Bulls Beat #222 - Starting woes

Bulls Beat #222 - Starting woes

The Chicago Bulls had a successful 3-1 week despite getting smeared by the Hawks on Saturday. However, the starting lineup isn't performing, do the Bulls need to make a change?

Bulls Beat #222 - Starting woes

Filed under: Podcast

Tags: bulls beat, chicago bulls, nba, podcast


Leave a comment
  • I've been saying it for a while now that Boozer inadvertently cancels out Noah's game. In the beginning the Bulls were looking for an offensive low post banger to compliment Noah's energetic, defensive and rebounding style of play. The problem with Boozer is that he's undersized and more of a finesse player rather than the banger we were looking for. To be honest I thought Kurt Thomas and even Joe Johnson complimented Noah better because they had some kind of post game and size to match. Boozer tends to look for the jumper and whenever he goes in the paint he slows down the offense and is mostly outmatched by bigger pf's and centers.

    For the record I think Boozers been playing good this year, but even when he plays to his strengths it doesn't compliment Noah's game. One of Noah's biggest strengths is rebounding and I think he's a better rebounder than Boozer. But every since we got Boozer, Noah doesn't even get half the boards he used too.

    Unfortunately what may have to happen is Noah may have to get traded. It's gonna be nearly impossible to trade Boozer and with Noah's lack of production a contract it makes him the easier of the 2 though I would personally prefer to move Boozer instead. So now the situation has reversed; instead of looking for a big man to compliment Noah, by adding Boozer we may now have to trade Noah to get a big man to compliment Boozer. The best candidate would be D. Howard. I hate it's been coming to this because Noah was one of my favorite players. I just new signing for Boozer was a bad idea and I would have preferred to start the season with no free agent signing and started Taj Gibson and resigned Kurt Thomas instead.

    It's still not too late for Noah and Boozer to find the chemistry and we can only hope they will. But with a shortened season and the inevitable rematch with Miami during our championship window it's not looking too good for Noah.

  • I think Thibs is being a little patient with a plan here. He is waiting for Rip Hamilton to play a stretch of games and see how impacts Noah and Boozer. If they struggle even after Rip has played for about 15/20 games continuously with them, then Thibs probably will try to change the make-up of the starters. He can get Asik in with the current starters and put Noah with the second unit or as a lot of people are suggesting i.e. put Boozer in the second unit and start Taj and Noah.

    Without Rip, it looks the secondary ball movement/handling/passing responsibility falls on Noah and Boozer and that's not working. And if Atlanta's Smith/Johnson/Teague can blitz and pick on Rose, it will be a repeat with Wade/LeBron/Battier/Chalmers.
    Thibs better experiment now and have a working plan to help Rose.

  • - It's all about peaking in the playoffs. Look at what Miami did last season.
    - I think Rip's return will help the poor starts. They don't have scoring when he's out.
    - I wouldn't mess with the lineup at all.
    - CJ Watson seems like a 2 guard where as Lucas is more a point guard where he needs to have others involved and he gets the the basket slightly quicker than CJ.
    - Brewer or Korver? Thats a tough call because the Bulls need shooting badly. I would probably let Brewer go and play Butler more. Korver's one of the better 3 point shooters in the league so I think I'd rather keep him around. You can have all defensive players. I've liked Butler's defense a ton. So it would make sense for the Bulls to start giving Butler some minutes.

    I like that you ditched the into to your podcast. Just get to it. lol

  • It's very convenient for everyone to blame Boozer for pretty much everything, especially Noah's disappointing play. How about some accountability for Noah though? The guy hasn't looked like himself in over a year now. Last time I checked he wasn't tearing it up every time Boozer is on the bench. Thibs has sat Noah in the 4th a couple of times, along with Boozer, and he knows what's going on best. Both Noah & Boozer need to step it up.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Agree. Even though Boozer is not playing at any kind of star level, one thing we have to acknowledge is he is playing better than last year and he definitely seems to be in better shape. Off-course, he is not finishing great. But, he makes a few of his open jump-shots. We cannot say that Noah, Taj or Asik can make those jump-shots.

    I think there is something wrong with Noah. I like his ability to guard wing players but that's not his primary job. Just do in some late-game situations rather than do the whole game. And he is Ben Wallace bad on offense. I just hope it is rust from not playing so long and he will get his rhythm/timing back in a few weeks.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    thank you, finally someone speaking the truth here. I personally don't like boozer and would like taj as the starter but it's just pathetic seeing people blame boozer for everything that goes wrong. I like noah but he's not playing well at all, boozer has played better than him.

  • Bulls seven games in, Joakim Noah: 7 ppg and 7reb's on .38% shoting. Yikes.

    He keeps this up, and the Bulls lose what was a near all-star, emerging, impact including playoffs player. Not good. Is it Boozer, lack of confidence, unreported lingering injury, personal problems?

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I wondering if Noah didn't put the work in this Summer. Boozer looks better but Noah's drop off is pretty alarming because he's always been a high energy type player. We better hope he's not one of these guys who gets complacent after a big contract. Still early but if Noah doesn't starting getting it together maybe you start Asik a few games to send a message to Joakim?

  • I think the best course of action if this lingers, is having both start but limit the time they are on the floor together. Let's say Boozer and Noah are 30 minutes on the court together, cut that down to 20 minutes together and have Noah paired with Taj some and Boozer paired with Asik. Last game Hamilton was in, he got Noah going and he had a nice 13 pt 11 rb game..of course that's against the weaker pistons but his ball movement and passing to the bigs is impressive. I think it worked having Boozer with Kurt Thomas because Thomas is a stronger post defender compared to Noah besides his ability to hit the midrange jumper. Noah is not a bad defender but he's no dwight howard so he needs help and we saw that Taj and Noah made a great defensive pairing and shared the ball well on offense. The mix and match combination seems to make more sense then sitting both highly paid bigs on the bench in the second half.

  • Just In case some of u that hasn't noticed, when Noah plays along side of Gibson his game elevated, when he plays along side Boozer there's a significant drop off in his game. Boozer has been playing better but his game is taking away from Noah's game on both ends of the floor. I've mentioned this far too often to repeat what's going on so I will move on from it. This Bulls team will not beat Miami in any kind of series long as they have to keep depending on Rose as their one and only go to guy. There definitely needs to be some changes to the Bulls roster. I for one do not like their offense, watching them the majority of the time on offense is like pulling teeth. I watch a lot of other teams in the league and their offense, even the bad teams offense flows a whole lot better than the Bulls. This team is offensively challenged and is just not that good at all. It's going to take another beat down by Miami in the playoffs for a lot of people to realize this. I'm just watch and waiting for the enevitable to happen this spring in the playoffs for the Bulls... another playoff series loss to Miami if not another team in the east that will figure out how to stop Rose.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    thanks Reese, some of us have noticed, and for a long time have been calling for an adjustment to the starting lineup. Either Taj for Bozo, or Asik at center with Noah to the 4.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yeah they definitely need to make some changes cause the same thing is going to happen in the playoffs for the Bulls. Miami will kick dat ass again... unfortunately. Regular season means nothing, its what the team can accomplish against the team that eliminated them last year and as of now, nothing will be different.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    and please excuse mobile phone typing errors.

  • This may have been just one of those games, but it doesn't mean that you cannot learn something from it.

    The Bulls are falling behind in the first quarter just like last year, maybe it wasn't all Bogans fault. However, while our offense has been flat, we have been letting up 30 ppq, which is not Bulls D. The entire personality of the Bulls is set by their D, when it isn't happening neither is our offense. Last night the first and third quarters were reruns of each other, sooner(or later for those of you who need more than a full season and an 1/8th to figure it out) something has to be done.

    Just a reminder from last night TOAH minus 39. Taj plus 24. As a matter of fact(or FACT for those of you sitting on the couch in your mothers basement watching seinfeld reruns) that is a 63 point differential in a 15 point loss.

    We need to come out at the opening tap with 4rth quarter/playoff intensity on D, which for about a season and an 1/8th we have not, hmmm, what is the come denominator in that time period. Yes one guy can ruin an entire team, hey only 5 guys play at once, FYI MappyLite, that is 1/5th of the players on the floor at any given time. Is that fraction large enough for you to make a judgement.

    Last night was likely just one of those games, although Jordans Bulls really didn't have those games. It doesn't mean that the Bulls don't still have some issues, winning may cure all issues, it does not however, mask them all.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's like the Bulls come out without any energy in the 1st quarters and teams go up by 10 points or more and the Bulls are always playing from behind. I don't get the relaxed starts. It's kinda annoying.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    I think that's why starting Asik with Boozer if this doesn't improve in the next month or so makes sense. That way, hopefully Bulls don't fall way too behind in the first quarter. Maybe Noah and Boozer work well together if the Bulls are not way behind trying to make a comeback and they are in a better offensive rhythm which will allow Noah to cheat or be more aggressive on defense

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Rose was -33 and Lucas +18 vs ATL, I guess we should bench DRose and play Lucas instead?

    That's a 51 point differential in a 15 point loss.

    Boozer only played 59 games last season, I guess in other 23 the Bulls got off to blazing starts? Who was "the one guy who ruined the entire team" in those games? Oh, I forgot, those were all Bogans' fault, right?


  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    BigWay wrote: The Bulls are falling behind in the first quarter just like last year, maybe it wasn't all Bogans fault. However, while our offense has been flat, we have been letting up 30 ppq, which is not Bulls D

    The Bulls have given up 23.4 in nine 1st quarters.
    The Bulls have scored 23.2 in nine 1st quarters.

    Now I get it, you must be watching different games than the rest of us. That would explain a lot.

  • The thing that I think needs to change is, Thibs taking the ball out of DRoses hands. How often, at the beginning of a game, does Derrick bring the ball up the court, pass it and then he never touches it again. He is a top 5 player in the league that plays a position that handles the ball, let him handle it. I hate that he passes the ball then runs around screens and then tries to get it back. I personally would love to see some pick and pops or something to start the game. That allows Booz to step away from the basket and leave the paint open for Noah.

    That said I am a big Asik fan so I am all for him starting.

  • Maybe the best thing that could happen to the Bulls is for Noah or TOAH(Boozer) to get injured and see what happens.

    Hopefully, in Noah's case it would be a short lived injury.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Noah missed 34 games last year, the Bulls went 26-8 without him.
    Booz missed 23 games last year, the Bulls went 15-8 without him.

    I hope the entire team stays healthy, but historically the Bulls are better off without Noah than without Boozer.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    When Boozer and Noah both played, the Bulls were 26-5 last season... and they lost the first 2 games they both played, when Boozer first came back from injury and played under 22 minutes both nights.

    The last 38 regular season games that both Boozer and Noah played, the Bulls are 33-5. That's a 71-win pace over 82 games.

    We're 7-2 this year only having play TWO home games!! We are on pace to win 29 home games and 41 home games... yeah, that's 70 wins.

    Our "horrible" offense is ranked 7th in the NBA. Even after the ATL debacle, our defense is ranked 3rd.

    What in the hell are people complaining about? Seriously, it's downright comical.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    And just for the hell of it, did Rip solve our offensive woes?

    He's only played 5 games, but in those 5 the Bulls Offensive Rating is 110.3, which would be #1 in the NBA.

    The 4 games Rip didn't play, the Bulls' OER is 103.3, which would be tied for 15th in the league.

    Rip's efficiency isn't very high- .486 TS% doesn't look good, does it- but the TEAM's offense is much better with Rip playing.

    Which was the entire point some of us were trying to make when we signed Rip. He changes the way defenses have to play against the Bulls, there is no doubt about it.

    Again, it's too early in the season to really judge anything- but if you want to do it, that's what is going on.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    "Rip's efficiency isn't very high- .486 TS% doesn't look good, does it- but the TEAM's offense is much better with Rip playing"


    I feel much better when Rip is in the starting lineup. Love the way he handles the ball. Love how he doesn't hesitate to shoot or pass when the time is right.

  • Can anyone on this forum give me a REALISTIC trade for Boozer?

    Like others have said we had to overpay to get him in 2010 and to put it mildly we are stuck with him for the next 2 1/2 years at least. He has no trade value and no way will JR pay him $60mill to leave; and even if he does amnesty him we are still over the cap so cannot bring anyone else in.
    Saying that I agree that Booz and Jo do not complement each other well. I have advocated splitting them up for a long time and though they are starting to get a bit better as a tandem I don't believe it will ever be the ideal pairing. I have previously asked that Booz spend more time with the second unit but the way things are going this year I would not have a problem with Omer starting ahead of Jo so we still have Booz's 18ppg in the starting line-up.

    Which brings up the "moving forward" scenario. I love Jo's game and his energy when he's in the right position but with him and Booz I don't think it works. So as you say Reese changes need to be made. Well it pains me to say this but how about Jo and Ronnie for Iggy and Tony Battie(salaries work)? Philly would get the big they have been looking for and a defensive guard to compliment their offensive guards and Evan Turner is starting to prove he can start at the 3. For the Bulls Omer moves to the starting centre and we get a great starting SG in Iggy who can play the 3 to give Luol more rest. Rip becomes our 6th man. We get Battie at the centre to soak up fouls and give Omer rest but as we saw Booz and Taj can work together and at a push we could go DRose, Rip, Iggy, Luol, Booz.

    Just a thought as I dont see how we can trade Booz's contract but Jo's is a lot easier to move. This might annoy a lot of Jo over Booz fans (and I'm one of them) but bottom line is the Bulls team not the individual players has to be the priority.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    1. I think Boozer is not going anywhere this season. It must happen in the off-season. If the Bulls fail again and everyone was healthy, I think GarPax will look for a change.
    2. The point is if Boozer has to go or GarPax are ready to trade Boozer....that means Boozer was bad being healthy in the playoffs. This means, you are not getting great value back.
    I think there are a lot of scenarios:
    1. Lakers stink and Gasol looks bad...Gasol + fillers for Boozer+fillers
    2. Philly stink and Brand is hurt/bad...so Igoudala for Boozer
    3. NJ gets Howard...so they do a S & T for Kris Humphries for Boozer obviously adding others for salaries
    4. Or get a malcontent/headcase like Cousins.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    1. Pau for Booz makes no sense for Lakers they need a all-rounder now LO has gone and he fits well with Bynum and Kobe; he is also a big chip in their pursuit of DH so he will be use only to upgrade the team

    2. Philly are 5-2 top of division. They are looking forward not backwards. They will keep Brand because like Booz he is an immovable but they are after youth in any trade (Noah)

    3. NJ over cap; Booz is $5mill more than Hump so can't see that working or Bulls wanting Hump

    4. Now this shows you are desperate to trade Booz lol. Cousins, I'm a big fan of his talent but would not want him on the Bulls as you say - headcase!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    You misunderstood me. I am not talking about a trade now. This is a what-if happens scenario. For ex: If Lakers suck this season and Howard ends up getting swapped for Bynum. Then Boozer for Gasol makes sense right. Same case with Philly, NJ. As of now, none of those teams will take Boozer. Which basically means, GarPax have to find a team which wants to change their pieces after this season. I feel Boozer is a good fit with Howard as Howard protects the rim area (like Asik) when Boozer will let his man always go past him to the rim while Noah is more like Bosh defending stretch PFs.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    This has been going on for years, on every message board/chat room/blog in the world.

    Fans will rip on a player and talk about how much he sucks and is overpaid and should be amnestied and the Bulls are stuck with him... but then they ALWAYS talk about trading him and getting something good in return.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    If you check through all my posts I'm a Boozer supporter. I agree I prefer Jo more but thats the french blood in me!

    The post was highlighting what you have said previously that like it or not we will be "stuck with" Boozer for at least 2 more years so rather than riding him we should be supporting him. 1 1/2 years ago we all wanted that low post presence. We didn't get/want Amare or Bosh so Booz was the best available. There is an issue with how the Bulls use him compare to the Jazz (more PnR and Okur sat on the 3pt line) so we have 3 choices
    1. run more plays that suit his skill set and work on his partnership with Jo
    2. use substitutions better to lessen the time Booz and Jo are on court together
    3. Jo IS tradeable so trade him.

    That is the order of my preferences; original post was in response to others saying trade Boozer

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    OK, I was actually responding to schaumburgfan's post, not really yours.

    If we are assuming that we have to trade Boozer because he sucks, how would we get back an Iggy or Pau for a guy who sucks? And if he doesn't suck, why would we trade him?

    And actually, schaumburgfan goes on to say that those teams wouldn't do those trades now, only after the season if PHI/LAL suck this year. But I had already replied to his first post before I read that one.

    Now that I re-read it I probably didn't make myself very clear before, I should have been more specific.

    Personally, I don't think for a second that we are "stuck" with Boozer, he's easily a top-10 PF in the league IMHO. You may have misunderstood something I said, or I could have mis-spoken, but I don't think the Bulls would have any trouble trading Boozer if that's what they wanted to do.

    I just don't see that Boozer has done anything that wasn't expected when the Bulls signed him. They knew that defense wasn't his strong suit, and they knew that he struggles to score in the low block against taller PF (specifically Pau was his nemesis when he was in Utah).

    A lot of fans, I think, had the expectations that he was a classic "dump the ball into him in the low block and let him go one-on-one with his back to the basket" post player. Well, he's not. Never was.

    He was always most effective in pick and roll or pick and pop, he's always been a very good jump-shooter for a PF. He's consistently seen ~50% of his shots be jumpers, and even in the low block his game is more based on quick moves and having a soft touch around the basket.

  • And BTW, this whole "Boozer and Noah can't play together" is pretty much a crock.


    Boozer and Noah had been on the floor together for 182.1 minutes, and the Bulls are +55 when that's the case.

    The other 159.1 minutes, the team is +16.

    Noah and Boozer might not be the perfect 4/5 combo, but it's pretty damned effective. +14.5 per 48 minutes, I can live with all day.

Leave a comment