Bulls slow Gasol, Kobe, fall to the supporting cast

There's an adage in sports, when going up against the great teams, take the great player out of the game and make the supporting cast beat you.   The Bulls did that against L.A., forcing Bryant to pass the ball as much as possible, and by the end of the game, the Lakers tried to do that to the Bulls all night long as well double teaming Rose 40 feet from the basket all fourth quarter and frequently earlier in the game.

In the end, the Laker supporting cast beat our supporting cast.

Derrick Rose continues to look like a superstar.  By the end of the game, he was worn out and exhausted, and the Bulls desperately need Boozer back, so the load on Rose isn't so heavy, but Rose was all parts amazing in this game and did everything I asked.   He even drew a slew of fouls by driving into contact.

There really isn't more you could ask for Rose, he only had eight assists, but his teammates were missing shots, and late in the game they double teamed him too far from the basket for him to get the ball in the hands of player's who'd take the shot and was instead making the pass that led to the pass for an assist.

He used his one handed free throw line push shot with tremendous effect in this game, it's a shot I think will never work, but I believe he was 3 of 4 on attempts with it.  He also diced into the lane with an array of acrobatic finishes and reverses.  

Let's just hope Rose has some left in the tank for tomorrow.  He's a young guy, but man did he have to work hard last night.

Joakim Noah stepped up big time.  If you knew that Joakim Noah would go for 19 points adn 13 rebounds while Pau Gasol would go for 12/11, and Noah would be 7/13 from the field vs Gasol's 3/10, you'd think the Bulls had a shot, and well, they did.  Noah had numerous tip ins at the rim, and just played with about 10 times the energy of Gasol, who looked like a corpse for much of this game.

Not including in his rebounding totals were the number of times he tipped a ball that later was picked up by a Bulls player.  Noah was, by far, the better player tonight, and it's good to see him take such a personal investment against a tough matchup and win it.

He also was extremely disruptive on the defensive end of the court blocking numerous shots, picking up lots of steals, and playing great help defense against Kobe Bryant.  Noah was asked to be all over the court, and he was.

Taj Gibson played really well again.  Coming off the heals of his monster game against Dallas, Gibson fought through whatever pain he had in his foot and delivered another monster performance.    While he did defend Lamar Odom, who had a great night overall, most of Odom's damage came when Gibson was asked to help on double teams and had open shots not due to dominating Gibson with his own offense.

Gibson also was flying around the court pressuring the ball and helping on double teams with Bryant and forcing the ball out of his hands.  He rebounded well, defended well, and chipped in 16 points on efficient shooting.

That's it for the good news for the Bulls.
 
Luol Deng started hot and finished cold.  Deng scored all 13 of his points in the first quarter.  He couldn't get anything going at the end of the game, he was missing his threes, and when the Bulls needed someone to step up and help Derrick when double teamed, Deng wasn't that guy.

Granted, we all know Deng's not going to be that guy.  He doesn't create his own shot.  Yet, we still expect it out of him because their simply is no one else.    He did do a solid job defensively when defending Kobe, whom he was matched up with on several occasions, a much better job than Bogans who was getting torched unless the Bulls immediately sent a second defender to force a hard double team on Kobe.

Kyle Korver needs to hit his shots.
  In this game it didn't happen.  In some ways, there's little else to say about Korver, his good/bad typically just depends on whether he knocks down his shots, but he was 0-4 from the three point line with several high quality looks, and I believe one of his twos was with a foot on the line. 

When your designated shooter puts up a goose egg, it allows your opponent to continue to press your star players.   Korver has been consistently good this season, but this game his lack of shooting really doomed the Bulls.  If he hits just 2 of his 3s, this game has an entirely different complexion.

Ronnie Brewer did give the Bulls some defense.  Brewer wasn't all bad, as he did make an impact defensively, and he forced some fouls and had a spectacular dunk off a cut where the Lakers basically had a quadruple team set up on Derrick Rose. 

You'd like to see him be able to create more offense given the type of coverage the Lakers played on Rose played into his game leaving him lanes to operate in.  However, the Bulls had a hard time passing out of the double teams and moving the ball quickly, so even when Ronnie made cuts the Bulls weren't able to find him frequently.

C.J. Watson is still struggling to hit shots.  His ball handling has largely been better, and his defense has been decent, but Watson seems to have lost his shooting touch.  He's really struggling from the field even when given good, open looks.

Keith Bogans gave the Bulls nothing.  He was torched by Kobe (though in all fairness, he did stay in front of Kobe and generally force tougher shots), and he could not knock down shots.   He's had another atrocious shooting night going 1-5 on open threes behind the arc.   He's now down to 29% from the three point line while taking almost all wide open kick outs and lots of them from the corner.  

There's really very little he's adding to the team right now, and he needs to knock down those open shots to stay on the floor.

Omer Asik played some solid defense.
  He wasn't credited with any blocks in the box score, but he had at least one monster rejection on the night, and did a nice job in his minutes of filling in the lane.   He didn't get any favors from the refs, not getting a couple calls where the Lakers hacked him and falling victim to a dicey foul on the other end.   He certainly wasn't special, but he again acquitted himself well.

Final thoughts
Bogans, Korver, Brewer, and Watson combined for 13 points on 20 (4/20) shots, four free throw attempts, and three turnovers.   That's 13 points on 25 possessions.    Those shots were mostly open looks.   Shots you expect your role players to knock down at a good percentage. 

Barnes, Blake, and Brown combined for 37 points and knocked down9 of 17 three point shots.  In particular, Brown knocked down 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, and I believe he was 5/7 at one point.   I was never high on the Shannon Brown bandwagon, but he's now hitting threes at an extraordinary rate.  At present, he looks like one of the best signings this off-season.  He's on an extreme value contract given what he's presently bringing to the table. 

How a guy went from being a poor shooter, to someone knocking down over half his threes in one off-season is really quite astounding.   The Bulls need to find that shooting coach and bring him in.

Anyway, the gap in the bench shooters is the difference in the game.   Both teams forced a considerable amount of the game into the hands of the role players, but the Lakers role players stepped up.   The Bulls role players did not.   That will happen sometimes.

The Bulls did everything I asked them to do against the Lakers.   They goaded Ron Artest into trying to shoot the Lakers out of the game.  Rose was dominant, and the Bulls front court held it's own.  They kept the tempo at their speed and many things went right for the Bulls.

They were in this game up until the 5 minute mark in the fourth quarter when the Lakers went on a there point binge and knocked down four of them over about a one minute stretch, but prior to that, the Bulls fought back from all kinds of Lakers runs and refused to go away.

Unfortunately, the last three point barrage was simply too much.

Overall, the team defense played at a high level, they did a great job on Kobe and Gasol, and what we saw from this game is the Bulls are going to struggle without a second offensive play maker (nothing new there), and that the Lakers are simply really good.  

Hopefully the Bulls have something left in the tank for Phoenix today, because their key players expended a lot of energy against the Lakers.  Gibson played 40 minutes, Noah 39, and Rose 40.   Given that no one else on the team could get anything going whatsoever, that's not surprising, but we'll have to hope it doesn't come back to haunt them tonight.

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  • i remember when Shannon Brown was on the bulls getting garbage minutes, i remember wanting to see him get in the game more. i like to see him play well, even if hes playing well against the bulls. that being said, i hope i dont come off as sounding like mappy. so im not gonna say we should trade for Brown, he wont have the consistence or the minutes playing behind kobe and is a 3rd string pg. anyways, great game for the bulls, a great moral victory. and artest did exactly what you said he does, turned into a chucker til jackson benched him for the rest of the game.

  • Indistinguishable Bench

    The law firm of Bogans, Korver, Brewer, and Watson was a non factor last night. All 4 were unremarkable in their play, when the Bulls needed them.

    Things will be different and improved when Boozer starts playing. But the recent acquisitions of Bogans, Korver, Brewer, and Watson need to improve. I've seen Korver hit some 3's, Brewer make a reverse slam last night, but as a group I'm not impressed.

    Rose, Noah and Gibson seem to bring their "A" game every night. Hopefully the other Bulls will get the idea.

  • I only saw the first half, but they played with the Lakers and considering it was a road game where you don't expect the supporting cast to be as good, I'd say it was a satisfactory effort. They need to beat the Lakers when they come to Chicago.

  • I feel like it was all you could ask for, you put yourself into a good position to win the game, some days the shots don't go your way.

    Rose played like a serious MVP candidate, Noah shut down a serious MVP candidate, the core is looking real good. We're just missing a lucky off season signing like Brown where you get someone far exceeding what you expected when you sign them to fill out the team.

    Gibson playing so well makes you wonder if he's too good to be a bench player, should we be looking to get value for him now? Of course the problem is always who can you get. Hard to do with Boozer being injury prone anyway, makes me wish there was a way to trade Boozer for an equally good wing and continue to start Gibson. :/

    I guess we wait to see when Boozer comes back, hopefully he takes the pressure off Deng and Deng gets his shot back.

  • I really haven't seen Boozer play much ever, but it is too early to tell right now especially since he hasn't played yet. Taj is just amazing and him and Noah are great together!
    I really wish our shooters would shoot better because we should of won this game believe it or not it Kyle hits his shots and Bogans the open 3s. I'd be upset if I was Rose, Noah, or Gibson when you are putting out 100%+ and Deng isn't! He should be a borderline All-Star and if we get him going and the bench helps..we pull out a very hard fought win in LA and get some major respect!
    Hopefully we have enough in the tank to beat the last 3 teams on this road trip and finish strong and Boozer is right there when we get back home against Orlanda on 12/1! I doubt it but we could really use him there then we play the Celtics in Boston friday 12/3.
    Our lack of floor spacing shooting is really hurting us right now!

    We can't keep starting Bogans and get nothing from him!
    I think we should start KK at SG and Deng at SG if Taj is ok to play PF. We need a shooter or 2 in the lineup to spread the floor!
    Rose is the MVP as far as Im concerned but can't do it alone!

    Man is this special to see Rose take on the whole team by himself...we should call him the Matrix man because he just kicks it into a gear that nobody can defend!!!!

  • I wonder if Denver would take Taj,JJ,and Brewer maybe instead of their demand for Noah! Would be hard to lose Taj but we need another scorer besides Rose...he is killing himself out there and is surrounded by only blue collar role players!
    Noah and Taj have made a living by Rose drawing all the attention and cleaning up if the ball comes off the iron with a put back or easy dunk from a Rose penetration!

    I like the size and athletism of those 3 guys I mention, but if it yields of Melo then we are up there with Boston and LAL for a dynasty!
    Heck I haven't seen Boozer player like I said but id even keep Taj and Noah together and give Denver Boozer and JJ along with Charlotte #1 pic for Melo.
    Sorry to keep brining up Melo, but the more and more you see of this group we have here...the more and more you see we are 1 or 2 players from becoming dominate if we can keep Rose and Noah...maybe Gibson as well. I like what I'm seeing in Asik as well!

  • Very dissapointed in Korver's defensive effort... Sure, he's not know n for his defense, but he has to at least be in the same zip code as Shannon Brown. He was guarding Brown for about 3 of his 3s and at least another drive or two. Cannot blame him for allowing Brown to drive, but at least get a hand in his face

  • I haven't gotten to watch the game yet, but I DVR'd it and will have to check it out.

    Coming into this game I was hoping, like everybody else, that D-Rose would put up approximately 30 and be solid all around. And Noah and Taj get some 15 and 12's. Mission accomplished by all three with apparently nice defensive effort/hard work as we are coming to expect every night. Thanks also to Thibs.

    So when Boozer gets back, and lulls are met with a second offensive scorer, the Bulls should be a very, very good team. We know Lu is not usually a second half/fourth quarter guy, but he's still a worker and solid player at SF.

    So bascially you're just left to wonder about Brewer and C.J. Watson. I believe Kyle will do his job as he has on most nights, and especially liking that he's making the effort defensively recently(and needs to continue that and then he's in). Plus his playoff numbers and percentages on threes etc. are good.

    But getting back to Brewer and Watson..? I don't know man. I know it's early, and certainly Brewer has been off a long, long time, and it's hard to believe he can't contribute consistently eventually though his shooting mid range needs to be there. But as a starter/quality SG we need I don't know. I mean Utah dumped him for salary concerns, but still how many good players get dumped like that. Sure it happens look at Shannon Brown(though that wasn't necessarily for salary).

    Still, I have to think Ronnie who appears a good guy still seems a bit unsure of himself even though he proclaims self-confidence in almost every interview I've seen him in. And C.J. in the clips I watched got a lot of his points going to the basket especially in that 40 point outburst. He finishes well with contact also. Maybe they need to get him driving to be more effective. But if he can't find his shot that hurts his value a great deal.

    But more then likely you have at best two solid role guys really. And if so do we do whatever we can to get a starting wing/SG Mayo or whoever else is available? Sometimes when teams have a burgeoning superstar like Rose these miraculous trades come about with an acquiescing second team where a Gasol etc. drops out of the sky. Players on winning and superstar teams just seem to have more allure.

    So the big question becomes do we trade an emerging quality starting/impact piece in Taj? And if so when now(or at the deadline with Ronnie or whoever hopefully starts playing somewhat more to their career numbers)?

    I'd hate to trade Taj because he has shown hard work and comittment to this team. Plus he's a very cool dude. But if they are going to get a quality SG Taj is going to have to go. Someone said perhaps you trade Boozer(injury history) for a SG or maybe even for Melo and keep Taj. But Taj has injuries to deal with as well(though so far he's gutted through them).

    Again, I'd hate to lose Taj, but this team right now is starting to look like they are one piece away from being a true contender. People often want to say that about a newly formed/quality team, but we actually have the studs in Derrick and Joakim along with soon Boozer(and to some extent even Taj).

    So what do you do? I guess you at least watch the team with Booz for awhile, and hope Taj keeps up the starting PF, and a good one, production, and that Ronnie and or C.J. come around. Things could get interesting once the FA's become tradeable. We could possibly become a championship contending team. But I'd still feel pretty shitty about giving Taj the heave ho.

  • I cant help but think, like most of our loses if we had Boozer we would probably have won! But I dunno because Taj seems like a better defender than Booz

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Utah,

    Not having Boozer isn't the problem. It's the lack of scoring on the WING.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Very True.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Well, maybe we try Taj and Boozer together in the front court, scoring and defense, plus we should get every rebound with those 2 flanking Noah.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Noah at center, boozer at pf, taj at sf, deng at sg, rose at pg. Taj can defend a handful of sfs in the league, deng can easily d up most sgs, plus you could play that lineup using a zone. I'm not proposing we make that our starting lineup, but I'd like to see it used in spots. Any thoughts?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Any one else notice D Rose is 10-21 form 3-point range over the last 5 games? Can you say UN-GUARD-A-BULL ???

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Bogans ain't getting it done. Jerry Stackhouse was just cut by the Heat to make room for Dampier. I'd sign him. The worst that happens is he gets cut in a couple of weeks.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Not sure about Stackhouse. From what little I've seen of him, he seems better suited to a role on 'The Walking Dead' than on the Bulls' roster.

    I will agree 100% about Bogans, though. They're playing 4-on-5 with him on offense, and his defense hasn't been to a level where that could be deemed acceptable.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Amen on Bogans, Nomen on Stackhouse.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    And who exactly is lower risk higher reward than Stackhouse out there? We could resign Kyle Weaver but I don't see that happening unless Bogans or Brewer get hurt for an extended period of time.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Stackhouse was just trying to piggyback the heat to a ship, the dude is done, he's low risk no reward, he is null.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Is there any reason to have Bogans starting anymore? In pre-season and the first week of the reg season he was knocking down open shots at an acceptable rate and it helped create spacing. But as Rose continues to dominate, teams have focused on him despite others (Bogans, Deng) knocking down open shots.

    But now that Bogans isn't hitting shots, I think its time to add Brewer into the line up. Brewer is the better overall talent, and his hammy appears to finally be better.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Ben Gordon would look mighty nice as our sixth man. I know there is no will to do it but would it even be possible to trade garbage to Detroit for Gordon?

    Continuing on the topic of ex-Bulls SG's, how about Jamal Crawford? He'd look nice as our sixth as well. I'm sure he's available if we have the pieces to make it work.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Ben Gordon would look mighty nice as our sixth man. Don't think there's any will or possibility of it happening. Speaking of ex-Bulls SG's, how about Jamal Crawford? He'd look real nice as our sixth man as well. And he's definitely available.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Mentioned Crawford a few weeks ago, possibly as an off season MLE signing (if the MLE still exists). The difficulty in obtaining him from Atlanta would probably be that they don't want to take on long term salary for him, if they wanted that they'd just look to resign him. But we can't really sweaten the deal too much as an incentive since he's a FA at the end of the year and you don't want to give up too much for a guy you might not be able to re-sign.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    So guys, I will be at the game tonight in Phx since I live out here. Gotta go represent my Bulls!

  • In reply to jt563905:

    The problem is no team wants to pay 8 figures for a bench player - Reinsdorf certainly won't. And 6th man is Ben Gordon's highest calling though he doesn't see it that way. No team will go anywhere in the playoffs with Gordon as a starting SG.

    Look at the salaries of the Lakers' Killer B's that rained 3s on the Bulls last night - $1.7, $2.1, $4.0 million. It's about the front office doing the homework and making the correct signings for bench help. Boston is very good at filling out a roster as well. GarPax - not so much. They've got more work to do.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There was another oddity that I noticed last night, but let me first preface by saying that I think the Bulls overall defense, especially help defense has been getting better every game. However, I noticed about 4-5 times last night that when one of LA's players picked up his dribble we would stay a good 2-3 feet away jumping and waving our hands (similar to what you do when the opposing team is inbounding the ball). And it wasnt just one player that did this. Rose did it, Taj did it, and one other player as well I think.

    Even in grade school basketball you are taught to pressure the ball handler when they pick up their dribble. It causes more pressure and hopefully leads to turnovers. Is there a reason Thibs doesnt want them to do this?

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    It's the NBA - you can pick up your dribble and still run with the ball. They're preparing to play Lebron and Wade.

  • In reply to ironsam:

    Not out around the 3pt line. Unless this was just your attempt at humor.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Deng & Korver can both score fromthe wing, Bogans if open too, Boozer will draw the D in, then they can kick it around to the shooters. I would like one more wing scorer sure, that would make us truly elite, but I don't see how we could get one without giving up someting substantial

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Doug,

    Strong analysis. Good work.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    DISAPPEARING ACT:

    Derrick Rose played great for 3 quarters, but took the 4th quarter off.

    3 points by him in the 4th isn't good enough.

    SIDE NOTE:

    Luol Deng just lost my vote for the All-Star team. All-Stars don't take entire halfs off.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Dude what the hell was rose supposed to do when they put 3-5 guys on him like 30 feet from the basket

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Utah,

    I believe Rose missed a handful of open jump-shots in the 4th.

    If he wants to be the GO TO GUY on the Bulls, he needs to score in the 4th quarter. I'm not convinced he can do that consistently, which is why the Bulls need a better CLOSER.

    We all know who that CLOSER is by now.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Rose in crunch time last year: 45.3% shooting
    Injured guy on our bench who hasn't even played yet: 58.1% shooting
    The guy you're in love with: 42.7% shooting

    I think the argument that we need New York's future SF because we need a CLOSER is completely off base.

  • The Bulls could've won this game if they had consistent scoring from the perimeter. I know a lot of people like the team as is but they obviously need an upgrade at the small forward position and especially at the shooting guard position. Bogans is not the answer at the shooting guard position and Deng is a good player but he's just not consistent enough. The Bulls need to make a trade at either or positions. The loss to the Lakers should show the Bulls brass what they need to do with this roster. I'm sure Boozer will be a big addition when he returns but the Bulls will need someone to hit shots from the perimeter in a motion offense. This team is one good scorer away from the perimeter from being a major threat in the league. I do believe It's time for Reinsdorf to pay the luxzury tax cause his team is ready to take the next step to contending for a championship. As far as shooting guards go, I'm not sure who the Bulls could go after without giving up too much. If the Bulls don't get lucky and acquire Melo they will definitely need a quality shooting guard who can create his own shot and shoot the 3 with some consistency. Again, the Bull did everything right besides a few bad turnovers, they just couldn't keep pace with the champs with they're scoring cause they have a deep team and too many weapons.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    There's a difference between liking the team as is and not seeing a realistic way to improve it right now. I think most of the people who are talking about waiting for Boozer to get back and seeing how we do would love to upgrade, but there's no need to panic trade, you've got to wait until you can rob someone.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    It's not about prancing, its about trying to address the obvious need for this team that's all I'm trying to say. You see teams like N.O. making moves and it makes people wonder what are the Bulls brass trying to do. Again, Boozer will help but he won't fix the obvious problem, which is poor perimeter scoring.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    NO made a trade that was primarily financial, and is probably not going to greatly affect their win total either way.

    Generally if you want to make a big move you have to wait until closer to the trade deadline when teams know where they stand. I'm sure the Bulls are aware they could do with more shooting, but they can't just make it happen at this point in the season unless they're willing to overpay, because right now nobody is really ready to give up and start dumping guys on the cheap.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I know they're not going to make a move now, hopefully they will get something done by the trade deadline tho cause no one wants to say this but the Bulls are one injury away for Rose from having the season to be done with. Someone else would definitely have to step up.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Ok? If Dwight Howard goes down for the year Orlando has no chance to win it all.. same can be said about Chris Paul, DWill, Kobe, the list goes on. Now if Rose gets hurt for a couple games, sure our seeding suffers but as long as we get healthy for the playoffs were fine. So I guess I'm really not getting your point? Do you expect us to pick up a player that will make it so losing a superstar doesn't hurt us?

  • W00T W00T!

    "About 30 minutes after the game, several USC alumni Taj Gibson and Brian Scalabrine as well as several other Bulls players congregated on the floor, meeting with friends, fans and family. As Boozer made his way through the pack, as fan asked him when he would be returning to the court. "One week," Boozer said. "Really?," questioned the fan. "One week," Boozer reaffirmed while lifting his index finger to the air and walking away."

  • fb_avatar

    I think the Bulls are really close too. But, disagree slightly. The Bulls were a little outclassed by the Lakers. The Lakers beat them by doing things teams learn after going deep in the playoffs. Turn up defensive intensity in the 2nd half: Mavs, Spurs, Lakers. All teams with deep playoff experience who've learned that trick. Get easy buckets in the 4th quarter: That's something the Bulls can't do yet. Last night, Derrick had his 4th quarter in the 3rd and didn't have much left afterward. Part of it is Boozer sitting, but some of it is inexperience too.

    And if there's one thing we can learn from the Lakers in this game it is you can never have too many shooters on your roster. If there's one thing we look to add at the deadline it should be shooting off the bench. Pax, kidnap Marcus Thornton if you have to!

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    or Shannon Brown for that matter.

  • Sam Smith's trade proposal will make us like Miami(lack of good depth). We need to trade one of our new signings in this trade(Brewer or Watson)...Hopefully these two will perform well and increase their trade value.

  • In years past Bulls were always weak on the frontline. The pendulum has swung and Bulls frontline is regularly out rebounding good opponents. Noah and Taj are playing great and Asik is decent. Rose of course is fantastic and a perennial All-Star.

    BUT OUR WINGS ARE SUBPAR! If we can be honest with ourselves none of them would play significant minutes for most contending teams. Deng is at best a 4th option. Having a dearth of talent at both SG and SF makes it extremely difficult on Rose. It

  • In reply to Edward:

    Taj playing as he is was one offseason arguments for going after Johnson instead of Boozer(or a power forward).

    Of course no one saw Atlanta's offer coming(or Taj's play). He is exceeding expectations this season even more than he did last season.

    I think most people thought that Johnson would get no more than Boozer got, maybe even less.

    At that money, I still think he is overpaid by the end of his contract, but you live with it.

    Where is Anthony Morrow when you need him, Korver is not a 2 and we need at least one other guy besides Korver anyway.

    2 of the guys that I screamed for loudest all offseason were Morrow(everybody did) and Barnes(pretty much nobody did). We could still use his grit in addition to what he brings from the 3.

  • How about Phil Jackson...He is trying to mess up LeBron, Wade and the Heat. Miami and Boston are probably the only two teams which can stop the Lakers this year....and Phil wants his next ring.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    If Bynum comes back healthy and stays that way, ring #12 is signed sealed and delivered.

    Even if he doesn't it is no worse than a 50/50 deal.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yeah that's Phil getting in Pat Riley's head cause Riley knows he will have to Fire Spoltra and take over the coaching duties if the Heat can't turn things around. And Wade had the Balls to say the Bulls are not loyal... it's countdown time to the firing of Spoltra starting 6 loses ago.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree Boston and if Miami can get their act together are the only teams that could beat the Lakers, especially Boston who are very solid like the Lakers throughout!
    Yeah after Boozer who was punked by us when we got punked 1st by Wade especially..we did very crappy with out signings and huge amount of $ we had under the cap!
    I would have loved for us to sign Barnes especially instead of going after his Magic teamate Reddick! I know we need shooting but why Reddick and Korver 2 white dudes that just shoot at that's it! We had that in Capt Kirk! Id actually really liked to have Kirk back right now but we could do better but he did more then many would realize and helped out Rose a lot which Watson hasn't been able to do.

    I like the effort of the front office to get a Rose/Wade paring with (BoshBoozer)/Noah but we that time that Wade screwed us out of we missed on that awesome 3pt shooting SG that went from GS to the Nets, also on Barnes...we had Brown before and I doubt he would have left the Lakers but he might have if we could have given him the starting SG job like we did with Brewer initially b4 he came up lame!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The heat would get swept by the lakers if they played today. I guarantee our bulls beat Miami without boozer, with him we beat them in a seven game series. The heat pose no threat to phil, he's fucking with them for fun, it's what he does. The heat wont do a damn thing until they add solid players for the mid keel exception over the next few years, that is if they don't self destruct before then.

  • That is one viable direction to go for a SG.
    One thing is for certain, GarPax came up short this off-season after the Boozer signing. It's on them now.

  • I watched the game on the Lakers feed(live in Vegas). They showed a montage of Browns 3's over and over again during the telecast.

    The late hand in Browns face was Korver on every made 3.

    With a 6 point game, and no made 3's by Korver, you could argue that he alone was the difference in the game.

    If you watch him attmept to play defense, he seems to be the one Bull who is not sure which way he is supposed to go, and not capable of getting there when he does know where to go.

    As the games progress he is becoming every bit the defensive liability that I thought he would be coming in.

    This problem would likely get worse in a 7 game playoff series.

    I am starting to think that you have a soft spot for Korver's defensive liabilities just like you did for Gordon's(although I think that Korver actually tries harder than Gordon ever did)

    Maybe you are just blinded by the bling of 3 point shooting(and I think that Korver is a better pure 3 point shooter than Gordon).

    Korver is what he is, we are going to have to live(and die) with it, don't know if Thibs(or any coach) is smart enough to make him any better by using him differently.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Interesting to read your take on this Bigway... I thought perhaps I misread the game, but I was yelling at Korver through the TV. I wasnt really counting but I thought I recalled him being late on defense 3 of Brown's 3 ptrs.

    Overall, I really like the pick up of Korver. To see him running around those picks like Ray Allen... its a wonderful thing. I think we all admit we can live with his D if is making his shots.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If you think we're hurting defensively due to Korver I think it's just selective memory.

    The stats show the EFG% of Korver's opponents is 41.(% while he's at shooting guard and 44.9% while he's at SF, well below average. Furthermore the team defensive stats while Korver has been on the floor has been much better than when he's been on the bench.

    I think Doug is exactly right, Korver is not hurting us defensively ... you can't just cherry pick plays where his man hits a shot and say he's a bad defender.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Not surprising that everyone is talking about Shannon Brown, given the fickle nature of most sports fans, but does anyone seriously think he'll have over 50% 3P% for the season in a couple months? Assuming he finishes the season without significant injury and is taking 3-4 3PT shots a game, I'll be surprised if his 3P% is above 40% in June.

    It's called a hot streak. Trading for him based off the first month of performance would be idiotic.

    Not sure if anyone is comparing these two, but we have a MUCH better distance threat in Korver then Brown. Here's a comparison between their career three point stats:

    Korver: 914 made @ 41.2%
    Brown: 121 made @ 35.8%

    Who would you prefer for the next three years?

  • In reply to ironsam:

    No doubt about it. Everyone wants to talk about who we should have gotten or who we need to get. The fact of the matter is the Bulls look good this year. They are competing withg the big Boys (Lakers, Mavericks, OKC, Denver) and this is without Boozer. Our biggest offseason aquisition has been a CHEERLEADER so far and Brewer has been hurt and is finally showing what we had hoped for.

    And if I hear one more person talk about the need to trade Deng I am going to PUKE! I know he is no superstar, but how much of an increase do you think we can find out there? Deng is probably a top 8 or 9 SF in the NBA. And if he is as bad as so many seem to say he is - why in the hell would some other team want him and his supposed gigantic salary. And we expect they will send us something even better in return??? C'mon already.

  • In reply to ironsam:

    I think when Boozer comes back it will help everyone's game.
    - Rose will have less of a load to carry and will not be double or triple teamed as much.
    - Noah, Taj, Omer will be even more effective on the boards. Boozer is a very effective rebounder and with the shots he will create in the post the lane will open up even more for our big men.
    - the rest of the team will benefit from more spacing and this will be another way to get Korver, and others, more open looks. Between Rose's attacking abilities and Boozers post game there will be multiple ways to get others involved. Up until now it has primarily been created purely by Rose's talents.

  • Isn't deng supposed to be a solid veteran wing?

    Here's a thought; How about Deng only plays the first and third quarters, and goes to the locker room for physical therapy in the 2nd and 4rth.

    We seem to be badly losing the opening of the 3rd every game. Maybe if deng sits the entire 2nd quarter he can recover enough during halftime to come out and play the 3rd the way that he plays the first.

    Or maybe he just plays the entire first half and we send him home at halftime.

    I've always thought that he has the gait(moves/runs) of one of those Ethiopian marathon runners. Unfortunatley, that is opposite the type of athleticism that one needs in the NBA.

  • My only critique of Rose would be sloppy ball handling, or more precisely ball management. I didn't check his turnovers but he completely blew 2 fast breaks with attrocious passes that cost the Bulls 2 easy buckets and turned around to lead to 2 fast breaks by the Lakers in which I think they scored 5 points(an and 1).

    Thats a 9 point turnaround right there, ballgame.

    Plus he had a few horrible passes stolen in the halfcourt offense.

    I can live(sort off) with him missing his last 4 shots at the rim in the fourth because he was probably gassed, and needs to play less also.

    However, if we are going to annoint him as a true alpha dog, he can't continue to make as many mistakes as he does on basic plays that cost us points and lead to scores for the other team.

    Hopefully, he can still grow in this part of his game, but I am not certain that this will happen as easily as improving his jump shot.

    As I said going into this season, the time for making excuses for Rose is quickly coming to a close, by the playoffs of this year he needs to get close to being a perfect player if he is going to lead this team to the top. Certainly by the start of next season, whenever that might be.

    Love watching the guy, but he isn't God yet, or even Michael Jordan, and the first line of your response indicates that he should be.

    The only thing that he could have done that he didn't do was win the game in the fourth, WWJHD?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I am glad someone finally got to this point. I was gonig to comment on it at the end if no one else did. I know it seems like I'm probably being "picky" but Rose had 3 turn overs last night, but could have easily had another 5 or so. The only reason they weren't was due to Noah or other Bulls outhustling LA to the looes ball that was tipped away off of Rose's passes.

    I dont want to be too hard on him considering he is doing everything for the Bulls, and they would probably be a 4 win team if he wasnt here. I guess it is a good thing that we have come to expect so much from him.

  • Kobe is a wiley 32 year old veteran, Rose is a 22 year old supposed stud on a team with fewer options, that is the difference

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Right now on this team(certainly without Boozer) Rose has to be capable of becoming Isaiah Thomas like in closing out games. He needs crazy scoring outbursts reminiscent of Thomas to carry the Bulls to victory in the 4rth quarter.

    Right now the Bulls have no other options.

  • I believe December 15 is when the signed free agents can be traded. But Bulls schedule also gets softer from December 11, so I'm not sure how urgently Bulls will make a move. I think their mindset is to wait and play with Boozer for a month or two. Not that I agree, but from John Paxson's radio interview last night I got that impression.

    GarPax's off-season signings after Boozer were really rather lame. That was my opinion in July and its proving true. Do you recall your first impression of those signings of Watson, Korver, Brewer, Bogans? I wasn't impressed.

  • I agree on all counts.

    Given what we are doing now, competing with virtually every elite team Boozer will be huge.

    I think his abilities change the entire compection of the team, he affects just about every individual player in a positive way, Rose, Noah, Taj, the 3 point shooters. Asik might even get open dunks, instead of getting hacked by 3 guys.

    With Boozer, Brewer starts and Bogans dissappears to the Kurt Thomas end of the bench.

    Really the only guy I can't figure out is deng(stays in lower case until he starts playing after the first quarter), he just might disappear altogether when Boozer returns.

    I simply cannot wait to see this team with Boozer, it should be a really fun team to watch.

  • Stephen Jackson is a productive player, but he is a homicidal psychopath; at least as despicable a character as Michael Vick. I really cannot stomach him on my team.

  • exactly - if Korver hits 2 of his 4's or even 1 for that matter the 4th quarter looks so much different. Korver hitting one of his 3's does a couple things. First, it stops moment. Second, it doesn't allow a long rebound and quick tranistion play for LA. One more made 3 may have a 6 point effect. If he knocks two of them down... who knows.

  • The national media & local media from our opponents always talk about how ugly Noah's shot is (right before it goes in), but I think the ugliest shot on the Bulls belongs to Ronnie Brewer. I love the rest of his game, but on his jump shot, he is either elevating too high for no reason (usually uncontested), or what I suspect, he is releasing the ball on the way down, not at the top of his jump. If he could just get the mid-range down he would be such a weapon.

  • Yeah it's a pretty much just wishing rather than a solid plan of action, it's a pity after wanting a good PF for so long we might now have too many.

  • Yep, there's no way you trade Taj for those level of players anymore. That's why I said it'd be nice to be able to swap Boozer for someone equally as good at the SG, even though the idea is pure fantasy.

  • Yep, there's no way you trade Taj for those level of players anymore. That's why I said it'd be nice to be able to swap Boozer for someone equally as good at the SG, even though the idea is pure fantasy.

  • The problem with taking on salary is there's often a reason teams are looking to dump the player. Often you just upgrade your salary bill, not you win total. I think Rip Hamilton falls into that category, he's really not very good anymore.

  • We can really make a run at the finals this season abd yes boozer coming back will help a lot but getting a better 2guard will put us in the final

  • Yeah it's not something that can be fixed, when you break your elbow whatever movement you get back during rehab after it heals up is it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    just pay special attention to the timing of his release next time Brewer shoots a mid-range. It doesn't look fluid, there is a hitch, he gets to the apex of his jump, the extends his arms & by the time the ball is released he is on the way down it appears. I love the guy, the way he plays, but for a guy who doesn't shoot the 3, he really needs to have the 15-20 footer down

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I meant his elbow can't be fixed, as for whether he can fix his shot despite the form I don't know, we did pretty well with Noah's FTs without fixing the form so maybe.

  • Your last few sentences hit the spot...we've had, by the numbers one of the toughest schedules in the league thus far, and we've performed very well. As you said we are without our second best player. You can't say that because taj has played well boozers return won't help much, hasn't our biggest problem been a lack of bench production? Well guess what. We will soon have a starting calber pf coming off the bench.

  • he can opt out at the end of this year right?
    hoiw 'bout a mid level exception next summer, if there still is one in the new CBA

  • Doug -- I thought the "one handed free throw line push shot", aka Rose's signature runner, was very effective. They think he's going to the hole, he pulls up. Nice and easy

  • Its not so much the arm position though, its the timing of his release.

    His mid range is ok, I would like to see it more consistent though

  • yeah, where are all those haters now,saying he needs to stop shooting it?

  • Bigway's post wasn't politically correct, but I think his point was:
    Deng is about as explosive as a marathon runner, whereas the NBA requires the explosiveness of a sprinter.

    There, I hope I said that without offending anyone.

  • I think describing Deng as athletic is correct if, to go back to the example, we're talking marathon runner type of athletic. He plays big minutes because he's got good endurance, he can chase a guy around for 48 minutes and still be good to go up and down the court. He's just not going to explode past anyone.

    Kind of the opposite of what we had in Tyrus, he could explode for a monster play but then he's be jogging up the court for the next 5 minutes.

  • I just feel like the pay off to making a move for the older guys is limited. Unless we really think we can win right now what good is a guy like Jackson who will be 33 by the playoffs? You just put yourself in a position where you're always searching for the next vet to fill the gap. I'm all for bringing in vets to be role players but when you want them to play a major role it's hard to get a core group of guys you can run with for a few years and build something.

    I hope we just sit tight unless we can get something for nothing. Even before seeing them play I thought this team was just one lopsided trade or lucky draft pick away from being great. After seeing that Rose & Noah really are what we'd hoped this year I feel that's got to be the plan, be patient and see if we can't land the final piece.

  • Did anyone else hear the interview of John Paxson on AM 1000 radio during the Lakers game?

    Pax said while many people are expecting Bulls to add a shooter, that may not happen so we

  • Mitchell,

    Rose missed opened shots in the 4th. Excuses are weak.

  • ...crickets...

    Where you at Happy?

  • Also consider the fact that they have the allure of championship promise to FAs. They are in a position to get role players for less.

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