At least we played the Wizards

For my first game live at the UC, I got the enjoyment of watching perhaps the ugliest basketball game in the Derrick Rose era. I suppose the good news was that it was a win. If there was a prop bet on John Lucas having a 25, 8, and 8 game this season, I bet you'd have cleaned up.

Have you ever seen a 25, 8, and 8 game uglier than this one? I'm sure someone will make the comment "Derrick Rose isn't that good even John Lucas can score 25, 8, and 8 in this system" which would completely miss the point of how basketball is played.

This isn't to rip on Lucas, for a third PG, playing with no one who could create their own shot, he was pretty amazing. He may have needed to use 30 possessions to get his 25 points, but that was more efficient than almost anyone else. Still, it was clear that despite the statistical totals being similar to Rose, the impact on the game couldn't be any further.

If you want to see why Derrick is an MVP candidate, you need only watch the Bulls offense against one of the worst defenses in the NBA without him. Horrific. Granted, if the Bulls had C.J. Watson and Rip Hamilton, things probably would have gone much smoother. Missing all three really hurt the team a ton.

This Boozer/Noah thing is starting to get real

I don't know what the deal is with Noah, but he's playing pretty poor basketball. The effort is there, the movement is there, but the results are simply not there. He looks way to hesitant on offense, and he's "nearly" getting a ton of rebounds instead of actually getting a ton of rebounds.

His tips are all missing, and in short, he's not having remotely the impact on the game that he's had in the past. Noah has traditionally been a player that needs to play himself into shape and without a training camp perhaps he's still trying to build up his wind. Something needs to change though, because he's not getting it done.

Carlos Boozer is perhaps even worse. This guy was billed as a low post threat, but he has absolutely nothing in the low post. Nothing. His game is entirely predicated on Derrick Rose setting him up on the pick and roll for an easy basket or sliding back to the flat for a mid range jumper.

He can have quality scoring games here and there, but his impact on the game is simply non-existent. Though his game is nothing remotely similar, the result reminds me of Eddy Curry. No defense, good efficiency on offense, but somehow it fails to really help the team.

Taj Gibson and Omer Asik are taking over as the fourth quarter lineup. At some point, the Bulls may need to try and bust up Noah/Boozer and Taj/Asik to try and get these two guys going better. The Bulls locked 135 million into the duo, and it doesn't seem like much of an investment right now.

The Bulls will (and should) ride it out, but if it isn't better by mid season, then you have to at least consider changing it up.

Luol Deng didn't exactly step up on offense

You hoped you'd see something out of Deng tonight, but he could not get anything going whatsoever. I will credit Deng for playing outstanding defense all night long though. That's the nice thing about Deng, when his offense isn't going [12 points on 26 possessions is fricken horrific] Deng still finds ways to contribute.

He defended well, rebounded well, and still made a big impact despite not having his shot fall.

Asik and destroy

You know all those times Asik got called for a foul and didn't deserve it? I think the refs gave him this game to make up for it. The game itself was called extremely liberally on both ends. McGee probably goaltended about 35 shots [okay 3] that weren't called, both teams got away with some serious hackage at the rim.

With a swallowed whistle, Asik just dominated the crap out of anyone stupid enough to go into the paint thinking he was some random white stiff. The five blocks hew as credited with seem low from watching the game, and he was a huge part of a defense that just completely shut down the Wizards offense.

Repeat what I said about Asik, but add in the fact that he owned the offensive glass

If Taj was only credited with four offensive rebounds then the Bulls gained several more possessions based on his tips and hustle. He seemed to come up with an offensive board every time the Wizards went on a run, and the Bulls really needed a possession. He played like a man possessed on the defensive end as well.

Great effort by Taj out there, he and Asik have become a tremendous tandem.

This game is a reminder of what a bad ass Kyle Korver is

He was the only player on the team to score more than one point per possession used once you factor in fouls and turnovers. However, it wasn't the scoring that made the difference, but merely the threat of it. As soon as Korver entered the game, the lane started opening up on his side of the court.

There were multiple plays where the Bulls had Korver on the weak side, then had Lucas curl hard from the strong to weak side where the only help defender was defending Korver on the three point line. That defender then just sat their frozen too scared to leave Korver and wouldn't provide help.

Spacing simply changes the game, and Kyle Korver provided plenty of it.

The Brewer as a PG theory didn't work out so well

Ronnie had a tough night overall, but the stretch we tried to use him as a PG to get Lucas some rest? Not going in his career highlight package, we'll leave it at that. Still love Brewer's defense, but watching him play with the starters reminds me of Keith Bogans doing the same thing.

Maybe if Noah/Boozer had it going on things would be different, but when Chicago doesn't get much out of them starting Brewer is even tougher.

Wow, the Wizards stink

I could complain about John Lucas's efficiency, but he's a 3rd string PG having to play a superstar PG role. Wall is a potential superstar who couldn't do anything but chuck up misses against John Lucas. Did you have John Lucas in this game to win that matchup? Probably not. However, after a fairly strong rookie campaign, Wall has regressed considerably this season.

The Wizards shot 31% on the whole, and that's simply atrocious. Jordan Crawford had one little stretch where he looked good, but he still finished 4/12 which means he was a complete trainwreck outside of that stretch.

i watched Rashard Lewis and though, wow, you're not that old, how'd you get so lousy so fast?

The whole team is just an abomination to watch.

Final thoughts

Rest up, get healthy, and hopefully we have a few more players in uniform when the Bulls play Boston on Friday.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I am still holding out hope that once our 5 starters get healthy and in sync everything will work its way out.

    But yes, at the deadline if Noah and Booz are still riding the bench in the 4th something has to be done.

    Sucks because Jo is my favorite Bull.

  • Even if the game was ugly, I think the bench stepped big time on this game. Much props to JL3 for stepping up. Deng is obviously tired playing 40+ minutes the past 3 days, so I understand why none of his shots were falling.

    As for Noah, I really think Boozer is affecting the way he plays. In my opinion, he plays better with Taj because he doesn't have to work so hard on defense, thus causing him to have more energy on the offensive end. You can see when Noah was tearing it up last year, Taj was his PF.

    I always wonder if the Bulls signed Joe Johnson and instead of Boozer. Deng/Taj/Noah/JJ/Rose would've been decent "two way" starting line-up.

    The struggle with our front-court has made me want Dwight Howard even more. Even if there's no guarantee he will re-sign. I would trade Deng + Noah + Picks for Dwight. I think with Rose & Dwight and bunch of outstanding role players, with an excellent coach is enough to dethrone the Heat as the East Champs. If we win the Finals, I believe Dwight will re-sign with Chicago anyway.

  • In reply to BullsFTW:

    Defense wins championships, Bozo the Boozer doesn't

  • The Boozer and Noah pairing will never work. For some reason the Bulls thought that Boozer was a good low post player. When he's a good pick and poll player and really good at the pick and roll. The Bulls can really only run the pick and pop though since Noah isn't able to bring his man out of the lane, it takes Boozer's best of his game, his pick and roll ability. I also think that Noah is just not in shape yet. He's always had problems getting into properly cardiovascular shape and hopefully as he gets into shape he can improve

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Noah's going to have to quit the weed (in the off season too) if he wants to have the cardiovascular conditioning to be an energy player on the elite level.

    He reported to camp out-of-shape. A thin guy will never appear out-of-shape in terms of excess weight, its all about the cardio.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I've said that a million times, pot and world class competition don't go together at least not at the world championship level.

    Who knows how much permanent lung damage he has already done to himself.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    So I suppose Michael Phelps would have won 16 gold medals if only he didn't smoke pot.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    The only evidence that we have on Phelps use came after he won his truckloads of medals. And if I had to bet which of the 2 was a regular user and which one might have been just experimenting I'm going with Noah as the regular.

    If you want to believe that Phelps attained his status while being a regular pot smoker then you must be high on something other than life, heck maybe he won them because of the pot smoking. I heard the US Olympic committee is adding daily pot smoking to the 10-20 thousand yards a day of actual swimming as part of the training regimen.

    The only people that I have ever known who try to defend pot use with irrational arguments, or drug use in general are users trying to justify their own behavior.

    Party on, Bro

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Not a user, but if Doug's estimate of 90% usage in the NBA is anywhere near correct, then somebody with ring(s) must like to smoke the herb.

    It was a few years ago, but Santonio Holmes made an iconic championship winning catch and he regularly tweets that it's time to "wake and bake." If you think he meant scones you're dreaming.

    Look, things affect people different ways. Most of you guys on this blog can probably have a drink or two with no ill effects; I can't so I don't. Probably the same thing with athletes. Some of them may be able to perform just fine high, maybe others can't.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well it's hardly like Phelps is the only successful athlete known to smoke pot ... just the most successful example, since he's probably the greatest Olympic athlete ever.

    I'm just saying a few things:

    a) Smoking some pot doesn't stop you from being a successful athlete. Now there may be a level of smoking that does, I don't imagine many athletes can get by like some people where they just sit on the couch and smoke bongs and eat junk food all day but that's entirely different to Noah needing to stop smoking pot or he'll be a failure (which sounds very much like government propaganda ... you didn't produce reefer madness by any chance?)
    b) I think it's ridiculous to blame Noah's failings on pot. It isn't physically addictive, there's no reason Noah can't practice hard then go have a smoke if he wants to, it's not like he's a junkie that needs to shoot up or he'll be curled up in a ball in the corner. If he's hitting the bong the sitting around not working then that's his problem.

    Not that it's relevant but I wouldn't consider myself a pot user ... have smoked it occasionally when friends have it but never bought it myself or found the need to. I'm not trying to justify my behaviour, I'm just also not going to justify Noah's behaviour by scapegoating pot rather than his own crappy work habits (if indeed that's what's affecting his play).

  • In reply to BigWay:

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/marijuana-smoking-does-not-harm-lungs-study-finds/?src=me&ref=general#

  • In reply to BigWay:

    My friend that contributes to a Blackhawks blog on Midway Madness claims one of her coworkers met with a source that had photos of Derrick ripping a bong the night before game five vs. the Heat in the ECFs. Her coworker is then said to have immediately deleted the photos from the source's computer. I know, he said she said. However, I believe it and have zero problem with it. Whatever Derrick needs to ease his nerves and the pressure of winning a championship. It's ridiculous how many NBA players smoke weed. Do you think the league actually screens for marijuana? No, because then there wouldn't be an NBA.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The whole NBA smokes pot. Based on my experiences with knowing players, I would say that 9 in 10 guys in the NBA are getting high on a regular basis.

    I believe Luol Deng is the only guy on the Bulls who doesn't get smoke pot. Ben Gordon used to be on that list back in the day. I can't say for sure about Brewer/Korver/Boozer though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I would put money on it that Korver is not on that list. I would guess Brewer is off the list as well. So by not mentioning him with Deng as ones who don't smoke, are you saying Rose smokes pot? No offense to any pot smokers on here, but I would lose a small amount of respect for Rose if he does.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    What, you think he just sits on his bed and cuts apples in his spare time? Like the general population a heck of a lot of athletes do drugs. Probably the only drugs that athletes do at a lower rate than the general population are alcohol (hard to stay in shape due to the calories) and sugar (ditto).

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I understand that a lot of pro athletes smoke pot. Rose is supposed to be the humble, pure, family oriented kid whose Mom tells him not to curse because people can read lips. None of that says pot smoker to me, so that's all I'm saying.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Has anyone written extensively on this issue? I'd be real curious to know about the culture in the NBA.

    I've never smoked, not even once. But the fact that all these tokers could destroy my no smokin', no drinkin self in any athletic endeavor whatsoever only increases my respect for their physical gifts.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Thats why most of the NBA players suck.

    Did Michael, Scottie, heck even Rodman for that matter?

    Does Kobe, did Bird, Magic, Kareem,

    I would bet the the whole NBA that smokes pot refers to the 95% without rings, mostly the guys that we can't stand on a day in day out basis, the guys that we are always wondering why they don't make the most of their god given talent, and behave like total morons if not outright A holes.

    I am betting against Korver.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think you're being too brash BigWay. I would bet my weekly pay check that Rose smokes--at least occasionally.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree with that Edward, & I think the bulk he has added over the last 2 years has made that task even more difficult every time he tries to work back into game shape.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Who said Noah Noah is a weed addict ?

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Everyone lol. Maybe not an addict but an occasional user for sure. He's been spotted smoking in the open at Lollapalooza.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    http://deadspin.com/5593631/joakim-noah-spotted-in-his-natural-habitat-shopping-for-bongs

    Here's a photo of Noah in a head shop during the season while recovering from plantar fasciitis a couple years ago. He looks perfectly at home, doesn't he?

    Ever listen to Jay Hood on ESPN 1000 radio on game nights? This week he offered his opinion on why Noah is playing poorly. Jay said, "Noah's not in shape. The lockout ended unexpectedly and he had to suddenly stop partying and start training." Jay also made the sound of inhaling and coughing to drive home his point.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Works pretty well for watching games too, if I do say so myself. My screen name isn't just a coincidence. Of course, letting out this info will just automatically discount any insight I may post, for some people. Bummer, dude.

  • The Bulls season IMHO is already a wash if they don't make some kind of trade to solve the Noah Boozer fiasco. The Heat will tear this Bulls team apart again in the playoffs if something isn't done. The Bulls offense "STINKS"... and without Rose to run things we games like the game we witnessed tonight. I hate being right since last year about the Noah Boozer paring not working cause if Boozer had any descent game left in him and played a little defense the Bulls front line would be the best in the league. I would hate for the Bulls to have to trade Noah but at this point that's probably whats gonna have to happen cause no team will want Boozer and his deteriorateing game and bloated contract. I hope something will be done but I won't hold my breath will the Bulls owner stubborness.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You do realize that Bulls have the 6th best offense right?

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    The Bulls have a good offensive rating mainly through offensive rebounding ... I'd agree the Bulls offense stinks ... it's their garbage work that makes it effective despite that.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    their high ranking is mostly a result of most of the league playing pathetic offensive right now.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    But even that is countered by the Bulls brutal opening schedule.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The league is always worse offensively to start the season ... and it was putrid last lockout. Everyone should have expected this, and the fact the Bulls have only declined marginally in absolute terms compared to last season is an achievement in itself.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree, but two things:

    1: The Bulls still don't have Rip Hamilton in the game to help them on offense yet, so we haven't seen them play any length of time with what we expect their best offensive lineup to be.

    2: They're still improved relative to the league. They've shown their own lack of sharpness, so I don't htink it's fair to say they're still improved relative to their peers.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Last night the Bulls were missing 3 of their 5 best offensive players, including 2 facilitators, which Lucas is absolutely terrible at, so it was not going to be pretty.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    tottally agreed.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I've been concerned about the Boozer/Noah pairing since last season as well, but I'm not sure what they can do about it at this point. They're not going to get value back for either guy.

    I'd try pairing Asik/Boozer and Noah/Gibson prior to shipping one out for 50 cents on the dollar though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think the combination of Gibson and Noah works just fine but I know they wont bench Boozer. Noah's game elevates when he's not on the floor with Boozer. It's just wishful thinking by me about the Bulls making a trade that really matters. But like I said before, this team will not beat Miami in a 7 game series if they do meet in the playoffs.

  • Down Goes Miami
    Down Goes Miami
    Down Goes Miami

  • When are Bulls going to play Jimmy Butler, who has shown competency?

    When are Bulls going to stop grinding Deng into the ground?
    (45 min tonight) (Deng's shooting 40% for the year)

    One simple solution solves both problems.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Any player playing 45 min in a 48 min game is ridiculous. It seems like Thibs is going to wait for the team to get healthy and hopefully have Brewer/Korver spell Deng.

  • In reply to Edward:

    You need to check with you know who, he has all the answers when it comes to playing time vs performance metrics.

    I've heard that Thibs is a huge Pink Floyd fan, all in all it's just another brick in the head.

  • In reply to Edward:

    If it didn't happen this game, which is a joke that it didn't, then it's not going to unless Deng goes down, or Brewer leaves next year.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agreed totally....get Deng some rest and let Butler play 10 mins here and there.

  • In reply to Edward:

    They probably aren't going to play Butler. They could rest Deng by playing Brewer/Korver/Rip more when everyone is healthy, and they'd go that route first.

  • Yeah...

    - Ronnie Brewer NOT A POINT GUARD... whoever made this claim "oh he was a point guard in high school" layoff the magic mushrooms. He's not even a 2guard. He's a 3.

    - Noah/Boozer thing.. Boozer is on the wrong end of 29 or 30 as they say. Noah clearly partied all Summer at Florida and didn't put the work in.

    - That was a pathetic display of basketball and everyone but Lucas, Korver, Taj and Asik should have their game checks taken away and given to charity. The whole Wizards team should not be paid.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Agree about Brewer. I laughed every time I heard him being mentioned as an emergency type guy, and never understood why anyone ever thought he had those skills. He is the worst ball handler on the team, outside of the big men. The team eventually needs a combo guard with size to backup the 1 & 2.

  • I really feel Asik is good enough to be the starter on a championship team, he's just such a top defender. Obviously he'd need the PF to be a good offensive player which Boozer was supposed to be but isn't. Makes you wish 2010 wasn't rigged, if we could have gotten Bosh then an Asik/Bosh pairing would be excellent.

    Oh well I guess we just wait it out until Boozer is amnestied and Mirotic becomes the next Dirk. Although I think I'm going to drink something stronger than Kool Aid to believe the second part will happen . ;)

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I believe that I was ridiculed early on last season for suggesting just such a thing(about Asik). Think that the Heat wouldn't throw another pre championship stadium party if they could get their hands on him.

    What would life be like now if we had just kept LA instead of trading him for TT. (yea, I know there is a chance that we wouldn't have been in position to get Rose).

    Like you I am hoping that Mirotic mirrors Asik in terms of the caliber of his play in the NBA vs the Euroleague, but that is at least 2 years away, and you are going to need something stronger than Koolaid just to make through the remainder of Ben Gordon of power forwards era.

    Where are all the Boozer LOL'ers now?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Wouldn't have been ridiculed by me, I've been on the Asik bandwagon for a long time. If I had my vote he would have been on the second team all-D last year, not Noah.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Nobody is disputing you on Asik except for maybe actually Doug sometimes. Doug wanted to keep everyone on the ground so to speak. He still thinks he is more of a backup. Yeah, he is not a center whom you can run the offense through like Bynum. But, I don't see why Asik cannot have more impact or similar impact like Tyson Chandler(except for not being so athletic). He is bigger/stronger than Chandler IMO.
    Since, most Bulls fans base everything about this season towards that inevitable Miami series.....we keep forgetting that the momentum changed against Miami after Asik went out. Until then, the Bulls were doing great and Wade/LeBron/Bosh were trying their inconsistent jump-shots as they were scared to come to the rim. Off-course, it is not like they were camping in the rim afterwards. But, they could make some shots.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I'd even take Dirk Lite. If we can hold onto Taj, that pairing with Mirotic would be pretty damn sweet. Noah has been one of my favorites since his second season, not named Rose, but I'd move him now for another scorer. Put Asik in at starter & look for a backup. Ellis might not be that great of a fit, but then you could pick up Beidrins & his awful contract as well. I wouldn't mind if they held onto Noah, but he needs to step it up. Time to stop blaming Boozer. It's Noah's fault that Noah is not playing like the Noah of old.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Both Noah and Boozer are becoming irrelevant on this team. Instead of big the top 4 core group, they are now 7th and 8th best players on this team. Heck, maybe Scalabrine can give better play if given more minutes.
    I am sure GarPax are formulating plans and Thibs is obviously smart. We are talking as fans and as a coach, he is showing it in his actions by benching them. If this crappy play continues after a month or two, definitely the minimum that will happen is one of them going out of the starting line-up or getting traded.
    Yesterday's game was the measuring stick for Noah. Against a d-league team, he struggled after getting a ton of rest in the last few days. I guess this summer because of the lock-out and his ankle injury....he just decided to take it easy and work out a little bit rather than try to get to the elite level.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Bosh sucks as well as boozer. At least Boozer is a rebounder

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I'm excited to see what Mirotic will do here whenever he makes it over. However, he could easily be the next Raef LaFrentz rather than the next Dirk, but I think it will help to get a stretch 4.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I was obviously joking about being the next Dirk ... heck if he could be the next Gallinari I'd be thrilled.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yes, the source of a lot of Bulls problems are drawing the short stick in 2010 free agency. Bulls cleared massive cap space, gave up three draft picks (a 1st and two 2nds), and got a bunch of role players for the effort.

    Bulls are still searching for that second all-star to compliment Rose.

  • Obviously attending the game in person agrees with you even if the game its self is an abomination. Pretty much perfect analysis, didn't miss a thing, couldn't have said it better myself.

    Brewer tough as he plays is certainly never has nor never will be a point(I always found the suggestion ludicrous, much like suggesting that Ben Gordon could play it), and as you confirmed by your Bogans comments he is not really a starting caliber 2 guard either.

    Is it time yet to call out Rip on being a f-ing dick for putting his ego ahead of the team by playing in Detroit. It is clear how much better the entire starting lineup performs when Rip is in there doing his thing. 113 pp100.

    It appears that you have finally and fully come to terms with what Boozer is(the biggest waste of $15 million per since Ben Wallace) and what he will never be for us. Glad to hear you say it, even if you never quite got there on Ben Gordon.

    As for the Noah/Boozer thing, it is past the point of no return. As much as I love Noah it is clear that he is struggling physically to get it going. He seems as if he has lost some length or height or lift. I have to believe that it will come back if he plays enough and doesn't have to carry Carlos the screaming banshee around anymore.

    I have contended for quite some time that we have to split up Noah and TOAH. If that means sitting Noah(since Bozo's fragile psyche couldn't handle it) and starting Asik, so be it. My guess is that soon enough this will prove that Noah is not the problem, as even Asik and Destroy won't be able to carry Bozo's sorry carcass.

    While I hate to root for guys to get hurt(even the enemy), since Mr Amnesty does so every year, can't he hurry up and do it already, that would be the most expedient solution to the problem.

    By the way I watched a playoff game last night after the Bulls JV game, if Miami had DeAndre Jordan at center, no one would ever beat them.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yes, center is Miami's lone remaining weak spot.
    The PG position is largely solved with Chalmers improved play plus the addition of rookie Norris Cole. They/re so much better for the Heat than starting Henry Bibby like last year.

  • I have to admit, I never thought I'd see so many complaints from fans of the best team in the NBA.

    W-L record, stats, computer ratings... they all say the Bulls are currently the best team in the NBA.

    Oh well, to each his own.

    At least some of you will be happy to know I won't be here much longer. I'll still be on ChicagoNow...

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    +1 Don Ellis

    Think how Miami fans are feeling right now

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Don ... it's all fine and dandy that the Bulls are the best team in the NBA as of now ... but with that said ... the best regular season record doesn't mean anything once the playoff start. The Bulls apparently have some flaws with their current roster and if these issues aren't addressed, it's going to be the same results(coming up short of a championship) as last year in a seven game series against Miami.

  • In reply to deelowda1:

    +1 on that. There is something going on between Noah and Boozer collectively and individually. The wins because of the heroic efforts of Asik/Rose/Deng are masking it. Once, there are a couple of losses in a row this will become more clear. Miami is in a different place. They are emotionally in a different place than last year. It doesn't mean they are going to definitely win. But, the Bulls are definitely in a higher level mess right now. It just doesn't matter beating up on the Wizards or even the Lakers/Orlando(we know they are in a bigger mess).

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    We don't want to be cleveland (2009 and 2010), Phoenix (2006-2008), utah (2007-2009) or orlando (2009 and 2010).
    These teams were very good, but not enough to win a championship because there were always a monster team to beat them.

    we don't want to be 1st of the regular season and get eliminated by the heat the next 4 years. After these 4 years, Rose, Boozer and Noah's conctracts will have ended and bulls will be a lottery team.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    There's a difference between not acknowledging the Bulls are a good team (nearly everyone does this year, unlike last year) and not acknowledging the Bulls are a perfect team.

    The Bulls didn't get to where they are by being happy with their players. They went out and got new ones. Heck, the dynasty Bulls didn't just say "well we have Michael and Scottie, surely Detroit will get sick of beating us at some point, lets sit back and let the rings flow in", they got new players around them too. You can be a good team and still try to get better.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Actually for the most part, especially the 91-93 champs, the Bulls stood pat and let their young players mature and learn from their playoff losses. They might switch out a Craig Hodges for a Trent Tucker, but the main guys stayed the same from ~89-93.

    They lost to the Pistons in the ECF in 89 and 90, this was the top 8 in minutes:

    89- MJ, Grant, Pip, Cart, Pax, Vincent, Hodges, Pax, Sellers
    90- MJ, Pip, Grant, Cart, Pax, King, Hodges, BJ
    91- MJ, Pip, Grant, Cart, Pax, BJ, King, Perdue
    92- MJ, Pip, Grant, Pax, Cart, BJ, King, Perdue

    All they added was their draft picks, BJ, Stacey and Perdue.

    I don't expect GarPax to do things differently now than the way Pax saw it done 20+ years ago.

    The biggest trade they made was Oakley for Cartright, because they needed a Center- they got the worst player in the deal, but he was a perfect fit. And that was before they ever made it to the ECF, this current team is already easily the 2nd best in the East.

    I could see them doing the same thing with Boozer (or Taj, maybe even Noah) maybe next off-season or the summer of 2013- trade him for a SG who isn't as "good" but who is a better fit with the team. Mirotic will be over for the 2014-15 season IIRC.

  • Hey Doug,

    I have always looked at Noah as a bigger Anderson Varejao. Great energy guy off the bench and someone who can play in situation offensive series because he is such a great passer.

    But simply besides tip ins and transition buckets I have never seen Jo have any kind of offensive game.

    My solution would be to play Asik in the starting lineup. I can't quantify with any statistics but from my own eye test I just feel Asik/Boozer have had good court synergy. They do things that compliment each other better than Noah/Boozer. I also like that Asik draws more fouls than Noah and puts some pressure on the opposing bigs. Asik is also defending at a higher level right now. I could see Noah and Asik splitting the minutes evenly. Finally, I think it would be good for Garpax to figure out just how high Asik's ceiling is so we can decide what to do in the future with roster moves. (Next Gortat? Something Less? Something More?)

    I think this could also lead to more scoring from Noah and better play from the bench mob because Noah will be facing players he has a physical advantage over. 2nd units typically play less organized and I feel this might suit Noah's game more (tip ins, transition) it could improve his confidence level and he will be a more of an impact player when Thibs uses him late in games on offense.

    I don't think this roster needs an overhaul, just some tweaking. If we can get our bigs to play better there is no question we have a good chance of beating Miami.

  • In reply to Wojo7:

    Wojo: Highly astute observation! Yes, the bulls should seek to maximize the talent on their current roster in altering the Boozer/Noah pairing. The main challenge will be developing a new PF/C rotation in the second half of the season.

    -Taj/Noah
    -Asik/Boozer

    It's clear that Boozer is viewed as a short term asset. Any proposed line up changes should reflect that Taj, Noah + Asik will be a central part of the bulls future. The answer:

    1. Find ways to jump start Noah's contributions.
    2. Minimize the negative impact of Boozers PF skill set

    We'll see CB transitioning into the 2nd unit post all star break. Go bulls, C

  • In reply to cgiebelh:

    Thanks C,
    While we agree that the rotations from our bigs have to be changed. I think we have to leave Booze with the first unit.

    Replacing Noah with Asik in the first unit helps Boozer and spacing on offense without a drop off on defense and will also help the bench mob offensively with Noah's energy and passing.

    I think having Boozer with the second unit we would get nothing at all out of him. He barely has good movement when DRose is the point I can't see him being better with CJ, only worse, I think we would see more fade away jumpers. Moving Taj to the first team certainly helps defensively, but not on offense.

    I just keep thinking of how we are going to have to score to keep up with Miami. We need to try and maximize our scoring throughout the first 3Q's and let DRose take over when he comes in the 4th and hope Thibs has some nice sets and goes with the hot hand of our bigs because none of the 4 have shown to be consistent on offense.
    Go Bulls

  • Doug you're tottaly right. Despite the win, this game shows us how the bulls depend on Rose. Bulls must have the ugliest offense of the league when Rose isn't there.

    Boozer and deng can't even step up ! it's awful ! (5/21 for deng).

    As for John lucas, That guy has a very bad shots selection and doesn't shoot well from downtown. He didn't stop forcing shots yesterday.

    Fortunately it was the wizards. can't imagine what will going to happen in the playoffs when Rose goes off.

  • Is LeBron James even legitimately good at basketball? Does the NBA have any integrity?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32o8uHmX36o

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67T40Vtk6GI

    Time and time again LeBron and Wade travel at the end of games. More so LeBron. It seems to me that he isn't a closer at all. Rather an over hyped cheater that gets special treatment. I've watched 99% of Derrick's games, and I'm glad he doesn't get away/make these kind of plays.

  • Pretty easy summary for this one - Bulls need Rose.

    IMO this team is always going to be a defensive, win ugly kinda team. Asik is definitely a keeper. Heck Maybe Noah becomes a 6th man of the year guy, we amnesty Boozer, get Mirotic up here.

    But for this year we need to get healthy and see how we roll then.....with all this adversity were still leading the league. With this defense we CAN beat the Heat. I'm gonna enjoy this ride with my DRose colored glasses locked in place. Us faithful Bulls fans are going to be rewarded....I feel it.

  • This sh*t needs to stop. Refs should be fined for missing (more likely ignoring) these calls at the end of games. This is killing the integrity of the NBA. James and Wade travel on a consistent basis and are never called for it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32o8uHmX36o

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67T40Vtk6GI

    I've watched the majority of Derrick's games, and I'm glad he has enough skill and talent to only take two steps on his game winners.

  • Just read that Noah is getting the second highest votes for a Center in EC. Wow!!Reputations do matter in the NBA/fanbase. GarPax should use this and trade him out...Horford/Kwame Brown are out. It might be a good time to get value.
    I think Noah has some skills and if what Doug is saying is true even a little bit about his weed stuff...that's definitely troubling. Is he mentally sharp? I am just disappointed that somebody who has been in the league for a few years and wants to win a c'ship....is so unprofessional.

  • Spacing, well the lack of spacing, is the greatest offense issue for the Boozer/Noah tandem. There was one play during the Pistons game a couple nights ago that epitomized this issue: Rose has the ball on the perimeter; Noah, who is in the high post area, decides he wants to initiate a pick and roll so he starts moving towards Rose's direction; Boozer, at almost the same instance, leaves the post area because he wants to screen Rose's man too; Noah, thinking that Boozer wants to pop out for a jump shot, off a down screen, ends up stopping to screen Boozer's man; Boozer beats Noah to Rose's defender, sets the pick, and then rolls head on right into Noah.

    I wouldn't mind Asik starting. Asik camping in the paint will allow Boozer more freedom to move to spots on the floor where he can initiate more pick/roll & pick/pop basketball; something i think most of us agree he does pretty effectively.

  • None of these proposed solutions will do anything to change the real essence of the problem, Boozer is completely and utterly useless on defense(dare I say useless as Tits on a Whore) due to his complete lack of effort and desire.

    Asik may or may not cover up his(Boozers) deficiencies better than Noah, but they won't change what is in his heart, or what isn't.

    While Noah is not ideally suited to playing power forward(unfortunately he is a true tweener), I would still like to see Asik and Noah on the court together just to see what happens(for future reference, so to speak).

    Lets be real, as long as we are stuck with Boozers contract(at least until the summer of 2013) nothing much will change, because nobody has the guts to ignore his contract and do what is necessary for the best interest of the team.

    Of course, as last nights game showed, any and all our problems would be dwarfed if anything were to happen to Rose. That we struggled with what looks to be one of the worst teams in league history should be a lot scarier than the Noah/TOAH) conundum.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We didn't exactly struggle ... we beat Washington by 14 (ie bigger than Washington and our average margins) while playing without our backup PG either. It certainly wasn't pretty, and not something I'd want to have to watch night in night out, but it has to give you some confidence the Bulls could cope without Rose. The defense is so good we'd be able to maintain a .500 record in games Rose didn't play and still make the playoffs comfortably IMO.

    Obviously if Rose has an injury that keeps him out of playoff games it's a different matter!

    As far as Boozer goes I don't even care about his defense. It's bad, we knew it was bad getting into this, but we also know the Bulls are an elite defensive team even with his crappy defense ... they're at the point of diminishing returns, swapping Boozer for an elite defender wouldn't make them much better defensively. I really don't think defense is the essence of the problem with Boozer at all.

    Now swapping Boozer for someone who actually does the job he's supposed to do - offense - would massively improve the team. If Boozer could be the18- 20 a game scorer on good efficiency his was in Utah then I'd be feeling much happier about the Bulls chances against Miami, Boozer's crappy defense and all.

Leave a comment