Can the Bulls defense rise to legendary status or are they a paper tiger?

The Bulls presently sit with an NBA best defensive rating of 99.2.   In the past five years, the only team to best that rating were the 2008 NBA champion Celtics with a 98.9.   If defense wins championships, prepare to hoist another banner at the United Center (of course, if it only took defense, the Bulls could hoist it next to the 06/07 championship banner when the Bulls finished first in defensive rating).

The question is, which way is the Bulls defense going to go from here until the end of the season?   The Bulls will soon replace Kurt Thomas with Joakim Noah in the starting lineup.  They should have better help defense and better pick and roll defense once this happens.   However, the schedule is also about to get a whole lot tougher as well.

One of the primary reasons the Bulls defensive efficiency has improved even with Noah out is the caliber of competition has dropped.   Defensive rating, while the best stat for measuring team defense commonly available, doesn't account for strength of schedule to date.

After a brutal start to the season, the Bulls have drifted into one of the softest schedules in the league.   Granted, the gap between a hard schedule and an easy schedule is much smaller 48 games than it is after 20 games.   Back in late November, we looked at the December/January schedule as a chance to fatten up, and the Bulls have done so.

(Thanks to Shakes for this link)

I've never seen this stat before, but one factor going in the Bulls favor is how much they slow down opposing offenses.

The Bulls are 4th in the NBA in forcing teams to use shot clock and slow down their offense.   They're not letting teams get many cheap fast break points, and the later into the shot clock you press a team, the worse shot they're likely to get. 

I think the Bulls defense is legit.   They are extremely well disciplined on their rotations.   They typically force tough shots and do a nice job at helping inside the paint on dribble penetration.   They've closed out on the three point line much better than early in the season, and basically every team that plays them has one of their worst nights on the year offensively.

Many will wonder how a defense with Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer can compete with the league's best, but Derrick Rose has morphed into a very good defensive player.  His reputation has lagged the change, but Rose no longer struggles with blow bys defensively and does an outstanding job contesting jumpers.   He has the speed to stay in front of his man and the strength to not get beasted inside.

Boozer's still a weak link defensively, but he's putting forth effort, and has a big strong body to stay in front of his man.   Boozer's primary weakness is when he has to come out against stretch fours, but there aren't all that many quality stretch fours in the NBA, so the issue isn't as big as it would be otherwise.   With a healthy Noah, the Bulls can always put Noah on a shooting four and allow Boozer to use his strength down low as well.

In the end, you have to credit Tom Thibodeau for the defensive transformation of this team.   The Bulls are unlikely to have a single first team defensive player on their squad and may not have a second or third team defensive player either.  Yet despite that, they're leading the NBA in defense through team effort.  

Prior to the season starting, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah (though people will complain he gets beasted inside all the time) were the only players on the squad you'd really view as above average defenders.  Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, C.J. Watson, and Kyle Korver were viewed as defensive sieves while Deng and Bogans were likely viewed as average type guys.

That makes for a roster both in the bench and starting lineup which seems to have a pedestrian future ahead of it defensively, but this defense has been crafted through coaching, discipline, trust, and full buy-in from the players on the squad.   They've put together something greater than the sum of their individual talents.  

Derrick Rose wanted a grimey team.   He's got one.

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  • There's no question about the Bulls defense, It's their offense that's inconsistent at times. Unlike football an NBA team cannot have a top rated defense and an offense that is somewhat limited. If the Bulls can win a championship with the offensive capabilities that they do have it will be a first. Their defense will definitely have to slow down a lot of talented offensive teams with good defenses as well. The Bulls have been on troll as of late as far as slowing teams down, and hopefully it will continue for the rest of the season and throughout the playoffs.

  • I think the defense is will remain rated #1.

    You can say the glass is half empty and that the reason the defense improved was the weaker competition, or glass half full and that the reason the defense didn't show up as elite early was the strong competition. Overall the strength of schedule the Bulls have left isn't significantly different than what they've faced, the Bulls SOS is below .500 but that's the benefit of playing in the East.

    The slowing teams down is clearly helping with the players the Bulls have. Some guys aren't likely to win any sprint contests (hello Korver and Thomas, I'm looking at you) but if you limit teams to playing a mostly half court game then they really can't exploit that. When people say Korver is a bad defender they think of players just running around him and straight to the hoop, but really in a 5 on 5 situation you can't do that very often, it's on the break that players athleticism shines (or doesn't).

    I think if you're talking reputations then you need to add Thomas and Asik to the list of players who were considered good defenders. The only questions with them were if Thomas still had and if Asik would adapt to the NBA. Thankfully the answers have been yes and yes.

    I know you're being facetious, but as far as defense wins championships, the only real example of that being true in the absence of offense is the 03-04 Pistons. The last time Bulls fans used them as an example we tried to talk ourselves into the idea that maybe "The Pistons Model" meant Hinrich/Gordon/Deng could win a championship if we could find some pretty good front court players. We then talked ourselves into the idea Ben Wallace was actually pretty good. So lets just agree to pretend that team never happened and say we need more offense.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I don't think you can count on Thomas or Asik in preseason. I think there was no idea what Asik would bring defensively without seeing him in the NBA given that the NBA is an entirely different animal than Euroleague, and he hadn't even played much in Europe since being drafted due to the injuries.

    As for Thomas, I didn't view him as an above average defender, I thought his age and lack of athleticism would make him average to bad.

    I wouldn't have expected either guy to play minutes in preseason, so I wouldn't have really counted them much in my expectations.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am always kind of surprised to hear people say they didn't think Thomas would be any good. He played great in the playoffs last year. And do you think Forman/Paxson would just bring in a stiff because they had some money to spend? Did they pick Thomas because he was already in Milwaukee so his relocation expenses would be minimal? Really? Why isn't the assumption that Paxson knows what he is doing by now?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Jerome James played great in the playoffs one year too. Thomas is 38 and probably 30 lbs overweight, undersized, has no vertical, and was only a role player in his prime.

    I can't think of another player like that who turned in a successful season the next year.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    So far this season, for categories that show something about defense, the Bulls rank:

    Opponents PPG: 3rd
    Opponents FG%: 1st
    Opponents 3P%: 3rd
    Opponents Turnovers: 9th
    Steals: 13th
    Blocks: 2nd
    Total Rebounds: 2nd
    Rebound Differential: 1st

    By the way, how incredible of a rebounding team the Bulls must be. With both Boozer and Noah missing considerable time so far, we're the best rebounding team in the league. How good are Taj and Thomas as backup PF and C. They have done a great job of not letting our rebounding slip at all. Also helps to have Deng and two pretty good rebounding guards in Rose and Brewer.

    I think Rose has improved dramatically. I still don't think he's a great defender ... he can stll be beat. But as I've watched the season, it's surprising how many other teams aren't willing to challenge Rose any more. They will run screens or catch him as he helps out on D, but how many teams have been willing to go right at Rose? Not many. That tells me that for most of them, they figure that even if they can beat Rose every once in awhile, he's gotten better to the point that more times than not, if they go right at him, he's going to disrupt the PG that he's defending. That's a considerable improvement in my opinion.

    Brewer, Noah, Deng, Thomas, Taj, and even Bogans and Watson at times, have all done a great job on Defense. Throw in Rose's improvement and I think that's a really tough team to go against.

    As far as Boozer goes, yeah he makes some mistakes and doesn't play great D, but as you said, both he and Korver put in a lot of effort on D, even if they aren't great at it. Sometimes I get the feeling that Boozer knows he's only 6'9" and not going to block many shots. He seems to be more willing to give up an open jumper than a low post score. Maybe he's just playing to his limitations. I think it would be more frustrating if he was being beasted on the block more often than giving up some open jumpers.

    Overall ... and since I'm a big fan of defense in all sports ... I've absolutely loved watching the defensive effort this team has put in. It's also nice to see focused defense. Defense that knows what it's trying to do out there and does it. There are a lot of teams out there that don't have a clue what they are doing on Defense. Big thanks to Thibs for that.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Awesome article and I'm loving our new coach at least in instilling such a great defensive system to this team without 1 player that could be named to the defensive team, as a whole we are #1 defensively!!!
    Go BULLS you give us a reason to believe again!!! :-)

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    1. Good simple analysis of what's going on with the Bulls. I think the offense will come as they say because most of these guys have practiced more offense than defense in their basketball history. I am sure the Bulls will get somebody like Anthony Parker at a minimum to give the offense some push.
    2. If you look at the roster, most of the players(atleast the starters) as you mentioned are all offense-first players(Boozer,Rose,Korver,Deng,Watson) compared to defense-first players(Noah,Brewer,Asik)...I don't know what to say of Bogans reallly;-) He is a place-holder.
    3. Just wondering there is so much talk of a Stretch-4 and if you look around the league there is not many elite PFs who are that. Most of the Stretch-4 are scrubs or bench players(Troy Murphy, Harrington,Tolliver)

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    What impressed me about the Bulls defense in the first place was that west coast winning road trip last year when Joakim and Taj at times just shut down the paint. Against a young burgeoning offense with Durant and Westbrook, against a Western Conf. Finals Phoenix Suns with Amare and Nash etc. etc.

    For my money Joakim, though he still gets moved arounmd by Howard and the few other scoring talented bigs in the league, he still is the best help defender I've seen since Garnett a couple of years ago when healthy. And now you add Omer to Taj as two rangy guys who instinctively understand how to rotate and cut off angles to the basket. Omer is no slow poke. And Taj IMO if not so affable would get more calls/less ticky tack bullsh*t calls to take him out of games.

    You get a (relatively) healthy Taj and Joakim for the playoffs where the Bulls are emerging as a team to be respected overall, and an MVP/starting all-star in Rose with now an all around solid game, and one of if not the best known defenses in the league.. Well now you're talking entre/license to play D the way the Celtics are allowed to play D. Taj can run down the lane and block and pursue with the best of them similar to what Kendrick Perkins does. Though they are quite different in stature, Perkins has that license to roam and defend/block, including with contact. Similar to an offensive player like Derrick "getting the calls."

    If the Bulls have indeed reached the point of MVP candidate(ratings/legit) with second all-star in Boozer, near all-star or all-star this season in Noah, an emerging 3rd/4th quarter Deng playing the vibrant role of a winner, a team winning record of an elite conference power, November Jo with spin moves for dunks, hooks; all the bells and whistles offensively(honestly I don't think it can be overstated Jo's improvement offensively if November Jo was the real deal). And then there's November(early season) Derrick with a slew of 30 point games on high field goal percentage plus now the added FTA's(free throw attempts) and three ball with he and Deng which much further legitamizes their NBA offensive games.

    You take all that, and mix it with Thib's D and a growing chemistry and momentum defensively.. And hopefully regained momentum offensively when Jo comes back as a distributor and doubling Derrick 'buster' if you will. I think it is possible, I'm not saying likely, but it is possible that all these things occur. And if Derrick's game is revitalized with Jo back, and they can beat these doubles, and open up Derrick's game again, and Jo helps the break off of defensive turnovers hugely.. then this could be a contender coming out of the East. But for possibly the Miami bobbleheaded hydra of Wade, Bron, and (P)osh Spice.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I agree, the Bulls have a lot of pieces to be a dark horse out of the East. The question is how much better is the team when Noah gets back. Can they build great chemistry with everyone healthy?

    I don't think they're the favorite, but I'd give the Bulls maybe a 10% shot to win the title this year. It's a long shot, but it's far better than I expected.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I did consider Deng to be an above average defender prior to this year.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I just read this article on Hoopsworld on second half teams to watch this year/picks to click:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18617

    Nice.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Make sure you scroll down, and read the final paragraph too. That's the best part.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    They are a grimy team as Rose wanted...And the good thing is for all the offensive problems they have two guys who are good at scoring(Rose and Boozer).
    I am just curious how they play Boston and Miami in the playoffs(Lakers act too cool to even fight and Spurs are kind of similar to Bulls).
    But Boston with the dirty Garnett and Miami with them thinking they are the best...,it would be fun to just physically beat them up..

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    In an ideal team, Noah would defend at the 4 position, and he wouldn't be good, he would be great. Just imagine if he and Howard played on the same team! But because there are so few natural centers in the league, Noah is usually forced to play and defend the 5 position, which works until he runs into a natural center like Howard. But everyone has trouble with Howard.

  • In reply to TimS:

    Exactly there aren't many true centers in the league but anyone in the world would have trouble with a specimen like Howard...the guy is a freak! :-)
    Bogut is a natural center but is not the guy prior to his bad accident last year!
    Noah does great, but he isn't perfect and asking him to defend Howard and Shaq without help defense is asking too much of him!
    He is a awesome running, passing, uptempo center and that is very unique and we should be happy with what he gives us!
    I really wish we got Kwame Brown and Shaun Livingston for the cheap this year...could have used some more size right now!

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    very nice

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I've always though Deng was an above average defender. People don't give him the credit he's due because he doesn't have big steals and blocked shots numbers. Deng makes his man work and he actually can shut down most of the 3's that aren't ultra-athletic. Rose was bound to get better defensively because he wants to and because he has the physical gifts to be an outstanding defender. Having a defensive-minded coach like Thibs has simply definitely up the process.

    If the Bulls defense doesn't stay at the top, I don't think it'll fall out of the top 3. They're starting to trap more, they clog the lane, and like Doug said, they've gotten better at getting out to challenge 3-point shooters. Thibs has a knack for coaching defenses that "grimy" up the game regardless of personnel. Their only real defensive weakness is against teams that spread the floor well and play a lot of isolation with better than average one-on-one players. But I don't think a team like that can beat the Bulls in a 7-game series.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Deng has found his Niche

    To me, this is Deng's best season.

    He's found his place as the 3rd scorer on the Bulls. They no longer need him to carry a points load. They do need him for his defense and an overall contribution.

    Coach Thibodeau is perhaps the best thing to happen to Luol Deng at this midpoint in Deng's career. Although it would be nice if Thibodeau could use Luol just a bit less so he doesn't wear out by the time the playoffs come.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Watch him prove me wrong, but I agree about the comments on Boozer's D. Earlier in the year that Clipper's game when Taj got knocked down at the baseline, and Boozer just sat and watched DeAndre Jordan take his time, collect himself, and go up for the monster dunk. Taj got up, looked at Boozer, and just held out his hands shirking his shoulders like, "WTF dude, I thought you had my back?"

    While I was revolted at the time, I have watched Boozer since. And yes he got baked by Howard, but I'm sorry, the guy kept trying. Boozer kept squaring him off with his body in the lane, fighting, trying. I'm seeing more and mroe of this out of Boozer. And I hope knowing he will have his lapses, but effort wise that this comittment to at least trying/fighting will continue.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    That was very disturbing to see but it hasn't gotten a lot better since then!
    Boozer needs to keep getting some DNA transfusions from Big Sexy! :-)

  • In reply to magestew:

    I don't think any of the Bulls are shut-down one-on-one defenders. But that animal is quite rare. Defense is a team game.

    The biggest advantage with Deng is that he can switch onto 2s and 4s and do a respectable job. But he is still best on 3s.

  • In reply to TimS:

    you are right, and that just proves defense is so much more of a team effort than an individual one

  • The Anti-Miami. Nice.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Headline :

    Bulls break up the band: Rose and friends put an end to Heatles first championship tour.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Heatles are beat to a pulp as they are stampeded by the rushing of the Bulls!!!! :-)

  • Hey..I was about to write the same thing about Boozer. After all the stuff we heard from Utah fans, he has been a pretty good teammate. Plus, it looks like David Kahn from Minnesota knew what he was doing with Jefferson. He gets his stats but can't play well in Sloan's offense and Millsap is showing he is a energy infusing backup. Maybe, Boozer needs to get some credit for helping Deron Williams become a star player as he has done for Rose.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I told you guys last summer that if you listen to Jazz fans, you'd get the wrong impression about Boozer.

    Boozer suffered from the "I have to follow Karl Malone as the PF for the Jazz" syndrome. If he'd had a 20 year HoF career in Utah, they might have gotten off his case ... but not before.

    He has a few deficiencies, but he's easily a top 5 PF in the league.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I don't really relate this team's status as the best defensive team in the league to that of the 06-07 squad as far as predicting playoff success. Sure they were both great defensive teams but look at the glaring differences, most of which are on offense. This squad relies on interior scoring with an excellent scoring PF in Boozer and center put back wizard in Noah, add to that the fact that Noah may be the best passing center in the league. What interior scoring did we have in 06-07? Taj and Kurt Thomas are better offensively than the interior of the 06-07 squad. Imagine that team if Ben Wallace could actually score and shoot free throws. . Probably still not a contender. But add in our superstar DRose while kicking to the curb the shot chucking, although sometimes electric Ben Gordon. Also taking into consideration the reality that Deng is now a competent 3pt shooter, you've got to say this squad has virtually nothing in common with the team in mention besides their defensive ranking. Sure our offense isn't ranked near the top, but it does possess the offensive components that are necessary come playoff time, interior scoring and a superstar guard, two things the 06-07 squad never, not even momentarily,, displayed on the court.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I think the departure of Ben Gordon really changed the direction of this franchise. The team as it is today would not resemble the team if we had kept Ben Gordon. Him leaving has helped us bring in other players i.e. Boozer that have put us on a trajectory for the eastern conference finals. It's easy to say if we resigned him we would have a SG, but he makes 11 million just like Deng and shoots a poor percentage and can't defend. Thank you GarPax!

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Good point! BG sure lit it up and could put up points quick but defense is a team thing and having one bad egg who doesn't care ruins the whole bunch!
    I love our chemistry and feel we are real close to going all the way or at least being a threat too!
    At any rate this team sure is fun to watch now!
    I can't wait till Noah is back to his usual self! :-)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Valid point it is a very common mistake to look at a player and think it is all him and he will do the same "good things" on your team...but most of the time it is the players around him making him look good!
    Look at how Wallace was on the Pistons and how crappy he was on the Bulls!
    Look at how good Nash made guys around him that aren't doing that good away from Phoenix.
    Just a couple examples. :-)

  • They are the "Miami Spice" ...very tasty for the Bulls, Lakers or the Celtics to eat them in a basketball sense. And Bosh is already being called a (P)osh Spice although it can be LBJ as Posh is the one who hooked up with David Beckham as LBJ did with Wade..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Good stuff guys...keep it coming.
    I always refer to Chris Bosh as Posh Spice! Although he looks more like Posh Spice with his long dreads prior to coming to Miami.
    2-1/2 men is giving them too much credits more like 1-1/2! :-)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I hate to say this because I am a bull fan.. But when the bulls play a team thats over 500 and they play them on the road , I believe the bulls D will show their holes.. Bopozer cant Defend the outside shot and is NOt a good defender. He does NOT help out.. ON the contary Taj when playing with BOozer was always helping and stopping Boozer's guy after the guy got past Boozer. Thomas wont cpver the 3 either. Thus teams like the knoicks will kill the bulls. Athletic bigs like the Orland center. Griffin (clippers) , the Utah bigs, Aldrige, Stoudamire, Heat. Boston bigs when they want to beat the bulls which they havent in games Ive seen. They like their old coach. BUT wait till the playoffs. ASik is the key and has been all year. He stop bigs and penetration period. NOT BOOZER or Thomas whoa will get stuffe don . The orlando guy last game scored 40 an dvould have had 60 . So I dont hink th ebulls D is that good . Brewer is decent and Taj and Asik , THomas can handle slow NON athletic guys thats it .. SO wait till the games really count.. Dont really on the bulls D .

  • In reply to mikem:

    Mo, who won that Orlando game?

    I don't care if we give up 40 to Howard ... as long as we win.
    I don't care if we give up 40 to Lebron AND 40 to Wade EVERY single game. As long as we stop the rest of the team ... and we can ... then we still win the game.

    Great scorers will always score ... but great team defense can beat great teams.

    Kobe scored 41 yesterday ... and lost.

  • In reply to mikem:

    The Bulls know they are struggling with consistency on the road. Believe me, they know, and are focusing on cleaning up the areas that have hurt them on the road. 11 road games in 14 against quality teams will be a good test for them.

  • In reply to mikem:

    And I couldn't disagree more about Thomas not being able to handle athletic big men. I remember him slowing down Blake Griffin considerably. Infact , I would say he thrives on slowing down athletic big men by putting a body on them & getting physical.

  • In reply to mikem:

    I don't care if my power forward can't defend outside shots. That is not his main objective. If he at least shows some effort to close out if there is no one else to rotate, great. If not, I do not care. How many power forwards in this league are extremely good defending outside shooters? Not many. Contrary to popular belief, Boozer is NOT a horrible defender. He is decidedly average. In fact, he is valuable to the team in that he is the strongest player we have. Boozer is not the easiest guy to back down in the paint. He only shows up to people because he is an average defender on a above average defensive team. You want horrible? Remember Eddy Curry? That guy blocked 7 shots in his Bulls career.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Eddy Curry did one great thing for the Bulls defense: he got us Noah.

  • "Two and A Half Men"...hilarious

    No, they are no Beatles, and that is insulting. Also insulting to George Harrison to insinuate that Bosh plays his part. George was the guy who was ahead of his time & so overlooked, Bosh is the polar opposite of him.

  • Me too, need to step it up on the road, .500 is not going to cut it

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    They should have 2 more wins on the road(Denver, NJ) but definitely they haven't been dominating on the road. I think if they win at Miami on the road with all the "spices" playing...that's a big confidence booster.

  • Glad he is traveling with the team. They think enough of his recovery that he could get something out of practicing with the team on the road. Nothing but good news here!

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I got 3rd row seats behind the bulls bench for the utah game so its good for me that hes just traveling with them so I can see Jo sitting on the sidelines

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Sweet seats, say hi to Jo for me

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2011-01-31/warriors-want-to-upgrade-at-small-forward

    Steph Curry for Deng??

    If you could have him or Rose play the 2??

    I dont think it would make us a better team it would fill a void but create an even bigger on

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    IMO Curry could play the 2, he's a SG who is playing the point because that's the closest they have to a PG. Problem is they're not giving up Curry for Deng. And if they're not giving up Curry, then the teams have nothing to talk about.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Additionally, while there

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Do you find it funny this rumors; Only for a monster deal we are giving up this guy or that guy. This is on teams which are terrible and some of these guys are 2nd or 3rd,4th best on that team. They have no other hope and are terrible with these guys anyhow. They just overvalue their guys such as GSW with Curry, Houston with Lee, Indiana with Granger, Sacramento with Casspi.. These players are all good if you have a stud like Rose, Durant,Griffin ...otherwise they are not contenders anytime.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    An interesting stat to look at which tells a lot about a teams defense is Assists against. As of Sunday night the Bulls are second best for assists against, just behind the Celtics. What this stats shows is teams have a hard time running their offense against the Bulls defense. Teams offensive sets are not being ran smoothly thus leading to one on one plays or trying to beat the shot clock with a low percentage shot.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    An interesting stat to look at which tells a lot about a teams defense is Assists against. As of Sunday night the Bulls are second best for assists against, just behind the Celtics. What this stats shows is teams have a hard time running their offense against the Bulls defense. Teams offensive sets are not being ran smoothly thus leading to one on one plays or trying to beat the shot clock with a low percentage shot.

  • In reply to argie2333:

    If I'm not mistaken they still run basically the same defensive system in Boston now that Thibodeau implemented.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    At this point, I'm all about 1)Afflalo 1a)C. Lee
    If you can't get those guys in resonable deals, I'd rather wait til the summer

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Just checked out both players per 36 minute stats, very similar esp with relation to 3 point shooting & scoring. Before this season, Lee has been the better scorer, now they are about even. Afflalo shooting in the mid 400's for 3s though, wow tha'd be nice pairing with Korver at times on the wing, while Rose works his magic.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Yeah, apparently they're willing to do the Bulls a favour and give up some expirings for Deng. Like the Bulls are tanking for a better draft pick or something.

    The problem with trying to trade Deng is he's worth more to the Bulls due to fit. His contract doesn't make trades easy either. Unless something goes wrong and the team implodes I think Deng will be a Bull for a while yet.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    everyone wants Deng for 20 cents on the dollar, no way he goes anywhere for 2 years at the least

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Won't get him now, but Kendall Gill said something the other night about Steph Curry. Said he knows his Dad Del, and said something about him wanting to play here. He pretty much called it, but said it wouldn't happen anytime soon. I'm not putting to much stock into that, but I suppose its in the realm of possibilities

  • 23 down. 7 to go!

  • Good stuff MW

  • They are going to the West Coast and there's a big storm coming....I doubt he would have traveled if they were going to Cleveland;-)

  • Good point about rebounding. Rebounding is a key part of defense and I did say when we signed Boozer I found it hard to believe anyone who rebounds at his rate isn't at least an average defender because of it. I find it interesting to look at the 4 PFs that were on the market and how they all had pretty bad defensive reps and how they've fared.

    New York are terrible defensively because they play Amare at center and Chandler/Gallinari at PF, Amare actually blocks shots and can do more defensively than Boozer but his lack of effort on the boards kills you, especially when you pair him with other players who aren't rebounders.

    Bosh I said all along was a good defender despite Toronto being terrible, he was doomed with Bargnani next to him (historically bad at rebounding ...) and a bunch of perimeter players who do nothing to pressure the ball. No surprise Miami is a good defensive team and Toronto is still #30.

    I am a reformed David Lee fan I have to admit, I thought it was just the Knicks didn't emphasise defense, but apparently they tried to get him to play defense and he just decided he'd rather go after rebounds because that would show up on the box score and help him get a contract. No surprise the GSW warriors are terrible defensively, his me first style fits right into the "system" they run there. So I guess Lee has gone on to show that a great rebounder CAN be a terrible defender; although the irony is the way GSW play he's not even a great rebounder in that system.

    I think Boozer & Bosh have been better than the reps they had, and Lee & Amare have lived right up to them. I guess that's why they pay the GMs the big bucks, to work out which players can be better in the right situation and which players are what they are.

  • One thing I wonder is how much background do teams know on other teams players. I think the Lee example is interesting, the general public only heard whispers about the coaching staff thinking of him being a selfish player after he left the Knicks, while he was on the team he always said the right things, appeared to give effort and the Knicks fans loved him.

    But the coaching staff from various teams have to talk to each other right? I mean a lot of them have played together and coached together and go back a long way. When they come into town they no doubt catch up with each other and talk shop a little. I'm sure they don't give away all the secrets, but some gossip about which players work hard and which players don't understand the plays and the like has to leak out doesn't it?

  • We also have to give some props for Bulls improved defense to assistant coach Ron Adams. Adams was the Bulls defensive assistant under Scott Skiles, and more recently for the Oklahoma City Thunder. I

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