Bulls loss shows three flaws opponents can exploit

Roses_back.jpg

Tom Thibodeau raged about the slow starts to the game.  Not coming in with an edge, and made it clear, that the group would be practicing a lot harder to make up for these slow starts.   While the slow starts are an issue, they're really just a symptom of greater problems that the Bulls have had all year.

The starting lineup really is one of the Bulls worst lineups on the court

This is largely because Keith Bogans is the worst guy in the rotation, and he plays with the starting lineup and early third quarter line up.   Keith Bogans has the worst net +/- of any player on the team while playing 100% of his minutes with the Bulls best player at every other position on the court.

Stop and think about that for a minute.    The Bulls roll out the ball with their best player at every position except SG, and it yields the worst lineup statistically in winning vs the opponent of any lineup they ever use.

Now +/- is a wonky stat that can do almost anything, but one of the big intangibles that helps give false high +/- is playing all your minutes with great players.  Bogans does that and still comes up the worst.

When the Bulls hit the playoffs, it makes sense to shorten the rotation.  Every coach in the NBA shortens their rotation to maximize minutes for their best players.   The Bulls are regularly going 10 deep, sometimes 11 deep.   A typically playoff rotation is 8 deep.   The Bulls should probably shorten their rotation to go 9 deep, and the guy who needs to get cut is Bogans.

The issue with Bogans has been masked by winning recently, but we've clearly seen it as an issue all year long. 

Who do you start instead?   Well that depends on the answer to this:

The Bulls need to pick a lane in terms of playing style early

Are they trying to play up tempo or slow down?    One of the key problems with Boozer and Noah developing chemistry is that Boozer won't run, and Noah is at his best running.   The team as a whole isn't pushing the pace early, and it's killing Joakim Noah's game and making him far less useful.

At the same time, Carlos Boozer hasn't been effective since returning from an ankle injury, so you've got Boozer playing lousy and Noah's strengths mitigated by the way you're running the offense. 

I suppose the Bulls have already picked a lane, and it looks like the Boozer one, and right now, that lane isn't working so well.   If you're going to stick with Boozer then insert Korver into the starting lineup ahead of Bogans.   Play him on the strong side of the pick and roll, and you'll prevent wing help coming from that side in a way that Bogans only dreams he could do.  

The Bulls may struggle a bit more defensively with Korver starting, but they're not going to score 16 points in the first quarter either.   

The Bulls could also pull Boozer a bit earlier in the first rotation for Taj, and insert Brewer at the same time, and then play 5-6 minutes of high up tempo ball with a Rose, Brewer, Deng, Taj, Noah lineup.  

Maybe Noah and Boozer can still work out their on court chemistry better down the line, because they haven't had much time together yet, but right now, it's not working that well.   Injuries have actually helped cover up this wart considerably as the two haven't played all that many minutes together.

The Bulls struggle against teams with a lot of perimeter athleticism

Derrick Rose kills the big man trap, but where he gets into trouble is when the opponent can trap effectively with athletic SFs and SGs, and perhaps an athletic tweeter SF/PF;.    Traps with more explosive athleticism have forced him into poor performances for much of the season.

Fortunately for Chicago, there are few teams in the league that can pull this off, and the Bulls prime opponents in the playoffs aren't likely in that group.    Miami probably has the best chance, but the problem is they only have two guys (LeBron and Wade) and neither guy would typically be the primary defender on Rose to start with.  

Plus if Miami puts both LeBron and Wade on Rose, they have shockingly little defense on the rest of the court, giving the Bulls a pretty huge advantage for everyone else.

Boston is too slow on the perimeter with Allen and Pierce.   LA is too slow outside of Kobe, and they probably don't want to spend too much of Kobe's energy defending Rose if they can avoid it.   Orlando's perimeter defense stinks, they'll rely on Dwight Howard.

This is where a second ball handler who could break down the defense off the dribble would help out the team, but obviously, outside of playing more Rose/Watson combination minutes, that's not coming at this stage of the game.

In a tight race for seeding, every loss hurts, but the Bulls are still in good shape 

The Celtics continue their free fall and lost again.   Have I mentioned that the Celtics are done?     If the Bulls lose the race to the Lakers, this game might be the one that does them in.   A home game against a good, but not great team that you expect to win. 

Still, the Bulls hold a two game lead on both Miami and Boston in the loss column, so as long as they don't turn losing into a trend, they should be in good shape.    Nine games to go, the magic number for the first seed is eight.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • I hope this game wakes them up for these last few games going into the playoffs. I was a little worried going into this one based on the lack of energy they've played with the last couple of games.

    I think until somewhat recently, despite a good record, the Bulls were the under the radar good team. People knew they were good but didn't think they were #1 in the East good. Now that their record has them there and they're getting some national attention and Rose is getting all of the MVP talk, do you think it's gone to their heads a little? I sure hope not and if it did, I hope a loss like last night kicks them in the butt a little so they stop reading their own press clippings.

    I love this team and I think they have the potential to go deep, even all the way this year (as there is no clear cut favorite). However, if they don't get back to playing with an edge and a chip on their shoulder cause no one thinks they're good, they're bound to disappoint in the playoffs. I'm not being a downer here after one bad game, I hope they win it all and think they can. I just hope they put their heads down and go back to work without looking at the score board. Play every possession like the game is on the line no matter what the actual score is. I know they can and believe they will!

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I don't think anything has gone to their heads. They've had these kind of slumps all season long where they get into big holes early and climb out late.

    For the most part, you can't win every game, and you'll lose some that you should win. That was the case last night.

    My only hope is that Thibs drops Bogans from the playoff rotation, but it seems extraordinarily unlikely that he will. I think that's going to hurt us come playoff time.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Totally agree about dropping Bogans. I hope Thibs wakes up on that one. I think you could make a good case for either Korver or Brewer to replace him...I'd be happy either way. Korver helps space the floor well and is a huge threat from deep. I also love everything Ronnie brings to the game defensively and his offensive has been decent as of late as well. Definitely don't want him jacking up a bunch of 3's but everything else he's been doing has been good.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As much as I still agree Bogans isn't remotely as good as Brewer or Korver or Watson, I don't see how this game fits with the theory he's the problem. When he went to the bench the Bulls were down 7. The Bulls then went down another 7 in the final 4:41, and then down another 9 to be down 23 around the middle of the second.

    I feel like after a loss this is a bit of a scape goat to point at Bogans ... maybe making this point after a win would have been a fairer time to make it.

    That said the playoff rotation is going to get really interesting, I don't see who Thibs can really drop if not Bogans. Brewer, Korver and Taj are obviously going to play as they're the main bench guys. Watson and one of Asik or Thomas have to play because you need a backup at PG and C. So Bogans is the only one who can go if you want to get down to 9. But you'd think if you were going to replace a starter you'd do it well before the playoffs to have time to adjust ... makes me believe that a 10 man rotation will remain.

    Managing the Noah and Boozer situation has me at a bit of a loss, right now Boozer is IMO clearly playing hurt (well, even more hurt than he has been ever since the Miami game) so I don't really know how much is bad fit. Also for whatever reason even on defense Noah just hasn't seemed to have "it" since coming back, certainly not the way he was a factor in games at the start of the year. I mean I think they looked to be making good progress for the games even when Noah was hurt so is it bad chemistry or just bad individual play? (or maybe just bad memory?)

    The simple solution would be to bench one of them to get less overlap, but that's a pretty drastic solution and throws off the balance elsewhere. But if Thibs can't/won't change the starters, and Boozer can't play at 100%, is there anything at all you can do? Tweaking when guys sit really doesn't change much I don't think, given you don't want to play anyone for huge stretches without a break the starters/finishers are always going to overlap a lot in minutes.

    As far as Rose goes, he's a work in progress even if he does win the MVP. He's had a few great games this month but mixed in he's had a lot more where he's struggled in various ways (admittedly with shooting or shot selection more than turnovers) as you'd expect a young player still trying to work out how to lead a team to. Kind of sucks we have expectations now and are almost setting ourselves for less than the finals being a failure, because I think there's still a lot of room for Rose (and the rest of the team) to be much improved next year. Well ... I guess the potential lack of a season next year makes this year more urgent too!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    To be clear, I'm not pinning the loss on Bogans. I'm just saying our use of Bogans is simply one flaw that can be exploited by our opponents.

    The 'slow start' thing has plagued us for much of the season, just this time we didn't come back. The slow start problems aren't all on Bogans, but he's a big piece of it.

    I also agree that they'll stick with the 10 man rotation this season and die by the sword, then think better of it next year and not start a guy like Bogans.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I don't think Bogan's is a flaw at the start. Sure it would be nice to have someone decent but at the start I think we need to force it inside against the starters of the other teams. We have to get teh post game going quickly because running up and down the court and then trying to post up after a couple quarters is gonna be a lot harder. Also, if you're launching 3's with Korver then you aren't going to have him later. And then you want to fit in your other big men to change things up but Noah and boozer arent tired out. then your second line up ends up being watson, bogans, deng, asik, and gibson. Interchanging starters here and there but overall I'd feel safer having korver as a staple especially when there is so much pressure on deng to perform when rose is out and the big men aren't producing.

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    Korver allows the post game to work better by giving Boozer more room to operate and a good target if he is covered.

    Keith Bogans really shouldn't play at all with the Bulls existing personnel in terms of talent. There's nothing he adds that isn't done better by someone else.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    korver and boozer play well together. the problem with starting korver is that he gets in foul trouble enough as it is with limited minutes. and while he is better defensively than he gets credit for, he gets killed by elite scorers. as far as the playoffs go, who in the celtics or heat starting lineup would you have him guard? i do want to start every game with dwayne wade or ray allen easily establishing their dominance. bogans may not do any one thing great, but he has hit 40% on threes the past couple months and can hold his own on defense. and, not least of all, in the 2nd orlando game (the first one we won), it was bogans getting physical with howard early and riding him out of bounds.

    as far as the +/- during the time bogans plays, i don't think he is the cause as much as he is just the only one whose minutes are strictly limited to the start of the first and third.

  • In reply to bucketball:

    I was thinking about Wade or Allen also, why not start Watson? Solid quick D and he can shoot the 3 better than Brewer and likely Bogans.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Boozer has no post game anymore, Mugsy Bogues would block his shot if he was still in the league, maybe even Earl Boykins.

    The guy has as much lift as the average guy in the wheel chair league.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    basically i'd rather have 4 great players and a bad player starting and a solid shooter in my so-so line up than 4 greats and a solid shooter starting and then 4 so-so's and a bad player. I think Korver has more influence coming off the bench than simply act as an aide for other great players at the start. I think he makes the so-so players better by opening the court and you would see bench players having a much harder time without him. I think it would hurt us more than help our starting lineup

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    There's plenty of room for Korver to play more minutes, he's only playing 20 a game. He's played 24-30 minutes most of his career, so if you had him play something like 6-8 minutes at the start of each half before taking a rest like Bogans does he'd be fine to come back for the last 6 or so minutes each half.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Agree on this season, we are stuck with Bonehead, but next year he won't be on the roster.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm with you, Shakes. A lot of question marks remain. Noah has NOT been the same since he came back. His game is so rhythm based, and while he hit the weights hard (he doesn't get pushed around much anymore), he can't snatch the ball like he used to. That will come. And Boozer is still laboring. But by playoffs, he should be good to go. And with three very solid back-up big people (Asik, Thomas and Gibson), our frontcourt could be dominant in the playoffs . . . and frankly, needs to be for the Bulls to go far.

    Rose has a lot of his shoulders, and sometimes he plays like it. 10 turnovers??? That's atrocious, and he'll be the first to say it. But he tends to play best on the big stage, so I don't expect many more clunkers from him.

    The Bulls have a ton of players who can get you 10 to 20 points on some nights - Boozer, Deng, Noah, Korver, Gibson, Brewer, Watson - and we'll need at least 4 of those 7 to do exactly that if this TEAM is going to advance round after round. We can't expect Rose to score 40 every night and watch his wear down.

    I'd rather see the 23-point and 12 assists kind of games from him . . .

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Curious E, Noah is just fine and on schedule. I get suspicious when I read characters like you faking "concern" about Noah and making snide, disparaging remarks like "AND WHILE HE HIT THE WEIGHTS HARD (HE DOESN'T GET PUSHED AROUND (MUCH) ANYMORE), he can't snatch the ball like he used to."
    Tired of sneaks like you pretending you're truly concerned about Noah. HE HAD A DOUBLE-DOUBLE LAST NIGHT, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? Another sheep in wolf's clothing!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    I remember in the Jordan/Pippen/Rodman playoffs when it seemed that the only team who could really frustrate the Bulls (except the '98 Pacers) was Atlanta with Mookie Blaylock and Mutombo. Different balance, but same perimeter push.

    As Thonus highlights, not too many powers in the East want to spend the effort there, even against the Bulls.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree. Korver has been I believe the top per 48 +/- player on the team this year, and thats not an anomally, he was among the team leaders in Utah as well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with you on taking out Bogans, and inserting Korver in the starting lineup. However, I will be pleasantly shocked if Thibs changes accordingly. He stuck with it for 73 games

  • In reply to igotpar:

    Yea, unfortunately at this point David Lee doesn't look so bad anymore.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The bulls have 2 problems:

    1st and foremost is BOOZER (the looser). He cant cover anybody.. He will sit in the middle of the lane when guys get past the guards and never steps up. Guys continually shoot 6-7 ft shoots in front of him with no resistance. Noah is active but big burly guys like Howard, Shaq, Griffin, type push him around . They do the same with Taj. Too weak, Asik is the answer inside but you cant play both NOah and ASik at the same time.. NO offense. I have been harping all year that they need to develop ASik inside game. HOok shot 4ft bankshot but NO. He play 7 min then sits.. NO progress at all offensively.. He is the bulls BEST interior Defender including NOah.BOozer cant move , sont ever cover the 3 guy. Always needs NOah's help , Then Noah's guy gets a pass and its a dunk.

    Watch out for the Pacers , they beat the bulls easily last game and are coming on. Their Center has improved alot Offensively unlike the bull's centers .. Boozer is the weak link. Yes he gives us scoring inside, but teams will just at him or his man will shoot 3's (aldridge, Horford. Stoudamire, Anthony.. They will all kill BOOZER ..

    Start playing ASik even if it means a loss and get him the ball inside and let him try a shot .. NOT JUST DUNKS.. A 3 ft semi hook would be great.

  • In reply to mikem:

    mo, you think players like Howard and Shaq won't push Asik around? When did Asik become this stud big man? Have you watched Asik closely, do you know his limitations? I think you're his brother. People like you should pay to post on this blog for your stupidity! WHAT AN IDIOT!

  • In reply to Normie:

    You must be posting from the isolation ward in the state penitentiary. Because if you walk around in the real world doing nothing but calling people names and insulting them you would be dead already.

    With the demise of Mappy, you are now the official asshole of this blog. At least Mappy had some clue about basketball, you are nothing but a stark raving loon.

    Go back to Blog a BullShit thats what they do over there.

  • In reply to mikem:

    You know the problem with most Bulls fans is that you are so use to have a losing team and supporting them that when we have a team with potential you are still ok whether they win or lose because they seem better than they were before. This team has the chance to win a championship but many moves should have been made earlier in the season. Boozer was a waste of money for us because he does nothing to help us in anyway. We can't run (or he won't run when on the court) he is not aggressive on offense, doesn't play defense. The only reason we picked him up because he was the only star player left and we didn't want to look like a fool by missing out on Wade,James,Bosch,Lee etc. I wanted David Lee and Anthony Morrow. We could have gotten both of them for what we are paying for Boozer. And Lee would have complimented Noah along with Morrow and Rose. I also would have gotten T-Mac for a half a million because he is still an excellent passer and crafty veteran who is avg 8.5 points a game in 24min with 4rpg and 4apg. The man basically came crawling to use and we tried to act like big shots we make up for when he didn't want to sign with us when he was still a superstar way to go front office. We have too many players just sitting on the bench that has no role on the Bulls. Im a winner and want a winning team not another Dallas Mav that wins 50 to 60 games and goes out the first or second round every year.

  • In reply to jclass:

    I agree, Lee, Morrow and even TMac would have been nice. I would like to see the Bulls run so exchanging Lee for Boozer would have done that well. I hope next year we can have a solid SG that would allow us to exchnge Taj for Boozer as the starter and they can get out and run in the 1st quarter.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    TMac, really, all time NBA piece of shit.

  • In reply to jclass:

    Dude David Lee's basically been exposed in GS as not that good a player while Anthony Morrow is having his worst season and kind of looks like a product of the GS system to an extent.

    T-Mac staged a player revolt on the Pistons, would you really want him in our locker room right now?

    I want winning for this team too, but from where this team was coming from, jumping from 41 wins to 60 wins and being one of maybe 3 teams that could win the title is a pretty sweet deal IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    T-Mac also needs the ball in his hands to be effective...that is, if you can call 8 pts and 4 assists with no defense "effective"

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    One weakness I

  • In reply to Edward:

    Nice Noah hater! Imagine you suggesting Noah study Spencer Hawes, a confirmed stiff who couldn't even cut it with the team that drafted him in the 10th spot. You were one of the people screaming for the Bulls to take Hawes who is unathletic, doesn't rebound and tries to make a living on the perimeter. You embarrass Hawes with your high opinion of him. But what can you expect from a Bulls fan who wanted the Bulls to take pathetic Hawes ahead of Noah in the draft.

  • In reply to Normie:

    Nope. You

  • In reply to Normie:

    But if you prefer, Noah could study Kurt Thomas' jumper. Thomas just drained 3 jump shots in the 1st quarter of the @Minnesota game.

  • In reply to Normie:

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  • In reply to Edward:

    Haven't you seen how Jo is eager these days to drive to the basket? Especially if he gets a chance to finish with the left hand? He's been fairly reliable and quite unstoppable, only beating himself by being a little out of control at times. And he's started taking that elbow jumper again, the last one I saw didn't go in but he hadn't even been trying it before... And he's back to being a pretty reliable free thrower. I think you'll see his offense blossom in the next ten games, more so than his defense.

    Otherwise I agree with your general assessment, we're all seeing that Carlos is not a truly reliable go-to guy... but with our teamwork, if he gets the ball and doesn't feel confident, we know the ball will go back in motion and find another team-mate. And damn, while I wish he'd finish strong, that really is a sweet rainbow arc on his jumper... and I love your comment: let's start calling him SHIFTY!

  • In reply to jclass:

    If people hate Boozer's defense then I'm glad we didn't sign Lee, since he's even worse.

    FWIW I think Lee and Boozer are roughly the same sort of player when it comes to complimenting Noah anyway. Both score mainly on jump shots and finishing passes at the basket (despite Boozer's rep as being a low post player), rebound well, don't defend or block shots as you'd like, and are willing passers.

    I was in favour of Lee due to health concerns on Boozer, but Boozer has the advantage of a lot more years of proven production, and it's turned out the Bulls made the right choice in going with the proven player unless Lee can turn it around next year.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Not really a big fan of Lee's post game either. He's not a guy you can get the ball into in the half court when the offense breaks down.

  • In reply to jclass:

    Is anybody watching the Cleveland game?
    1. Does Bosh look ready for a playoff game? He will not be able to handle Boston's pressure or the Bulls pressure..
    2. Anthony Parker looks good shooting..I wish we had him instead of Bogans until we get a Mayo/Affalo or somebody like that next year.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Huge for the Bulls. Miami is still the team that scares me the most. Now even if Miami goes undefeated, the Bulls will have to finish 5-4 for Miami to pass them.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Parker was averaging 6 points in 28 minutes a game this month before that game, don't let one game fool you, he wouldn't be doing much differently to Bogans if on this team.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    or Gerald Henderson, or Marcus Thornton, or Jimmer.

  • In reply to jclass:

    Holy crap the Cavs are going to beat the Heat for us, didn't see that coming.

  • In reply to jclass:

    Miami is Losing!
    Justice is being served in Cleveland. Score was 83-83. Now 97-85 Cleveland with under only 1:35 remaining

  • In reply to Edward:

    they lost

  • In reply to jclass:

    If there is Karma...it might start tonight.
    Imagine if the Heat go into a slump like how the Cavs did after December.

  • In reply to mikem:

    Are you seriously advocating running plays for Asik and having him shoot hooks? Yeeesh.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Right now, and for some time now, BG Boozer is killing us every bit as badly as Bogans is.

    I bet we would have better starts with Taj and Korver replacing BG Boozer and Bogans. You beef up your interior defense and your perimeter scoring.

    Against big teams I would rather start Asik and Noah up front and continue with Korver next to Rose.

  • Doug, that is a truly excellent analysis. I hope Thibs someone stumbles across your post, for your lineup changes make too much sense for him not to try.

    But let's be frank, Thibs is pretty stubborn and fiercely loyal. In other words, he's going to stick with Bogans as his starter. We just have to pray that Bogans can slow down the opposing 2-guard and stick a couple of threes.

    Come playoffs, we have to pray that the adrenaline will somehow make it into Boozer's legs, as we need him to play at All-Star level for the Bulls to go to the Finals. Yes, that means running down the court, getting double-digit rebounds and defending the post adequately.

    We know that Rose, Noah and Deng are going to show up come playoff time. The rest of the team? They're going to play hard, but how well will they play? Will the 2nd five play as well as they have, or will they falter?

    I just hope we don't have to play these Sixers, as we don't match up with them very well. Halliday is a great defender and at 6'4", he gives Rose fits. He's about the only one out there that does, so we're lucky that Boston, Miami and Orlando doesn't have such a quick, big PG to slow him down. Meanwhile, the Sixers are very athletic and are one of the few teams that can out-quick the Bulls at times.

    But I remain confident because Thibs is a great coach, and this squad plays like a true team. They've put in the work, and it's going to pay off in the playoffs!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Well we're not playing the 76ers in the 1st round, and if we did, I still wouldn't be too worried anyway to be honest.

    I still think this team wins the 1 seed, but worst case scenario is the 2 seed IMO.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    You play your division 4 times. You play the teams from your conference but not your division 3 times (4 teams) or 4 times (6 teams). So at worst it makes 2 games difference: swap two games with teams from the central for another game against NYK/PHI (if the Bulls were in Atlantic) or MIA/ATL (if the Bulls were in the South East). Given those 4 teams are at worst a 50/50 prospect for this team I think saying the central helps the Bulls 1 game is the furthest you could go.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Ugh, hit wrong reply button fail, meant to reply to the one below ...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    So basically what is being said here, the Bulls could very well possibly be looking at an upset exit very early and this successful season thus far coming to a terrible end for the Bulls faithful. When other fans and myself have been trying to point out these flaws early in the season, people would lose their minds trying to make excuse after excuse for the teams deficiencys. From Bogans starting to Boozer not playing defense and not fitting with Noah to missing another scorer... preferably a shooting guard that can take some of the pressure off of Rose, now close to the end of the season after a bad loss to a team that will be in the playoffs, fans want to point out these flaws. Sounds like hypocrites to me, and don't think for one minute that whoever the Bulls end up playing in the first round won't try to exploit these flaws cause the blueprint to beat the Bulls has been clear as day to some of us fans. This was a bad loss and now the team is back to playing catch-up basketball again and doing this towards the end of the season is not a good look. Bulls brass had better have a solid game plan this summer to fix these flaws cause seeing the way that some things may turn out, it could be a very disappointing end to an unBullieveable season. Maybe this is why the Knicks seemingly are trying to jocky to play the Bulls in the first round... just a thought.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    No offense, but you've said the Bulls are mediocre all year.

    They are likely to win 60 games this season. Do you still want to sit here and say they are mediocre and you are right, and everyone else is wrong?

    I believe you also called for them to be upset in the 1st round of the playoffs. Do you still think that will happen? I think there is no chance whatsoever that happens.

    They could conceivably lose in the 2nd round, but me pointing out flaws the team can work on is far away from me saying they stink all of a sudden and are primed for an upset. I think the team likely bows out in the ECF to Miami which is about what I would have hoped for in preseason.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    There you go bringing up this mediocre stuff yet again Doug. We have been through this before so I won't go into it. I am happy to know that you among others are seeing this teams flaws now. It may have taken all season for you to see, but its good to see that you finally do.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    That's ridiculous to say I'm now seeing this teams flaws. I've probably written a dozen times about Bogans and commented about him over 100 times.

    Of course the team has flaws, my overriding point has always been that they're way better than I thought they'd be, and I can live with those flaws.

    I didn't enter the season expecting a flawless team or one that even really had a legit shot of winning the title.

    The Bulls may not be the favorite, but they're much closer than I thought they'd be.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    A team can be flawed and still be a great team that can win the championship. Every team is flawed. Even the 72 win team. If your standard is they need to be the Dream Team (minus Laettner, since we want flawlessness!) then you're going to be waiting a long time.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    One more thing about yesterday's game was how they finished shots. There were some shots which CJ/Deng took where they looked like Brewer's corky shots. And Noah couldn't finish. Either it was good defense by the 76ers or the Bulls were completely out of rhythm.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, nice response to that phony Reece1. They are just waiting to come out of the closet whenever the Bulls have a loss. These people are SHAMELESS!

  • In reply to Normie:

    Again, I comment whether they win or lose, don't confuse me with other fans. I see you like to instigate cause you never have anything interesting to say except to the fans that criticize the Bulls... and stop kissing Doug butt, I see you have no shame when it comes to that do you???

  • In reply to Normie:

    This is Doug's blog...I don't want to police it. But, C'mon...let it go. You don't have to point out any differing opinion in an aggressive way. FYI, a lot of die-hard Bulls fans think Noah has room to develop but is not a star as he has not put together a full season of excellence.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Again, I didn't say they were mediocre but I'm not the one to go back and forth about it, it is what it is. If you go back to your older threads you will see.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Accurate reflection of what the less histerical among us feel.

    This was a second round team when the season started, now we feel like an ECF team, but I agree, I just don't think that we can beat Lebron and Wade in a 7 game series.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Doug, great analysis! Regarding Bogans, I don't believe Thibs is going to drop him out of the rotation. He isn't the kind that takes risks, especially this time of the year. He will go the safe route. I don't blame him, most people wouldn't if sitting in Thibs place...One thing I know...Next seson, Bogans won't be anywhere near the starting lineup.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Every team has flaws. Even the MJ teams had a lot of flaws and it is not going to be easy against any playoff team. Before the season, I am sure you would have traded most of our line-up for the 76ers lineup.
    1. Thibs is stubborn and will not change the lineup for Bogans in the last few weeks of the season. The bigger concern on this is how he adjusts during the playoffs if Bogans sucks really bad. Will he have the guts to replace him?
    2. I think the bigger reason they are playing badly in the last couple of games is because of Deng. Deng is not practicing and his rhythm in the beginning is not good which is usually not the case. I think once Deng converts 45-50% of his FGs, we will be fine.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    All I could think about during the 1st two quarters of last nights game was how Lu's rhythm seems have been disrupted since missing some practices. Also I feel that it's Lu's struggles the last couple of games that has magnified the Bogans issue, because if Lu isn't hitting his shots at a respectable rate, that essentially leaves no perimeter game to speak of and allows teams focus on just Rose

  • In reply to Reese1:

    It's still more Boozer than Bogans. Bogans is doing what he's asked to do. Boozer is consistently late on the rotations defensively, and has disappeared offensively. If he isn't healthy, he should take the time off and get it right because the guys behind him can do the job.

    And you really have to stop with the "Start Korver" nonsense. If you think Bogans isn't getting it done defensively, Korver and Boozer will be a disaster. Korver can't stay in front of anybody and Boozer will never get over in time to help. Also, Korver doesn't hold defenders as much as Rose attracts defenders to get Korver open looks. So if Rose is sloppy with the ball like he was last night, he's never going to be able to get the ball to Korver, and the bulls are left with bad offense to go along with a horrible defense.

    Really, Boozer is the root problem here. He is either hurt or unmotivated, but he's hurting the bulls if he isn't getting 20 pts and/or rotating well on defense. Rose/Bogans/Deng/Gibson/Noah would be a much better solution to the once-every-three-weeks "if they had played a little harder they would have won" loss.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    My point with starting Korver is that if you're playing a half court line up you want Korver in there to space the floor.

    He's going to play anyway, and he's better than Bogans by a considerable amount even if he hurts you defensively.

    I do agree, Boozer is a huge issue right now, and I noted that in my second point, though I suppose I didn't do justice to just how bad he is defensively and was mostly just discussing his lack of offensive contribution right now.

    I think a viable plan would also be to start Brewer and Taj over Bogans and Boozer, but I think you want to create units with more continuity than the Bulls have right now in terms of the way they play.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    1. Starting Brewer and Taj is giving the opposition the chance to triple-team Rose and double-team Deng. Our mediocre first-quarter offense will become historically mediocre. Boozer is a threat atleast.
    2. That said, why is Korver playing 8 mins and taking 4 shots? That is bad coaching and bad execution on part of Rose/Korver. I am not sure but honestly is Korver so much worse than Bogans defensively?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    To kind of add to Korver's shots...In yesterday's game against the Pacers, Ray Allen attempted 8 shots in 36 mins. If we assume Korver does the same kind of things as Allen, is Thibs's offense(assuming they run similar offense to Boston) not schematically good enough to utilize somebody like Korver who is slower than Allen?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yes Korver is that much worse than Bogans defensively.

    Philly basically played Rose one on one most of the game and then collapsed on him at the end of the game. The plan worked because Rose wasn't aggressive enough early to demand a double, and sloppy late so that he couldn't get the ball to open teammates. That's how you beat the bulls: make Rose think he can/needs to beat you one on three.

    How many wide open jumpers did Spencer Hawes hit down the stretch? How many times did Rose find himself surrounded by three guys at the rim? It's not Bogans, it's not Korver. It's all Rose, and to be fair to Rose, he only gets that way when Boozer and Deng are having off nights. He also didn't get his second half rest last night and was gassed at the end. It's really hard to make the right play when you are in oxygen debt.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    There were a lot of little things last night...Deng & Boozer were off offensively, Boozer's D was non-existent, nobody could hit a 3. I think if they were hitting 3's last night, they wouldn't have been able to collapse on Rose as much late in the game and if they did, the Bulls would have been able to make them pay for it but draining 3's. We could point out a million things that they did wrong, but I think most get solved if you just fix the energy/intensity/hustle problem that they had in the first half.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    sorry, typo...I meant "by draining 3's" not but draining 3's.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    That's another thing, too. If the bulls hit 75% of their FT's instead of 60% and hit 33% of their 3's instead of 11%, it's a tie game. And if Rose only commits 5 TO's instead 10, that could be a 12 point swing, too. A lot of things went wrong last night. It isn't Bogans and swapping him for somebody else isn't going to fix anything, unless you're swapping him for Michael Jordan...

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Here's an article breaking down the Finals tie breakers for all the top teams.
    http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/03/29/home-court-in-finals-up-for-grabs/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I suspect coach Thibs uses Bogans as a sort of Ron Harper calming character for the starters. I do not disagree with that..It seems that when they play some teams they force the offense through Boozer on the block when they could be playing more high screen roll to generate foul trouble for the opponents...and mixed up teams like the Raptors, Nuggets Hawks Sixers vex the bulls because they do not react in a manner the Bulls recognize fluidly on the court. Scouting issues perhaps. I continue to wonder if Boozer is still out of sync with the rest of the team much of the time while Taj has an easier time blending in.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Did anyone else watch Chuck Swirsky's post game interview with Boozer on bulls.com? Boozer looks like he's about to kill Chuck at the beginning for even talking to him. Funny stuff!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The magic number for the #1 seed (Home court in Finals) is 9. We might need some help getting there but I still like our chances to take the East.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    There you go bringing up this mediocre stuff yet again Doug. We have been through this before so I won't go into it. I am happy to know that you among others are seeing this teams flaws now. It may have taken all season for you to see, but its good to see that you finally do.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I don't remember you ever responding to my point the last few times you've called this team out after a loss, and I noted that you said they were mediocre when they are clearly vastly better than that.

    I don't think anyone who's a fan has ever said they have no flaws. Just that the team is much better than anticipate and is really, really good.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You're getting me confused with other fans after a Bulls loss, I comment on wins and losses not just the losses. This has to be your only argument with me cause I clearly said, let me say this one more time for you... that they would be mediocre if they did not get their act together at the beginning of the season, you know... starting slow and falling behind teams big like they are now. And let me say this for you... NO, they are not a mediocre team, so please stop harping on something that I did not say. Like I said, you are confusing me with someone else cause I always respond to you and everyone else on this blog cause you guys arguments are well deserved and it is sometimes good debates from you guys on here. And yes every team has flaws but the Bulls flaws have been protected thus far and now it's almost playoff time and those flaws have a very good chance to be exposed when winning and losing really matter. All I can say is if they don't get to the finals, this will be a learning experience for them and hopefully management will get the team what it needs for next year.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Fair enough, I will not bring it up to you again.

    I guess, my view on the Bulls flaws is that they were apparent even in preseason. We knew SG was going to be an issue right from the get go, and it's still an issue today.

    We knew Boozer was horrible defensively, and well, he is horrible defensively.

    If they can't get to the finals then it will be a learning experience, but I think they'll have learned more than I expected they'd have learned. They'll be closer than I thought.

    I never expected them to get this far, so it's found money, and it will hurt if they don't win the title, but I'm just happy that they're good enough that I can feel legitimately disappointed if they don't win instead of saying well, they really had no chance anyway.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    None of us expected them to get this far and yes it will be a big disappointment if they can't make it to the finals and IMO I really feel that they either need to help Boozer this summer with his defensive rotations or explore possibly trading him for another post player that can score. Who?, I have no idea but Taj to me is good enough to start and management needs to really complete this team with players that defend and can get the job done next year on the offensive end as well to compliment Noah, afterall he is a big part of the teams core and Boozer to me, won't be the answer long term, he's too old. Hopefully I'm wrong tho.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Is shooting guard an issue or is Bogans the issue? As you note the numbers suggest the later, but because Thibs has stuck with Bogans we'll never know if Korver/Brewer/Watson SG by committee would be enough to make the position a non issue for 48 minutes.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Fascinating discussion! I think the big picture is being missed amongst all the details. FIrstly, this is a FLAWED team, has been since day one of camp, since we couldn't sign a SG who is strong on both offense and defense (and our best hope, Brewer, was injured to start). And secondly, we've been behind the eight-ball all season long due to injuries to Boozer, then Noah, then Boozer. We've been unable to exploit Boozer as a serious post presence, his main weapon has been his mid-range jumper - not bad, but not exactly a solution on nights when jumpers aren't falling. And Carlos and Jo have not had sufficient game time together to work out the best combination of their skills (or best disguising of their flaws). I'm still concerned that they're a work in progress...

    Really, the reasons this team has done so well this year, exceeded so many expectations, have been the stellar play of Derrick Rose and the coaching vision of Tom Thibodeaux. That's why we Bulls fans are so vehement about MVP and COTY. We've watched nearly 70 amazing games this year, and we know more than simple stats can tell...

    Both have their flaws - or so they seem to us. But Thibs must be a genius to have gotten such stellar play, and put together such a synergistic team out of bit parts, not all of which are obviously well matched. Take Keith Bogans (please!): no-one else on the team (except maybe The Butler) provides his combination of hard-nosed team defense AND serious 3-point threat. He's only a problem on the floor, taking open shots as ordered, missing most of them, AND the rest of the offense sputtering. That is to say, we only miss his offense when he's bad on a night when the rest of our offense is bad. But clearly Thibs' team vision has us opening games with a strong defensive presence, and counting on the other starters for sufficient offense (including Jo's improving O). And by him, you GOTTA start with a 3-pt threat early, to take early pressure off DRose.

    We're all frustrated with Carlos's team defense, but his individual defense isn't quite so bad, I certainly hear lots of other team's broadcasters (NBA League Pass) commenting on his excellent D moments. And his rebounding is HUGE. In fact, one way I see it going is for Jo to leak out more, since he likes to run, and lean on Carlos more for defensive rebounding... just a guess... Yeah, I wish we were getting more from him, and his contributions will be vital before we hoist any victory cups!

    (BTW, Asik DOES have a jumper, we saw him shoot at least one from the top of the key earlier this year... nothing but net! - only ONE, to be fair, it might be the only jumper he tried all year! But in spite of his atrocious free-throw shooting, his form is excellent, he's just erratic - I wonder if Thibs is saving that weapon for the playoffs? I wasn't expecting Turkish Delight...)

    But out of these mismatched, under-prepared parts, Thibs has cobbled together a vision and chemistry that have led this team to the second best record in the entire League. This is a VERY unusual team, and for my best guess, a lot of "Conventional Wisdom" doesn't apply here. Like "It takes two (or three) Superstars to win" - not on this team. Have you EVER seen a less selfish, more energetic team? With as many role players capable of stepping up as needed? It's not perfect - I'd still like to get Kyle Korver a LOT more shots per game, for example, and I'd like to see Taj get more minutes to improve his offense - but where would those shots and minutes come from? The formula TT has developed seems to be working pretty well...

    That's why I've gotten my hopes up for this year... it's been clear to me, since maybe mid-December, that the sky is the limit here. I've followed lots of sports (in lots of countries) in my life, and one of the lasting truisms is that experienced veterans will beat upstart talent in Grand Finals, which is why I was originally hopeful that we'd win it all in two or three years, just as it took MJ's Bulls a while to fight their way past the Bad Boys. But this year is different, this team is different, and the league has changed. Boston is aging, Miami not as strong as they WILL get, the Lakers past their greatest hunger, etc... and who knows if there will even be a season next year??? So we've all gone All In this year, gotten our hopes up... and then panicked every time the doubt returns. Folks, this team hasn't lost three in a row ALL YEAR. Every bad game is followed by a good-to-great game, and on the two occasions when it was not, we then overcame a good-to-great team to avoid the third loss. I'm confident they will overcome last night's poor start (which echoed the previous game in Milwaukee).

    No, I'm confident that TT will be able to lift this team as we enter the playoffs, and he probably has a few surprises up his sleeve. Will they be enough? We'll see... but I don't think any team has exposed Serious Flaws that can't be covered up or "fixed" in a long series. Playoffs are all about adjustments, and yes, teams will adjust to our obvious strengths - and so will WE adjust to theirs! This team plays SO well closing out games, huge deficits turn into wins or close losses, teams that scored at will go cold against us in fourth quarters... But my main point here is that, with our depth, we do have LOTS of weapons. As each good playoff team adjust to take away the main strengths of their opponent, I'm betting that our team will have more depth, more back-up options than the rest of the League - and that's why I have serious hopes for a deep run into the playoffs this season. Will it be enough? Who knows; as Sam Smith is fond of repeating, that's why they actually PLAY the games. Hey, how did everyone do with safe predictions and conventional wisdom in March Madness this year? What a WEIRD season! Let's Go Bulls!

    (Sorry if this is disorganized, I have little typing time at the moment, had to rush a lot of thoughts together... thanks for reading, if you did!)

    I love this game! And it's a pretty good community here too - though y'all should quit feeding the trolls...

  • In reply to petert23:

    Excellent perspective. Very good post.
    Right about Bogans, His O is more problematic when the team is sputtering. But when that happens he's pulled a few minutes sooner anyhow.
    As Shakes rightly points out, Boozer's D although not helping, doesn't totally kill them either. Additionally, he still often warrants a double team that makes everyone else's O better. When healthy, Boozer had the ability to go back and score when scored upon.

    I agree, this team is different and is unique Their style should get better with familiarity.
    Your analysis that the playoffs are a series of adjustments is right on. If 2nd half adjustments are any indication of TT's ability to react and along with a 10 player roster that provides a lot of options allows me to like our chances.
    Especially after watching Cleveland beat the Heat.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Thanks for the compliment, especially since you had to dig my points out from some confused writing... the short of it is this: given the season so far, I think we've got more back-up options and secondary weapons than most teams. So when They expose Our flaws, we'll adjust, and as We expose Their flaws, they'll adjust, and we'll keep at it with every team and see who runs out of back-up plans first! Go Bulls!

  • In reply to Waldock:

    There is a reason that Noah isn't Noah when he plays with Boozer, it is becaus he has to play with Boozer, i.e. cover both his man and Boozers.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Doesnt every team have flaws? Boston? Miami? Orlando?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You play Brewer and Taj together with Watson on the floor and the team does really well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    usually against the other team's bench.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I was at the game last night. My wife and I. We had a good time overall just wished they couldve pulled it out. My biggest concern for the bulls in the playoffs is Boozer's lack of defense. Everyone on here knows its been an issue all year but we put it on the back burner because he was getting 20/10 so it was OK. The bulls wont lose in the first round or maybe even the second but If boozer continues to play crap defense we wont win a title. He loves to scream out in agony and slap the ball every time his man scores but wont exert the same energy on D. Im still going ALL IN on the bulls but if boozer wont step up it may be a second round or ECF exit. Hopefully im wrong. One last thing... The bulls signed boozer for 5 years right? How many does he actually play for the bulls? 2.5 or 3? Its hard to imagine him playing out this contract. The only way i see that happening is if the bulls win a title.

  • In reply to StephanH:

    If the Bulls do hold on to Boozer the full 5 years it would be a big surprise. The Bulls have invested big in Noah and having a player like Boozer that isn't fitting with Noah means he has to get his B.S. together or be shipped out for players that do fit with this team. IMO I think the Bulls management should sit him down and get him on the sane page as the rest of the team and if he can't do that, trade his ass when the season is over while he still has a little value left. Noah does not look happy and Boozer may know this which is why he hasn't been playing his best. His ankle Spain was not that bad, he missed over a week so that's no excuse. Boozer is the biggest problem IMO.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The Bulls are on the hook with more cash for Boozer than Noah, so they've presently invested more in Boozer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If they are smart the Bulls wont keep him the full term of his contract. Someone would be willing to take him on. And if he is making more than Noah, it must be from his past all star seasons cause right now... he shouldn't be.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    There are likely very limited takers for Boozer's contract going forward. He's going to be past his prime and overpaid by the end of it, and that was obvious when he signed it.

    A lot will depend on the new CBA, but basically if his contract is poison they won't be able to get rid of it, and if there is still a fairly soft cap it probably doesn't help us to get rid of it, because we'll never be below the cap anyway.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Do you think Boozer was kind of deferring to Rose and Noah yesterday? I mean helping out Noah get back into his rhythm...
    Also, this Boozer trade/dumping talk is crazy(forget the money)...I don't know where we will find another interior experienced offensive player in the next 2 years without a big trade? He is the second best player on our team and if he doesn't play well...we are looking at a second round exit.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    IF he is the second best player right now, we lose in the first round even if Rose turns into Jordan.

  • In reply to StephanH:

    I have full faith in Boozer. Yesterday he hustled for lose balls if you remember after Rose screwed up a drive. He contested shots, and was unfortunately mismatched with Thaddeus Young (Thibs mistake not his). Boozer takes pressure off Rose, not only in terms of scoring but threat wise as well (less double teams on Rose). He has talent, lets be honest most of the bulls are role players including even Noah, but Boozer has great vision, he makes good decisions to whom and when he passes, and can create baskets for himself (other than Rose and Deng I don't see anyone else who is capable of doing that). How long have us bulls fans been complaining about a solid inside presence? Sure we suffer on defense sometimes when he is on the floor,but that's the price we pay for having a man who commands a double team and can get us 20-10 when we use him right....

  • In reply to dtorres:

    Good points.. One thing about Boozer is he just doesn't seem to have the explosiveness/quick hands to play defense. He has the stamina...he is always the guy inbounding the ball after a shot, is going for the rebound(I don't believe he cares about the numbers but is a natural rebounder).
    Also, I hope Thibs is waiting to unleash Boozer based offense like an adjustment during the playoffs when they trap Rose. And for heaven's sake, the man has had two injuries on his ankle...let's give him a break on that.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agreed. It seems silly to act like Boozer tweaking his ankle twice recently isnt a probable reason why he's struggling. I'm hopeful he'll play better as he recovers more. Otherwise, Reese can trade his ass in the offseason :-)

  • In reply to dtorres:

    finally some senese

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Agreed!

  • In reply to dtorres:

    With everything that was going wrong last night, the Bulls still had a good shot with 2 minutes left. I mean virtually everything was going wrong. No one has mentioned the free throws, but the Bulls were 18/30. They couldn't hit any shots early while Philly couldn't seem to miss. Spencer Hawes was killing it from the perimeter all night, Thad Young had a great game before exiting early, our D gave up almost 100 points, couldn't hit the 3 ball all night (which has been a huge part of our attack lately), couldn't make a huge run to get back in the game quickly and chipped away very slowly, Rose got a little sloppy at times, Deng didn't step up as the #2 scorer, Asik did nothing, I mean just a whole lot went wrong. Sure we have flaws, but this team seems like one that will win 4 games in a series and drop one like this.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    That's a good perspective. With everything going wrong, we still had a chance against these guys. 2nd game in two nights, 3rd game in 4 nights...they were beat. A bad game is bound to happen once in awhile.

  • In reply to dtorres:

    :)

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/3996/video-is-rose-a-better-iverson

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Everyone who is a #1 option scores 24/25 points or more. And Rose is a stronger, better defender than Iverson and definitely more team-oriented. Honestly, Iverson is one of my least favorite players. Rose is more like Wade and LeBron with better ball handling skills but still learning the league.
    But that said, Rose screwed up a lot yesterday trying to be more like Iverson. If he doesn't involve his teammates or gives up on them, he is going to be more like Iverson which is a recipe for disaster. There were a few times he should have passed the ball. Otherwise, they become spectators.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Rose's success this year has a lot more to do with having a better supporting cast than Iverson than him being better than Iverson.

    I think Iverson is a bit of a funny case, at the time he was over rated, but now everyone thinks he sucks and he's become under rated.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    This guy and skip bayless are both clowns. They dont know crap about basketball. Dont get me wrong, I loved allen iverson. he was my favorite player in the NBA before derrick rose came to the bulls. But they are not similar at all. Any clown can compare numbers only. That does not tell the whole story at all. Derrick rose can win multiple championships. Iverson never had a team around him to win, his second best players were guys like eric snow, aaron mckie, derrick coleman, mutumbo, and C Webb way out of his prime.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    still think iverson pound for pound is the greatest scorer in the NBA all time. he was 5'10" and a buck 60 soaking wet

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    ever heard of Nate tiny Archibald.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    ya he is listed as taller than iverson and was no where near the scorer iverson was. In iversons prime he was putting up over 30 a game or close to.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Well his shooting percentage is trending toward Iverson territory, but nothing else about him is even remotely as disgusting as everything about Iverson was.

  • In reply to dtorres:

    Nice post, David. Totally agree. I'm in the camp that Boozer gives us a lot more than we give up. Last year, everybody seemed to ignore Rose's bad defense as long as he scored. This year, when the entire team is playing defense and we need some more offense, people are jumping on Boozer. I don't get it sometimes.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Not everybody, there are some of us who know that you never win a championship with Historically bad defensive players, i.e. Ben Gordon and BG Boozer.

    I was all over Rose's shity defense, and blamed Gordons influence. It took more than half a season, but thibs has coached the Ben Gordon out of Rose to the point that he is now a better than average maybe even a plus defender.

  • In reply to dtorres:

    "LETS BE HONEST MOST OF THE BULLS ARE ROLE PLAYERS INCLUDING EVEN NOAH"
    This Blog attracts some weird people, like you David!

  • In reply to dtorres:

    He is not a inside presence at all right now, every shot he takes in the paint is blocked due to the fact that he has the vertical jump of a 50 year old.

  • In reply to StephanH:

    His defense is bad but it doesn't kill you. If the Bulls played defense for 48 minutes at the level they do when Boozer is out there they'd still be #5 in the league on defense, so it's not like they turn into the Raptors when he's on the court.

    The real problem is the 20/10 as you mention: when Boozer was healthy and putting up 20/11 on 54% his offense far outweighed the defensive loss. Now he's hurt and putting up 15/9 on 49% he's only really a break even vs Asik/Taj/Thomas taking those minutes.

    I expect we'll see more out of Boozer to start next season once his ankle is fully healed, but for the rest of this season we'll have to live with his primary role just being to take some responsibility off Rose and not really being a difference maker.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Then he should play with the second unit as the offensive peice.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls have five of the top 50 Adj +/- units in the NBA. Four have Brewer at the SG, one has Bogans, none have Korver. Just some content to add..

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Interesting stat...I would like to see Brewer at SG over Korver personally. That's what he was signed for anyway. Brewer isn't going to rain 3's on the opponent like Korver but his midrange jumper isn't horrible, he slashes, and he picks up some points on the break. He also has the ability to shut down the opponents starting SG (Wade, Allen, Kobe, etc.) unlike Korver. As long as Rose, Deng, and hopefully Boozer are scoring, they don't need a lot of points from him. Slowing the opponents SG will offset the 6-12 points that he'll get on a regular basis.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I think the problem with Brewer is even if he has the mid-range jumper working, it is not enough to free up Rose. You need a 3 pt threat to space the SG defender. Otherwise, it is easier to help on defending Rose for somebody like Wade, Allen. Think of the last sec shot against Miami where Wade helped on Rose and couldn't get back to Deng.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Valid points, especially regarding the last sec shot against Miami. Don't misinterpret though, just cause I think Brewer would be better in the starting lineup, doesn't mean I think he's best in every situation. A lot of times at the end of games, if you don't have a great two-way player at a position, you have to do offensive/defensive substitutions. I definitely didn't mean that Brewer would be better than Korver in all game situations with the starting lineup in.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Also, Lu has been a pretty good 3 pt threat this year. He's been off for a couple of games, but overall there is a decent 3 pt threat out there with or without Korver on the floor.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Korver's adjusted +/- is second on the team behind Omer Asik. The fact that he's not in one of the elite units is merely an indicator then that every unit he plays in is good regardless of personnel.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If I were Thibs, I would just interchange Bogans with Rasual Butler or even Pargo(I am so sick of Bogans)...Or, there is something we as fans don't see what Thibs sees in Bogans and his production on court. I think Bogans is kind of impacting negatively a lot more than just not making shots even when the Bulls are winning.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I was thinking about this last night. Since Keith is our 8th man, maybe 9th or 10th, shouldn't he be a candidate to get dropped from the playoff rotation regardless of him being a starter now? I'd rather play Asik than him. We've been saying all year that the 2 guard minutes are better off going to Korver & Brewer, well that makes even more sense for a tightened playoff rotation. Bogans killed us last night. He did hit 1 big 3 to knock the score down to 16, but other than that, he really hurt us.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Asik at the 2! Problem solved!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The bulls are 12-2 the last 14. That is pretty good, right? And what is this One Seed all about? Is that something we want?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It isn't really regardless of personnel. Deng rotates help more to backup the bigs, while Brewer rotates help to backup the backcourt. Korver-Deng-Rose leaves that hole on the perimeter Brewer fills for Korver. I haven't looked at the numbers, but I'd throw a preliminary guess that Korver fouls more per possession with Deng-Noah/Taj-Omer/Taj than Brewer in those lineups for Deng, but that's a naked hypothesis.

    The ORtg (126.6) is sky high when Korver's w/ the starters, but the DRtg (107.4) leaves too small a margin of error for the high'ish offensive variance that comes with more shooting.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    I guess I'm not sure what your point is. You stated that Korver's no in one of our top +/- lineups which seemed to be an indication that you value +/- in terms of viewing Korver's production.

    If so, then you should value the fact that he has the 2nd highest number in adjusted +/- on the team.

    Whether he fouls more with Brewer or Deng in the backcourt is a diversion from my point which was that if you like +/- the Korver is one of the guys who looks the best on the team. If not, then don't bring up the top 50 +/- rotations as it's somewhat irrelevant.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    1.) I do value his +/- to a degree, but because the variance is so high from lineup to lineup, there's minimized utility in it.

    2.) Because his production is so heavily offensive, the gaps DRtg depending on who's paired with him is highly relevant.

    3.) The limited utility of Korver's individual Adj. +/- to the highly quantifiable side of the ball makes the rating less relevant than eFG%, TS%, and ORtg, which are less dependent on personnel variables being tweaked.

    Those variables are displayed in those units. Without backup help comes the need to foul more. Fouling more limits his time to be on the floor. Shooters having higher variance, his usage suffers too much from pairing him with players that don't minimize his need to foul.

    4.) Thibs has cited Adj. +/- in 3-4-5-man combos often, so whether you agree with his rotations or not, I'm showing you his rationale for much of the season -- maximizing Korver's minutes with Brewer. Since Noah's return, with less advantageous opportunities to put Deng at the four (because it takes minutes away from the other four bigs), we've seen an unresolved conflict in Thibs' decision-making process.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Where are you getting that from? Basketballvalue.com (the usual source of adjusted plus/minus) says it's Deng leading the team in 2 year and Rose leading in 1 year adjusted +/-.

    Or do you mean +/- per 48 (which isn't the same thing as adjusted +/-)?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I was looking at 82games.com net +/-.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    OK, so +/- per 48, makes sense (and more useful than adjusted +/- which is almost pure noise).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Just another reason why I think that the Bulls best balanced lineup, especially against big teams(Lakers, Magic)would be starting Asik at center and Noah at power forward, and either Korver or Brewer at 2 guard.

    When in doubt go big, size does matter, at least in the NBA playoffs.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with Schaumburgfan, starting both Taj and Brewer would be a huge mistake. Putting more pressure on Rose early in the game to score will be detrimental to our 48 minute game plan. We seem to close out games with solid defense when Korver is on the floor, why doesn't Thibs start with the same lineup?

  • In reply to dtorres:

    Note, I didn't actually recommend that either. That's why I'd start Korver, and keep Brewer/Taj for your energy lineup off the bench.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think that you have to go offense defense, Korver and Taj, but not Brewer and Taj, or Brewer and Boozer, but not Korver and Boozer.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    That lineup typically plays a lot of minutes to close 4th quarters, and it doesn't kill them then

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Every team in the league has flaws...there are no perfect teams out there. Does that make every team mediocre?

    Also, last night was obviously a game they should have won, and not to take anything away from the Sixers, but I think the Bulls lost the game more than the Sixers won it. The lack of playing with an edge and too many unforced turnovers were the main culprits last night. Holiday's length troubled Rose at times, but he and the rest of the team didn't cause 10 TO's. If the Bulls played with more intensity, which is something they can control, not the Sixers, I think the game ends up differntly.

    The point here is that every team has flaws and I think the Bulls have won this season on defense and teamwork which helps to hide their flaws. That's what good coaches and teams do, they figure out a way to win with what they have, how to overcome the things they're lacking, and capitalize on their strengths. Despite some flaws, a potentially 60 win team is not mediocre.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    FYI, we could have drafted Holiday one spot before the sixers got him instead of James Johnson. I don't care if he is supposedly a point guard, he was a lottery talent who fell.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    One thing I took away from last night after watching the game in a room full of Sixers fans is how everyone else in the league views the Bulls. Despite a 20 point lead, no one in the room felt comfortable that the Sixers were going to win until there was about a minute and a half left in the game. People fear the Bulls ability to close late in games. I always knew their ability to do that based on how they've played this season, it was just interesting to observe the other team's fans on the edge of their seats with a 12 pt lead in the 4th quarter.

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    Ugly loss, but there's nothing wrong with a little reality check every now and again. I don't think anyone's hitting the panic button over this one. I had a feeling the Sixers would come to play. They were completely embarrassed by the Bulls in their first meeting this year and they haven't forgotten that loss. It was one of the games that made me nervous.
    I can't believe everyone got so bent yesterday for saying the Bulls would be 3rd in the East if they didn't play in the central. I wasn't trying to say the Bulls are "overachieving" or anything equally snarky, just that we've benefited from a crappy division. The numbers:

    vs Central, 13 - 1
    vs West , 21 - 7
    vs the rest of the East, 19 - 12

    DT said it wouldn't matter because the Bulls have a strong record against the top eastern teams, but it's the bottom eastern teams that give us headaches. The Bulls pound the western opponents, pound the central opponents, fare very well against the top eastern teams, but struggle against the Phillys and NJs of the world. So, playing in the central has been good for an extra 2 or 3 wins without which we would be third in the East. So, just be happy the central sucks otherwise the path to the 1 seed would've been harder, that's all I'm saying. No need to cancel the playoff party.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    The problem with your theory is that the Bulls would be playing only 4-5 different games if they played in any other division.

    It's highly, highly unlikely that would make any difference whatsoever. You simply don't play teams in your division considerably more than those out of your division.

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