Derrick Rose MVPs the Lakers

Derrick Rose MVPs the Lakers

Santa wears red. Perhaps that's why Bulls fans got a parting gift from the officials when they didn't call a travel on Luol Deng at the end of the game when he jumped, clearly landed, and passed the ball away a moment too late.

After getting that lucky break from the officials, Derrick Rose went on to MVP the Lakers, as the Bulls pulled out an incredible comeback win, down 6 with 54 seconds to go.

The Bulls new look offense

Chicago looked to move away from the Derrick Rose run around like a freaking nut for 20 seconds through double and triple teams to try and score offense to a more team oriented offense. Rose didn't control the ball as much, moving it along far more frequently than last year.

In fact, he only took 13 shots on the night, but he knocked down nine of them to score 22 on those 13 shots giving him an incredibly efficient performance. Rose knocked down four of six from beyond the arc, and also knocked down the game winner when he connected on a seven foot push shot over Pau Gasol with around five seconds remaining.

A bucket of ice water has been dumped on the Rip Hamilton train

I'm excited about Hamilton, but in reading things like Sam Smith's column where he proclaims Hamilton the best all around SG the Bulls have had since Jordan, I have to think the love train with him might be getting carried away after one strong preseason game.

Hamilton scored six points on eight shots with three assists, two rebounds, and five fouls. I'll give him a pass on the fouls, at least three of the fine were largely BS touch fouls that normally wouldn't be called and certainly aren't typically called on a guy already in foul trouble.

However, the rest of the night underscored the general fears I've had with Rip. Inefficient offense built around shooting long twos. He did have his share of nice defensive plays, and he still created plenty of pressure on the opposing defense with his movement and threat to score, but the end results were generally ineffectual this afternoon.

Luol Deng came through when it mattered

Deng had a rough game offensively for large portions of this one. He eventually finished 7/19, but was shooting even worse for much of the game. However he scored five of the Bulls final seven points in the last 54 seconds and blocked Kobe's game winning attempt at the end of the game.

For a guy frequently ripped for not showing up in the fourth quarter, Deng certainly delivered big at the end of this game.

I also loved Deng's defense on Kobe the times he was matched up on him. Kobe hit some incredible shots in this game, but the Bulls generally did an outstanding job of forcing him into tough shots.

Solid play by the front court

Carlos Boozer looked very solid offensively on the night. He only scored 15, but he didn't disrupt the offense in the game to do so, and hit over half his shots. Nice work by Carlos. Joakim played a bit better than his stat line, as many of his misses were tips shot that weren't legit shot attempts.

Both players were in foul trouble, but much like Hamilton, they both had a few tough calls go against them.

I liked Asik's defense and rebounding off the bench as well, but Taj didn't have one of his better games.

A quick shout out to CJ

At a point where the game was potentially going to get away from Chicago in the second quarter, CJ came in with the bench mob and really keyed the Bulls offense to bring them back into the game. His second stint wasn't as good, but overall, a nice performance by CJ tonight.

Fist impressions

The Bulls defense generally performed at a high level. Kobe went off a bit, but he's Kobe Bryant, so that will happen when he's dialed in. Even though the scored a ton, the Bulls forced him into well defended, tough shots, and plenty of turnovers.

The offense looked improved as well. The overall shooting percentage was low, but the Bulls had plenty of quality looks that they missed. I felt good about the move away from Rose having to do everything on the floor. There are times when the Bulls will need Rose to carry them, but it's best they try not to make it all the time.

The adjustment Rose made to fit into this offense also underscores the trust he has in his teammates and shows [as if there were any doubt] that he's an unselfish player who will shoot as much as his team needs him to, but is also willing to cede shots.

All in all, an impressive way to kick off the season, the Bulls get a road win against one of the toughest teams in the NBA. I was hoping for a more dominant performance from the Bulls, but I'll take road wins against an elite team any day.

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  • I thought the Bulls played pretty poor tonight. Nice to see Derrick pick his spots instead of forcing, showing a lot of maturity on his end. Rip will be fine, he really was screwed by the refs on many occasions, and it through him off his game. Boozer was solid, but missed a lot of FT's, as usual. Noah really needs to pick it up offensively, his shooting percentage since hurting his thumb is pathetic, considering he only shoots from inside the paint! I still think the Bulls need another offensive weapon off the bench. CJ Watson is not the answer IMO - I hope the Bulls look to package CJ with Korver for a real scoring guard to come off the bench and lead the 2nd unit offensively. As good as the benchmob is defensively, they really are pretty inept on the offenive end. Overall, nice to see them pull out a win, even if they played poorly. Nothing like a classic Bulls scoring drought to start the season. But all things considered, they played hard and pulled the game out, which is all that matters.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    We have been needing that for a while .. Taj is a really good sixth man but cant carry a stretch offensively and watsons decision making on when or how to shoot and pass is a problem when no one else on our bench can score for themselves.. And korver is really only playing at this point for us because jimmy butler is a rookie thibs clearly hates him and boozer playing big chunks of the game especially when it matters

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Who is giving you a real scoring guard for CJ and Korver?

    Also, that scoring guard needs to play PG, because the Bulls don't have another PG behind Rose. Seems like a pipe dream to me.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug: I agree that CJ Watson + Korver will not produce adequate offense in the 2nd unit. What type of trade package would be needed to acquire Luke Ridnour from the Timberwolves....high basketball iq with a stealth shooting touch? Yes, he is being shopped! Tx, C

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    the answer is nobody, which is why i laugh when people mention trading c.j. and especially korver. the bulls couldnt give korver away free if they wanted to and as for c.j., he's just fine backing up the reigning mvp. what the bulls need is "a real scoring guard" at the starting 2 guard spot, not the backup pg spot.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    what about Mayo when Memphis figures out the can't afford to pay him?

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Derrick Rose, the version we knew from 2011 didn't show up to play yesterday. No driving, all shooting...until the end.

    I elaborate here:

  • Until the 3rd quarter, I thought the bulls were going to win the game. It was so strange to see them go down with the bench mob in the 3rd quarters/early 4rth. They were a thing of beauty in the last 3-4 minutes.

  • You would think that the teams second highest paid player would be on the floor when it matters..

    If thibs cant trust his 2nd best player to make a play then you might as well trade em.. They should never be a case where a backup is in the game over one of your best players if the guy has no issue physically or in foul trouble. We just cant pay a guy that much and have him take up that much cap and be content with avg to above average performances..

    Merry christmas dougie i havent been on here for almost a year lol miss this blog

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Carlos Boozer was in the game when it mattered. They pulled him for a defensive switch with 30 seconds, and while I think there aren't tons of 15 million dollar players who'd get pulled for a defensive switch, it's typically because most teams don't have elite defensive backups for them.

  • Since you were such a nice guy and gave out so much praise in this article I will now focus on the negatives. Carlos Boozer did play well early but in the second half he didn't do much and for a while there it seemed as if they were going to go to a post up with him every play only to see him turn it over or miss the shot. I like the more team look but when it counts and we need to make a run the ball needs to be in the MVP's hands.

    Dear CJ Watson... Just because you had a good fist half, it doesn't mean you can get away with bone headed plays in the second half. Thank God Tibs pulled you after you took that three on the fastbreak when there was no need for it. As soon as that shot went up Rose came to the scorers table followed shortly by Noah and then the Defense seemed to return.

    I liked what i seen from Brewer, Taj, Deng, and Rip though. Even though every one rips on long two pointers we need players who can catch and shoot there for when the ball comes out of the post or when Rose drives. Sure its nice to have three point shooters but the most important thing is you have some options as to where to pass the ball.

    If we can play the entire game like we played the second quarter we will be just fine this season. If we continue to have third quarters like on Christmas then some thing will have to be changed.

  • One stat says it all. First win at the Lakers for D. Rose.

    Between the fouls and the bad shooting it is amazing the team was in this game at all. For them to come back to win was simply amazing and show s they still have the most important thing, HEART. I look forward to seeing them have much better overall games but a win is a win.

    I will let them play a week or so before i start to criticize.

    Im just extremely happy we have a NBA season at all to watch.

    Here we go again! Thx as always Doug.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Great note on the heart.

    I had all but given up on them, but they stormed back. They definitely caught some lucky breaks to do so [the non call on Deng's travel, and the push called on Kobe when Deng slipped corralling the free throw], but no more than the lucky breaks the Lakers got all game long on touch fouls.

  • Great win for the Bulls! At halftime I thought there was no way the Bulls would lose. The Lakers were playing great and the Bulls were still up. I was about to strangle Thibs when he sat DRose for 8 out of the first 18 mins of the game and he kept him out too long in the 3rd quarter as well. That needs to stop.

    By the 4th quarter I thought there was no way the Bulls would win. They couldn't make a shot to save their lives and it looked just like the playoffs last year, when Rose had to score because no one else could.

    Then the Bulls did what all great teams do and turned it up to another level and won the game. To me it doesn't matter that the refs didn't call the Deng travel because they were screwing the Bulls all game.

    Boozer dominated a stretch in the 1st half, Omer looked great, but I am still worried about Noah. I know he got in foul trouble but once again he didn't get 10 rebounds. He used to get 10 rebounds at the least every game and I disagree with Doug that he missed shots that weren't real attempts. Noah missed a lot of gimme tip ins and just couldn't score on one of the softest front lines in Pau and Troy Murphy. Not to mention Pau looked like a hall of famer in the 1st quarter destroying Noah, and he almost LOST the game at the end when he couldn't get the rebound on the foul shot and it went off of his knee.

    If Noah can't pick it up, the Bulls should trade him while he still has some value.

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    Noah did miss plenty of bunnies that he needs to hit too, but of his 3/12 night, probably four misses were on uncontrolled tip shots. 3/8 wouldn't be a great night either.

    I've always thought that tips shouldn't count as an offensive rebound/shot attempt unless they go in. Otherwise they should count as nothing. They tend to inflate the bad shot attempts and overstate the offensive rebound total to give a bad impression of what actually happened in multiple ways.

    Overall, I don't typically worry about an individuals rebounding numbers, I worry that the team is rebounding well or not rebounding well. I didn't feel the Lakers were outhustling Chicago on the glass and doing lots of damage through second chance points.

  • It was a good comeback and defensive stop by the Bulls to get the win over the Lakers, but hear me out Bulls fans... if the Bulls don't do something about not having another player that can create his own shot other than Rose, they will suffer the same fate that ended their season against the Heat in the playoffs. They cannot keep relying on jump shot after jump shot after jump shot. Doing this will hurt this team in the end. Excuses can't keep being made for the obvious, and that is this Bulls team is a jump shooting team that has trouble scoring from the perimeter. This Bulls team needs a creator off the dribble that can get to the basket and draw fouls other than Rose. And I have been saying since last year that Noah and Boozer on the court at the same time does not fit. Noah does not play well with Boozer on the court. I hate to say this but it will take a injury to Boozer for everyone to finally realize this. It's only one game but as I stated earlier... the Bulls weakness is still apparent, a slasher other than Rose is needed on this team, I just hope they don't run into the heat in the playoffs again this year, that's wishful thinking tho.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I can't disagree with what you are saying, but I would add a couple of things:

    1: No team has everything they want. The Bulls could really use another dribble penetration player, but the Heat could use an interior defender and a better PG. You simply can't have everything all the time, and I don't think there's a reasonable way the Bulls can get another dribble penetrating player that's worth anything, so we'll have to hope for the best.

    2: The Boozer/Noah thing scares me a bit too. They tend to occupy the same spacer too frequently on offense. To make this work they need to keep Boozer out for high pick and rolls more. I'm not as convinced as you that it can't work. I do think Noah helps cover up some of Boozer's bad defense, but I do get concerned they clog things up. Noah took a couple of jumpers early in this game and knocked one down. He took both pretty quickly, and if he's able to shoot in rhythm and knock down 18 footers then their fit may be better.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hi Doug, t'was a great Christmas present from the Bulls yesterday!

    I'm surprised that Noah still looks a bit hesitant at taking that jumper. Though he started poorly by the finals he was stroking them nicely at the European Champs this summer and if anything he has more time/space back in the NBA. I hope he gets the confidence and ends up regularly hitting them to keep the defence from sagging off and clogging the lane for the cutters he's looking to find.

    On another nice bit of Bulls/Euro news

    Bodes well the the future. He's definitely starting to look like the second coming of Dirk! So with Derrick's extention the future looks as good if not better than the present.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    One interesting thing with MIrotic is that if he gets even better then he may stay in Europe because his rookie scale deal is so low here that he'll have to give up money to come here.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That is a possibility as Mirotic will make only about $1.2 - $1.4 million on his rookie deal for the first 3 years, and around $2.2 million in the 4th year. But I think the lure of the NBA will be too strong and Bulls will get a lottery talent at a bargain.

    Bulls need that extra value with the Derrick Rose Rule costing the team nearly $3 million per year of non-luxury tax space.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    But he could make up any loses and then some, once it comes time for him to sign the second contract. The Bulls seem to be good at scouting European talent, hope they keep turning their low #1's into such upside picks, or rolling them forward into future picks.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug: Reasonable way to secure a dribble penetrating SG in March.....Chris Douglas Roberts who is a bucks restricted free agent playing on virtus bologna. The bulls could acquire him @ the february trade deadline for a 2nd round pick. It would be nice! C

  • In reply to cgiebelh:

    I don't think Chris Douglas Roberts can really add anything useful in terms of dribble penetration. He's not good enough at creating his own shot to fill that void.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug: I appreciate your writing style + luv of the bulls! In this instance, you have selective memory:

    Yes, Chris Douglas Roberts dropped 30 points on the bulls last season: January 24th, 2011. Hidden advantage: he played with D. Rose @ Memphis. Prior to eye injury, CDR was turning the corner. Another year of maturation + a full bill of health. Do a cursory check + will talk. Tx, C

  • In reply to cgiebelh:

    I was actually a big proponent of drafting CDR with our second round pick which ended up being Asik and scouted him fairly extensively coming out of college because I watched every play Derrick Rose made in Memphis while reviewing who to take with the Bulls #1 pick.

    I wouldn't be upset if the Bulls took a chance on him, but I don't think it would work out. I don't think he's good enough at creating off the dribble to break the Bulls rotation given the depth at SF. I do think he could potentially turn the corner if given minutes, but we don't have those here for him.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug: I believe CDR has the body of a proto-typical NBA shooting guard @ 6' 7"-210.

    It's the classic issue confronting the bulls squad: finding a SG who can create his own offense + defend. IMO, we're 3 years late in picking up Hamilton with a diminishing skill set. It's a 1 year band aid that will lead to another ECF exit. Introduce CDR, a tweener who can play effective minutes @ SG or SF. We'd be able to play Jimmy Butler in the developmental league + have a quality offensive threat to spell Luol Deng in the 2nd unit. Let's make it happen. Tx, C

  • In reply to cgiebelh:

    Doug: We'd be able to create a similar equation to OK thunder in using James Harden skill set.

    Yes, CDR would be a poor man's harden + I'd be happy with it! Tx, C

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    My patience is wearing thin with Korver. He clearly will be off the team next season due to:
    - his $5 million salary being non-guaranteed.
    - Jimmy Butler 's contract being guaranteed at only $1 million.
    - Asik needing an extension/raise.

    Korver is useless on defense. Did everyone notice how he was abused by Ron Artest? And his offense is so one dimensional he is easily guarded. Korver cannot compete in playoff intensity games.

    Thibs needs to realize the reality and begin playing Butler who is an excellent defender and has some offensive abilities and handle. Let the grooming begin sooner rather than later.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Korver has to get in when Rose is around. I don't think he can play with CJ. CJ is not only a shoot-first guy, he doesn't attract double teams. Rose can atleast get him a decent shot.
    I think it is very difficult to duplicate his shooting from Butler. And, Thibs has to trust Butler than Korver which is really difficult to believe will happen. We have seen with Bogans and also little bit with Deng(not giving him a break for 5 mins to play James Johnson)

  • In reply to Edward:

    Deng plays more minutes than Rose, so Korver won't see much time with Rose. Korver just doesn't have the talent to compete at a playoff level and will be off the Bulls team next season.

    Bulls need a backup SF who can play with CJ! Not a backup SF who must play with the starters just so he can get a wide-open-look. Korer's shooting is over-rated because his limitations on getting his shot make him so low-usage he's often not worth keeping on the floor. Combine that with atrocious defense and you have a player who cannot compete in the playoffs.

    Did you see that pathetic drive to the hoop for a layup attempt against Lakers?

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agree 100 % Edward. Korver proved it last year in the playoffs. He hasn't been a knockdown shooter since the end of last regular season & seems to have lost his touch. Get the rook in there.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Agree about Boozer and Noah... perhaps the best thing to see was Noah hitting that jumper from the base line. If he can do that consistently, while also hit the occasional jumper from the elbow, they will figure it out. He did a great job of that before the injury last year, and if he can continue doing that, it will provide the spacing they need.

    Sure is weird seeing Rose defer to his teammates as he has done this year. Works fine when they are moving the ball well and scoring, but he needs a better feel of when to assert his will on a possession to stop a drought. I suppose that will come... as he has said, he didn't play much ball in the off-season.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think that Boozer hinders Noah's overall game more than the opposite. I'd really like to see what would happen if Taj and Boozer switched places in the rotation.

  • You seem to be the only one sure there was a travel there - not saying it wasn't but a really tough call. Nobody had the guts to say it for sure and not even Bryant complained about that. Anyway - BS calls went both ways, as you said.

    Regarding Rip I think his game didn't flow because the Bulls were killed on the boards and didn't get in transition enough. That and foul trouble, of course.

    CJ really played well as he did in the first 2 preseason games. Korver on the other hand...

  • In reply to JustAnotherFan:

    Does anyone know when KK last hit a shot for the Bulls??

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Hopefully, it is just rust. Remember the time he stole the ball from the Heat in the last sec and got a win for the Bulls. He is playing for a contract...and he should pick up.

    Also, saw some post moves out of Boozer which was encouraging.

    About Noah, not sure what he needs.
    Practice(I think he has done enough), Confidence(maybe he lacks confidence in his shot), focus and preparation(I think this is his issue) or just plain rust.
    If he doesn't hit those 15 foot jumpers, it will be tough. The Bulls need all 9/10 guys in the rotation(except Asik) to hit jumpers. If not, elite teams will rotate to double team the shooters and that will hurt the Bulls

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    SF: Unfortunately, both Boozer + Noah will need floor spacing to realize their full potential. In the 2nd pre-season outing, we were teased by this possibility....thanks Rip Hamilton! Unless the bulls figure out the shooting guard position, boozer does not have the floor spacing for dedicated post plays. It would also allow Noah to focus on offensive rebounding + put-backs.

    Against top tier NBA teams, it is a recurring problem. Hope that hamilton is the answer. Tx, C

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Kyle Korver will not be on the Bulls next season.
    Please see my detailed post above.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Nor will Brewer or Watson most likely in order for us to match/keep Asik.

  • In reply to JustAnotherFan:

    Looked like a clear travel to me, but I agree it was close. I think overall, the Bulls did not get the benefit of the whistle most of the night, but in the final 60 seconds they got two huge calls in their favor that were both dicey.

    I thought Deng traveled, and the push foul on Kobe was BS, Deng just slipped. On the other hand, McRoberts probably fouled Deng before the slip, and the earlier play where they called the missed free throw out of bounds off the knee, it should have been an over the back call.

    Either way, I don't think the refs determined the game, there wasn't a crazy disparity, but it's early for them too, and it showed IMO.

  • fb_avatar

    Seriously, we have analysis based on one game? First regular season game with a 6 month layoff, new mate, additional offensive sets, healthier team, etc..??? The law of averages (likely scenario's for the future) suggests that when the sample size "n" (where n=games played) is equal to or greater than 23, the normal case would be likely to be predictable. This outcome though great (bulls win!) is no more indicative if the bulls had scored 100 points more than the Lakers and or Rose had scored 50. It is not representative. When the bulls have played over 20 games, using the performance thus far then, would be appropriate.

    On the offensive end, I would like to see Boozer get the ball more on the block and have the person making the entry pass(rose, hamilton at times)into the post, clear out by running over the top of the key area. Currently after making then entry pass the passer is running towards the basket and this just brings in another defender on the post area to crowd Boozer. Either that or Boozer needs to recieve the balls in a more isolated spot(s). This overall suggest that the spacing needs to be there. Lastly, did Korver not eat this wheaties? While I don't expect him to be a defensive force by any means, I expect Korver to knock down a three or two after the ECF.

    Happy for the win and happy holidays.

  • In reply to jomama:

    I agree that you can't take too much from this one game. Guys will just have off / on nights etc.. However, I still think it's worth discussing the early impressions of the game.

  • Just a reminder that NBA League Pass is free until Jan. 7th!

  • In reply to ManOnNeptune:

    They are really trying to win some fans back, usually it's only a week or less. I'll take it!

  • I think Boozer had a pretty good game. I liked some of his post moves as well. For Boozer and Noah to play together, one of them has to come up for the pick and roll/pop. Or Noah should head up to the top of the key as a point center.

    I expected Rip to make a few of those shots, he just looked out of sync, especially after those quick fouls.

    Asik looked terrified on the offensive end, but I was happy with his defense. He bobbled a pass right under the basket that should have been a dunk.

    Overall, good game, I thought they were going to lose with 3 min left. Nice xmas present, and I'm glad the bulls are back.

  • fb_avatar

    I agree, about Boozer. He did have some lift and was more "active" in the first regular season game. However it is worth noting and reviewing, to revisit history, prior to getting Boozer, the knock on the Bulls team was that :

    "Bull are a jump shooting team...the Bulls need a post up guy..etc."....

    So we got Boozer for that very purpose. He ran the pick n roll with Williams and played in the post with Okur while part of the Jazz being a 20/10 guy in the west in the sloan school of thought. Okur often camped out at the top of key (hitting threes) giving Boozer the luxury to play in the post and rebound (coupled with krilenko to block shots/defend the paint and get some rebounds.) Fast forward in time to today, Boozer was not brought here to be a defensive stopper. His main objective to being acquired was to provide points in the PAINT when the outside shots are not falling. Therefore, the Bulls were suppose to be a inside out team / offensive sets, as in Utah and as per our stated goal for an inside presence. In today's world, Rose appears to be the guy, that dribbles to the left wing, dribbles some more, takes on five defenders with vicious cross overs and quickness, while the rest of the team watches, thereby, rendering Boozer as the primary offensive option non existent. Rose can always get his shot off, but needs to feed the post first, have Boozer back down the defender, then when the double comes, pass out to wing with Rose/Korver/Hamilton/Deng. (Noah has to clear until the shot is going up to go for the potential rebound). I can live with less Boozer's less rebounds (Noah, aka Spacing), but his points need to come from the paint in the post. That has to be the emphasis by Rose; Otherwise, Rose will get raped in the post season. Its hard to imagine that over the 4 game series, outside shot will fall with the consistency....just saying...

  • In reply to jomama:

    I thought Rose did a great job of feeding Boozer in the post last night. And while last year definitely matches your description of Rose running around dribbling, last night was anything but. He moved the ball around and dribbled far less than what we saw last year. But let's get back to Boozer, the guy was never a player you could feed the ball into at the deep post with his back to the basket. He's always been a high post guy who makes a move to the hoop for a lay in. He's also always been a guy who makes the turn on a give and go from the high post where the PG threads him the ball for a layup. Go watch his Utah days. There was little or no deep post back to the basket consistency. He is far more Chris Bosh than he is Elton Brand or Zach Randolph.

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    In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    Yes Rose passed into the post last night but would like to see how these plays play out in the course of the season, with consistency/normalcy and results to suggest this is a commonality.
    As for Boozer, he does indeed have post moves, as there is plenty of film from the Boozer Jazz days on post moves (playoff against the Yao Ming comes to mind).
    But, Boozer in the Bulls uniform when he receives the ball (not frequent enough) in the paint, at times would back down the defender, but mostly either turned around and shoots in paint or does some stupid fade-away. This turn around jumper/face up on most occasions is not happening in the paint but with one to two steps inwards from the key....I agree Boozer is NOT Brand, Randolph, Duncan type of post up guy. But he needs to operate in the paint/post to draw double teams. This provides for better spacing and less pressure for others. Of couse this can't happen if the post pass into Boozer does not happen with consistency and less traffic. In sum, Boozer needs to make sure he /shoots/moves within the paint and the pass into the post with Inside / Out game/offense needs to happen with more consistency.

  • 1. I really liked what I saw out of Rip, considering the BS foul trouble. The guy will make a higher percentage of those shots on the year than he did tonight. Also he will help immensely with keeping Deng healthy, he was able to guard Kobe respectively saving Dengs energy for when it really counted. I credit the newfound ball movement not just to Derrick but also to Rip as well as thibs who I believe is stressing the subject.

    2. Dont get worked up about Derrick sitting extended periods of time. Last year we were all bitching about the high minute totals, it's a good sign that Thibs is exhibiting self control with minutes in tight games as this will be crucial in a shortened season.

    3. I wouldn't worry so much about Noah's rebounding totals. Sure he used to grab more. But Boozer has a way with snagging loose boards from Jo and you have to take into account he played lower minutes, as well as the fact he now has rebounding pros in asik and taj to grab boards on the reg. As Doug said, team rebounding is what matters, I can assure you Noah has not gotten worse at rebounding the ball. Noah also keeps lots of plays alive with tip outs which go mostly uncredited.

    4. Derrick looks like he is positioning his weight further back on his long distance shots, a great sign IMO as it increases arc and balance. Look at Kobe, he is firmly balanced in his shot, not leaning forward as Rose was in the past. I expect Rose to reach his ppg average from last year while increasing his efficiency and assists.

  • I'm going to assume that with experience/cohesion the Bulls offensive scoring capability while being somewhat similar to last year's anemic playoff version, will be improved. That said, Deng, Rose, and Boozer are all acceptable as quality offensive starters.

    Joakim I have to say shockingly had better sets when Vinny, Del Harris etc. were here. While I still think Vinny overall as a coach is a farce, and may have had nothing to do with Jo's opps, whoever did gave plenty of lob/alley oop looks for Joakim, and many gimmick motions/sets to clear the weak side, and get Joakim in motion/optimum situations to attack the basket.

    I agree that before Boozer arrived, Jo seemed to get much better looks in the post. His left and right baseline hooks were high percentage. Now he has to shoot them further out being pushed to the middle. There simply was more space(even last year before Boozer's return which would negate the Vinny's regime theory somewhat) for Jo to spin and drive from mid to high post with those outside handed extended layups/hooks which were becoming automatic, and potentially a potent scoring weapon.

    You get Jo the easier opps to attack the basket and hit his baseline hooks and spin and drive extensions, and the lob dominance buckets, and I think the overall energy of Jo returns. And I disagree that a rebound hound like Jo's rebound totals don't matter. It's another form of dominance for a team's opps especially offensive rebounds.

    If the Bulls could reintegrate the sets to focus on opps for Jo to be a focal point somewhat/impact player then I think the Bulls reach another level. However, not adding a potent slasher/SG, and Korver's complete apparent implosion shooting spells trouble. I never liked it when they acquired him in the first place. If Boozer has his usual injury spell while Jo and Taj stay healthy it will be interesting if the Bulls still possess the plays and desire to make Jo a more consistent/impactful part of the offense. I'm afraid the answer is that with Thibs/the current regime that capacity and focus may not be there. Yet he did have those opps early last year when he looked all world before Booz's return and the subsequent injuries. Jo and Derrick remain to me the most X-factor/star power forces for this ballclub. Though Jo has definitely taken some steps back, but how much fo that is misuse/underutilization and injuries remains to be seen.

    If Jo somehow becomes a 12ppg 50% FG guy again with ten or more boards then this team will be tough including in the playoffs. And Derrick will simply have to rely more on off the ball sets/unpredictability to attack successfully in the playoffs in my opinon so I have to approve of that trend in Game 1.

  • For what it's worth:

  • The Short and Sweet of it, the Bulls were lucky to win it at the end in a game that they should have dominated with Bynum out. Other than the W, can't get to stoked about opening day.

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