Next 20 games will tell the tale for the Bulls

At 31-14 the Chicago Bulls are on pace to win 56 games.   They're presently the 3rd seed in the Eastern conference, but they sit just a game back of 2nd seed Miami, and no one would be surprised if Boston starts to wear down a bit over the next couple months.

However, what started with a tremendously difficult early season schedule softened into 20 or so games against the Washington Generals.   The Bulls have now played, statistically, one of the lightest schedules in the league.

You can't hide from the best teams forever, and here they come again.

  

Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers
@ Los Angeles Clippers
@ Golden State Warriors
@ Portland Trail Blazers
@ Utah Jazz
@ New Orleans Hornets
Charlotte Bobcats
San Antonio Spurs
@ Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat
@ Milwaukee Bucks
@ Washington Wizards
@ Atlanta Hawks
@ Orlando Magic
@ Miami Heat
New Orleans Hornets
@ Charlotte Bobcats
Atlanta Hawks
Utah Jazz

You've got two against Orlando, two against Miami, two against Atlanta, two against the Hornets, two against the Jazz, and the Spurs.

The Clippers are playing much better ball lately, so that game will be tough.   The Bobcats have already beaten us twice this year, and we play them twice more.  Plus the Blazers on the road which is hardly a gimmie either.

You've got Indiana, @Warriors, @Raptors, @Milwaukee, and @Washington as the games that look 'easier' on the schedule, but notice that four of those five are on the road where wins are rarely easy regardless of opponent.

We've all been celebrating how well the Bulls have played this season.  How they've overcome injuries and still performed at a high level to turn in a great record.    Can they keep it up?   

In order to keep up their present pace, the Bulls need to clear this schedule with a record of 13 and 7.     That seems like an awfully tall order with 12 games on the road and a team that's only .500 in road games including losses to some pretty lousy teams (Nets, 76ers - Iguodala, Bobcats). 

Make no mistake this is where the Bulls seed will be won or lost this season.   A great record through this stretch could potentially get them as high as the #1 or #2 seed.   A good record probably holds them steady as the #3, and an average one probably drops them to #4 or possibly even #5.

Unfortunately, I see the Bulls likely clearing this hump around 10-10 putting them on pace to win 52 games which is still awfully good against the level of competition they'll play, but might drop them as low as 5th in the seedings.  

However, if the Bulls manage a 13/7 or better over this stretch, I think it cements Derrick Rose as the MVP and probably earns them at a minimum the three seed.   To make it through that schedule with a winning record without Joakim Noah would prove his place in the elite of the NBA, and he has enough intangibles going for him that he may get pushed over 'better' players.

They start the gauntlet on Friday.

Filed under: Players

Tags: chicago bulls, derrck rose, MVP, schedule

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  • The two five game road trips will be tough...but the Bulls should be able to maintain .500 record on the road. Joakim Noah said he was returning for the All-Star break, so this team should actually be better than the 56 win pace with which they started. 13-7 is an attainable goal for this trip.

  • I'm very hopeful the Bulls go 13-7.
    Noah got his pin out of his hand yesterday on the 25th so I hope he continues to get his hand dexterity back and is back here asap as we really need him especially with all these road games and playing tougher teams.
    The Bulls just have a bad habit of falling behind in games and playing to the low level of the inferior teams they play.

    I hope with Noah coming back the Bulls kick it in another gear and Rose doesn't have to do it alone but rather draw the attention as he always will and get his teamates some easy baskets. :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    See I doubt the Bulls will have those same issues of falling behind early, at least not as a result of playing down to anyone's level. Reason being we won't be playing a bunch of teams we're "supposed to beat easily". The team will be extra focused going into marquee match ups, dispelling any chance of playing down to the opponent. Obviously there are a few games here and there where this could happen, but as you can see most games come against teams the Bulls will respect and have extra motivation to compete with.

  • If Rose's back becomes an issue, it could get ugly. I think Friday night's game will be a good indicator of how the next 20 go.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Agree. If Rose keeps struggling on offense, it will catch up. I guess he was playing tired and a little hurt for a few games now. The elite teams plus playing on the road will be tough on them. That said, other teams are also hurting a little bit like the Bulls(Miami, Boston etc)..
    We just don't know how this team will perform with Noah and Boozer being healthy. The real Bulls will probably show up at the end of March if everybody is healthy.

    I will be ok even if they just go a couple of games over 500 in the next 15 games.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    You're right -- this should be a good test for them. The East is definitely a bit more competitive this year (esp. with teams like the Knicks) so the Bulls need to play well during this stretch.

  • We should have Jo back after the first 10 games if we can go 6-4 the first 10 we should be able to go 7-3 when he gets back... I hope... I think lack of scoring and inconsistency is going to kill us

  • No they won't.

    The trade-deadline will tell the tale for the Chicago Bulls.

    We are going to find out how serious they are about WINNING THIS YEAR.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    With the present roster - the Bulls have a low chance of being Champions (i would be very "happy" if they reach ECF).
    But if we trade for Melo - than we are talking abt winning... next year. We will not be deep enough to make a run already this year.

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    Either way the Bulls do well.
    1. If they get Melo for Deng/Taj and other pieces/picks, they will be good this year and in the future. But, that probably doesn't happen as Denver will get better pieces from Houston, Dallas or he will go to NY. And if he is a FA, he goes to NY or stays in Denver.
    2. If they don't get Melo, the 2-guard position has to be upgraded. They will probably wait until the off-season to see what is available rather than over-pay now and make a hole in a different position or get a very minor upgrade.

    Which basically means, I agree with you that the chances of them winning this year is very less.

  • FYI:

    via the Denver Post...

    "Tuesday afternoon,

    Anthony told the Denver Post that he'd consider signing an extension with Denver, Chicago, New York and New Jersey."

    * His top 2 choices, from what I know, are Chicago and Denver.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If he'd consider signing with New Jersey he'd be there.. He wants to play for the Knicks and only the Knicks

    Like someone else said on here this isn't fantasy basketball there is only 1 ball and I personally would rather have the ball in Rose's hands rather than Melo's ... Melo isn't going to take a back seat and by our 2nd or 3rd option

    And for us to get him we would have to give up all of our size and have a bigs rotation of Kurt Thomas, Noah and Redhead... No thanks

    We just need a 2 guard that can be decent on defense and hit shots that's it

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    This is the story from the Denver Post he never even says he'd sign an extension with those teams the question was just aimed at him that way..

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/nuggets/2011/01/25/carmelo-anthony-discusses-his-future/

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    When they are selling Nets tickets for 25 cents, you can tell everything about that team. I doubt Melo would even go to the Nets if he himself was the owner of that team;-)

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    If Rose continues his play...i think he'll win it. Its gonna be a tough 20 game stretch for the Bulls. We will be meeting up with some good teams now. We can see how good we really are.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Doug,
    How could we drop to 5. Do you expect such a bad record in the next 20 that we could be 2nd in our division.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    I dont think that division matters anymore I think they changed the rules.... Didnt want a seahawks type team to have a top seat

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    It does:
    This is a quote from rules on NBA.com
    Teams 1 to 4 in each conference are the three division winners and the team with the next best regular-season record, with the seeding of these four teams determined by regular-season record. The playoffs seedings of Teams 5 to 8 are based upon regular-season record. Ties are broken pursuant to the rules set forth below.

    So we have to be 2nd in our division to have a shot at being a 5 seed.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I predict a record of 15-5 over the next 20 games...

  • In reply to jnunes:

    I'll take that.
    However, before the season started I had us at 30-15 for the first 45 games. We are 31-14.
    For the next 20 I had us 11-9 but I think now that we better that. I did not expcet Boozer and Noah injuries prior to the season (I did my prediction right after we finalized our roster) but I also did not expect Rose to be . . . . . . .

  • In reply to jnunes:

    Fun Season, Awaiting Playoffs

    Years past, watching the Bulls was painful. Now, whenever I watch, I see tough defense and Rose "breaking someone's ankles".

    I understand we always need to talk about Carmelo Anthony, Bulls' management would be remiss if they didn't pursue talks for Carmelo. But in the long run, with incremental help at shooting guard, I'll take this Bulls' roster for this season.

    We still haven't seen Rose, Boozer, and Noah in peak form working together. As I've said before, the most important addition this off season was Coach Thibodeaux.

  • In reply to jnunes:

    Fun Season, Awaiting Playoffs

    Years past, watching the Bulls was painful. Now, whenever I watch, I see tough defense and Rose "breaking someone's ankles".

    I understand we always need to talk about Carmelo Anthony, Bulls' management would be remiss if they didn't pursue talks for Carmelo. But in the long run, with incremental help at shooting guard, I'll take this Bulls' roster for this season.

    We still haven't seen Rose, Boozer, and Noah in peak form working together. As I've said before, the most important addition this off season was Coach Thibodeaux.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    BQS

  • In reply to Edward:

    Wait, you mean deciding to play 4-on-5 basketball is a bad way to go?? Who knew?

    Starting either Korver or Brewer alongside Rose would make an immediate impact in terms of starting off games/halves properly (both sport PERs more than double that of Bogans), would cost you nothing now, and would potentially lower the cost for an upgrade (Bulls wouldn't come off as desperate as they do now) at SG later.

    It's like being short a buck on a purchase, but refusing to use the $5 bill that is in your wallet. Why a change hasn't been made still escapes me.

  • In reply to saigman:

    LOL ur a funny guy Emp lil Richard II !!! :-)
    Exactly I hate breaking money up! :-)

    I can't believe our record under the circumstances (loosing Noah and Boozer for many games...and having Bogans as our starting SG...on a Bulls team rich in Jordan tradition nontheless!!! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    Have to maintain a sense of humor about Bogans to stop from crying about it.

    Bogans is like that movie '23'. Everything bad that happens this season to the Bulls will tie back to him some how. (overuse injury...can be blamed on Bogans...opponent getting off to fast starts...Bogans...Brewer losing confidence...Bogans...etc, etc, etc).

    The fact that we used to have the greatest SG off all time in Chicago wearing #23 and now have the worst SG in the NBA (#71 out of 71 according to PER) did not factor in that comment at all, I promise!

  • In reply to Edward:

    I know it has been brought up. But there is no way the Bulls can finish worse than 4th this season. (assuming they have the central title in the bag, which is a pretty safe assumption)

  • In reply to Edward:

    Rose has the flue, misses practice.
    http://twitter.com/KCJHoop

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    I do not understand why these players don't get vaccinated

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Wonder what kind of flu? I had my shot this year but still got the stomache flu. It doesnt protect against that.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    could be stomach flu. If it is, insn't it typically about a 24 hr flu?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Two things to note:

    1. It will be interesting to see the exact game when Noah will be able to return. It would be nice to have him for the San Antonio game before the ASB, but I highly doubt they would bring him back for that one game ... unless he was completely ready ... when by keeping him out of that game, they can get him another 5 days off over the break, before the Raptors game. That Raptors game would be my prediction for bringing him back. He'll be 2 days short of 9 weeks at that point, and if everything has been going well, could likely be ready by then. That would give us 11 of those 20 games with him.

    2. Rest. We start this weekend with a back to back, Orlando(H)/Indiana(H). But after that, 11 of the next 13 games are played with at least 1 day of rest (Our best stretch of the season not having to play back to back games). At the end we then have two more back to back sets ... Miami(A)/New Orleans(H) and Atlanta(H)/Utah(H) ... both tough ones.

    Combine that with the All-Star Break and at least we have the benefit of facing one of the toughest stretches of the season with as much rest as we get all season. Hopefully it helps.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    I think they will get him back when he is ready rather than giving 5 days extra rest. He might play less minutes in the first few games because of rust, to get him into game shape and make him feel it out a little bit. I think that would be better than holding him out for a longer time and then making him play 35 min...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yeah, and if he can come back the week of the SanAntonio game and play at home and get back in the swing of things a week prior to a Miami match-up that Im sure he is dying to be a part of, they will do it.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    good point, plus, its not like he'll lose the 5 days rest if he comes back for the San Antonio & Charlotte games, he'll still get those 5 days to work back into proper shape, but maybe a couple of 10-15 minute appearances would help even more

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and there is nothing more motivating to get back into game level shape, than realizing you are not in game level shape. Those last 2 games can sort of knock the rust off him in that respect

  • In reply to Edward:

    http://twitter.com/KCJHoop

    Rose out with flue, misses practice. Better get better!

  • In reply to Edward:

    Absolutely

    I talked about this yesterday on the board. The next 20 games are tough. Good teams at home & on the road, dual 5 game road trips bookending the all-star break, still missing Noah for the first 7-9 games. It will absolutely tell you how good this team is, especially after the all-star break when Noah returns, and the team is gearing up for the stretch run & subsequent playoff run. This team should have a lot of things cleaned up by then & running smoothly. These next 20 games will pretty much tell you how many wins we will have by the end of the year, as 13/17 remaining games are against losing teams. Bulls should go 14-3 over that stretch. So to get 58 wins on the year like I am calling for, the Bulls would need to go 13-7 over this 20 game stretch(31+14=45;58-45=13)

  • In reply to Edward:

    I think 4th is as bad as it'll get. I don't see anyone in the central division challenging the Bulls. As you well know they'll get the fourth seed automatically by winning their division. With a 13 1/2 game lead on the injured Bucks and already a 10-0 record in the division I don't see them losing that spot. Its all about whether they can climb higher than that 4th seed. I think so long as they stay healthy the rest of the way that'll be a certainty. I see the Magic kinda reeling right now. I think ironically Thomas being forced to play helps against the Magic because he has the physical strength and tenacity to give Howard a battle down low. I also think the Bulls physical toughness evens the playing field against the super skilled teams like the Heat. To me its all about whether or not Deng can step up as the third option till Joakim gets back and even beyond should the Bulls fail to acquire a scorer at the 2 spot. I don't see the Melo thing happening. Denver wants too much and refuse to take Deng who's a guy I would be hesitant to get rid of because of the tough perimeter defense he's been playing. But of course that hesitation would quickly pass if Melo agrees to an extension and commits long term.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I disagree with your prediction Doug. It is tough yes, but 2 things to cinsider: 1) before the break, Bulls have plenty of days rest, after the break, Noah returns. 10-10 is too low.

    Also after the 20, Bulls play an easy stretch again

  • In reply to Edward:

    nice analysis

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    No no here's how it works. You can be the 4th seed by name but the 5th seed will get home court over you if they have a better record. So winning our division may get us a higher seed, but not home court advantage.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    In other words the difference b/t 4 & 5 is of name only. If its the same matchup, and homecourt doesn't automatically go to the higher seed, then seed doesn't matter at all (w/ relation to the 4&5)

    I was thinking the same thing when I read Doug's words, but he was talking about the records I believe

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yeah I think he was(referring to Doug). Its really a weird way to do it. So winning your division actually only benefits you if the 5th and 6th seed both have better records than you. In which case you are getting to play the 5th seed when by record you'd be playing the 3rd seed. Right?

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    basically, the way I read it, the only importance that rule has, is if there is a divison winner who is real shitty (say a central team if the Bulls weren't there) and really deserves a 7 or 8 seed, then they automatically get a 4 seed & easier 1st round matchup. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, sure. Certainly no't worth all the confusion it creates.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I really don't look for Boston to fall off too much, they seem to be totally focused on getting back to the finals and they now have Perkins back in their rotation so the Bulls need to win the games that they are suppose to cause Orlando and Atlanta are only 2 games behind. The Bulls are in 3rd place now but they could easily fall to the 5th seed if they don't remain focused over the next 20 games.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I don't think Boston will fall of the face of the earth but they wont have near as good a record as they did in the first half. You are right they are definitely focused on getting back to the ship. But they don't really put much weight in home court advantage. Last year Doc Rivers was quoted as saying he'd rather have his older players rested than have home court with a tired squad. His philosophy proved to work, such is the luxury of having a team with such a veteran presence. For us, a young team, seeding is much more important.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    1. I think Boston has a better chance of falling off than Miami. Miami will be getting healthy in the sense that Mike Miller will be more in sync with you know who..
    2. Boston is always one injury away to get totally out of sync unlike other teams because of their age especially in the regular season when they have back-to-backs etc..
    3. Miami and Orlando worry me more in the sense they are the kind of teams which beat up on the bad teams...Orlando with its depth and Miami by putting a whole lot of points in the first half..
    4. Beating Boston, IMHO is more about mental toughness than just playing well. They will resort to all sorts of tactics in the playoffs to make you give up.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yeah I'd wager Boston ends up with the 3rd or 4th seed. Even if they don't have any serious injuries Doc will be resting his Big Three as the season goes on. They simply don't care about seeding that much. And I'd agree Miami will be the one most likely to position themselves for the number one seed but who knows, even with Miller returning I could see Wade or Bosh missing serious time. As for your comment on Orlando beating up weaker teams, I'm not so sure anymore. They've changed a bit since the trade, they definitely still have great depth, but they did lose to Detroit yesterday(or two days ago?) and they've already had two 4 game skids so far this season. I honestly think it will come down to Miami, us, Boston, and Orlando all finishing the season within 2-4 games of each other. The only exception being if Miami gets healthy and stays healthy they could widen the gap between 1-2.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I think the Bulls will have to have a top 3 record in the league for Rose to win MVP with his current stats. Even then, if they're #3, San Antonio and Boston would have to be ahead of them. If Miami is ahead of them the MVP will likely go to LeBron or Wade unless their stats are so similar that it cancels them out in the minds of the voters. MVP usually goes to the best player on the best team unless no one on that team has great stats (leading the NBA in either ppg, rpg, or apg or top 5 in one category and top 10 in another).

    If the best player on the best team doesn't have those kind of stats, the MVP seems to go the guy with the best scoring and/or assists and/or rebounding stats on one of the top 5 teams. If the Bulls finish top 3 in the east but only top 5 in the league, I think Rose would have to manage to bump up his stats to win MVP. Maybe to 26ppg and 9apg. Of course, there are always exceptions. MJ won an MVP once when the Bulls only won 50 games. But MJ averaged 35ppg, 3.16 steals, 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

    I'm rooting for Rose to win MVP, but I doubt the Bulls will win quite enough games or that Rose will have ridiculous enough stats to be a shoe-in this season. He should still be in the top 5 in the voting, though. I think next year is going to be D-Rose's year.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Is there a firm timetable yet on Noah's return? I think they can manage a little better than 10-10 depending on when Noah returns. If he's fully recovered I don't think he'll need more than a couple of games to get his rhythm back.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    From what you know? Lol...hilarious...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    From what you Know, that would be squat.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Any guesses on who is the next "Happy" star? It was Wade, now Melo...And now after Melo signs with NY...who is this guy going to start dealing for through his fantasy trade box?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He'll call for Chris Paul with DRose moving to SG.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Just think....if Joe Johnson just waited a couple days....he probably would of been a Bull. DWade and Bron effed that all up though by sitting in meetings with us just pulling our legs. We would of been a contender for sure then.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    that's my biggest beef with those dueches, you already had your minds made up, just announce it on July 1. f'in prima donnas man

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I doubt it would have mattered, even if the Bulls were willing to give Johnson the max (IMO they weren't nor should they have), Atlanta being his current team were able to offer more money which they did.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Melo and Wes:

    Look who Melo was hanging out with prior to his game in Detroit.

    http://twitter.com/nuggetsnews/status/30424637523365888

    Isn't that the guy who has been pushing a Melo-trade to the Bulls?

    I believe so.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    FACT: Worldwide Wes is as much of a factor now as he was over the summer.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I believe the Bulls will be just fine, even without Noah. They started the year with an extremely difficult schedule without Boozer and still had a pretty good record. This stretch isn't quite as difficult as that original one. I don't think they will gain any on Boston, but they will be fine.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Jason Williams was waived by the Magic. Anyone want to sign him? Although he would be surplus to requirements ;)

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    I expect the Bulls will pick up another PG before the playoff roster deadline. Obviously if Rose goes down with an injury you're screwed no matter what, but you at least have to have a viable replacement for Watson.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    HAPPY IS GOING TO JIZZ IN HIS PANTS!!!!!!!!!

    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2011/01/27/source-bulls-to-assign-james-johnson-to-d-league/

    I think JJ will be a 20 ppg player in the D-league it sucks but its better than him wasting away on the bench!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I think it's more likely JJ never scores 20 in a single game than he averages that many.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Shakes,

    You have that right. JJ to the D-League.

    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2011/01/27/source-bulls-to-assign-james-johnson-to-d-league/?a_dgi=aolshare_twitter

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Do you guys think this move is a sign that a trade isn't comin any time soon??

    Or do you guys think this is because they are opening up a roster spot for J-Will?

    My pipedream is that they are bringing in J-Will to run the second unit and are planning on starting CJ at the 2 .... I can dream

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    They only have 13 players on the roster, no need to open up any spots. I think they're just sending JJ down because he's never going to play otherwise.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I think its just a matter of Paxon realizing that Thibs is not going to play JJ. It could be good for JJ, but his teammates are going to miss him. Say what you want about him, but he looks like an awesome teammate.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    I always liked JWill, he would be a good backup PG for us if we could get him for the vet minimum. :-)
    Bring back white chocolate!
    I loved him on the Kings and hurt to see him go, so many highlight reals with his globe trotter skills!

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    RUMOR HAS IT:

    Doug Thonus is driving James Johnson over to Iowa, as we speak...lol.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    No, I think Thibodeau is driving him over

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Tough blow for all of Mappy's Carmelo trade proposals that have Anthony coming to Chicago for James Johnson and a bag of peanuts. How will troll this blog without your "Dickey Johnson" references?

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Too busy yesterday to comment. Simply, as I've said/harped the stepped up doubling of Derrick/apllication of the Jordan Rules has caused him to have several 30% shooting games including the one against Milwaukee. Not to mention the team shooting in the 30's as well.

    Most have dismissed the "solution" to doubling as anything but plays being run. It's simply personnel. Well, all I know is right now the Bulls are not a fun team to watch on most nights since Derrick has been hampered effectively.

    The way Derrick has been saddled with entire team's defensive focus effectively, and the resutling poor Bull's team offense I don't look forward to the Magic game by any means. Even with the Bulls overall home court record I'd be surprised if we don't start dropping games to winning ball clubs even at home. Hope I'm wrong.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    And as far as JJ to the D-league if he does go down there I hope they run plays to get him open for mid range jumpers, and see if he can shoot the ball.

    There's no question in my mind he has the athleticism to play in the NBA. And he showed post moves against inferior competition in college. I'm sure he can score some down low against many of these sub par players. The point is can he defend very well at the three(or four), and can he shoot the ball or not? If the answer is no then he's probably going to be out of the league sooner rather then later. But if he can hit from mid range to the top of the lane then there's no reason he shouldn't be able to contribute in someone's rotation. As long as he quits making the momentum killing turnovers with silly passes and exposing the ball dribbling. Those two things have to stop. Period.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    The issue is not just JJ. We have so much dead weight on the team...Bogans, Scalabrine without being a deep team.
    I hope Rose,Deng,Thomas(are the guys playing a lot) don't go down. Hopefully, they sign somebody who can play and not a place holder. When some of the players are so bad, the other performing players will have to work more than normal so Deng, Rose are compensating for Bogans,Scal and sometimes Korver.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Everyone agrees there's a lack of production from the bench. I'm simply saying in regards to JJ his value/future/development stil holds some interest to me in and of itself regardless of the other issue of the Bulls roster spaces and bench.

    As a No.16 pick sure many of those guys don't make it. But J.J. has been a presence on the court at times enough so to still garner some interest at least for me. Again, what I'm looking for from him to make use of his playing down there is show he can shoot, defend, and not make the team/career killing turnovers with sloppy aka 'I think I'm Magic' passes and exposing the ball on the dribble.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    yep, just keep it simple, learn to play smart and under control, hit open jumpers...

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    JJ just needs to carve out a niche for himself in the NBA.

    I think the easiest way to do that is to quit trying to do to much, play good D, and hit open jumpers. If he bacame a reliable 3 pt shooter who didn't make many mistakes, he could have a role.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It might be various reasons:
    1. No Confidence 2. He is actually a bust for the NBA level. 3. He has never been allowed to make mistakes.
    4. He has multiple skills but not great at one thing.
    I think the main issue might be his bball IQ is very low...
    Good luck to him and hopefully this will give him a chance to learn the game. This is actually a good plan rather than sending him to D-league before the season started. He got his share of training camp,practices and now can work on it at real games.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I always thought JJ showed the tenacity (in trying to guard LBJ in the playoffs, for example) and the athleticism to be a Bruce Bowens 2.0 type of player (assuming he could start hitting a type of shot consistently other than dunks).

    Someone mentioned Shannon Brown, and I must admit that was the first thought I had when I heard on the radio that JJ was going down: I hope one way or the other, the Bulls don't whiff on this like they did then.

    Time will tell.

  • I stopped coming to chicagonow months ago because it's index pages are so jacked up. But I came back for a look today and discovered your blog. It's so good that I'll keep coming back. Thanks for the effort. BTW, the indexes and search returns are still miserable. WTF is up with that?

  • I hope your right about Bogans but I really don't see it happening

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    me neither

  • For the love of all that is basketball goodness, Bogans is averaging close to 18 minutes per game, not 15.

    His last 5 games worth of logged minutes are: 18:15, 16:47, 21:20 (ugh), 18:01 and 14:19; so it doesn't seem to me as though Thibs has been at all dissuaded from using him over the course of the season.

    I think the games that will highlight the horribleness of Bogans will be Atlanta. With Joe Johnson followed by Jamal Crawford, there isn't a break to be had at the SG position. With both players having potentially 'something to prove' against the Bulls, I look for them to stage a game of 'Who did Bogans worse'.

    People will expect Wade to light it up against the Bulls. If JJ and JC combine for something like 50 points to lead the Hawks past the Bulls, I think (hope) it would be eye opening.

    Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to sing into Facebook, and connect to the official BENCH KEITH BOGANS movement.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Haha I'm on there too

  • In reply to saigman:

    No way they are combining for 55 on Bogans. He plays 16 minutes per game. They arent scoring that much in that short of a time. Especially with the teams very sound help defense.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Not sure if that is what you meant now that i read your post again, but them combining for 50 doesnt open eyes of any type. They will not score that many on him specifically, but if they do score that many in total what does it show? that we need an upgrade at SG? We have been saying that all year.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    I don't think it is the fans' eyes that need to be opened. Thibs and the media need to smell the coffee.

    I put the media because, frankly, they've given Thibs a pass on this. The general sentiment seems to be a combination of 'they're winning, so why tinker' and 'there is no one available via trade that would be better'.

    That would be fine, except:
    1). Saddling the starters with Bogans is obviously taking a toll (the BQS stat mentioned elsewhere in this thread...players having to exert more energy to make up for his lack or production, etc).

    2). You didn't have at least 2 (if not 3, counting Watson to an extent) better options on the roster already.

    As for Thibs, I would love to hear him explain the Bogans situation in-depth. Is Bogans the practice version of MJ? Does he think there are points awarded for degree of difficulty?? What is the logic?

    Bogans has been a tragedy on offense, and has been next-to-nonexistant on defense; especially since Noah has gone down (Bogans was good at filtering guys to the middle...something he picked up in SA, no doubt).

    I just don't get it, and I have yet to read or hear anything resembling a half-way plausible explanation as to why he continues to start.

    If Robert Stack were still alive and in production, this would no doubt make it to an episode of 'Unsolved Mysteries'.

  • In reply to saigman:

    I love your Robert Stack "Unsolved Mysteries" reference as to why Bogans starts...its defies logic.
    Only thing I can think of is that Thibs was with Bogans girl(s) and Bogans and his girl(s) are keeping their mouth shut about it while showcasing Bogans as a starting SG on the 31-14 Bulls! :-)

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    The team is so good at the UC they'll be favourites in every home game. On the road it's a bit more tricky, probably only favourites against the Bucks, Wizards, Bobcats, Raptors and Jazz (who haven't beaten any decent team since their good start).

    Still if they win the ones they're favourites in (never happens that way I know) that's a 13-7 record.

  • Me too! Honestly as a fan I was having trouble getting up for the constant string of Washington Generals. The reward is not as much. You're cheering for a blowout, & if that doesn't happen, you're dissapointed with a 9 pt win. If you lose, oh my, its devastating to lose to one of those bottom feeders. This 20 game stretch should be fun, playoff like at times.

    13-7, that's the goal.

  • Noooiccceee

  • That was one of my first thoughts

    don't want to come out and say Derrick is out of practice for 2-3 days because of a bad back

    plus "the flu" or "flu like symptoms" have always been used as an excuse

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Maybe athletes really do get the flu 10 times as often as regular people. ;)

  • Yeah, GarPaxDorf has been on the cautious side with Noah. Still, I would think, just like it was with Boozer, once he gets cleared by doctors for full contact, virtually saying there is no chance for reinjury, then I think he makes 1-2 full contact practices, then plays. I would say 60-40 he comes back vs Charlotte.

  • Yeah, GarPaxDorf has been on the cautious side with Noah. Still, I would think, just like it was with Boozer, once he gets cleared by doctors for full contact, virtually saying there is no chance for reinjury, then I think he makes 1-2 full contact practices, then plays. I would say 60-40 he comes back vs Charlotte.

  • I wouldnt be suprised if he gets out there earlier then expected. His feet and legs are fine....its just his thumb. So depending on how his thumb is feeling, hopefully we can get him out there asap. But like you guys are all saying...theres always that fear that we rush him out there too quick...all it takes is a hard foul to his wrist and hand area and you dont know what could happen. Im assuming he is still running and everything staying in shape since it just his thumb. Hopefully he is anyway lol

  • Doug, have you been reading Blog-a-Bull game threads? Or do great minds think alike. About half way down in this thread

    http://www.blogabull.com/2011/1/24/1954542/bulls-92-bucks-83-the-kurt-thomas-revenge-game#comments

    I said:

    "This upcoming stretch of 20 games will be challenging. Orlando and Indiana this weekend back to back at home, then the Clippers, Golden State, Portland, Utah, and New Orleans on the road, then Charlotte and San Antonio at home, then Toronto on the road and Miami the next night at home, then Milwaukee, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, and Miami on the road, then New Orleans at home, then Charlotte on the road, then Atlanta and Utah at home. If the Bulls go 13-7 during that stretch, I will be very happy. If they just break even, I won

  • And we don't have to worry about Noah's playing too much after a return from injury and getting re-injured courtesy Pax;-)....
    Will he pull Thibs's tie or do something more outrageous?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I'd like to see Thibs go toe to toe with Del Negro. Thibs is pretty stout, he'd probably roll Del Negro's weak ass.

  • The Bulls sent Shannon Brown to D-league and not giving him a chance to develop. I hope they evaluate JJ well before giving him up. The reason I doubt them is although he makes a ton of mistakes he did play well in a game or two and helped us to come back and win when others were struggling.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Shannon Brown came in during a season where the Bulls had no head coach (Boylan doesn't count) and were a total train wreck, already had Gordon, Hinrich, Duhon and Sefolosha at guard and also had Hughes coming in.

    I'm not really surprised he fell through the cracks. I don't think JJ's situation is like Brown's at all.

  • Hey Mitch, just realized your name comes from an old 80's player who played a short stint with the Bulls and was suspended for 1 season from coke, while on that potentially dangerous Houston team that fell apart, with the twin towers Olajawon & Sampson.

    You a big Wiggins fan?

  • For the most part, I agree with you. Different stages for the team and all.

    I do have to wonder why it took so long to happen, though. Especially since JJ was extended for another year. Not a complaint, bear in mind, just a curiosity.

  • In reply to saigman:

    He was extended because the downside is trivial, you're paying him a little bit of money to take up a roster spot. On the other hand if he really came on strongly this year the Bulls would probably have lost him for nothing if they didn't extend him.

  • I like it

  • I think its a combination of a)Wanting him to learn Thibodeau's system & what he demands out of players, where he wants JJ to improve, and b)Management probably wanted him to have Bogan's role, and Thibs clearly didn't, so now they move on for a while. They still can be patient, own him for 1 1/2 more years

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