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Bulls @ Jazz @ 8pm on CSN+

They're not booing, they're cheering "BOOOZ!, or so Carlos Boozer quipped when asked about negative reaction from fans.  

While the headlines all focus on Boozer, Korver, and Brewer's return to Utah, the real story is Derrick Rose vs Deron Williams and whether the Bulls can get their game together on the road to stop this trip from becoming an unmitigated disaster.

The Bulls have lost a couple games in a row to teams playing at a hectic pace, including the second slowest team in the NBA, the Portland Trailblazers, killing them in transition all game long. 

If I'm Jerry Sloan, I'm attacking the hell out of this team.  The only question is how the Bulls will respond.

Keys to the game

Carlos Boozer better get his crap together on defense

In a scary quote from last game, Carlos Boozer noted that he wasn't sure what the problem was with the team defense, but the team needed to figure it out.  Let me clue you in, the biggest problem is you. 

This is one of those situations in life, where everyone knows a weirdo, and if you don't, it means you're the weirdo.  Apparently Carlos Boozer hasn't figured out that the reason we're getting killed is because he soft hedges every screen without really pressing the ball handler, doesn't come five feet from the basket to defend his own man, and never gets back in transition to make a defensive play.

The Bulls defense has a myriad of problems, but the biggest one is working around Carlos Boozer's deficiencies.   Some of those can't really be fixed, the guy is never going to be a speed demon or have the ability to do all the things we'd love to see him do on defense.   He's basically short and slow for his position which is a dangerous combination defensively (believe me I know).  

However, he can put forth a whole heck of a lot more effort into actually defending rather than turning his back on offensive players and searching for potential rebounds rather than contesting shots, and attempting to sprint down the floor in transition to make a play would be nice as well as not letting his man shoot open shots if he's 12 feet from the hoop, because Paul Millsap will have a field day with that.

We know the Jazz are going to pick and roll the Bulls 100 times in this game, so let's make sure we're ready for it.

Who's the best PG in the NBA?

There's certainly some debate about it, but there's a good chance you're watching him tonight and the outcome of this game will add to one of their resume's.   Does Derrick Rose take it as a personal challenge to defeat his rivals?  

We've seen him look to absolutely murder Rondo recently, does he take the same attitude in against Deron Williams?   I think so.   I think Rose looks to have a big game and make an impact early.  

Stop playing sloppy and don't be afraid to slow it down

The Bulls really struggled with sloppiness against both the Warriors and Trailblazers.   It doesn't always equate to turnovers, but in rushing to get something in transition the Bulls lost a lot of possessions through missed shots at the hoop that ended up much tougher than they seemed or turning the ball over.

That often led to easy points for the other team.   Look, with Derrick Rose we should be a fast break team, but with Bogans, Deng, Boozer, and Thomas in the lineup we aren't.   Those guys are all slow for their position and there isn't an athletic finisher in the group (Deng is the closest).   I want to unleash Rose on the break, but realistically we need a more athletic group out there to do it, so take the break when it's there, but don't force it.

Use a myriad of looks offensively to help free Rose up

The Bulls need to mix up Rose's involvement in the offense at times to help free up the coverage and provide different looks to the offense.   Right now, teams are always trapping him hard off of the pick and roll, and the Bulls have often seemed to not have a great answer for that.

The Bulls should run some more isolations and off the ball plays for Rose in order to make the trap more difficult as well as getting some good looks with him as a decoy.   The pick and roll is playing right into the defenses hands right now as it brings the trap onto Rose.

The Bulls obviously don't want to abandon the pick and roll, but mixing in a few more plays where Derrick gets the ball in a different set might and using some fake pick and rolls with early basket cuts might help soften the trap a bit and put the defense on its heals.

Final thoughts

The Jazz haven't played that well lately.   They have won four of their last seven which is still mediocre for a good team, but lost six in a row prior to that, and they aren't losing to great competition either.    However, the Bulls are in danger of falling into the same type of trap. 

The Bulls aren't playing real well and seem to have lost their defensive identity.   The Warriors and Blazers put out a blue print on how to beat this team right now, and the Bulls will need to adjust to make sure it doesn't happen.

While I don't feel confident about this game because the Jazz are at home and are still a good team, I do think that Thibodeau is the type of coach that will have the team prepared and ready to go after a couple of losses.   I can go either way, but I'll take the glass half full approach and predict the W.

Comments

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  • Looks like a 3 game losing streak might be staring this team in the face. Teams are starting to figure the Bulls out with Rose being the only consistent scorer. The Jazz will be amped to spoil the homecoming for Boozer and I'm quite sure with a coach like SLoan knowing Boozer's strengths and weaknesses will know what plays to call against his former player. I'm not looking for a W for the Bulls in this one, hopefully I'm wrong but with how the team has been playing as of late things do not look good. And I am surprised cause Doug's confidence in this team sounds like it is starting to crumble.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Given your amazing ability to regurgitate conventional wisdom and your impeccable 20/20 hindsight, not to mention your extreme dedication to share these "gifts" with us day after day, I'm kind of surprised Doug doesn't ask you to write this blog...

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    It's a free blog world sir and I will continue to share my opinions as long as I am welcome, I do like your take on my opinions so THANK YOU cause I know you among others don't like to hear them cause of your HOMERISUM views... so Again I say THANK YOU!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    To be fair, you also said this team was 'average', so it seems that your view is considerably more negative than the results thus far.

    As such, I'm not surprised you're waiting for the other shoe to fall and confirm your original beliefs that the team simply isn't all that good.

    I think they're probably a low 50s to mid 50s win team which is obviously the best squad we've seen since Jordan.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, I have always said since the beginning of the season that if this team does not remain focus for 48 minutes that YES they would be an average team and we have all witnessed when this team is not focused what happens, they will be in situation that they are in now, probably looking at a 3 game losing streak, hopefully I will be wrong. I am glad that they have the record that they do have but that still does not cover up the fact that they need to stay focused on both sides of the ball for the entire game. Will their record help them in the playoffs?... I think it all depends on if they make a move for a legit shooting guard and who they draw in the playoffs but ultimately, this team needs to stay especially on the defensive side of the ball FOCUSED on what they need to do, that goes double for Boozer til Noah gets back cause he has been hurting the Bulls badly with his defensive rotations. I will continue to stick with my opinion and that's if this team get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, then Yes they will be considered as an average team for the year...IMO. And I know everyone will be happy with their season ending record but if they do get eliminated in the first round how will you feel about them then??? Everyone will be disappointed.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    if you think this team is average, clearly your standards are too high & unrealistic

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The Bulls are a good team but to me, everything depends on how they finish the season when I will finally judge them and it will be my judgment only.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    that's fair. I've been saying all along wait til the stretch run when we can see just how good this team can be.

    However, while it will be your judgment alone, the definition of "average" comes from the dictionary, and it is not really open to interpretation

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    That's fair I agree.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Do very good or great teams lose to the Sixers, the Warriors, the Nyets, the Clippers at home and the Bobcats twice?

    Or is that the definition of average.

    I would say that the Bulls are average for a good team, but not an elite team. Not unlike the old Dick Motta Bulls.

    In fact Del Thibideau would have loved that team and they may have been a better team, but without the superstar type player in Rose.

    In the final analysis, the Utah Jazz east anology that many made before the season will prove to be true, and I don't mean the Stockton to Malone Jazz.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    pretty sure thats not the definition of average

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Do very good teams lose games to bad teams? Yes.

    The definition of average is a team that wins half it's game and loses half it's game, or a team that is fairly close to that.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Good Point ChiRy....take him out a little earlier and put him in sooner while teams still have their 2nd units coming in or in.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Rose's big minute chunks come in the 1st & 3rd quarter. Boozer's should be the 2nd & 4th.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    but, you want him out there with Rose a lot too, so the way Thibs does it now probably balances it out best, who knows

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Most teams, even if they stayed focused, could not do what the Bulls have done.

    Do the Bulls have enough to go real far in the playoffs? Probably not pat the second round, but then again I think the HEat/Celtics are the two best teams in the league.

    I think the Bulls could beat the Lakers or Spurs in a series though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Maybe the Spurs...MAYBE, but the Lakers In a series, I seriously doubt it. Too much size and Odum would have a field day against Boozer the way he has been playing Defense of late.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    exactly, you attack people for leaning too far one way, then you lean too far the other way.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I dont think we will win tonight either unfortunetly. Hopefully im wrong though.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    you don't figure a coach like Thibodeau out. Youfind something that works, then Thibodeau makes a counter adjustment. Despite what you think, its defense that is hurting them.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree, that's part of their problem as well. Utah does have more scoring consistent options tho so I feel like the Bulls have to figure out how to stop the Jazz with their defensive lapse as of late.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree, the team shot almost 50% from the field last game. It wasn't the offense that was causing them problems. Derrick Rose had a nice game, the Blazers didn't shut him down any.

  • THIS IS THE GAME I CIRCLED ON MY CALENDER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON!!

    WE HAVEN'T LOST 3 IN A ROW THIS SEASON SO HOPEFULLY WE CAN KEEP THAT STAT UP!!

    IF YOU GUYS ARE WATCHING THE GAME TONIGHT KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ME I WILL BE WEARING A RED DROSE JERSEY WITH A BLACK HAT AND MY WIFE WILL BE WEARING A BLACK JO JERSEY!! I'LL BE IN THE 3RD ROW BEHIND THE BULLS BENCH!! (OF THE GREEN SEATS, NOT THE BLUE FOLD OUT CHAIRS)!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Cool. Despite the problems/doubts we all are having maybe the Bulls pull this one out, and get back on track. A post game report/tomorrow would be appreciated similar to Unstopabull's Portland take. But you will probably be a lot more motivated by a Bull's win. Good luck. And nice seats.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Nice. So jealous.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Haha thanks guys!! They are like 5th row or something because they don't count the fold out chairs! But I am way excited and nervous there is going to be a lot of hostility ... If I didnt love Drose so much I would be wearing my Booz jersey just to make everyone mad haha!

    I paid like 660 on stubhub for the pair.

    The Salt Lake Tribune already put a story out ripping Booz hopefully he feeds off of it and doesnt crumble..

    I am nervous about Milsap because there has been so much talk about him replacing Boozer he is going to want to prove himself

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    totally worth it for the once a year opportunity!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    lucky you !

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    +1

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    hahaha i bet we see you! Cheer them on man!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Good luck to the Bulls tonight, hope they get a win for you!

    Enjoy the game & the great seats

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    tell Jo we can't wait til he comes back

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I will be looking for you, enjoy the game!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Sick seats man do it big.

  • Glad this game comes on sorta early compared to the other West games. They can't let Al Jefferson get going like he was the other day. Seemed like he couldn't miss. Hoping for a Bulls win.

    And did you guys hear Chris Broussard last night on ESPN say that the Cavs were going to trade Anthony Parker to the Bulls for a 2nd rd pick? I wonder how much truth was to that?

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Didn't hear that. I don't see the point in trading for Anthony Parker, not that a second rounder is much value, but I'd rather keep the second rounder most likely.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I could go either way. I would like to grab a coveted Euro with the second rounder & stash him overseas as another trade chip. Should be a decent pick as it comes from Phoenix most likely (or Utah, whichever is better). I would also like another shooter that could still have a role even if the Bulls added a guy like Lee or Afflalo this summer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If acuiring Parker would eliminate all of Bogans minutes, I would give up my second rounders for the next decade.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    I like Parker, solid as a rock. There's something to his game. He always grabs me as dangerous. One of those intangible guys. I hope we get him.

  • In reply to Normie:

    by my recollection, he is also the type of guy who can shoot you out of a game also.

  • Boozer's defensive failings are why the bulls cannot trade Taj....they will need to swap Carlos out when his defense costs them too dearly. It seems the plan has been to be able to switch to Gibson n Thomas when Boozer n Noah are not up to par behind fouls or other errors...this is the basis of the Bulls front court depth

  • It's funny(not so much ha, ha, but in the odd sense) that this team can go on winning streaks and people think maybe ECF. Then they lose on the road, and people think this team is at least one major piece away with other major flaws to boot?

    With everybody wondering about this game and this team: Will they lose again/third straight(?) Is it time to start panicking(?) we have no elite individual defenders especially down low as prolific scoring bigs seem to kill us. Is the Thib's system a charade for a paper tiger of individually challenged defenders like Boozer aka "Slow Slow" (as in moving and thinking defensively), 38 yr old Grandad Thomas(transition), Taj too skinny to bang defensively, Derrick much improved, but the history is there and he looked bad against G.S. and apparently not much better against Portland. Guard/roster acquisitions in C.J., Ronnie, and Bogie who all are perimeter duds/provide no(voulme) three point shooting. And even Korver until recently appeared to be an inconsistent presence with many non-scoring nights.

    Of course the post 'Rose for MVP' Bulls with an elite record has teams getting up for them big time with an agressive comittment to double teaming that has come into play especially on the road at Philly, Charlotte, and now G.S. etc. etc.

    I still maintain with no seeming concurrence that double teams can in part be dealt with by simply handing the ball to bigs and return passing it to a slashing Rose as Miami has done with D-Wade, Reggie Miller handled it that way etc. Though usually those extended double situations came in the do or die playoffs. Also you can have bigs run to spots as screens with Rose cutting past the wiped off players. Also guard guard pick and rolls can work well too with another ballhandler and Derrick alternating as guys left free to drive while the other is left with two defenders.

    Fine, these plays don't seem to be embraced by anybody on this site basically as "the answer" or possibly at least an important/viable option. Or if there is some agreement I haven't noticed. Well, if an MVP can simply be Stopped(a 14 point game and sveral 30% shooting nights) from scoring by these extended doubles then Derrick's size will simply prohibit him form being a consistent superstar scorer including in a second round or ECF finals setting.

    Another answer may be the team simply has played beyond it's capabilities without what in my view is potentially it's second best player/superstar. Joakim Noah seemingly has evolved from borderline bust to potential all-star. As I've said, this November before the thumb injury he was IMO looking like a beyond all-star, but superstar overall force. Maybe a homeristic inspired overreaction, but I mean that nasty spin/dunk move, all assortemnt of hooks, and the driving off hand bank basically hook equivalency/automatic. His numbers for most of the month(15 games including his monster spin dunk 17 point outburst in the comeback against Sacramento) scoring with all the bells and whistles in a surprisingly potent offensive arsenal. Then you add the key rebound tip ins, fast break running/starting, half court terrific high post feeds that disorient teams, and get everyone involved scoring.

    Personally, I think the 15 game sampling was enough to convince me that the new offensive force Jo at 14-15ppg and 13-14 boards a game is most likely legit. If I'm wrong, and he goes back to 12 points and 11-12 boards for the rest of the season then while that's seemingly only a couple of points and boards difference, that's a major downgrade on his impact - was not who I thought he was.

    So to me while the Bulls are missing three shooters, some speed with bulk down low, and Derrick is being potentially shut out by double teams without a second quality slasher/wing/SG, the big factor/question might be is Joakim in any way shape and form an all-star force or is it homerism/overvaluing??

    Because adding another all-star is just a huge f-ing difference for this team. Not to mention when you combine Jo and Taj together the value of both of them defensively blocking the paint/basket IMO becomes ten fold/one of the best gauntletts in the league.

    Well, will find out soon enough as Jo is supposed to be back after ironically the All-Star game. If he's healthy and returns to new level evolved 'November Jo,' then this team IMO warts and all will be a legit threat to ECF foes. And will(have to) validate this against N.Y or Atlanta etc. a convincing playoff series win.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Agree...not to think Noah is the savior for everything but he is probably the only guy who can do what you are suggesting. Thomas, Boozer are not athletic to help Rose break the double team. Gibson is not much of a ball handler. And the second person who double teams Rose is usually an athletic SF, PF, SG and not a big like Shaq. So, it is Noah who can help Rose. The injury to Noah and Boozer obviously has made all the evaluation plans to be delayed.
    The reason we are having all this discussion is because of the rapid ascent of Rose(all facets of his game)and the addition of some quality pieces who have jelled better than expected. Everybody expected Chicago to make an impact next year or later. Rose has fast tracked that and it looks like the management,other team members were not ready for it.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I'm a little bit curious to see how Thomas is used once Noah is back in the lineup. He seems to have shed off his rust and I think we can all agree he is exceeding our expectations. I like his style of old school defense as well, but once Noah is back, Thomas' play will be much more limited. I know he doesn't do a lot of us offensively, but I hope he's still kept in the rotation.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I hope he gets spot minutes, enough to keep the moss from gathering, but little enough for him to get his body some rest and provide minutes for Asik.

    That is th ekey for me. I don't want to see Asik fall from the rotation. He gives this team such potential size & shot blocking. I can't wait to see the twin towers lineup again. Asik needs the minutes to keep developing as well. We are going to need him in the playoffs.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Agree, we now know what we can get from Thomas, so I let him rest until the playoffs, and give Asik the most minutes that we can to develop him as much as possible before the playoffs.

    Though my guess is that Del Thibideau will basically give up on Asik, and that he will be a DNP-CD come playoff time.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Gibson is perhaps the worst passer on the team as well

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    That might be Korver.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I completely disagree. I made this comment here yesterday, Korver makes some stupid passes every now & then, but then he makes up for it with some awesome passes.

    I think his passing is good

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I don't think anyone is panicing, if only because there is only a max of 4 more games without Noah. Its not panic time, its tread water time

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I think Noah is legitimately the level of playing you talk about, he was putting up the same numbers on a per minute basis while healthy under VDN too. It's not like he broke out this year, it's just Thibs isn't a moron like VDN and so he was no longer sitting so we could see more Brad Miller.

  • Thanks Mitch. Look, I have never noticed Parker's defense much as in does he have decent lateral quickness/is an adequtae defender. His per minutes numbers as for steals and rebounds don't look too bad.

    Bottom line even at 35 yrs and change the guy shoots 3.3 threes a game at 40%. That to me would be a significant addtion albeit would bite some into Bogie and Ronnie. But if we get him(for a second dounder) I'd be very pleased. We need another three shooter in the worst way! I hope a rumor is true for once, and we get him.

  • Check out Salt Lake City Tribune ripping Boozer mercilessly.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/jazz/51213449-87/boozer-jazz-taking-monson.html.csp

    For all of Boozer's defensive flaws, his attitude has been nothing short of stellar. He seems to really want to win here and to really enjoy playing here. Maybe the problem is SLC...they just need a drink.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    That sure was an 'objective' piece. A small town Jazz fan mouthpiece playing to the crowd/bashing the easy target in a departed/ jilted star. What a shock? They've got enough problems themselves right now to deal with without dissing on others. I'm sure it would make their pathetic year to beat Boozer and the Bulls. Hopefully the Bulls come ready to play, and it should be a good game preferably with a W at the end.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    What an amusing article.

    I've said it over and over again ... Boozer had almost no chance to succeed in Utah.
    And I've said why too ... Utah seriously thought that Boozer was going to be the next Karl Malone.
    Time after time, Jazz fans have scoffed at me when I've suggested this idea that they ran him out of town because of the unrealistic expectations they had for him. Over and over again, they deny he was supposed to be the next Malone ... and yet, here we have it, spelled out clearly. It's written right in the article.

    "There

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    Ha! Yes, lighten up SLC & have a drink, well said

  • And he definitely will have some extra pep in his step if he is traded from a last place team. How is his ball handling skills though? Deng at his best in ball handling(once in 4 games) is the level what we need consistently from a SG.

  • I remember him burning the Bulls a lot when he was with Toronto but also he will probably knows his role with the experience from Cleveland last year playing next to a great player.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    All I really care about is that he shoots those three threes a game at 40%. It's what we are dieing for. And any kind of solid D. Again, I hope it's true and we get him.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It's finally ARRIVED!!! The most important game of the season ...
    What? ... you disagree?

    Oh no, all the chips are on the table today ...

    1. Taking the family to the Game!!
    2. The wife (an avid Jazz fan) and I have placed an all or nothing wager on the game.
    3. For the remainder of the season, the loser of the bet has to agree with the winner on all things sports related.

    Winner: "The Bulls are the greatest team of all time, right honey?"
    Loser: "Yes dear, you're absolutely right."

    Of course, if things were to go badly tonight, it could be an ugly remaining three months. ;-)

    And there are a few other things on the wager, but that's the most important. Sports Pride ... gotta love it.

    Go Bulls!! ... no seriously GO BULLS!!!!!!!

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Hey I never knew you were in Utah too!!! See you at the game man!! Im going at 530 to try and get autographs.. Where you sitting?

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    We're way up in the cheap seats I think ;-)

    But if you hear some loud cheering from way up in the rafters, you'll know it's probably me!
    Someone's gotta drown out all those ignorant Jazz fans who will be booing Boozer.

    We should be there by about 6 ... maybe I'll bring my daughter down courtside before the game starts.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Man I just love how well the Bulls family is represented all accross the nation. Everyone can say they have the best fans in the world, but we can prove it. You guys gonna MVP chant if Bulls up late?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I would ... but it might not be heard much from as far up as I'll be.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    If the Bulls buy Parker for a 2nd. Whose minutes will he take? I know everyone will say Bogans, but is that right?
    We'll sure have a lot of 2 guards, but quantity does not overcome quality. If we get Parker and don't trade anyone, there could be some locker room unhappiness over minutes.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Boozer would make an outstanding 6th man.
    He'd play defense against the opponents back up. Carry the offense when the starters are out.
    Plus, Gibson is better when he starts.
    Don't know if his ego could take it, but he'd probably wind up with the same stats and get credit for being a selfless team guy.
    Odom does it.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I don't think he would accept that, not until 4 years down the road or so. But I think you can do that in essence, by pulling him a little earlier in the 1st and inserting him back in just before the 1st ended. And you could spin it to him as trying to have always either himself or Ros eon the court to be the go-to guy. I think they do that with him a little now, but could a little more.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The importance of starting lineups (with exception to ego factors) is overstated some.

    Its kind of like baseball, its not so much what number you are in the batting order, its more about who is infront of & behind you.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The rotation that Thibs usually goes with already pulls Boozer fairly early and puts him back in fairly early (compared with Deng and Rose). I don't know whether Thibs does it for matchups or Boozer just gets tired quicker.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Ha and I thought he was getting pulled for defensive lapses

  • In reply to Waldock:

    If he pulled Boozer every time he made a defensive mistake he'd play Bogans like minutes ...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm sure its for matchups, but I was just saying he could do it more. Like I said on the original post, they do it with him some, which might be the best way to balance that strategy out along with playing him with Rose.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I mentioned maybe Boozer gets tired because Boozer plays fewer minutes than Rose/Deng/Noah. Thibs isn't shy about playing his best players big minutes but he doesn't so much with Boozer.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Ready for the "Jazz Bowl" ;)

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Decent enough start, Boozer seems to be pressing a bit though.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    And of course after that they don't score for the last 4:24 of the quarter.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Well Millsap is winning the war with Boozer but Rose is killing Williams.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thibs have you seen enough? Get Boozer out of there.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    It's funny how this game has gone in streaks.

    For awhile, no team can stop the other, like the end of the 2nd quarter there were probably 8 straight scores between the two teams, almost all layups.

    Then all of a sudden no one can get anything going at all.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I think Thomas and Boozer might be a little out matched. Bulls front court 12/7, Jazz 34/18.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    AGreed, things got much better when we subbed them out for more speed and stopped trying to force the ball to Boozer offensively.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    % minutes to go in the 3rd. It's time for Thibs to coach. Thomas can't handle jefferson nd isn't making his shot. Were getting killed on the boards Asik? Come on man.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I want to kick Funk in the balls when he starts ripping on players who are killing us. Really, you're bitching that Al Jefferson is a black hole when he's 8-12 from the field for 17 points with 1 assist.

    Btw, Carlos Boozer is 5-12 from the field with 1 assist and 12 points for those throwing stones at home.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    ah. There he is. And look

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Oh my! Asik waves off Derrick Rose and takes Millsap in isolation on a dribble drive from the free throw line to draw the foul. Hard aggressive move.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm perfectly OK if Thibs decides to bench Boozer the 4th quarter again. The Bulls have done better with a Asil/Gibson combo.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I agree.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Asik making a few good plays in a row now. Nice defense on consecutive possessions and draws a foul in two of three to make it to the line. Even knocks down 3 of 4 FTs between the two trips.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Boozer trying too hard to show Utah what he is...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Kirolenko keeping the Bulls in the game.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    MVP! MVP!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Gibson/Asik bringing huge energy for the Bulls, turning the game around once Boozer/Thomas went to the bench. Interior defense looks much better, and the pair have really attacked the glass offensively too.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Gibson/Asik were out there together when the Jazz couldn't score in the 2nd too.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Yeah I thought they should have kept them in longer.

    The defense went to crap when Rose/Boozer/Thomas came back in.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    ASIK!!!! Not to be denied!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Wow where did this new aggressive Asik who actually tries to dunk the ball without hesitation come from?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    He played great against Portland too. I made the same comment about him, looks like someone said, ignore everyone else, pretend no one is there, and just try to dunk everything as hard and fast as possible.

    I like this Asik much more.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The blog is back, Woo!

    Looks like we lost a lot of comments though.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Pretty weak flagrant there, but from one angle it looks like thomas was taking a swing at AK when he was trying to tap the ball.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thibs put Asik in with 7 minutes remaining in the game.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    You can live with Boozer's defense when he's got it going offensively, but the Jazz know what he's going to do on offense before he does it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Why do the Jazz announces only make comments about Jefferson being a ball hog when he scores?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    1:56 remaining. We'll see what Bulls are made of...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Boozer is driving me crazy! Taj would have STUFFED that.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Well Boozer certainly hasn't made a very convincing case to the Jazz that they made a mistake letting him go.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Boozer is showing he is no LeBron in sticking it to his old team!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    No one would accuse him of having the heart of a champion.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I think I'm going to have a heart attack every few possessions in this game, the end was crazy there with the blocks by utah, steals by the Bulls. Big offensive play by Rose to draw the foul.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Milsap 20 pts 14 rebs
    Boozer 14 pts 6 rebs And had his shot blocked 4 times.

    Jazz happy with their decision.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I'd be happy with their decision too. If we could have Millsap or Boozer, especially given the contracts, I'd have taken Millsap.

    That said, Boozer's still helped us a ton.

  • In reply to Edward:

    So nice to see Bulls closing out this game!

  • In reply to Edward:

    Forget his defensive liabilities, I think definitely this is not the real Boozer on offense. He was just not himself on offense trying too hard.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Credit to the Jazz, they knew his game and defended him really well.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The Bulls win! The Bulls win the Jazz Bowl!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Looks like he is in a funk, for the last 3 games now

  • In reply to Edward:

    Utah gave the Bulls this game. Their foul shooting 11 for 21.
    The story line will be Rose over Williams.
    The truth is that the Jazz just aren't very good.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    They may not be great but they are still a playoff team in the West and were at home. No Noah again, so nice win!

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Obviously Rose willed this victory for the Bulls.
    However,
    Nice to see Brewer active and Korver's 3 at the end was huge.
    Asik was the difference maker.
    I think there were times in this game where Thibs was going to bust a blood vessel he was so pissed at Boozer.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Utahbullsfan sighting. Was looking for you and your grill finally appeared after Derrick Rose made the first freethrow with 13 secs to go. They panned over to the bench and your head was right over Ronnies shoulder. Right on buddy! Glad to see you went out in style.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Ronnie Brewer sending home the Utah crowd!!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    This is one ugly game to watch on both sides

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Hate that Deng pased up that wide open three early in the shot clock, Bulls never get a beter shot and end up with a 24 second violation.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Taj is just not starter quality, day in, day out.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    looked good at the beginning, and he is still yonug and needs to add some bulk with his first full summer training.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Thats true....maybe Bogans would get thrown into the deal as well. 2nd Rounder and Bogans for Parker or something who knows. If Parker's expiring and our MLE this offseason could somehow land us JR Smith in free agency.....LETS DO IT.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Come on Silverwulf and UtahBullsFan you two need to meet up! With the advent of cell phones and texting there is no reason why you can't meet up even briefly especially since you are both Bulls fans in Utah! :-)

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    That bet is nuts dude! I like it!

  • Even if u've got great D, some night u won't be good at D then u have to win by scoring. That's where bulls often fail.

    Per exemple in Philly, Cha and NJ losses, Bulls didn't play well at defense but that shouldn't be enough to make them loose because they've got more talent than those teams. Does portland has more talent than bulls ?? Boozer is tied with Aldrige, but blazers don't another player with rose or deng talent, why did they beat us ?? Thibs don't pay enough attention in offense. I think he doesn't handle well double-teams on Rose. With Booz and deng, Each time D-Rose is double-teamed bulls should score !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    The Bulls offense was pretty good in Portland. It was specifically teh defense that killed them.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    specifically transition defense.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The half court defense on Aldridge was pretty terrible too. He did hit some hard shots at times, but he had some gimmes too. Millsap can also hit those gimmes, so it'll need to be better.

  • This is the attitude 95% of the Jazz fans here have that is why I hate them so much... I swear Boozer could go for 20 and 10 and the Jazz would lose and they'd blame it on Boozer

  • It's too bad some of these cities have such biased, homeristic reporters/commentators. Miami is the worst. That Ira Winderman is nothing but a shill. And that other guy who guests on ESPN's P.T.I is an even bigger homer d-bag.

    I'd have to say conversely Chicago media almost seems to bend over(too far) backwards to critique Bulls players/the team at times. Definitely a corporate leaning with player bashing over G.M. and coach accountability. But in the end it is the players/talent. Right now I'd say the Bulls D, hustle, and record have garnered a lot of respect though. And with that said and the overall record you can't fault the instant Thibodeau acceptance as legit upper tier 'man to be respected' head coach. Plus he handles himself well, and has the NBA ring and nearly second s as instant cred.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I think Florida in general. I am on the outskirts of Orlando Magic territory and they are the worst I have heard

  • +1. Starting KK would help a lot. With Deng and Korver being shooter, opponents will hesitate before double-teaming Rose. Don't think that Boozer isn't enough used in offense ?? Given this guy hurt our D, let's take him to the maximun in offense. otherwise I think Rose has to pass the ball quickly when he see 2 defender coming.

  • I just really hope we win this game because we need a win more so then upstaging the Booz hatefest. But that would be an added bonus. Again, good luck guys.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I thnk its a really good chance to rally together for a teammate, improve the already strong bond & get a tough win.

  • I think the expectation of Utah was Boozer to replace Malone. And he probably disappointed them in not staying around like Malone. And he is not a HOF player like Malone being the first option on a finals team. They are in the process of losing D-Will if things continue the same way and running into mediocrity with Sloan on his last legs of coaching.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    **** Utah! They shouldn't even be allowed to carry the name Jazz. What a cool team name that is, give it back to New Orleans! Is the Jazz even legal in SLC?

  • You are spot on Mitchell.
    Everyone is criticizing Boozer for his poor defense - well... give me another PF that gives 20/10 and plays "stellar" defense...

  • He has done a decent job. Agree that his defense has been decent especially considering Noah wasn't there for most of his games. The less discussed point is the foul problem with Deng in the Portland game. Deng wasn't there to help him out against Aldridge and the Portland game kind of stuck out on how he looked on defense. I also think he might be a smart player to conserve his energy for offense(kind of like what Batum was talking about Rose) because he knows his limits on what he can do defensively and energywise. But that said, I think there is a little bit of selfishness on Boozer to look for rebounds rather than help on defense.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Taking Kevin Garnett off the picture (as he was a monster few years ago, both on offensive and defensive side) who are the PF nowadays giving such on both ends...? Yeah, I cannot remember no one either.
    Lets make a short list of the NBA elite PF's: Zack Randolph, Chris Bosh, David West, Amare Stoudamire, Pau Gasol, David Lee (at least his contract is elite...), Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki. Who can say any of these guys are better defenders than Carlos Boozer ??
    Bulls fans should be happy to have Boozer, to appreciate what he gives, which in my opinion is a lot. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but it's not...

  • I agree completely, everyone is accountable, even the coach as he himslef pointed out

  • I agree with your take on Jefferson being a guy whom Thomas can probably defend reasonably well. Im' more concerned about Boozer on Millsap.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree, if we get beat it will be by Williams and Milsap.

    the Boozer Milsap matchup will be the most interesting to watch, because we might find out how much we had to overpay for Boozer.

  • I won't worry about him at all once we get Jo back in the fold. We really miss Jo's length

  • I think Boozer has played much better defensively in the past than he has recently. I also think teams have started exploiting him in a different way recently.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Boozer, now that I see him every game has turned out to be a much worse defender than I thought that he was.

    If it wasn't for the rebounding, he would be Ben Gordon.

  • That trade needs to happen. Also, while we are at it, give Washington back their Bullets moniker.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Washington traded Arenas, the Magic should be the Bullets now!

  • What is it when they lose to teams like the NETS, BOBCATS twice, SIXERS, Warriors, Clippers, U call it what you will but that shows a lack of focus any way U choose to look at it cause those teams are not more talented than the Bulls.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And if U feel like it proves nothing, that's your opinion.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Just a couple thoughts on everyones post....

    RoadWarrior- Great point about having a big man come get the ball and having Rose slash to the basket, there is no way a guy can guard Rose cutting to the basket after he passes it off from the double team. That would stop the double teaming right away.

    Anthony Parker- I like him...especailly for a 2nd rounder. Although you can find solid players in the 2nd round, they hardly ever pan out to anything, so i would say thats a great trade for the Bulls. Is his contract expiring as well? Cuz that would be a plus too. But ya, he is probably the best thing we can do without giving up Taj right now. He is solid from the 3pt line, especailly if hes wide open. He is a naperville kid, so he will get some love from the fans, and im sure he is ready to get the heck out of Cleveland right now. I hope the Bulls make the trade. It would be a upgrade.

    Not sure if Im right here but if Parker does have a expiring contract...could the Bulls go after JR Smith this summer with Parker's expiring deal and the MLE we have? What would that be? Like 5-6 mil a year maybe?

    Mitchell Wiggins....i agree man, Utah Hornets and New Orleans Jazz sounds so much better lol

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Bulls management and thibs are not letting JR Smith anywhere near this team, ever.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I agree with you here. I think it mostly has been mental against those teams, although I think they were physically outmatched by Portland as well. When the Bulls face off against elite level teams, they have no trouble bringing their A game. And struggling on the road? That's all mental too. Alsmost, some of it has to do with the physical familiarity of the stadium, but still, most that focus, energy, & intensity component

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    This makes the argument for being average stronger. The Bulls beat good teams during the regular season by effort.

    In the playoffs everybody(except Atlanta)ramps up the effort, and the Bulls will lose that advantage that comes mostly from Del Thibideau.

    Most teams cannot keep up that kind of effort during the entirety of the season, which is why we lose "focus" and games like those that have been pointed out.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You don't think LA, OKC, BOS, ORL, DAL, & MIA brought effort last time they played the Bulls? Then you weren't watching.

    Fact is, when the Bulls bring the whole mental toughness package, they are one of the most difficult teams in the league to beat.

    Just curious, since you seem to be so fascinated with semantics, how many teams in the NBA are currently average?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bulls have actually looked into JR Smith according to sources recently and JR himself has said he would love to play here.....so you never know

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'm not sure I agree that the difference in the playoffs is teams put in more "effort". I think they put in more preparation, plan more for their opponent, and play their starters more, which trumps effort in why the playoffs are different.

    In any case, even if we accept teams don't always put in 100% effort in the regular season, what reason do we have to believe that the Bulls are putting in closer to 100% than their opponents? How would we measure such a thing? How would we even know what 100% effort looks like given teams supposedly only give it in the playoffs and this team has so many new parts that we haven't seen play together in the playoffs?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The other big difference is that in playing the same opponent in a series the weaknesses are magnified

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Notable losses by top tier teams this season:

    Miami -

    Pacers, Grizzlies, Clippers, Denver(by 28 points)

    Boston -

    Cavaliers, Raptors, Pistons, Wizards, Bobcats

    Magic -

    Toronto, Philly, Detroit, Memphis

    Lakers -

    Pacers, Memphis, Bucks, Memphis again, Clippers, Kings

    EVERY GOOD BAD and OK TEAM LOSES GAMES LIKE THAT. I guess all those teams show a lack of focus too. You're right the Bulls did lack focus in those games. But don't act like the best teams in the league aren't doing the same exact thing from time to time.

  • I'm with you, the value of that second rounder is much lower than what the potential small boost in an area of weakness could mean for our team in the short term. Especially considering we have 2nd rounders to spare.

  • Milsap will be able use his midrange game against Boozer, and take him off the dribble.

  • Well, in Del Thibideaus defense on a string theory, the weak link pretty much destroy the entire team defense.

    Boozer certainly looks like the frayed thread on the string.

  • Parker makes $2.85 million, the Bulls would have to send about $1.6 million back, isnt that precisely what JJ makes.

  • I believe that the Jazz were founded in NO.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    of course they were, they're the Jazz, that's . The Jaxx is such a huge part of New Orleans culture, one of my favorite cities.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    woah, what happened here, my original message got all chopped up

  • I agree, and not only am I not worried about it, I would rather lose to those type of teams all day over losing to fellow elite teams.

    The Bulls still have a 6 game win streak vs the NBA elite (LA, OKC, BOS, MIA, DAL, ORL)

    Bulls still have a longest losing streak of 2 games

  • Boozer does seem to be a good guy and a good teammate, at least on the surface. Obviously those guys had a lot more time to figure out if he was for real or not.

    I have a feeling that by years 3, 4, 5 we might turn on Boozer too.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Maybe, but I think the Bulls went into it with more realistic expectations. We know from his Utah days that Boozer will get injured and that he wont be a good defender. When Utah signed him he didn't have the same injury history and he was young enough they could think maybe with the right coaching he'd learn to defend.

  • The one good thing about the two losses recently is the Bulls have been close and a chance to win in the last few minutes. It is just that the dog-days and the injuries caught up to them. They did lose some intensity but every team does. Boston is worse than the Bulls. The only thing going for Boston is that they have proven something before.

  • I don't see Parker as any better than Bogans.

  • I think he's certainly closer to Boozer than Gibson. Millsap is pretty damn good offensively, Gibson is pretty crap really (other than in that stretch to start the season where his jumper worked).

    Obviously this is an over-simplification, but Millsap is being paid half of what Boozer is, and if you could get a Millsap level SG for his price (Iggy if he had a Millsap contract for example) we'd be a better team with Millsap and said SG than Boozer.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    And I say it's an oversimplification because we couldn't have signed Millsap or a SG for that price, in fact pretty much all the SG's on Millsap's level are on rookie deals or much more expensive. Millsap is one of the few guys on a non-rookie and non-max contract who is underpaid.

  • I don't think you can really say for sure Boozer is the difference in the Jazz. Of their top 9 players by minutes played last year 4 are no longer with the team (Boozer, Matthews, Brewer & Korver) and one has missed most of the season (Okur). They're basically as different a team as the Bulls are to last year.

  • Glad we were on the good side of bad night this time. The free throws killed Utah, but the Bulls defense stepped up when it had to.

    And then there was Rose. It's nice to have a stud that can get you a win in a close game.

  • I think if there is a positive to Noah's injury, it is Asik. Asik's development will be huge for the playoffs.

  • If Boozer could learn 3 simple things from Kurt Thomas on defense, he wouldn't be such an eye sore.

    1. Take charges
    2. Get in the right positions for good team defense
    3. Foul with a purpose

    I'll take any one of those... Maybe it just comes with age.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    Good point. Any one would be a start
    There were actually a few times tonight where Boozer while not guarding anyone screened Rose while he was trying to stick with Williams.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Foul hard is the easiest. Just don't let people get 3 point plays. Boozer is a beast. People should be scared to drive on him. I'm pretty tired of seeing him barely shove someone in the balls while they are dunking over the top of him.

    I do like Boozer. Just 3 real simple things that would help a ton.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    It was on that late Jazz drive to the basket where Boozer lightly fouled the guy that I thought Thibs was going to stroke out. Fortunately they missed the plus 1.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    Sorry fellas, but if Booze hasn't learned those things by now, he's not going to. Maybe when he's past his prime as a scorer - if he wants to stick around the NBA as long as possible - his mindset MIGHT change and he'll get more defensive minded and physical on that side of the ball.

    Then again, once he's past his prime as a scorer he might just retire. Until then you might as well save the criticisms of his defense where you can easily find, copy and paste them into blogs because they'll be applicable for a long time.

  • I don't believe that the majority of the people in Utah feel that way about Carlos.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    They booed him pretty hard for not caring that much. I'm sure that's what they say but it seemed like they're a little bitter he left.

  • PATTERN:

    Once again, Luol Deng (8pts. on 4/12 FG shooting) fails to show-up vs. a playoff team.

    That won't work in the playoffs.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Tonight would have been a good night for Loul to be hitting his 3's.
    No doubt.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hopefully when Noah comes back Thomas can rest up for a couple of months and regain his pixie dust for the playoffs. Right now he's really fading.

    Still it shows the big man depth this team has when you can have a starter injured and still have Gibson and Asik there on the bench to give the team a lift.

    I'm sure Thibs wanted to bench Boozer but on his comeback game to Utah probably thought that might be going too far. They got the win so nobody will second guess it too much I suppose.

    3 games to go until the break, they'll be tough but even if the Bulls can only win one of the three that is still 36-18, given the schedule to come and the prospect of a full strength team they're very much on target to keep the third seed at worst.

  • Well they couldn't be as knowledgeable as the commenters on this blog, but they do watch and follow their team.

  • Which is funny because in the past the Jazz have generally still been a good rebounding team when he's missed time and his replacement Jefferson was a very good rebounder on his previous teams.

    Certainly a big drop off in rebounding isn't something that I'd have predicted for Utah, but there it is. Not sure whether I'd automatically attribute it all to Boozer or if there's something else going on with the Jazz.

  • Bulls need a SG good enough to make Deng the 4th option on offense. That will be a difficult acquisition, but its what this Bulls team needs.

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