2 mill we are under now & factoring losing 1 mil from Bogans walking, thats about 12 million that Jerry has already committed into the luxury tax.

    Yes he hasn't payed the tax yet, but that is misleading. Plus, in regards to the past, how long has the tax been around? The dynasty team had plenty of talent, you could never argue that Reindorf failed to offer them a better chance at winning by refusing to pay money. He got the talent there. In the post Jordan years it just never made sense to go into the tax, unless you wanted to be stuck in NBA purgatory.

  • not only is always finding rebounding and defense selling Noah short, but it is just not true. Its easier to get a scorer than a defender/rebounder, and while Noah is on of the best at that in the NBA, he also does much more. I completely agree with you Mitchell

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    He is probably the best help defender in the NBA even if not the best man on man against bigger guys. Without him we have no defense what so ever.

    Asik is a good backup, but as the only center on the roster, I'd be worried.

    with a healthy Boozer to score and Watson playing as a scorer, we come closer to replacing what Rose gives us than we can come to replacing everything that Noah gives us.

    Either way we are going nowhere, but I think the Noah team wins more games, and probably still makes the playoffs. then again, I believe that you win games,playoff series and ultimately championships with defense even when you have Michael Jordan(who happened to be maybe the best defender in the history of the NBA this side of Bill Russell) on your team.

  • Prior to his horrific injury Bogut was the second best center in the east. Noah has gotten better this year, and Bogut has not returned to his pre injury form.

    It will be interesting to see them go head to head this season, NOah lost that battle last season.

    I'm the biggest Noah fan that there is, but a healthy or pre injury Bogut brings a skill set that Noah does not have.

    I don't see Bogut enough, but I would probably take NOah over Bogut anyway, but that might be because I watch him all the time, and I love the type of game that he plays, which is not Boguts type of game.

    Bogut may never recover from his injury which would render the debate moot. With that as a caveat, you would have to give the edge to NOah right now.

  • I cant see any reason that Boozer won't be Boozer, except of course if he comes back too soon and messes up his hand permantly.

    I am a little concerned that he is coming back now, when he says that the hand is still extremely painful. I hope that they know what they are doing and his bones are properly set and healed before he returns to contact pratice.

  • A great point that cannot be overlooked, and often is in the fantasy sports/sports center highlight world.

    One of my biggest girpes with the teams of the past few seasons, was a lack of chemistry caused by the selfishness or self centered nature of certain players which began with the acquisition of Ben Wallace, and likely ended with the dumping of Ben Gordon.

    I predicted that team chemistry would be a huge positive for the Bulls this season and I am thrilled to see it come to fruition.

    Chemistry may be the reason that the Bulls did not go after certain players(anthony Morrow) that we all wanted this offseason, and at least one that I craved(Matt Barnes).

    Boozer, even in street clothes seems to be a positive addition to our chemistry, hopefully he is an even bigger positive once he hits the court. You do have to wonder about his rep, maybe it was all about his contract situation, which should not be an issue now.

  • I don't know, substitute Boozer for Noah, are we better or worse right now.

    We won all these games with defensive stands, does Boozer bring that, I don't think so.

    Rose is the engine of the offense and indespensible, but Noah is the heart and soul of the team and its defense(he personally shut down Steve Nash in the 4rth and overtime) which allowed us to win that game.

    You could argue that Boozer(as an offensive weapon)offsets the loss of Rose better than he is able to offset the loss of Noah(especially, if CJ Watson is capable of playing like Rose Lite like he did in Denver.

    Without Noah, we have no legitimate starting center. How long does Asik last as a starter. Boozer playing center will be about as good as it was when Drew Gooden was stealing Noahs minutes under del Bimbo.

    Botttom line is that I don't enjoy watching the Bulls without either Rose or Noah, the rest of the guys are basically unispiring.

  • I had no idea things were so bad for Gibson this summer

    For a good read, & yet another reason to cheer for Taj:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/lee_jenkins/11/24/taj.gibson.bulls/index.html

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Thanks for that post. I'm busy, and don't have time to look around for all the stories on the Bulls like I used to. Taj's friends all buying it like that is just crazy. But it's just a reminder that this crap is going on in cities all across the country every day.

    I hope we can keep Taj because he's a great guy by all appearances and an excellent ball player. Hopefully he will recover from these tragedies, and have a great next several years for the Bulls.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Its a sick sad little world sometimes. Just don't understand all the violence & hatred.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I want Taj to be a member of the Bulls family for life. What a great attitude that young man has. If he can live with being a 6 man & spot starter for the next 5 years, then I would reward him with an early extension & raise, and give him the full time gig when he hits 30 & Booze is on the decline.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    My thoughts exactly, do what you can to keep this guy around.. JR has always had a soft spot for good character players, hell the guy paid Jay Williams money that he legally nullified by riding a motorcycle. Surely if Orlando will essentially pay JJ Reddick 14Mil/year JR can fork out some extra cash to keep a hell of a young man.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    This is my hopes for our team:

    Go to the ECF this year. Then next summer let Bogans, Scal, and Kurt go and maybe trade JJ for a draft pick if he doesnt improve (which i think he will)

    And then sign Jamal Crawford go to the Nba Finals and who knows what will happen

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Here's mine:

    If healthy the rest of the way, win 58 games, top 1 or 2 seed, NBA Finals. Don't get me wrong, the season won't necessarliy mean failure if we don't do those 3 things, but now my expectation have been raised. We have a group that can win it all.

    Next year, maybe tweek the end of the bench, hope JJ & Asik contine to develope, let Bogans go & sign a quality shooting 2 guard to the MLE.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Wow, I've had my fair share of similar experiences but nothing to that magnitude, makes me appreciate what Taj brings night in night out. Quite the eye opening read right there, nice link.

  • Simmons actually said in his last chat that the Bulls were the team that scared him the most in the Eastern Conference.

  • In reply to saigman:

    He also said if we made a trade to get a SG he'd be terrified. Although he mentioned Rip Hamilton by name which terrifies me.

  • In reply to saigman:

    I know some speculated that Bozzer would be worked into the lineup slowly once he returned. While that still may be the case as far as minutes go, looks like Thibs will start him right away:

  • Doug, the MLE might be a good topic for a post on a slow news day.

    As Bulls fans to do we want the MLE in the new CBA or do we want it eliminated. I have a feeling that this is one of the owners biggest targets.

    The MLE will be Miami's primary vehicle for improvment each and every year. I think that they will have their choice of the top MLE guy every season and their team will bet better every year as a result.

    Basically, they will be able to add a Mike Miller or Udonis Haslem every year. After the decision I was most upset that the heat were able to manipulate the system to sign Miller and Haslem. With both healthy Miami is a legit conteder, without them they are 9-8.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    As a biased Bulls fan, I want a MLE & soft cap (luxury tax) and believe that is best for the NBA

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    to your point about Haslem & M Miller, I agree, after the decision I was most outraged with how they kep bringing guys in. Where did that $ come form? Haslem took about 70% less to stay in Miami, but he is still making over the min

  • IMO....the Bulls are a contender. The only team that scares me in the East is Orlando. We never seem to do well against them but we do have Boozer now, so we will see how we do. We can take Boston, we almost did earlier this year without Boozer. Atlanta might give us a tough go too. There a young athletic team like we are.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I'm with Sam Smith, activate Kirk Thomas, & get him all up in Howards space, let him know he won't be getting away with trying to injure D Rose this year

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I think we could take Atlanta rose would light up bibby and our defense is a lot better than there's.

    It'd be a fun matchup we have a deeper front court but they have a deeper backcourt. It'd be nice to play them and beat them in the playoffs make Crawford wanna sign with us again!

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Don't fear Atlanta my friend, they made a mistake in firing their coach last offseason, I've watched them on several occasions, they look completely out of sync.

  • I see them winning a ring this year but I don't know about when Phil retires that's a scary thought for them

  • Not according http://blogs.suntimes.com/bulls/2010/11/boozer_fine_after_first_practi.htmlto Boozer:

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    That's: Not according 'to' Boozer

  • fb_avatar

    But if we burn the MLE next year how on earth will we ever get Hinrich back?

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I thought you get one every year, if you are over the cap. Used to be 1/2 years, but maybe that changed? & then there is still a verteran exception right? We need an expert.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    im pretty sure this is a joke but Hinrich would actually be so good right now.

  • http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/ct-spt-1129-bulls-boozer--20101128,0,1991232.story

    I agree. "I got to have a little mystery" was the quote that really bothered me. Hopefully he's just pushing people's buttons due to his past rap, and he actually plans on playing Wednesday.

    We will know soon enough how he handles things through his quotes and actions if he is ready to play or to play games with the team and fans.

  • I think adding a shooting guard-small forward type of player would be a great benefit to this team. I think we should be thankful for Luol Deng staying healthy because if we had lost Luol at any part of the season earlier on, I think you lose out on rebounding or perimeter defense.

    I agree that there aren't many teams who can compete with our front court. Should be fun to watch how quickly Rose can adjust to a good pick and pop/roll player.

  • yes, I could easily envision a scenario when Carlos could have said to himself now way I'm ever going to give another target date, I'll just keep that to myself next time.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    "no way I'm ever..."

  • Agreed, people are really sleeping on how good Noah has been both offensively and defensively this year with Thibs as a coach. Putting him in a position to succeed and he's now anything but a liability offensively, and he's averaging under 3 fouls a game on 39 minutes a night which is just insanely good for a center.

  • 2011 F.A.'s at SG:

    http://theuppercardnetwork.com/?p=10935

    another list:

    http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/freeagents/2011byposition.jsp#sg

    nothing all too impressive, maybe Nick Young or Afflalo, if you could get either as both are restricted. Ray Allen if he opts out & has something left in the tank. Jason Terry? Jason Richardson? Shannon Brown?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Jason Richardson. I know he's old but I've kept up with the guy since his days at Michigan State, he's a flat out competitor and has an excellent jumpshot, can drive, and actually played solid D while on the SUNS, which is saying something.

  • Doug,

    YOU can deal in SARCASM, but I'll stick with REALITY.

    I forgot how hard it was to get through to the CLUELESS and those who like to SETTLE.

    50 wins and a Division title is NOT the goal, nor should it be. And NO the Bulls won't be competing with Orlando and Boston for the #1 Seed. Those two teams are better than the Bulls.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Doug,

    Just to CLUE you in...there is such a thing as a 3-team deal.

    Denver doesn't have to take Luol Deng. Sacramento might though.

  • right , the guy from Washington, Nick I guess yeah, my mistake

  • lol

  • I think that we already know that we can compete with Boston(even without Boozer). We have yet to prove that we can compete with the Magic, hopefully Boozer puts us over the top against them.

    I am also interested to see if Thibs gives Asik a shot against Howard. Does he(Asik)have good enough footwork to use his length to bother Howard, or does he just get called for a foul everytime and/or get dunked on.

    I fear the latter, but Asik has been somewhat of a surprise, at least defensively.

  • Correct, that is all that I was referring to.

  • If I am not mistaken, Kobe is now the same age as Jordan was when he returned for the second 3 peat.

    We all thought that Jordan still had something left when he was forced to retire in 98. So that means Kobe should have at least 3-5 championship calibre years left in his body, unless the extra mileage causes him to lose it sooner than Jordan did.

    If Bynum can stay healthy over that time, they will remain a beast to deal with as long as Kobe retains his skills.

    Even without Bynum they are no worse than co-favorites with the team dujor.

  • Mitchell,

    They are both better than Bogans and JJ.

  • Mitchell,

    That's why he is considered a top 5 player in the NBA.

    Come on and get real, then get a clue.

  • Doug,

    Just to clue you in, George Karl is VERY IMPRESSED and HIGH on Taj Gibson's ability.

    I know you wanted LBJ (since you kissed his ASS the whole summer), but Melo is the better fit for this team.

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