Dallas gives hope to us all

If the Miami Heat lose to the Dallas Mavericks it won't just be great for everyone who can't stand the Heat, but it will continue to give hope to the rest of us.   When dissecting the Bulls loss to Miami In the playoffs I separate the games into three groups.

Games Chicago won convincingly (1)
Games Miami won convincingly (1)
Games that could have gone either way (3)

The problem, of course, is that Miami won all the games in category three which leads you to ask, could they really have gone either way, or would Miami's closers just consistently own us every year?

I'm sure Utah thought a bunch of its games against Chicago could have gone either way, but Bulls fans knew that with Michael Jordan on the team that wasn't true.   Is it the same thing with Wade/LeBron?

Dallas is one win away from giving us hope

Dirk Nowitzki has put on great performance after great performance as a closer while LeBron and Wade have choked in the clutch.  Quite frankly, if they played this bad down the stretch against Chicago, it would be the Bulls in the NBA finals.

Miami has gone through one of its stretches where they're imploding in front of our eyes, unable to get quality team play at the end, and their superstars are failing to do it in isolation.  

It's been a reminder that these guys are beatable, and while they'll likely have a new set of ring chasers to join them next year, their biggest holes at PG and C aren't ripe with talent looking to win a ring at a discount.

Lets be honest, this Bulls team has plenty of work to do itself

Much like Miami is struggling to find itself now, the Bulls struggled to find themselves for almost the entire playoffs.   They beat Indiana, perhaps the worst team in the playoffs in five games, but it was five games that were far closer than they should have been.

They beat Atlanta, the worst team in the second round, in six games, but there's no reason the Bulls should have taken six games to beat a team of undisciplined shooters and mediocre defenders.

They lost to Miami in five games, losing three in a row (and ultimately four) for the first time this season.  

While I can't call the results of the post-season a disappointment, as an ECF performance is a quality first step for this team which contains virtually all new players, I also can't be that impressed with their performance given the path they had to go through to get there.

Ultimately, we saw the signs of their poor offensive performance all season long even though it rarely bit us in the ass in the regular season.  We saw the team go through stretches where it simply could not score, and we were scared about it. 

In the playoffs, the omens got worse as we struggled to score against teams we should have beaten easily, and Miami ultimately closed us out in five games.  The Bulls are obviously mortal, because they've already been killed.

But Miami is mortal too

However, Miami is now also struggling with the same thing they've struggled with for much of the season.  In the clutch, they can't score through a team effort.   Their isolation offense shuts down, and they aren't able to force easy points through transition.

Miami hasn't been killed yet.  I still feel they can win this thing, as they only have to win two home games in a row, but they look beatable.   Their flaws are real, they didn't go away in the post-season.   It wasn't a mirage built up through strolling through the regular season.

These guys can be beaten next year.

Chicago needs to strike though, because as constructed, they'll continue to be underdogs

Can the current Bulls cast beat Miami?   If the Heat don't figure out how to close games and improve their team play, yes.  Derrick Rose can play much better, the Bulls can shoot much better, and they can win.

However, they'll be underdogs again, and it's going to be tougher to get home court next season when the Heat aren't falling apart early in the season because they don't know how to play together and they're missing both Haslem and Miller.

To win, the Bulls likely need some more help.

Andre Iguodala, Ben Gordon, Monta Ellis, Kevin Martin, O.J. Mayo, Arron Afflalo, Courtney Lee, J.R. Smith, Marcus Thornton, Jason Richardson, etc, etc..

There are a lot of ways to skin the cat; through trade, through S&T, through MLE (assuming the last two still exist).  

Miami needs to clear out the ghosts in their head, Chicago still needs an upgrade in talent to help push them to favorite status.   That upgrade is out there, and there's more than one spot it can come from.  

Sure I can make a case for playing conservatively given the new CBA, but it's so much easier to make the case to make something happen and go for the ring.

Comments

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  • Doug, you are a real heat hater. lol. I like it ! let's go mavs !lol

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Hey guys, a bit off topic, but I just came accross this profile on Charles Jenkins from SI. I know that at least one of you guys has been all over him.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/luke_winn/06/08/nba.draft.williams.jenkins/index.html?eref=twitter_feed

    This guy sounds great on offense, his problem will be lack of size and who can he defend, but it sounds like he could be there late in round one(if the Celts don't snag him ahead of us)and play a role as a rookie.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    that would be me, I'm all over his nuts

    And obviously size is important in this game, but Dallas routinely is trotting out 2 guys at once who fall 6'3" and under, one of them who is about 5'7", and they are beating a Miami team that we should be trying to beat. Plus, Charles has a decent wingspan (6'7.5"), and great physical size, some saying he looks like a linebacker(220 lbs). With Derrick's stout size, both of their quickness', I think you can play them both at once. Plus Jenkins is the perfect combo guard for this team, and can run the offense when Derrick rests, and can make CJ expendable around the deadline once he proves himself in the NBA.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    p.s.

    I like your trick of making an off topic reply to the 1st poster! Works every time.

  • Dallas won 2 of the 3 games at home and I thought it would end up like that. Now just like last year when Boston had a 3 to 2 lead going back to L.A., Dallas is in the exact same situation, they just won 2 straight against the Heat, is it the Heats turn to win 2 straight at home to win the title? I wish I were in Vegas cause I would be willing to bet that's exactly how this series will end up.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And as far as the Bulls go... no they can not beat the Heat as constructed, the Bulls need another scoring option plain and simple. If they go the conservative route as some are suggesting, this Bulls team will be a second round eliminated team for years to come cause let's not forget that the Knicks still are putting their team together and will improve. I agree the Bulls need to make a move soon cause the scoring when needed is terrible and look at how Dallas is getting it done. They know how to score in critical situations. Bulls have a long way to go to get to that type of elite status and the Bulls brass need to send the money to get it done. Will they?... I seriously doubt it!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    correction... the bulls ARE an elite team...given the match up, the Bulls could beat Dallas....some match ups are just hard to do...but Bulls are an elite team....

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I don't know what to make of this series, if LeBron plays like this they'd have struggled to even get past the Celtics. But LeBron has shown in the past he can perform in big games, he took a bad team to the finals in 2007, and in 2009 he put on arguably the best individual playoffs ever (pity his team mates didn't show up or he'd probably still be in Cleveland now). I guess it does show that unless the big 3 are present and firing the Heat aren't that good (as we also saw with the record when any of them are out injured).

    As far as the Bulls are concerned, they're a contended as constructed so any move they make has more downside risk than upside potential. I think conservative is the right way to play it ... make a move only if you're sure it's a clear winner. They have a longer window than the Heat do anyway, so there's really no need to feel like it's next year or bust.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    the future is never given, it is always next year or bust when you are close enough to have a chance.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Amen to that! I'm sure the Magic thought they'd be contending for awhile after their finals loss to the Lakers a couple of years ago.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    The Magic made the type of "to hell with the future, lets shake things up and try to win this thing!" moves that I'm saying are the wrong thing to do. They're the counter-example to my point.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    True that

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Winning next year isn't a given either if you do make a move. Many good teams have made a move they thought would get them to the next level and gotten worse, and ended up screwing themselves now and into the future.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Dallas is laying a blueprint for the Bulls to follow next year: it's important to have guys (plural) that can make shots and spread the floor for Derrick. Offensively, the Mavs have been struggling all series, but at least they had legitimate threats to score at multiple positions. When shots start to fall the defense has to adjust. Chicago didn't have that. It was the same show every time. There's obviously a difference when your primary scorer is an off the ball 7' PF vs an on the ball 6' 3" PG but being able to space the floor has paid dividends with these fourth quarter comebacks. Making shots causes the Heat to have to adjust their defense, exert energy and create doubt which manifests in poor decisions and execution on the offensive end. I guess having 3 of the top-10 3-pt shooters of all-time helps (#3 Kidd, #4. Peja and #8. JET)!

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    would have never guessed that about 3 of top 10 3 point shooters (in terms of makes). Peja hasn't been playing this series much though. And I would not call Kidd a knock down 3 point shooter like the others in the top 10 (reggie, ray allen, chauncey, or even nash)

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    But the Bulls are a very DIFFERENT team than the Mavs. The Bulls are a defensive-oriented team while the Mavs are an offensive-oriented team, as the Bulls have several top NBA defenders on the team (Noah, Deng, Bogans, Brewer, Asik, Gibson - 5 dudes!) while the Mavs have Chandler and Marion only as top defenders, while Kidd and Stevenson are decent at best. BUT the Mavs have several top shooters (Dirk, Barea, Terry, Peja and even Kidd will stick key shots). The Bulls have Deng and Korver as good outside shooters, while Rose is not there yet and Watson is so-so from deep.

    So rather than mimic the Mavs, the Bulls simply need another shooter. ANY of those names that Doug mentioned, such as Mayo or Martin, would be huge for the Bulls, as all of those can play better D than Korver. As much as love that guy, Korver killed us in the Heat series, as he simply could not hit shots that he must make for us to win, especially with him giving so much up on D.

    Meanwhile, perhaps the Bulls saw the best of LeBron James. He's crashed back down to earth, hard, with that horrible looking jump shot combined with mental weakness at the end of games. He played crazy good against our Bulls, hitting some unreal shots, but also low-percentage shots for him. Law of averages say that he will NOT hit those shots next time around.

    Also, D Wade will be one older, as will D Rose. Advantage Bulls!!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Peja is an older Korver. That's why he is not even seeing the floor. You can have all the defense you want, but in this new NBA you have so many good offensive players that you have to play good offense to win.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    "Good defense to win," right? Yes, agree. And the Peja comparison is particularly valid, as both players seem to alternate between clutch and choke! And both are utterly hopeless on D!

    More and more, defensive liabilities do not see the floor. The days of John Paxson starting for a championship team are over.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    I am not saying good defense is not important. It is very important but good offense in the last few minutes with that good defense is what makes playoff studs. Look at Detroit in 00s with the great Wallaces...great defense and ok offense which resulted in only 1 ch'ship.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Hmm, interesting. NY Knicks were also a world-class defensive crew with Riles and Van Gundy, and they won nothing. So good point. And while our Bulls had the doberman defense, it was the big shots by MJ, Paxson, Kerr, Pippen, Kukoc, etc. that won those playoff games. Only game where D closed the game was when MJ picked Malone's pocket.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Hard to believe that the soul of America, all that is good, the very meaning of competitive sports rests in the hands of a German. Only he can save us now.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    LOL go Dirk...go Mavs...go Germany! :-)

    I think we can all agree we need some more offense on the Bulls, other then Deng and Korver shooting 3s and Rose for that matter!
    I'm a big fan of Kevin Martin watching him grown up with the Kings in Sacramento! He can really score in bunches and has good size at 6'7"! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    I think that Houston likes him also.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Agreed Dallas is very balanced and doesn't hurt to have one of the best players in the NBA be an amazing clutch 7 footer! :-)

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Mavericks Better than Bulls

    Mavericks has strengths where the Bulls had weaknesses. We're very good, but the Mavs are showing a template for beating the Heat, at least in 3 games.

    1) Chandler can catch and dunk. Chandler's made a career of this, why can't it be the same for Noah? Can Asik take that role?
    2) Jason Perry (is that his name?). A 6th man who can get his own shot and score most anytime he wants to.
    3) Dirk Nowitzki. A superstar who can get his shot off against the Heat most anytime. The Heat can shut Derrick down in the last 5 minutes with LeBron James. That won't change. But they can't shut down Nowitzki.
    4) Balanced attack. Nowitzki, Barea, Terry, and Chandler all scored in double figures last night. Did I miss anybody?
    5) Cardenal. Who's this white guy taking charges, battling for rebounds, getting a few points, and being a defensive pest? Wade is still hurting from the clean block/charge Cardenal tried to get on Wade. Clean tough basketball.

    I love my Bulls and their defensive heart. The Mavericks are showing what it takes to push the Heat to the brink. Don't know if Mavs will win, but anyone who wants to beat the Heat is taking notes.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    PS: I forgot an old guy who plays pretty good: his name is Jason Kidd.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Exactly. And as good as Nowitzky is, it's guys like Barea and Jason Terry who give them the edge over the Bulls. Miami can shut down a team with only 1 or 2 consistent scorers who do their damage from mid range and closer like Rose and Boozer. All the Heat have to do is clog the lane and force you to beat them from the outside. Chicago can't win consistently shooting from the outside. Dallas can.

    Barea can create off the dribble for himself and his team mates and he can knock down outside shots consistently. So can Terry. Kidd is long past his super star days, but he's a great creator off the dribble and in the last few years he's quietly become a clutch 3 pt shooter. And while the Heat are scrambling to challenge all those outside shooters, they can't help as much when guys like Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler go back door or crash the offensive boards.

    No one stepped up in the playoffs to consistently give Rose the help he needed the way the Mavs are stepping for Nowitzky. Miami just did the same thing to the Bulls that Indiana and Atlanta did. Miami just did it better. It's not working against Dallas because Dallas has all those outside shooters.

    And...well...James is choking in the 4th quarters.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Am I the only one who is starting to fell sorry for LBJ?

    Hear me out please.

    We all know that LBJ was destined for greatness on the Basketball court from a very young age. I would put money on it that all his High School teachers allowed/(were made to allow?) him to pass their class by having others do his work or by not even handing anything in.
    I doubt LBJ has actually made a decision for himself in the last 10-15 years. Others have ruled his life made the decisions for him - "its for the best if you do this....etc". We now know that he had no input in "The Decision" and I'm sure even the script he read on the auto-cue was written by his manipulators (I mean advisors). I don't know the true level of LBJ's intelligence and I doubt he does either as he has never had it tested; but we do know when he is caught off guard and is asked for a quick unscripted answer he is very good at putting his foot in it. I feel sad for LBJ because I truly believe he is 10 year old boy in the body of a 26 year old brilliant basketball player.

    How was he expected to grow as a person when he had every decision made for him?
    How was he expected to grow as a person when he was told from a very young age that he is the next-coming?

    Like most basketball fans I have no problem saying he IS the best basketball player in the NBA at present. But what I now see is the 10 year old boy trying to deal with the enormity of the expectations, the pressure to live up to the proclamations of his greatness; a 10 year old boy who has been forced to live a life not of his choosing but one determined but his "advisors". He has done nothing wrong because he was not allowed to grow emotionally and intellectually from the 10 year old boy to the 26 year old man. I would love to see him turn around to all his "advisors" and tell them to "all go +&%$ yourselves" get on the court and play the way we all know he is capable of; but unfortunately that will not happen because he does not have the maturity to see what his advisors are doing (Stockholm syndrome?) and does not have the ability or skills or experience to make that decision for himself.

    Lebron has not done anything wrong because he is nothing more than a trained circus act for his group of manipulators. And beacuse of that I truly do feel sorry for that 10 year old boy who is too scared to do anything.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    LeBron James and Expectations

    I don't know if I feel sorry for him, perhaps I do.

    The time to break the Mavs was Tuesday night. LeBron had 8 points.

    Last night LeBron had a quiet triple double, and it didn't matter. Heat lost.

    Managing your own expectations and the expectations of others is a tricky thing for superstars.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    You seem to be advocating that LeBron has no free will. Derrick Rose went through similar hurtles, and he didn't come out of it as an egotistical jerk.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    What, you never heard of Emperor Rose?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug,

    "What should I do?"

    haha

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    No way, you are completely wrong. A lot of NBA players have grown up with everybody around them telling they are great. He wears T-shirts which say "check my stats" and "King James" etc...I don't think my pampered son would do that at 10 years. Even a 10 year old has that sense not to be so arrogant. He and Wade are just plain old d-bags and have no respect for ethics who just happen to be good basketball players.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    As Ditka might say, In life it is all about Parenting, Jordan had very good/great ones, most guys don't

  • In reply to BigWay:

    In the end the demise of the US as a great nation will have been caused by the end of good parenting which started with the kids that came of age in the late 60's(the first boomers) and has progressively worsened since.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    +1 mil

    single parent households and more mothers in the work force have certaintly contributed

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I'd agree with you during his Cleveland years. Now he has Dwayne to share the responsibility with. I think the pressure has lessened. If the Heat loose this year, it won't take much for them to convince themselves that next year they'll be better and will win it all. And they should.

    You have to reflect on his actions on and off the court. The dude is in love with himself and the prospect of being "the King". Judging by his actions after every big play and foul called against him, I believe he's one of the most self-absorbed athletes I've ever watched. Maybe it's just the contrast I see between him and Derrick. Just compare the two athletes mothers and you don't have to think about much.
    I also believe LeBron has rubbed off on Dwayne too. I remember how honorable DWade was in 2006 with his demeanor and NBA finals performance. He's changed. The video of him and LeBron mocking Dirk speaks volumes. Wade's now cocky and arrogant just like LeBron. I can tell they want to win not just to be Champions but to say "I told you so America".

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Yes, you are.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Yes, you are the only one who feels sorry for LeBron. The only one in USA and the world - outside of Miami.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I hope you are the only one that feels sorry for him, because I can't think of a legit reason why anyone should.

    At some point adults have to bear the responsibilities of their actions unless they have some kind of mental retardation that prohibits that function. If LeBron couldn't see the potential backlash from "The Decision" then something's wrong with him.

    But I don't think that's the case. I'm sure he and all of his handlers were aware of the potential backlash and didn't care. That's ego. I agree that he's immature, but his immaturity shouldn't be blamed on the people around him. It just takes some people longer to grow up than others.

    Sometimes it takes the trauma of decisions blowing up in one's face to help expedite maturity. LeBron hasn't failed much in his basketball career, and when he has fallen short of expectations in Cleveland there was always the excuse that he didn't have enough help. If Dallas beats Miami, that will no longer be a valid excuse. Maybe that will be the catalyst for some professional maturation on his part. But if they manage to win this series...he'll probably be even worse.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    I think all that's really changed hasn't been about Dallas. It's been about LeBron curling up into a ball while he wets himself in the corner and sucks his thumb in the fourth quarter.

    If he turned into the same shot chucking misser in the Chicago series, we'd be in the finals.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Maybe Deng isn't exactly the defensive stud that everybody wants to think he is. As they say, he is no Shaun Marion.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Deng also didn't make Lebron work as hard on the defensive end, allowing him to rest so he had more energy on offense and at the end of games.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Boozer I don't think will ever fit with Noah cause he is a defensive liability. If anything Gibson should start if the Bulls can get a descent 2 guard and Boozer can be the 6th man to play with the second unit. I know he makes a S#* load of money but he's not living up to it and Thibs need to do what is best for the team.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Going into this series I had the Mavs in 6, stand by it... As for the Bulls, we need to realize that its gonna take some talent to receive some, and there are ways of doing that without screwing yourself over...

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Deng was no Shawn Marion because Thibs never gave him a blow!! He was gassed at the end of games, and LeBron knew it. When he had his legs, he did as good a job on LeBron (making him take tough shots) than anyone.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    EXACTLY!!! With Bulls Bench Mob depth, no one should have been playing more than 38 minutes. Thibs mis-handling the substitutions was a major factor in Bulls inability to finish close games.

    No player can compete against the best in the NBA when they're gassed. It's a simple fact of being human.

    For the record Jordan may not have been human, lol.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Exactly, I said that all through the playoffs, one of the strengths of the team in the regular season was the bench mob depth and shortening the rotation for the playoffs eliminated that key strength/advantage.

    "Jordan may not have been human" ...so true!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, Heat can be beaten and Bulls need improvements to their roster. Thibs couldn't change his roster, but he could have changed the way he used it and Rick Carlisle just showed us how.

    Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle made excellent adjustments responding quickly to matchups and situations, rotating players skillfully. Carlisle was fluid, not stubborn like Thibs. Did everyone notice Carlisle resting Dirk 4 min at the end of the 3rd (his usual rest time?), Chandler early in in the 4th, and others as well? And did you hear announcer Mark Jackson admonish Carlisle saying he should keep his stars/starters on the floor?

    Mark Jackson (and Thibs) were wrong and Rick Carlisle was right. Grinding players into the ground playing all 24 min of 2nd half or all 12 min of 4Q is moronic and a recipie for failure come closing time. You need fresh players to close, not gassed. Hope Thibs learned something, but I doubt it.

  • In reply to Edward:

    He gave all the rest Noah and Boozer needed in the 4th quarter. You can blame a little bit on Thibs of exhausting Deng but Noah/Boozer sucked through-out the series. Look at Chandler not committing too many fouls, having no jumper making an impact. And, I believe the Mavs would have won Game 3 if not for Chandler's tentativeness because he was scared he will foul out with Haywood hurt.
    Carlisle could afford to sit Peja because he has other shot makers and ball creators. I am trying to say Thibs is ready to play anyone if he thinks they will contribute...eg: Asik.
    Overall, even if your point is accurate; the roster was too flawed without competent shot-makers in the closing min.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Anyone should know I was discussing resting Rose and Deng, not Noah and Boozer. Do I need to spell that out for you? I guess so. It was Rose and Deng who Thibs routinely played the entire 2nd half or all of 4th Q and were too gassed to close.

    Rookie Thibs was simplistic in his rotations and his flaws as a head coach were apparent. Yes, Bulls need more scoring on their roster, that is obvious. But with their roster, three of Bulls losses came down to the end and players were gassed in crunch time - particularly Games 4 and 5.

    Whatever scoring Bulls (or any team) do have must be rested to close. Thibs failed to give his closers rest and it cost Bulls at the end of games. Rose could have been rested several minutes in the 2nd half with Watson, just like he was in the 1st halves. That was Thibs decision, not a roster limitation.

    And since you mention Noah, why in Game 5 did Thibs play 38 year old Kurt Thomas the ENTIRE 12 min of 4th Q as well as the end of 3rd? Yes, he was playing well. But why doesn't he give him a blow with Noah for just a few minutes?

    It's stubbornness like this that is perhaps Thibs biggest flaw. Anyone who played ball at any level, even if only HS or college, knows if you're gassed you can't perform. You get beaten because you're tired and your opponent is fresh. It takes talent, effort, ability and desire completely out of the equation. You get beat because your gassed (winded and in oxygen debt) - its a limitation of human physiology.

    Some of us saw that habit of Thibs overplaying Rose and Deng, and the need to rest Rose and Deng in order to withstand Miami's 4th Q surges (which is how they beat Boston), and wrote about it even before the Miami series began. But I doubt Thibs reads this blog, haha.

    But we saw the opposite - skillful rotations - being employed by Rick Carlisle last night. Even as announcer Mark Jackson objected saying Carlisle shouldn't rest his closers. Jackson and Thibs were wrong. Carlisle was right.

    And especially with Rose who carries a bigger burden than anyone on Bulls or Miami, he plays all 24min of 2nd half he blows up, end of story. Carlisle would have rested Rose.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Well, the big problem is both me and you are speculating. It is not a fact. You are beating the same drum. Yes, Thibs could have rested Deng and Rose a little more. Was that the sole reason they lost? Who knows..you think that is exactly the main reason. But, if he didn't play them so much...maybe the Heat would be up by 20 pts before the last 5 mins. The point is everybody needs to contribute and with Noah/Boozer sucking so badly unlike Chandler and other Dallas role players, we never know a rested Rose/Deng could have made such a big difference. Deng with rest still probably doesn't dribble better and Rose with rest still could still make the same turnovers and blocked by 2/3 defenders causing him to panic.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Schaumburgfan, Noah didn't suck, he never got a chance to be the player he was. Thibs killed his spirit. It seems he instructed Noah to favor the pass instead of trying to get into the flow offensively. Then he benched him, as if Noah was a liability. Before Thibs got here Noah's value to this team was a proven matter. Even Vinnie Del Negro wasn't as criminally bad to Noah as we saw from Thibs in this post season. I hope Jerry Reinsdorf and Gar/Pax reads this and look into it because if they don't all their efforts will be in vain.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Playing devil's advocate here, but if Korver had been shooting better and wasn't a complete liability on D, or if Brewer was a better scorer, maybe Deng could sit longer. When CJ plays at a high level Thibs usually leaves him in the game longer specifically to give Rose more rest. When CJ doesn't play at a high level Rose has to go back in to keep the game within striking distance.

    Again, playing devil's advocate, one could make the argument that had Deng and Rose been rested more the games might not have been as close down the stretch as they were. If Rose and Deng sat more, would the Bulls have even had leads to protect in the 2nd half of games or would they have been struggling to play catch-up?

    I have a feeling that if CJ was a clutch as Jason Terry, Rose would get a lot more rest. Sometimes you get beaten simply because the other team is better.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Edward you had the guts to ask some very important questions which go to the core of Thibs' stubborness and shortcomings as a head coach. The issue of his handling of Noah, a player who has shown, like in the Celtics series and against Cleveland in Cleveland in a hostile envirnoment in the past, is near criminal and deserves real answers. I don't care who thought this guy was a great coach, but this Bulls post season needs real honest answers. I think this guy (Thibs) killed a great season of Bulls basketball.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    KEVIN MARTIN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aRoptYilkY

    I think anyone but Rose (obviously), Houston is over the tax by about $2M, so any deal we make that can get them under the the tax would save them double plus we can absorb an extra $3M before July 1, so if they want to dump a bad contract on us we can do that too. Plus we can give them the Charlotte pick.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=455cgaa

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yes, overplaying Rose and Deng haunted the Bulls in the 4th Quarter. No doubt about it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, you are ONE of the FEW Bulls fans who can SEE THROUGH our playoff success! What are the chances we play Indiana and Atlanta in the first 2 rounds next season? I'll say this, they better come back with a better team or we will be knocked out before the ECF next season, assuming there is a next season! LOL

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    The biggest differences between the MAVS and the Bulls are:
    1. The Mavs are mentally tougher and do not panic compared to the Bulls.
    2. They have a bunch of ball handlers who can make a shot(Barea, Nowitzki, Terry, Kidd) while the Bulls had just Rose. And Rose is a probably a bad shooter maybe except for Kidd. This is the biggest difference. The Heat do not know who will start taking it inside and dish it to somebody else and when it will happen. This suspense can screw any great defense plus having a bigger and better shot-maker Rose i.e. Nowitzki.
    3. The other thing was Deng's defense. Thibs literally killed Rose and Deng by playing them so many minutes in meaningless games and situations. They didn't have the energy to play hard in the last few minutes against LeBron/Wade and LeBron gained confidence as the series went on. Now, it is the opposite way with LeBron(no confidence) because there is a un-tired defender on him in the last few minutes.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agree on the three points above. Especially #2. The failure of Korver and Boozer to make a difference against the Heat was critical. Scoring is what they are there for. Right?Otherwise they are liabilities. Made it a lot easier to gang up on Rose.

    Also, I hate to say this but Chandler has showed more grit, toughness and skill than Noah did. I did not like Tyson with the Bulls and was glad to see him go. He has matured into a difffence maker, however. Let's hope Noah also becomes more effective.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I have always liked Chandler hated to see him dumped for the big Bum. He's got 2 maybe more inches on Noah, Noah would be a beast at over 7' rather than 6'10.5".

    He is the only Mavs player that I am rooting for, even though I want the Mavs to beat the Heat no matter what.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    In your long list of players available, you missed four who are actually available (you know, for real free agents) who could potentially help the Bulls.

    For shot creator/second guard both Delonte West and Jamal Crawford fit the bill nicely, though each has their shortcomings. West could probably be had on the cheap (LLE if still available) while Crawford may be priced out of the Bulls range (but if you believe Iggy is a possibility, then anything's possible!).

    For the wing defender/spot up three guy both Shane Battier and DeShawn Stevenson will be free agents. I like either guy as an upgrade to the Keith Bogans' role, even if the team keeps Bogans.

    Its unlikely they could sign more than two players this offseason, so I would hope for one from each category (West & Battier for example).

  • In reply to Dionysus:

    Battier plays Deng's position, so that's a lot of $$$ for a back-up. We need a 2, not a 3. I love his clutch shooting, but the Bulls couldn't go with Rose, Deng, Battier, Gibson, Noah on the floor at the end.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    "Chandler showed more grit, toughness and skill than Noah." Is this statement a joke? Chandler with the bad hands, soft and many other shortcomings that caused Bulls fans like johnfriendly to run him out of Chicago as a BUST? The Tyson Chandler whom Scott Skiles couldn't stand? I can't stop myself from laughing!

    But so much for that form of hilarity. There is a circus-like shadow that will doom the Chicago Bulls as long as that dark presence exists.

    As long as Jerry Reinsdorf continues to give what I would term "His children," Ron Adams, Adrian Griffin and Ed Pinckney, positions of any influence on this promising Chicago Bulls team, it will not reach its full potential. These guys are merely drawing a paycheck, stealing money.

    Ron Adams is a mystery. Check his resume. He doesn't like Joakim Noah and, not surprising, Noah can't stand him! When you have a supposed coach mocking your jump shot and carrying that disrespect to the media by labeling it the "Tornado," then that coach has overstepped his bounds as a member of the coaching staff. No wonder when he tried to get Noah's attention during a disagreement, Noah told him to take a hike!

    Adrian Griffin is another joke! This guy was a scrub his entire career, the quintessential journeyman and, may I add, troublemaker posing as a team guy. Trash Griffin went undrafted out of Seton Hall University and spent nearly four years in Italy before a team in the NBA gave him a break. The Rockets, Bulls, Mavericks, Supersonics and Celtics all gave him a shot before tiring of him in his well-traveled career. But he was also a troublemaker b ecause when he was with the Bulls in the dying stages of his career, he was the chief architect of a group that included Ben Wallace that proposed and executed a suspension of Noah on some nonsense! Noah hates him and he's an assistant coach on this Bulls team in 2011.
    The other assistant coach is Ed Pinckney. Again well taveled and hailing from the Bronx in New York. He's best known for being part of that Villanova team that pulled off the miracle win for the late Jim Valvano over Patrick Ewing's Georgetown monster team in the 1985 NCAA final. I don't know what his role is on the Bulls, but he's part of the coaching staff.
    I would like that bench of assistants dumped and replaced with real assistant coaches. Maybe that gang was partly responsible for the bizarre decisions coach Thibs made with the Bulls in the post season, especially against the Miami Heat when he completely lost Joakim Noah by banishing him on the bench in the 4th quarter of the crucial series against Miami. THE INMATES SEEM TO BE RUNNING THE ASYLUM!

  • In reply to Normie:

    Rollie Massimino, not "Ed Pinckney."
    Doesn't matter, both are Italians who won NCAA titles when were rank underdogs.

  • In reply to Normie:

    I messed up again. Rollie Massimino not "Jim Valvano."

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Leandro Barbosa anyone?

  • In reply to BullsFTW:

    I wanted Barbosa for this years Bulls team, but he made $7+ million. Don't know his contract situation for the upcoming season, but I think he is a freeagent. I think that he is still fast as hell.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I'm all for the Bulls getting another consistent outside shooting threat or another guy that can create a shots for himself or his teammates to take some of that pressure of Rose. The key is not to give up too much defense and rebounding to get it. They have to find that balance.

    A lot of suggested trades have the Bulls giving up too much defense and rebounding for players that aren't good enough to offset that loss. Thibs is a defensive genius but that only goes so far. The Bulls already have 2 consistent defensive liabilities in Korver and Boozer. Unless one of them is included in a trade to upgrade scoring at the 2, they simply can't afford a 3rd defensive liability.

    Many still think of Dallas as "Allas (no D)" but that's not the case anymore. They were top 10 in points allowed and opponents' field goal percentage - both key defensive team stats. They aren't up there in Chicago, Miami, and Boston territory defensively but they play good enough defense to compliment their offense, which just missed the top 10 in ppg.

    I always say: "BALANCE wins championships." If Dallas wins, that will be why... Well...that and James choking in the 4th quarters. Wish he would've played like that in the ECF.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Andre Iguodala accomplishes that.

    I do think you'd move Korver in any trade needing expiring deals rather than Brewer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Don't necessarily disagree, but that would leave us with zero 3 point threats, as Iggy will jack them, but doesn't scare anybody.

    Overall Korver dissappointed, but even when he couldn't buy a basket, I got all excited and expected a make everytime he shot. I was hoping for Steve Kerr, but we got, I don't know Trent Tucker.

    Maybe Anthony Morrow would work better for us than he did for Jersey.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I thought that Brewer/Korver were given 3 year deals, how are they expirings? Is there a TO on the 3rd year?

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Yes, third year is non-guaranteed for Watson, Brewer, Korver (but Korver has about a $500,000 buyout for that 3rd year). So in the coming season (the 2nd) they are expiring contracts if the team doesn't exercise the option.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The bottom line is Rose did not perform anywhere near as well as Dirk has, and Dallas's role players have played their roles better than ours did.

    Obviously, it was never a viable option, but we all would have crapped in our pants if we had been able to get Dirk last summer.

    Had that been an option, we beat Miami. Hell, had Boozer repeated most if not all of his past playoff performances at just he offensive end we probably beat them.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think you nailed it right there..."Dallas's role players have played their roles better than ours did." Sure at Dirk's height and with his release, he'll have an easier time getting a shot off than Rose against a swarming D. The difference is that Miami didn' have to honor Chicago's role players cause they weren't making shots so Derrick had no room to operate. Dirk has more room cause they have to honor the other guys that Dallas has on the court.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    This sounds crazy when you look at his great career stats, but I've gotten the impression over the years that LeBron's coaches haven't quite known what to do with him. Is he a PG, SG, SF, "Point Forward" or "Combo Guard"? It seems one of his coaches and/or GM's would have figured this out by now. Magic, even at 6'9", was a true PG. Jordan was a pure SG. Dr. J was a pure SF. That made it easier for their respective teams to build and play around them.

    If James is a combo guard, put him at one of the guard positions and put someone else at the 3. If he's a "point forward" in the vein of Scottie Pippen, put a pure shooter at PG. In either scenario - because James isn't a pure PG but still an outstanding passer - run an offense that doesn't require a true PG (the triangle or something like it). No one has done that with him yet.

    I'm not letting James off the hook. Jon Barry made a great point last night. LeBron doesn't play well off the ball and he doesn't post up nearly as well as a 6'8", 250+ pound scorer should. He should be abusing wings in the post on a regular basis or moving without the ball and making catches on the run to attack the rim or hit pull-up jumpers. It's absolutely his fault for not improving those aspects of his game over the years.

    When he's not running isos at the top of the key he's almost a non factor on offense. Is it because his coaches haven't tried to make him expand his game or because he's too hardheaded to do it? It wasn't quite as evident in Cleveland because he always had the ball. It's become more evident since he's had to share the ball with Wade. As versatile as he is, he's still not a complete player and that's been exposed when he goes deep into the playoffs.

    If LeBron played with a good enough PG to justify him playing off the ball more, and for a coach with the stones to push him into a somewhat more defined role, LeBron could really master the point or small forward position and maximize his abilities instead of being a jack of all trades that has habitually failed to live up to hype when it matters the most.

  • In reply to magestew:

    they would be a better team if they brought in another wind to the starting lineup, played LeBron at PG mostly, as he seems to have that mentality, and ability. Mismatch galore. The opposition would likely have their PG on Wade most of the game. I'd use a lot of lineups with Bosh at 3, plus 2 more big guys as well. Haslem at the 4, Anthony @ C. Or if you want a shooter, Miller in for Joel or Haslem.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    another wing, sorry

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I totally agree. If LeBron played PG and Miller or Jones played the 3, opposing defenses would be at an even greater disadvantage. Like you said, their PG would have to play Wade and Wade would have a greater size and strength advantage. Miller/Jones would mostly be defended by shorter SGs that wouldn't have the length to challenge their jump shots or - in Miller's case - keep him off the boards. They did that successfully against the Bulls, in fact.

  • In reply to magestew:

    But again, LeBron may be a willing and outstanding passer, but he's not a true PG the Magic was. They'd still have to run more of a ball-sharing offense and not the traditional PG dominated sets that they always try to run with him.

  • In reply to magestew:

    For all the talk about LeBron being more of a PG, he is more like Rose a shoot first PG. All his passes are more like he sees somebody slashing and he delivers a great pass or when he is double-teamed, he passes. But, it is not like he goes around dribbling near the basket to get everyone inside and then passes to an open shooter. I also think it is that Cleveland ISO system is not easy to dump for him. It is like the Golden State system for some players who go to other teams.
    I guess giving him a stable/simple plan of asking him to be a PG and that's it might help him a lot more to show a few of his strengths rather than trying to jump from one strength(passing) to ISO(dribbling) to jump-shooting all with the best defenders draped over him.

  • In reply to magestew:

    You might be right in all your comments but the shots he made(3 pointers) against the Bulls/Celtics doesn't seem to go in now. Either it is because he is out of rhythm or he is scared of the "finals" or he is getting deflated as Dallas seem to keep making some clutch shots which the Bulls/Celtics didn't do at the end or he is being really exposed by a good team(Boston was old,hurt,done...Bulls were inexperienced, went into panic mode, no offense except a 6-2 PG who struggled to make good passes)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It wasn't just Rose though... We had Korver out there for stretches hoping he could hit some shots, and he didn't... We elected to go without Boozer and Noah in stretches in favor of Gibson and Asik, which made our offense dreadful... I still say a Boozer/Bogans Deng for Lee/Ellis/Wright trade makes so much sense... Lee is younger, and while not a premier defender he shows effort... Wright is a lights out shooter, and Ellis is Ellis... I feel like this trade would add to our versatility and depth without compromising our defensive bigs...

  • In reply to RC360:

    I also feel at this point that Courtney Lee isn't a significant upgrade, neither us Anthony Parker... Mayo would be solid, BG would be too, but not solve our starting issue... Iggy would be great too, but it doesn't look like he'll be salary dumped, and he's more small forward than shooting guard...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    That's what I can't figure out. If James attacked Dallas in the 4th quarters the way he attacked the Bulls, this series would be over. And Dallas isn't doing anything special to stop him. Sure, Dallas has several players hitting a lot clutch shots (unlike the Bulls), but James just isn't attacking them on offense at clutch time. It's like he had a chip on his shoulder against Boston and Chicago that just isn't there now.

  • In reply to magestew:

    He is so hated, I read that almost all other teams are giving tips to Dallas on how to play them. I don't know if they did this against MJ's Bulls. He is also a "bully" type of player. He knows Rose is small, Boston is old and maybe him/Riley have figured out Thibs's defense but this is a new beast/new scheme/new players and he can't dominate.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Let's not forget to give credit to the Mavs D... I think that Tyson and Haywood have done well inside... Marion, Stevenson and Kidd have done a great job on the perimeter... And yes, they put pressure on the Heat by hitting big time shots... Ultimately, Dallas has a much more well rounded team than the Bulls, and certainly the Heat... If the big 3 don't go for at least 25ppg each, the Heat will lose...

  • In reply to RC360:

    Lebron has to play more defense now against the Mavs because of their PERIMETER scoring, that's the difference between Lebron's game against the Bulls and his game against the Mavs. The Mavs are playing some good defense Lebron which is why Deng's defense on Lebron was over rated. Deng in my opinion should still be used as trade bait as long as the Bulls can get a small forward in return. The Bulls will have to give up some talent in order to get some talent back. Alot of fans have fell in Love with Deng from this past season, but he is still a player that can't create his own shot and has disappearing moments in critical situations at times. He would definitely be used as trade bait along with a draft pick,or a player or two to bring in a couple of offensive minded players that can score and create their own shots.

  • In reply to RC360:

    I doubt Portland would go for this, but who knows. I would love to keep Asik but I'd give him up for this guy. Portland could use a young big to play with Aldridge since Oden seems to be going no where and they could also use the cap space.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3tocwag

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Matthews is good, but the Bulls will look for more of an impact player to give up Asik...

  • In reply to RC360:

    I think Matthews could provide more impact than you might think. Also, we can't give away Asik for nothing, but we all hammer GarPaxDorf for overvaluing our guys, and I think a lot of Bulls fans are doing that right now. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but most other teams aren't valuing him as much as we do right now. Also, unless Noah is on the trade block, getting a very good SG like Matthews for Asik could be worth it. Just my opinion though.

  • In reply to RC360:

    What we don't realize is that LeBron and the Heat has lucked out a lot until now. They didn't meet a team with a true superstar in his prime(Rose is too young). MJ always had to fight superstars in their prime(Barkley, Malone, Ewing etc..).
    With the comments from Reinsdorf that Bogans is the issue(paraphrasing), the Bulls will definitely get over this hurdle. I am sure Rose is learning from this series.

  • In reply to RC360:

    After watching Wade and Le robin mock Dirk having a cold, it just shows how much of a follower Lebron really is. The whole act was like Wade started making fun first, then he looked back at Lebron to see if he was going to follow and sure enough... Le robin followed right behind in mocking Dirk having a cold. This is a team that doesn't deserve to win a championship this year because of one person... LEBRON. This guy needs to be humbled even more imo and no one should feel sorry for him. He's not a leader, he has no heart to even help his team in the forth qtr. and he has scored only 11 points in the forth qtr. over the 5 games in the finals. Why people are making excuses for him is absolutely ridiculous. He's suppose to be the superstar and he can't come through in the Finals says this guy although talented, is over rated and over hyped. This is the Mavs series to lose. I know it will probably go 7 games with Miami probably winning but this Heat team nor their awfuk fans deserve nothing. So here's to hoping the Mavs can win their first championship... I know its not going to be easy.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Seeing the Bulls want to unload CBooz, would a David Lee for Carlos Boozer trade make sense? GSW gets a low post scorer that can at times command a double team. Also remember how CBooz lit up GS in the 2007 playoffs. Im sure they didnt forget. The Bulls get a hard nose PF who can step outside and hit mid range jumpers. Plus didnt Lee play with Noah in college. You can never question Lee's effort.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Bulls missed their chance at Wesley Matthews. In a case of poor talent evaluation, the Bulls with nearly $30 million in cap space, tended an offer sheet to JJ Redick, then Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. Bulls didn't make an offer to Wesley Matthews - they could have gotten him for nothing, just cap space.

    Now you want to give away a bright young 7'1 center? Bulls missed on Matthews and need to do their homework much better this off season.

  • In reply to magestew:

    True douchebags

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-lebron-wade-mock-nowitzkis-illness-20110610,0,5393495.htmlstory

  • In reply to magestew:

    Lebron has to play more defense now against the Mavs because of their PERIMETER scoring, that's the difference between Lebron's game against the Bulls and his game against the Mavs. The Mavs are playing some good defense Lebron which is why Deng's defense on Lebron was over rated. Deng in my opinion should still be used as trade bait as long as the Bulls can get a small forward in return. The Bulls will have to give up some talent in order to get some talent back. Alot of fans have fell in Love with Deng from this past season, but he is still a player that can't create his own shot and has disappearing moments in critical situations at times. He would definitely be used as trade bait along with a draft pick,or a player or two to bring in a couple of offensive minded players that can score and create their own shots.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Completely Agree. Korver has shown he cannot complete deep in the playoffs - he is simple overmatched. He's far too one-dimensional on offense, and a one-way player defensive liability.

    Brewer has shown he can complete deep in the playoffs, and while not a scorer he does have a knack for finding some points.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree about Igoudala. You do lose some 3pt shooting if you include Korver in a trade for him, but if Korver can't hit the 3's when they count the most, to hell with him.

    I'd take Iggy's defense, superior passing (superior to Korver's passing), and ability to get to the rim and draw fouls over a one dimensional shooter who's a complete liability when his shot isn't falling.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I hope everyone now understands why at the beginning of the season I was preaching that this Bulls team needed more perimeter scoring cause once the playoffs started that it would make an enormous difference. The adjustments that are made in the playoffs are are very critical and teams have to be mentally strong to be able to adjust to those adjustments. Defense is a very big part of winning championships but a team has to have the right players, mentally and physically strong enough on the offensive side of the ball to get the job done. Lebron has the physical means to get the job done but he hasn't quite developed the mental aspect to do what his body is capable of doing. The Bulls imo just need the right players on the offensive side of the ball and their mental ability will be there. This is why I say a player like J.R. Smith would help the Bulls, he has the physical attributes that the Bulls need. I didn't agree with Monta Ellis but if the Bulls can get him without giving up a starter, then I'm all in cause he can be used as a spark player just like J.J. Barrea. Ben Gordan, I don't know if he still has that killer instinct wasting away on the bench in Detroit. And Iguodala I think Philly wants to get some sort of good player for him so I don't look for the Bulls to get anything from a deal with the Sixers. Bottom line tho... like I said at the beginning of the season, the Bulls need better perimeter scorers and u still don't like Boozer playing along side of Noah. They do not fit together on the court and that has been the case since he came back from missing 20 games at the start of the season when fans were giving me crap about letting him get use to the team. It was just I saw something after his first few games back that he was affecting Noah's game. Boozer is not the rightful for the Bulls and it looks like they will be stuck with him. I'm hoping after the CBA is decided that the Bull brass do all they can to get the players that they need to get this team to a championship level cause right now no matter how many fans say they are close to winning a championship, the Bulls still need some offensive pieces to be considered as contenders.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think with enough work Booze and Noah could work together. Both are good interior passers. They could stay out of each other's way because Booze can knock down the mid-range jumper - and Noah could, too, before he messed up his thumb. I think the Tornado will be back next season.

    But I totally agree that no matter what else happens, the Bulls need better outside shooting. But if they can't find that pure (and CLUTCH) long range shooter, someone like Iggy or Monta Ellis would be a serious upgrade if they get either without giving up too much defense and rebounding in return.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Boozer I don't think will ever fit with Noah cause he is a defensive liability. If anything Gibson should start if the Bulls can get a descent 2 guard and Boozer can be the 6th man to play with the second unit. I know he makes a S#* load of money but he's not living up to it and Thibs need to do what is best for the team.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I meant they could fit together on the offensive end. When I think "Boozer" defense is the furthest thing from my mind.

    As far as offense goes, This post season was an aberration for Boozer. Like an earlier poster said, if he had just matched his playoff scoring average the Bulls would have won the series. I'd like to know why Boozer's scoring fell off so badly. Was he hurt more than anyone's admitting? Did D. Will make him look a lot better than D. Rose could? Did he just choke?

  • In reply to magestew:

    I don't think any team will win an NBA championship with Boozer as its starting power forward. He is an incredible defensive liability (unlike any I recall seeing),is undersized for a PF, and is not a closing scorer either.

    Along with Korver, and the earlier JJ Redick offer sheet, Bulls talent evaluation was a little off. As it turns out, Wesley Matthews was the valuable FA player on Utah's roster. Let's hope for something better this year.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Reesel, good point about Boozer. I think he's what can best be described as a parasitic player. He just focuses on grabbing rebounds which would make his stats look good at the end of the game. At the same time he lags back on defence, has no interest in positioning himself and being alert for recovery when on defence. He always has to be helped by Noah because he's a revolving door for any player he's assigned.

    I saw coach K at the game in Atlanta and sitting courtside he had a look on his face that seemed to say, NOW YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHY HE (Boozer) ENDED UP BEING A SECOND ROUND DRAFT PICK. He plays no defence and never even attempted to.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Good points.

    1. Bulls showed way too much panic, especially the leader Rose. This will not continue. He will take the next step. Meanwhile, the Mavs are loaded with clutch veterans: Kidd, Dirk, Marion and Chandler. Will the Bulls ever anyone outside of Rose or Deng to hit shots at the end? I dont' think we can count on Booz.

    2. Penetration. Yes, Bulls have no one outside of Rose and Watson for this, and CJ is no JJ (Barea). Must find 2 guard who can take it inside.

    3. Spot on: Too many minutes by Rose and Deng. If fresh defenders are on James and Wade, they are slowed down. The Bogans/Brewer tag team on Wade was very effective, but Deng was pretty much left alone to guard LeBron all game long. He did well for most of the game, but both players played nearly the entire game. Guess who wins between an equally tired offensive player and defensive player? The more talented one!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    We all talk about Rose's BB IQ. I think that has to improve a little bit(I think it will with experience).
    We kept hearing the talk about he has seen everything possible in the reg season and he made adjustments. But, I doubt teams adjusted so much to his strengths and weaknesses in the reg season as his game exploded this year. They did adjust during the playoffs. I think Rose has to become a lot smarter on how he attacks defenses for the Bulls to be great. And we cannot just assume he will next year. It might take him a couple of more years to do that.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    I do believe if LBJ from the Chicago series had turned up for the Dallas series the Heat would have their rings already. The Heat played against two of the best defensive teams to make the Final and Dallas and Defence are not two word you normally put positively in the same sentence so why are the Heat failing? LBJ.

    Dallas has a lot more offensive options than the Bulls and in particular their closing line-up. I believe that the Bulls were beat by Miami's defence being able to concerntrate on only 2-3 of the Bulls on the offensive end so the Heat's swarming fast recovery defence just overwhelmed the Bulls offence. Dallas can make shots; and when they do that the Heat (and esp LBJ) have struggled to compete on the offensive end to match what the Mavs have done. That's why the Bulls need to get rid of Korver and find a better 2 way player for those closing minutes against the best teams. In the regular season few teams bring the intensity that the Pacers and Heat brought in the playoffs so KK could always be hidden (ref to Peja above is so so accurate!!). With the need to hide Booz at crunch time on defence you cannot play 5 on 3 defensively just so you have some offece other than Derrick.

    It would be great to be able to change the line on the move like in NHL but I can't see that happening; so Bulls MUST re-assess the make-up of the squad so that the closers (last 5 mins of the game) are more 2-way players or at most you are only having to hide one player on offence or defence. We all know the easy solution is the SG spot. If we have 2 way players in Derrick, SG, and Luol we can have Booz and JoNo on at the same time as they will be covering for each other. We all love to see Taj and Omer together but having $25million a season sitting on the bench at the most important part of the game is NOT what should be happening.

    I hope now Thib's first season is over GarPax can see the strengths and weaknesses in the squad (and Thib's system) so we can adjust and move forward as a better team.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    It is a combination of the roster and Thibs's schemes in a way. Thibs is handicapped having to play Korver for long stretches when Carlisle even with half of his team banged up and old,can afford to sit Peja. Thibs also can use a little bit of the spacing to bit the double-teams as Dallas did.

    Also, do you think it is LBJ's mental make-up which is an issue here. Dallas's guys were so quiet and didn't call out Kobe, Durant or anyone else. But, suddenly Stevenson, Terry are messing with LeBron. Where was Noah's mouth when we needed that?

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    There is a big difference between beating a good team once and beating a team 4 out of 7. The bulls were the best in the league at winning one game. The next step is learning how to win 4 out of 7. It takes a different kind of mindset that the bulls need to develop collectively. To win a series a team needs to be able to react to what the other team is doing with greater focus because the other team is going to be more and more adept at defeating the basic schemes a team has been running all season. The bulls struggled with Indiana and Atlanta because they weren't prepared for the change. And they lost to Miami because they didn't adapt.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Hey Doug you see this
    http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2011/6/10/2216819/james-and-wade-apparently-mock-dirk-before-game-5-of-the-nba-finals
    As if you need another reason not to like these guys.

  • In reply to dldjr:

    Karma is a bitch....That's why Wade's bum was hurt after this video. That is what they don't understand. It is more than their game....it is their personalities, whining. Hopefully, the referees are also turning against them because they are humans and are sick of their whining.

  • In reply to dldjr:

    I believe when Dallas made that came back to win GM 4 (I think?) that really broke the spirit of the Heat. I believe Dallas will close this out in MIA Sunday.

    Also, have you guys heard about Leandro Barboso declining his option and going to play in Brazil cause of the lockout? I thought he would've been nice to add on earlier in the year, but I wonder what kind of effect the lockout will have on some other players in the coming weeks.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    he could be an option in 2012 maybe, depending on his contract there, or whenever it ends

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I am in Vegas, but those are my sentiments exactly, luckily I do not gamble at all.

    I didn't have Dallas making the finals, so hopefully I will be wrong again, and they find a way to win one in Miami.

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