It's hard to stomach two moral victories in a row

The Bulls ran into a buzz saw against NY, lost due to a freak occurrence of three point shooting.  They then step into Boston on the second half of a back to back against a well rested, elite team in the NBA.   They took that team to OT and lost.

In an OT loss, you can obviously pin the loss on any of the hundred of little things that went wrong during the game.

What if the Bulls didn't get annihilated in the second quarter (again)?   What if Luol Deng hedged on Rondo's pick and roll two plays in a row that led to wide open layups?    What if Derrick Rose got the foul call when Rondo reached in on the last play of the game?

In the end, the Bulls come up with a loss.   Yes, it was a game I didn't expect them to win, but when they played so well in the game, it hurts more. 

Derrick Rose needs to be tighter with ball handling
The Celtics trapped the hell out of Rose for most of the game and Rose struggled with it.  18 points on 19 shots with 6 turnovers.   Down the stretch of the game, you started holding your breath every time he dribbled the ball out of fear rather than out of expectation of something good happening.

Rose is starting to get the full on superstar treatment, where he's seeing immense coverage very time he touches the ball.   While you could argue the Bulls bigs aren't helping him enough, that's really not been the case this year as Gibson and Noah are averaging about 31 points a game on 62% (or so) TS% combined. 

Rose is obviously still off to an amazing start this season, but the Celtics forced him into an inefficient night.   The Bulls need to find a counter to the trap 38 feet from the basket.

Joakim Noah is shutting up people who say he's only a hustle player
Noah had a tremendous game stepping up to create his own offense, knocking down all 10 of his free throws and looked every bit the potential all-star we hoped he could become.   Noah even knocked down jumpers in this game and was really able to punish Boston for any bit of breathing room he had.  

Perhaps the lone negative to the night was when he tried to go coast to coast at the end of the OT period with the Bulls down three and was stripped from behind by Kevin Garnett to seal the loss.   Noah's a solid ball handler in the open court, but needing 3 points at the time he really needed to give up the ball in that situation even regardless of being stripped.

Taj Gibson has been awesome after sucking in preseason
Gibson put together another solid performance.   Tonight he knocked down 7 of 12 jumpers rather than getting open dunks.  For all the talk about the Bulls hurting due to a lack of Boozer it's hard to argue that the team hasn't been getting outstanding play out of it's starting front court.

It sounds insane right now, but the way Gibson is playing, you could almost make the case to bring Boozer off the bench.   Gibson needs Rose to help create for him, but given that is putting up fantastic numbers.   Boozer could come in and create for himself with the second unit and completely solve our issue of getting murdered every time the starters rest.

That's obviously not going to happen, but Thibodeau needs to keep one of Rose or Boozer on the floor the vast majority of time, because Gibson, as well as he's playing, isn't a shot creator for the second unit.

Luol Deng's three is definitely legit
Luol Deng givith and taketh away in this game.   Towards the end of the
game, Deng knocked down two threes, and he's now shooting 50% from the
three point line on 3.6 attempts per game in the regular season.   Those
two threes helped the Bulls come from behind to tie the game.

However, his horrible pick and roll defense allowing Rondo to get to the
hoop twice by not showing out on Rondo allowing Rondo to get open looks
in the lane helped sink the team as well.  

The increased three point shooting is a boon for the Bulls though, and
when Deng's going through games where he turns the ball over too much or
struggles on defense or with rebounding, the fact that he's knocking
down three point shots allows him to contribute quite a bit more. 

Keith Bogans wouldn't make a sound if he fell in the forest
Bogans had a pretty decent game by his standards filling up all the hustle points.   Though he made an insane play of chasing a loose ball into the back court and diving on it to give the Bulls the final possession of regulation.   Only problem is that he almost dove out of bounds with the ball, and that it was a backcourt violation anyway, so his insane chase for the ball really was closer to costing the Bulls then helping them.  

Still, understandable if he didn't see who the ball was off of or thought it was tipped somewhere, and his sprint down court forced Ray Allen to sprint as well, because if Allen doesn't sprint and Bogans comes up with the ball it's the game.   I loved the effort though.

The Bulls still need to get more shooting out of Bogans who plays a massive amount of minutes without providing a real threat to shoot the ball.

Ronnie Brewer is on his way to becoming the starting two guard
The past two games, Brewer's given the Bulls a nice lift when entering the game, and if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say he's probably pushed James Johnson back to the bench now.  As noted in the last post game thread, Johnson hasn't been able to recapture the magic of the Detroit game, and the Bulls have struggled mightily when he's on the floor since that point.

On the other hand, Brewer's come in and made an impact with his defense and is starting to find his role on offense and getting easy opportunities.  He even knocked down a mid range jumper in this one.   Brewer's game would improve considerably playing with Derrick Rose who has better passing instincts than Watson and would find him on his basket cuts.

C.J. Watson is getting to where we want him to be
There is still going to be a legion of fans who hate on Watson because there's a huge drop off when he enters the game, but you don't replace Derrick Rose with a three million dollar a year player. 

I noted last game thread, that I thought he was playing better in recent games except that his shot wasn't falling while others have called him a shot chucker.   Personally, I think Watson's the only guy who can create his own offense for the majority of minutes he plays, so it's no surprise he shoots a decent amount.

He's been a willing passer though, and looks for Korver on the back screen plays all the time to find him. His ball handling has been much better after a shaky start, and in this game he hit his only two jumpers and had three assists. 

More importantly he played solid defense on Rondo and helped lead the Bulls comeback.  He did a nice job of fighting through screens and staying in front of Rondo, better than what Deng/Rose combined for as soon as Watson left the game.  

He's still not a stud, and he likely never will be, but when his scoring efficiency creeps back up then he'll represent the player we wanted, a guy who can create his own shot, handle the ball, and do a solid job while Rose is on the bench and possibly push for some starting time.

Kyle Korver played big minutes to mediocre effect
Korver did hit one big three in OT to help keep the Bulls in the game at that point, but otherwise was fairly quiet in his minutes on the floor.   He still does a lot to open up the offense, and it's apparent how much harder the opposing defense has to work when he's on the floor.

At the same time, he had several key plays where he was exploited on defense including Ray Allen getting inside position off a top of the key screen that led to his OT dunk.   I'm still in favor of keeping Korver on the floor 20 minutes a night though, because even when he's not getting open looks he generates so much space for other players.

Shooters like Korver show you why you can't simply look at three point percentage to determine how dangerous a shooter is.  Luol Deng is shooting 50% from the three point line, but he does it all on open threes.  No one is scared to death of Deng running around a back screen and doing a turn around catch and shoot from the three point line, so no one needs to guard him that closely.

Luol Deng can punish you for leaving him wide open.  Korver punishes you for giving him an inch, and the pressure he places on the defense is totally different.   This isn't a knock on Deng though, his increased there point shooting has been a revelation to the team.

Something needs to change with the 2nd quarter rotation

I've harped on it in virtually every post game thread, which means that this is a pretty big problem right now.   You can't throw out a lineup with five of your end of bench players at once.   You need to keep someone on the floor to help them.

There aren't many options, but going with guys like Scal, Johnson, Omer, and Watson at one time is a recipe for disaster.    Any of those guys could fit in with better players in a specific niche role, but together, there's simply no leader for them.

The probably will remain difficult to solve until Boozer gets back, as there's simply not enough offensive creators on this team without Boozer in there.  

At this point though, I think the Bulls need to move away from either Scalabrine or Johnson and go with one guy to give him enough minutes to find the flow.   Johnson can give you athleticism, defense, and occasional flashes of offensive ability.   Scalabrine can calm down your offense, keep the plays running smoothly, and provide on floor coaching like ability. 

They are near polar opposites in every way, and playing them at the same time tends to exploit both weaknesses and neither strength, it also doesn't allow either one to find a grove though this is probably more of a problem for Johnson than Scalabrine.   I think a shorter rotation would help one of them play better though.

Final thoughts
After five games, I would have predicted a 2-3 record for the Bulls though I would have thought a win over the Knicks and a loss to the Blazers would have gotten them there.  It goes to show that you don't win every game you should nor lose every game you should.

Overall, I'm pleased with the individual play to this point.   The Bulls are missing one of their most talented players right now and are still generally playing at a pretty high level despite the 2-3 record.

However, when you play well and lose, it doesn't necessarily mean that you make it up by playing badly and winning later.   The Bulls have still missed some key opportunities to win a couple games early on, and that's never a good thing even if the team has been a bit better than their record to date.

Comments

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  • QUESTION:

    Where was the moral victory against the Knicks? That's a team they should beat.

    I'll buy into the effort vs. Boston as a moral victory. Still not good enough.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think he was talking to Mr Happy...

    Joakim Noah slumped in his locker, blood dripping from his right shin, dejection staining his face.

    Suddenly, Noah stiffened.

    "We're only going to get better," Noah said. "And when we do, it's going to get real ugly. For everybody who is talking real crazy and all the trash people are talking right now, it's going to come back and haunt them. Because when it counts, we'll be ready."

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    does noah read this blog?

  • Rose looks tired. You can see that he is mentally drained, hence the turnovers. For him is already late December. I hope coaching staff and management realize this and cut down his minutes (47 minutes?). They need to sign or trade for a point guard that brings energy while Rose gets his rest. Watson is just bad.

  • In reply to supercesto:

    As much as I hate the guy personally, Rondo had more to do with Rose looking tired than your thoery

  • In reply to supercesto:

    And right now the bulls are a under 500 team its sad but true

  • Even thinking about having a all star PF coming off the bench behind Taj Gibson is serious insanity...then trying to reason it out is even more insane.

    That said, I agree with a lot of what is written, but that part was horrible.

  • In reply to Houston:

    well it's like it would be most effective to have one of lebron or wade come off the bench. it's never going to happen but it would play to both of their strengths. wade could be a scorer in the first rotation with good players while lebron could create shots for the scrubs. but the best method doesn't mean it will or should happen.

  • In reply to bullsman24:

    Wade and Lebron are totally different from Rose and Boozer though. Different positions, and Boozer is more compatible to Rose when it comes to his skillset than Lebron is to Wade.

  • When the Bulls dont have Rose in.....we are terrible lol Bulls need another guy...we have been saying this all along. We need somebody that can get the other team in foul trouble, and somebody that can create his own shot for himself. Right now, Rose has to do everything for this team. D needs to tighten up too.

  • fb_avatar

    Boozer tends to be a slow starter when he returns from injury. Bringing him off the bench for the first 3 games or so to ease him into basketball shape when he returns might not be a bad idea.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I agree only if Boozer is willing to come back a week early. I mean, come on, its the pinky bone on the inside of your hand. At this point the bone is stronger than it was before the injury, so its just a matter of rehab & conditioning. Rhab, seriously? For your fingers? Come on, come back a little sooner Booze & we will work you in slowly,ok?

  • Sick of moral victories... leave those to timberwolves fans

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I'll take moral victories at the beginning of the season for such a new young team, b/c they signal that we are putting it together. Its a long, long season. The sky is not falling

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Moral victories is where we at now smh I thought you play to win the game! Hellooo! You are what your record say you are and the right now are a under 500 team period

  • JERMAINE TAYLOR UPDATE:

    via Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld:

    The Houston Rockets continue to shop Jermaine Taylor and a deal is expected to get done soon so that the team can add center Erick Dampier to their roster. Because it has taken the Rockets so long to move Taylor, league sources wonder if Houston is trying to acquire more than just a draft pick or cash by packaging Taylor with another player in a two-for-one trade.

    Q: Jermaine Taylor and Chuck Hayes for James Johnson and a 2nd Round pick?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If he is so good sir, then why is he not good enough to be among one of the Rockets 12th active players, and while on the block, how come no one is trading for him?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    Because the Rockets' management has decided to load up on SG's.

    - Kevin Martin
    - Courtney Lee
    - Shane Battier
    - Chase Buddinger

    That's why. It's a NUMBERS game. They have 15 guys on their roster.

    Houston wants to do a TWO FOR ONE trade. That's a good for the Bulls.

  • Doug,

    It's not looking good.

    I expected the Bulls to head out West with a 6-2 record and then go 4-3 on that trip. That would equal 10-5.

    I didn't think Tom Thibodeau would SETTLE for a MORAL VICTORY vs. the Knicks.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I am shocked that Mappy Pelosi is not guaranteeing an 8-2 record over the next 10 to achieve that 10-5 start.

    It is not like her to ever admit that she was wrong like a lithium freak.

  • As much as I hate to agree with Mappy Pelosi, the Knick game was more of an abomination than a moral victory.

    The fact that the Bulls could still have won the game if not for NY's other worldly 3 point shooting does not mean that they played well or even with effort.

    They played like crap against a team that is nowhere near good, never mind elite, not sure what you saw to make you think differently.

  • I agree it appears to be time to start Brewer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    And everyone is talking about adding someone via trade, but b/c of injuries, it will soon be like we are adding two quality players in Brewer & Boozer, and thats far from a lineup tweek.
    If we can stop holding onto the ball & keep it moving like Thibs talks about then we will be on our way offensively, even when Rose sits.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't get why people compare DRose to MJ, rose is no MJ. he is the best player we have rite nw. what is needs to improve is to get to the line at least 4-5 times a game

  • In reply to BigWay:

    What we need is a two guard that can create and shoot because keith bogan and his 3points a game ain't cutting at all

  • I rather have Livingston for James Johnson...we had a shooter on our summer squad in Morris Almond, but we let him go. Jermaine Taylor wasnt a bad college player though.

    Thibs should of put Rose an Noah in vs the Knicks for the final 4 minutes....we could of had a W that night...you never know.

  • Thank you for finally pointing out Rose's biggest weakness(on offense at least). He is a very shaky, non chalant ball handler. In fact his ballhandling resembles his personality. I have been commenting on this since the middle of his rookie year.

    You are absolutely right that instead of being excited about the possibilities I am scared to death when he handles the ball, especiallly in crunch time. This never happened when the ball was in Jordan's hands, and he wasn't even the point guard.

    Rose will never be a big time finisher with this ballhandling deficiency.

    Rose simply cannot be considered an elite point guard until he is an elite ballhandler. It does not appear that he worked on this part of his game at all since his rookie year. Maybe it is all about his small hands. Just the other day he stated that he couldn't palm the ball if his life depended on it.

    His defense still sucks, he and Deng pretty much lost the game by not even making a reasonable effort to guard the pick and roll.

    I have to hope and pray that Thibs can teach Rose to play D, as well as handle the ball like an elite point.

    The time for excuses and living on potential is quickly coming to a close for Rose, by the end of this season he will likely be what he is going to be. Dare I say, something akin to Monta Ellis moreso than Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

    I hope that he becomes more than that, but then again, I, unlike Doug have wanted the Bulls to trade for Ellis for the past 2 years, first by offerring Gordon, and then and now for Deng.

    Ellis and Rose would be a scary backcourt, not unlike Curry and Ellis are now.

    Rose is loaded with hope and potential, but there are reasons why you could see reasonable basketball minds taking Rondo or even Westbrook over Rose if you have to win a game today.

    Look, I love Rose(2nd favorite Bull) but it is time for the fans to take off the Rose colored glasses. If you want to talk about him like he is a top 3 point, and top ten player, then he has to excel in all phases of the game, not just one. If he is going to be this teams Jordan, then he has to be there in all phases of the game, even if he can never be as good as Jordan.

    Right now he has more in common with Ben Gordon than Michael Jordan.

    I know that I am going to get a ton of shit for this, but we have over hyped Rose from day one. He has not actually lived up to the full extent of the hype yet. We need to be honest with ourselves and expect or demand more from Rose by the time that this seasons playoffs start.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I have no issues with his ball handling. He lost that last one cause he was fouled, & most of his turnovers are from getting doubled & throwing the ball to someone who is not open.
    You don't drive the lane like that & finish while going so fast unless you have the ball handling to get you there.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    He has also had way too many cross court passes, and too many lazy ones as well. He needs to have a bit better court vision as teams are getting used to jumping into his passing lanes. Take a note from the NFL, pump fake and cut.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    I agree completely, Rose has a lot of turnovers this way, not on fumbling the ball a la Ben "he ain't no Jordan" Gordon. In fact, that game against Boston was mared with turnovers when the Boston defenders were ready in the passing lanes. Against that aggressive D, you gotta fake the pass more, then the potential reciever needs to break to the basket, or the ball handler needs to swing the pass back the other way, or dribble for penetration the opposite way

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You're not far off on a lot of that rant, other than having a man crush on Monta Ellis.

    Rose and Ellis duplicate one another's skillset. They would be a much worse back court than Curry and Ellis as their skillset's compliment one another (except that neither of them play defense and both of them are too small to play off guard for long stretches).

    The real issue here is that we miss Kirk Hinrich. I don't care if you people don't agree, but the fact that Rose isn't an "elite" ballhandler is becoming much more evident without Hinrich. Hinrich could take pressure off of Rose by being able to not only handle the ball but also set the offense up if need be. Bogans and Brewer can't handle the ball worth a damn. Neither can Korver or Deng for that matter. Giving up a first round draft pick and Hinrich for NOTHING (but the chance to add two max players that never was and never would be due to collusion) was the worst move I've seen in quite some time. You don't give away talent for nothing, unless you've got a cheap owner or there's a hard cap and the league forces you too. If they hadn't given up Hinrich, taken James Anderson with the 17th pick, and signed Boozer to the same deal this team would be in much better shape today. I'm not sure on the numbers but they may have even been able to add Korver with the remaining money too. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Regardless, having Hinrich right now would make this a significantly better team.

    Rose-Hinrich
    Hinrich-Anderson/Korver
    Deng-Korver
    Boozer-Gibson
    Noozer-Asik

    I like the make-up of that team a hell of a lot better than the current team.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    And if the salary cap wouldn't have allowed up to sign Korver outright, maybe Utah would've taken James Johnson back in a sign & trade. Considering that the Bulls gave away Hinrich ($9 million this season), the 17th draft pick (Kevin Seraphin, $1,563,120) and replaced them with Korver ($5,000,000), Brewer ($4,790,000), Watson ($3,100,000), Bogans ($1,600,000 although I think that's the vet minimum exception), Kurt Thomas ($1,352,181), and Brian Scalabrine ($1,229,255) I'm pretty sure we could've signed Korver and kept the draft pick and Hinrich easily.

    Hinrich + 17th pick = $10,563,000
    Korver + Brewer + Watson + Bogans + Thomas + Scalabrine = $17,071,000

    I know that Watson was technically signed & traded but come on. I'm fairly certain it could've worked.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    I didn't see two moral victories, I saw two disappointing losses. The Knicks game was a bad loss because it directly due to shoddy defense and an inability to chase guys off of spots and open 3's. Knick shooters were repeatedly getting wide open looks. That's unacceptable. The Celtic's game was a tough loss, but the bulls had the last shot to win it and couldn't execute. No way around that. They should have won.

    On the other hand, I am encouraged by how well some guys are playing (Noah in particular, I had no idea he could be that good, hopefully he keeps it up) and that they came back in the Celtics game, but the bulls have always been a team that doesn't quit so it's hard to get too excited about that.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    If you had to bet your house on the Celtics game, even with the spread, I think you would have picked the Celtics, so to say taking them to 53 minutes was a disapointment, I think that is a stretch. They played their asses off, just need to clean it up on both ends of the court.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    The knocks hit at least 8 threes either fading away or directly in someones eye. They had the best three point shooting night of any team in the NBA thusfar this year and nearly broke last seasons top outing. It sucks losing to the knicks, and yes mistakes were made but give me a god damn break, you have to be blind or somewhat mentally handicapped to not see that the knicks were having a ridiculously lucky night from behind the arc. Come on man,

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    They didn't get a hand in anybody's face until the third quarter, and at that point they needed to run guys off of spots, not just get a hand up. Stop making excuses, it was a poor effort against a one-dimensional team.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    I think one of the big problems is the rotation and substitutions in the second quarter. I think CJ Watson needs to come in and play with the other 4 starters with 3 or 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter. This would give Rose a good rest and hide some of Watson deficiencies because he would be playing with the starters. Maybe bring Korver in also at the 2 guard. At the start of the 2nd quarter or soon after Rose should come back in and play with the bench players. He would help hide their deficiencies. The substitution pattern needs to be cleaned up because having all 5 bench players in at once is killing the team.

  • In reply to johcoh:

    Exactly - I like many of the things Thibs has brought to the team so far, but in terms of substitutions you would think he was a hockey coach not Basketball. You cant swap in 4 or 5 guys and expect them to keep up with teams. We lost 2 games now because of this. There were other factors as well but this was a big one.

  • In reply to johcoh:

    Yea, Rose needs to get his rest the way that Jordan did, the last 2-3 minutes of the first and third quarters, and the first 2-3 minutes of the second and fourth quarters, so that he gets the entire quarter break in addition to the on court time. That has to be 12-15 total minutes of rest, which should be plenty for a 22 year old kid.

    Thibs does not seem to be a fan of this philosophy, maybe it is a Celtic thing. Hopefully, he adjusts as he the season goes on and he figures his team out. Obviously, things will only get better in every way when Boozer returns.

    In fact, it is impossible to get a real read on this team without Boozer, who is arguably the best current NBA player on the roster, and the best player since the Jordan era.

    We are all frustrated now, because this season(without boozer) does not look any better than last season right now

  • In reply to jt563905:

    What was the point of the bulls bass signing waston bogan and sal this what u sign with all this great cap space we had what a waste

  • In reply to jaymccray:

    couple other teams viewed Joe Johnson as a sort of contingency plan. Worst case scenario for clearing all that room was getting Booze & Johnson, and I don't think many expected Atlanta to give him the full 6 year max. Once that happened, I thought we recovered pretty well

  • In reply to jaymccray:

    All those deals are short and are set up to end in a free agency period that will have some talent, unlike this coming years.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    I agree with all of this, individually the players aren't playing so badly, we just need Boozer back and Brewer playing more for all the pieces to fit together. I think people are sleeping on how much Brewer can help the team in particular, when the team is struggling to hit shots he can help both because he can finish at the rim and because he's someone who can generate turnovers for fast break points.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    chris bosh is a over paid role player on this heat team lol he is a small forward in a big body

  • In reply to jaymccray:

    make that a tall body

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Michael Jordan and Larry Bird fighting over a cheeseburger? Michael Jordan versus Michael Jordan?

    http://hoopstopia.com/?p=135

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Morrow have 19points in the first half against the heat he was the shooter that the bulls bass should have went out and gotten be instead they sign non shooters brewer and bogan waston damn I want my bulls to be better and get stronger getg the right players damn

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Yeah but he will be better on this team

  • In reply to jt563905:

    when boozer comes back.. are you guys willing.. or would you think of a trade of

    TAJ GIBSON & BOGANS FOR ANTHONY MORROW & JOE SMITH.. if nj loses murphy & favors for melo(most likely if they land him)

    would you guys consider a deal.. im far from hyping up joe smith like others.. hes the most overrated player for being solid.. i dont know how.. but no one ever says he's done or isnt good.. with the baby numbers he puts up.. he's below ok.. but my point isnt him.. its the investment we made into boozer.. you can find a good big faster than you can find one of or actually the best young shooter on a payless contract..

    would you do it?

    rose
    morrow
    deng
    boozer
    noah

    korver
    taj replacement.. i mean we can trade for someone with our first that we wouldve used on rudy scurbnandez..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    no

  • In reply to BigWay:

    COMMON SENSE:

    Would say that Kyle Korver needs to be the #2 SF on this team, not James Johnson. And Keith Bogans needs to be the #3 SG and/or SF, not the starter. In the absence of a MAJOR TRADE, the Bulls need to find a WING player that can score. There don't seem to be a lot of veterans available. Giving an OPPORTUNITY to a young guy, who can't get minutes elsewhere is the way to go.

    We I laid out the possibilities. It's GarPax's job to go get one of them.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Absolutely absurd points big way. You have to be excellent at every phase of the game to be an elite player? Name one player in the entire league that excels at every facet of the game; passing, ballhandling, three point shot, post game, pull up jumper, defense, finishing at the rim. Kobe Bryant maybe.

    Rose needs to improve on his ball handling, but right now he is drawing more defenders than any point guard in the league hands down. This is the first time he has experienced this level of focused defending in his career. He will get progressively better just as he has at every aspect of his game. His defense doesn't suck, it's gotten a lot better, but still needs work. His three point shot has gotten better but still needs work, just as his ball handling. The kid is 22, he needs work and has shown he's willing to do work.

    Jordan had short comings in his game at the age of 22, I watched as he put in the work to get better in his weaknesses, and ive seen rose do the same.

  • What about your favorite, Monta Ellis, who at only $11 million per is starting to look like a good value.

    Unfortunately, the time to steal him was the past 2 years, GS probably won't move him now.

  • I've wanted the Bulls to give Livingston a shot for a year or 2 now. Would love to see the Bulls take a run at him, but Charlotte has no points that they like, so I doubt that they would move him.

  • Like you, I am still hopeful that by mid-season, Thibs will have worked the GS out of him(or maybe that was Sam Smith), and Bulls fans will appreciate what he brings to the team in his role.

    I would however, like to see more of him and Rose together, especially the other night against the Knicks, who at times had Felton and Toney Douglas in the backcourt together.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    So GS make him a bad shooter, bad passer and bad dribbler? So maybe because of GS, Monta Ellis is not a good player. CJ is not a point guard. And the bulls need a real point guard. CJ is too small and non-athletic to be a SG. To me he is Pargo 2.0

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It make no damn sense how some of you guys bash rose damn the guy can't be perfect every game every qtr if he wasn't on this team trust me we will be 0-5 damn jordan is gone the 90's is gone get over it and u wonder why big time free agents don't want to come play for the bulls don't nobody want to hear that jordan never did that bullshit rose is doing great with what he got

  • Obviously you don't want to bring Boozer off the bench, but you do want to stagger Rose & Boozer throughout. There should not be 1 second in the game where either one is not on the court, unless the game is out of reach. Thibs has been playing his starting five almost to the end of the 1st quarter. When Booze comes back, he can pull him earlier & put in Gibson, and that also works well b/c Boozer is going to need to start off slowly by playing around 20 mpg.

  • Gotta stagger Rose & Boozer as much as possible.

  • Agree'd, & they'll have more options once they can trade thier new aquisitions come January

  • Korver is really going to have to step up & be that scorer. Also, by then you will have Gibson coming off the bench (told you he had a jump shot ;), Bogans coming off the bench (where he fits better), CJ coming off the bench, & Asik too....there is your 9 man rotation.

  • Brewer looked real good last night, loved that steal against Ray Allen. He looks like the perfect guy to generate some scoring off defense/athleticism & making cuts. I think he is ready to move into the starting lineup and to get major minutes.

  • you're right, but I keep telling myself, Bull or no Bull, give new players time

  • Actually Doug, I have been rather impressed with Tajs post moves the past few games. They have gone to him early the past few games and he has delivered. They have been of his own doing as well. Not open jumpers off of Rose's double teams like the rest of the game. I think he will do just fine coming off the bench.

  • You need to tack on 10% to all shooting stats when judging how non-bulls players are viewed in most Bulls fans eyes. :)

  • I think it is. We all know Korver can score, its his defense that is keeping him from getting minutes. That's why JJ has been the first reserve off the bench the last 2 games. It has not been working out so well, and as Korver's D improves, I expect him to become the traditional 6 man who scores.
    Gibson to the bench is a huge plus! He was going against KG the other night and scoring on him in multiple ways. When he goes against the other team's backup 4 what will he do? CJ is the same as now, & will still be able to create his shot & is getting more comfortable.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    plus as I mentioned already a few times, you have to stagger Rose & Boozer's minutes.

    when Boozer recovers, he should be good for his usual 34 minutes, Rose his usual 37. For the 11 minutes Rose sits, Booze needs to be out there. That still leaves 23 minutes when the 2 are out there at the same time, workin that pick 'n roll baby. There out there together to start the 1st quater, to end the 2nd, to start the 3rd, & to end the 4th, about 6 minutes each time...perfect

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ...they're out there, sorry

  • Don't know what 2nd unit you have been watching, but the one that has been on my TV screen has been JJ & Asik coming in.

    Korver needs more mpg

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Korver is shooting almost 60% from 3, while getting 20 mpg. He needs a little more time, needs to come in a little earlier, play the 6th man role, & the Bulls need to free him up a bit more so he can shoot more.

    When Rose sits, you would obviously have CJ Watson in there, & as I mention you should have Booze in there, Korver can play with that lineup & get shots from Boozer's spacing

  • my mistake, you are right, he is playing on that unit that is struggling in the 2nd quarter. I was jusr thinking about when the first substitutions are made.

    I still go back to my point I'm hammering home, either Rose or Boozer has to be on the court at all times, at least until the offense gels, & we can get consistent points out of great ball movement no matter who in the rotation is on the floor

  • Thank you Doug, this talk is absolutely ridiculous. You guys need to check out the recent episodes of southpark, we've got a couple captain hindsights on our hands.

  • Owned

  • I know, nobody is more disappointed than me with how he started the season, I've been hyping him as a candidate to take Thabo's spot on the 2nd team all-D. I think it's just the injury and once he gets healthy he'll be fine, I really hope he hasn't had a Tyson Chandler-esque regression on signing a contract.

  • Let me preface this by saying I am in no way comparing Thibs and Phil Jackson in terms of quality of coaching. Everybody got that? With that said, the stubbornness in Thibs's substitution patterns (so far) does remind me of Phil Jackson's, espcially back in his 1st couple of seasons with the Bulls when he caught so much flak for leaving bench players on the court during long stretches when they weren't particularly effective. But by the end of his 2nd season as head coach, the Bulls bench's confidence was high and they played well together, even in pressure situations in the regular season and playoffs.

    Phil obviously had some advantages. He inherited an established team that was already winnig 50 games and going to the later round of the playoffs. He could leave either MJ or Scottie on the floor, both of whom could initiate the offense and make plays for themselves or their teammates. Thibs doesn't have that luxury with only Rose able to do that at a high level. But it appears Thibs is taking a "Big Picture" view the way Phil does...and the way fans and media rarely if ever do in pro sports' culture of immediate gratification. This may cost them a game here and there during the regular season and may frustrate a lot of fans (me included) from time to time, just like it did with Phil.

    Only time will tell if it'll pay off in the long term. But I think it will once Boozer comes back and gets to 100 percent both in health and in his integration to the team.

  • I agree we need Brewer to earn his starting SG spot and Bogans should be #2, or #3 SG not a starter.
    Agreed also on TT doing a hockey 2nd unit by bringing the entire unit off the bench at one time! You can't do that in the NBA, we are getting killed because of it.
    I thank Bulls management for trying to get Lebron and Chicago boy Wade here...it would have been awesome to have a Chicago from guard tandem of Rose and Wade...not even considering having prob one of the best basketball players on this planet in Lebron!
    We miss Capt Kirk big time now, but he is a $9M/yr player but he really did help Rose develop. Can we get him back from Washington, do they really need him? Prob use him like we did with Rose and ease Wall into super stardom and let Agent 0 find another team.

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