Bulls fall to Pacers as Boozer yanked for Scalabrine

Did Tom Thibodeau really use Brian Scalabrine as a defensive sub or was the play for Scal's corner three miss drawn up in advance? It's hard to imagine any reason to pull Carlos Boozer for Scalabrine at the end of the game. I'd take Boozer on either end of the court first, but that's exactly what Thibodeau did.

When Scal's wide open three point shot which would have given the Bulls the lead bricked badly, twitter exploded with comments like "that would have brought down the house" as if Scal taking a game winning three becomes a smart play because the UC would have gone nuts if he hit a shot that mattered.

Outside of the truly Bizarre ending to the game, this was one of those matchups where the Bulls really just didn't have it but still almost won.

Richard Hamilton had one of those games that scares me

You know, the kind where he jacks up all kinds of shots but doesn't hit any and doesn't really make up for it by getting to the line or hitting threes? He scored 17 but used 23 possessions to do so and missed numerous open 8-10 foot shots in the fourth quarter.

Derrick's pass to Scal defines why he's better than Chris Paul

Say what?

No, really. That pass is the kind of pass Chris Paul makes all the time at the end of games. Most of the time, Derrick Rose will force a foul or hit the shot. Chris Paul's a pass first guy, so he's always looking to dump the ball off to the open guy, but I'd rather have my superstar shooting. I'd rather have had Derrick Rose shooting last night.

He didn't do it last night, but on most plays he will. Talk all you want about "making the right play", but you need your star to take over at times. Derrick didn't do that in the second half last night, but it was an aberration.

Brewer did a nice job filling in for Deng

For much of the night it felt like Brewer and Rose were the only players showing life out there. Joakim Noah came in and did a nice job hustling for offensive boards at the end and doing a nice job on the glass, but many of the Bulls seemed rather listless at times during the game.

Wake up call

The Bulls got fat on the New Jersey Nets of the world for a few games and just got smacked in the mouth by a real opponent. It's just the wakeup call they need before going into Miami on Sunday. Hopefully, they can learn something from this one.

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  • The "Human Victory Cigar" was used way too much last night and It was embarrasing Boozer was particularly bad on offense, taking fall away 15 foot jumpers all night. He even falls away from the shot when he's wide open? I'm personally a fan of boozer and believe that when he's determined to do so, he can score in the paint. But it almost seems like he's afraid to take it to the basket. My worry is come playoff time, we have Rose double teamed, Noah not contributing, and 3 guys (Deng, Hamilton, Boozer, etc) bricking 15 footers all night. This seems to have been the story of our losses for the last few years: Defense was bad last night and while I didn't look at the box score yet, it seemed like Hibbert ate our bigs alive. At the end of the day, Indiana has a solid team that remind me of Scott Skiles' Bulls minus Rose (Which were great teams). Almost like a Bulls Light or Diet Bulls. We missed a few key players and I'm sure we'll come back with vengeance for our next game which seems to be the trend after tough losses.

  • In reply to Villageworker2:

    As Charles Barkley often says, you don't win championships shooting jumpers, much less fade away ones.

  • I think the White Mamba was out there to send a message to Boozer- Carlos was simply atrocious last night, worse defense than usual and yeah- what was with all the fadeaway jumpers when he was wide open?

    But like Doug pointed out, sometimes teams need a loss to smack them in the face, we'll find out soon enough if this one wakes the Bulls up.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Why not use Asik as a defensive sub or Korver as an offensive one though?

    I guess that's my question.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    My guess at the time was defensive sub who also can make a play offensively- I think they only had 1 timeout left at the time, so you want to safe guard against having to use it.

  • Calling out untitledreality and BigWay.

    "Did Tom Thibodeau really use Brian Scalabrine as a defensive sub or was the play for Scal's corner three miss drawn up in advance? It's hard to imagine any reason to pull Carlos Boozer for Scalabrine at the end of the game. I'd take Boozer on either end of the court first, but that's exactly what Thibodeau did."


    Thanks Doug! At least someone has some sense on this blog. So BigWay, "obviously you are among the misguided group" who hates on Boozer to no end regardless of the situation. Let's put up an argument without your opinion smothering any sense of well... common sense. Scal isn't a better replacement for Boozer on either end of the court. I love Thibs, but IMO (and Doug's) that was an obvious coaching error.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    a dead paraplegic is a better replacement for snoozer on the defensive end. And Scalabrine is a better 3 point shooter than Boozer(who is not even a threat to take one).

    So at the point that Thibs substituted Scal for Boozer he was a better choice on both sides of the court.

    I feel pretty comfortable when Thibs agrees with me, rather than uniformed Boozer apologists.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    No you're even better. You're an uniformed Scalabrine apologist. Are you seriously arguing that Thibs can do no wrong? He's an amazing coach, and the only two complaints I had this year are too many minutes and the lack of playing time for Butler. Then came along the Scalabrine substitution.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    I could not care less about Scalabrine, he is what he is, a Thibs pet. If he wasn't on the team, I am sure that we could find someone else that I would like better.

    Look up the word hyperbole, reread the definition many times, maybe in the future you will recognize it. But, from the nature of your comments, I doubt it.

    Maybe, you are an English as a second language student.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I feel pretty comfortable that Thibs doesn't agree that Scal is better on both ends of the court, else we'd be starting Scalabrine and playing him big minutes.

    Not that I'm a huge Boozer fan, but Scal is a guy who barely is hanging on in the league due to his limitations. He's a fun player to watch against lousy teams who aren't fundamentally sound on defense, because he can get away with some veteran craftiness, but he's really no business being on the court in important minutes against good teams unless everyone else is hurt or fouled out.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Given the circumstances of the last 57 seconds, when Thibs substituted Scal for Boozer, he clearly believed that Scal was better suited for what the Bulls needed to do in that last 57 seconds. Otherwise he wouldn't have done it.

    Clearly, Thibs was looking to getting a stop, advancing the ball quickly without a timeout, and taking a 3 if an easy 2 was not available. For those purposes in that exact situation, Scal was indeed better suited to the task at hand than Boozer was, even though Scal is exactly as you describe him.

    Neither Thibs nor I is suggesting that Scal is a legitimate NBA player, a starter or a big minute player.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Oh no! Someone has a different opinion than me. BooHoo

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Let's rephrase that, someone has a BETTER opinion than you. Let’s not forget your over the top response to my original comment either. "Give Thibs a freaking break". Are we not supposed to constructively criticize Thibs? Is that out of bounds for you? Does it hurt your feeling? Boohoo

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Feel free to unknot your panties any time now.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Better watch out, all caps and name calling, if it wasn't clear already another Mappy clone.

    You are not allowed to disaggree with people who know that they are better than you, and will regularly tell you so.

  • I assume that Scal was put in because Boozer had 5 fouls and Thibs didn't want Booz to pick up a cheap foul and be out for a possible OT.

  • In reply to edwardbuell:

    I heard that argument on ESPN 1000. My counter argument would be that you play to win, because guess what?, Boozer still had five fouls at the end of the game and we lost. I have no problem with Scalabrine being on this team, but I never want to see him taking game winning shots again. Are the Bulls in a tough situation with both Gibson and Deng sidelined with injuries? Yes. However, I believe Boozer was still the better option considering the circumstances. I prefer a twenty foot Boozer jumper for the tie than a Scalabrine corner three. I don't care that he shots 34% from the arch--which isn't great by any standard--he's taken two three's all year and has averaged three points throughout his entire NBA career! What a game changer that Scalabrine is. Knocking down game winning shot after game winning shot. Should Derrick have taken the shot himself? Maybe, but he was well guarded, and the shot looked to be contested had he taken it. He was double teamed and needed to bail. Indiana didn't worry about guarding Scalabrine. As the end result shows, they didn't have to.

  • In reply to edwardbuell:

    Hard for me to believe anyone would make a coaching move that stupid.

    The refs are far less likely to call a foul in that scenario than normally. If he was on the floor prior to that point why worry about it then?

  • For the most part Boozer has been playing well this year, however I had a feeling he would drop the ball against the Pacers. He struggles against bigger defenders and it seems like the Pacers Bigs know exactly how to shut him down.

    The thing that makes Indiana such a tough opponent is that they're built similar to us minus Rose, except they're bigger, faster, and more athletic. Our defense is at it's best when a team relies on a superstar, but when playing 5 man teams we don't have the best 1 on 1 matchups. That's where Deng and Taj are missed the most, because they can match up with almost anyone on both ends of the floor. Rip and Boozer are both inconsistent on offense, and Boozer is almost a non-factor defensively.

    I think Brewer did a nice job at filling in for Deng but the problem is without Deng we lose dept, and besides rebounding our dept has been the bread and butter of the team this year.

    As a side note I really don't like Boozer as a player. I just don't like how he can have good games against poor teams, but the games that really matters he never shows up. Alot of people are upset with Thibs for his decision to put in Scal but I think it was great decision and Boozer left him know other option. That's the same reason why Thibs prefers to have Taj and Asik finish games. Because Boozer never shows up when it counts.

  • In reply to ajay708:

    You can't argue with Taj coming in to replace Boozer at the end of games, but with all his faults, I can't consider playing Scalabrine over him with a straight face.

  • In reply to ajay708:

    Kind of on the fence about whether Boozer has really played well this year. It feels like he's had a few feast games against lousy teams.

    To his credit, he stepped up big when Rose was out, and we needed an offensive player in those games.

    To his detriment, he's played well against good teams.

    I agree completely with your view that the Bulls struggle more against teams with very balanced attacks rather than superstars.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    When it is debatable whether or not he has played well on the half of the court that is supposed to be his strength, and he is the disaster that he is on the other end of the court, it should be obvious which side of the fence to fall on.

  • Imagine how different things would've been if Rose would've made that layup on the first play of the game. sigh

  • In reply to ManOnNeptune:

    or the Bulls didn't miss another layup and a 6 foot bunny by Rip on the next 2 possessions, or Rose's desperation 3 at the end of the first had left his hand a split second sooner.

    It just wasn't our night, and we didn't have the effort to make it so.

  • I am guessing that Thibs might have had this 3pt play planned out and since he didn't have a time-out, he put Scal in instead of Boozer.

    The only issue is I think the Bulls eased up on the intensity which made it easy for Indy. Indy is a physical team. And this is a match-up where you need both Deng, Brewer to combat Granger, George and Taj to combat West.

    The only positive is that the Bulls should kind of know now what match-ups might not work well against Indy if they face them in the playoffs.

  • When a team looks like a contender you don't just bag on them after one sub par game. Right? Right.

    Having some stiff competition like Indiana is better then facing a bunch of pushovers, and having false confidence. Right? Right.

    Declaring you want to be the best player in the league, but then passing the ball to Brian Scalabrine at crunch time is just being a "team" player. Right?


    Face it Chicago(Bulls fans). Derrick, is not a closer. Is he?

    A true superstar has to be a closer. Superstars stab you in the heart, and leave you for dead as time expires as you do as well.

    Yes D-Rose can drive and score on crazy shots along with getting hot at times shooting as well. He truly looked like an MVP closing out teams in second halfs last year where he was often unstoppable.

    No doubt Rose is a stud; who loves the game. Great kid.

    But in game winning, truly end of game situations, Derrick neither has the Wade, Micahel, or even Billups in his prime like ability to draw contact in esssence creating a foul to get to the line. Nor the drop a bomb on you long jumpers. If he did, he would do it. He's had a couple of moments, but no one outside of Chicago would categorize D-Rose as a closer. Would they?

    Passing to Brian Scalabrine in crunch time? All-Stars like Scottie Pippen don't necessarily have to be late game snuffers like rent a win Robert Horry. Nor are they going to carry a team on their back to a championship ala M.J. or Hakeem Olajuwon.

    Derrick Rose is a stud. He's an All-Star starter for his conference. He's capable of second half take outs. But come end of game, he's not a guaranteed trip to the line, nor a bomb dropper.

    Derrick indeed is Robin, not Batman.I know, some will pan the "Hater" for this opinion about D-Rose. Supported him from day one as a stud, not like many doubters of which there were plenty. Great person. Yet shy, sheltered, and does sometimes shrink at the end of ball games.

    Maybe Derrick needs to ditch the family, and stake out on his own. I don't know. Is he capable of becoming that end of game face of doom like the one he sports on his shoulder? Maybe. Many feel you're either born with a trait like that or you're not. That you can't "learn" it.

    Would he do better with a Phil or Riley then an admittedly not charismatic or inspiring nor proven championship coach in Thibs? Riley and Phil in their prime gleam. Phil's smile. His undderstanding of player psychology and team chemistry. Riley's burn through you scowl. His amp up effect that took a bum like John Starks to nearly take out Michael, and win a title. Thibs? Nice man. Defensive wiz. But I mean, come on. He looks more like the guy who hands you your change at the tollbooth then an icon in waiting.

    Please. Love Derrick. If he never wins he's still a great part of Chicago sports. Maybe some day his Batman will come. Or more likely the Bulls get more offensively talented All-Star type players.

    And as I always say, come crunch time if he does start getting to the line, and hitting those daggers, then I'll be glad he made the next step or proved me wrong. Either way you can win with D-Rose. But honestly, I wonder if the current cast of L(B)oozer or HOF one day, chucker well past his prime the next RIP, will get him there. I'll be rooting for Ronnie, Jo, Taj, Lu, Derrick. C.J. etc. .Great group of guys. Maybe the best we've(Bulls) ever had.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Seriously? Derrick's not a closer? Have you been alive the past three years? I know I'm a homer, but he's still has to be considered one of the top 5 closers in the game. Not sure if you can count Lebron nowadays, but we'll say him, Wade, Kobe, and after that it's probably Derrick. He's been terrific at getting to the line in crunch time and has hit the majority of meaningful FT's (has to be around 90%).

    You're crazy if you think Derrick Rose is Robin. Absolutely crazy.

  • In reply to johnbegone:

    Hey, I respect your views, but no need to call me "crazy."

    You really believe if you took a pole of NBA analysts or even other players around the league that they would regard Derrick as a game on the line, last second closer? You regard him as a closer based on last year's playoffs?

    He's hit some crazy shots around the basket at the near end of games. He's been a second half demolition squad on many nights. But too often against the top defenses and teams like Miami etc., I just don't see it. Nor do I in true final shot game winner situations.

    If you really believe, as a self admitted homer, which I laughed when you said that, and it's cool that you are real or honest about it, that people are crazy for calling Derrick unproven or not a closer especially after last year's playoffs then you are entitled to your view. And you're not crazy. It's just a blog.

    I do wonder though if Derrick had a Riley or Phil just what kind of winner he coud be? That and some legit, in their prime, offensive studs around him. Maybe in that setting he does become - "the closer."

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I think Rose is a fearless guy for the last second shot/pass. I don't think he is anyway comparable to LeBron in that situation. Even though LeBron might be more talented than Rose and that's why the NBA analysts constantly keep wondering why he can't make the final shots. LeBron seems to mentally cower or over-analyse those situations. Honestly, I think Rose is more simpler in that situation because of his personality. That's why he has a chance to succeed.
    I found there was nothing wrong in that play because who were our 3 pt options at that time?
    1. Korver....can never get free especially in those situations
    2. CJ, Rip --were struggling
    3. Rose--- was double teamed and had to create
    Scal was our only option for a 3 at that time and he got an open look.
    Rose doesn't have the vision of a Chris Paul but he is definitely not afraid to take the last shot. I think he made a good basketball play

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Schaum, you're a good poster, and I always read what you have to say.

    I agree Derrick is a fearless guy overall. But I wouldn't say all the time. He's not a killer. Not yet anyway, at least IMO.

    He has been the closer at times. And yes fearless. But other times I would say not. And it's been awesome to watch on the ocassions when he's done so. I'm not discounting Derrick's MVP at times play either. I do think he has the potential to cross that thresold of true closer. I'm just not sure it can happen with the current cast and coach. That doesn't mean I don't like the Bulls team or Thibs. I've liked Thibs a lot this year. But not last night.

    If he is already a Superstar in the closing sense, we should see that come playoff time. Nothing woud make me happier.

    In regards to last night's game, Do I think D-Rose needs to find a way to get open and get that shot off, or create a foul and get to the line? Yes. But I can understand someone making the counter argument if it was a solid second option like Luol, a near All-Star, and he's wide open. But not Scalabrine.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You are crazy.

    What a ridiculous knee jerk reaction to the right play. Derrick has been clutch in the game winners more often than not.

    I'm glad Doug doesn't let you spew your nonsense in columns anymore.

    Go away/don't come here anymore.


  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    And as for RIP, if his numbers stay up, and he can play like he has on most nights all year, then I'll be glad any worries about him due to recent stats dropping and age decline the past few years were needless.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Seriously? I have to agree with johnbegone on this one. You can't suddenly say the guy is not a closer after one game. Kobe, Wade, Durant, and some would argue Lebron are the only guys off the top of my head that most people would rather give the ball to when you need a clutch shot. Derrick is arguably a top 5 closer in the league right now.

    I'm not saying that Scal is equal to Paxson or Kerr, but how many times did Jordan pass to those guys for clutch (game winning) shots. Jordan took the shot 99% of the time (as does Derrick), but even he passed when there was no better option. Unfortunately for Derrick last night, he didn't have Paxson or Kerr sitting wide open in the corner.

    I'll even go out on a limb and say Derrick was arguably the best closer in the NBA last season.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Derrick as a top five closer? Wade, Kobe, Dirk I'd put ahead. Durant, Chris Paul(end of game shots only) maybe. I can see top five. That is Second half dominations regular season I'll agree. But playoffs and last second shots not at this point.

    The crucial exception for Derrick, is that closers get to the line often on the final posession(s). That's what takes a lot of the pressure off their game ending shots i.e partly why they make so many. Derrick simply does not have that M.J., Wade, Kobe, LeBron(at times though he's still a gagger), Billups in his prime, even Iverson ability to get to the line at will i.e when it matters most at the end of games. Partly that's coaching, and working on fakes, attack methods, and sadly floppery. But partly it's savvy and exploiting your athleticism. You have it or you don't.

    Look, I agree there aren't many guys that can demolish a team almost singlehandedly in a second half. Derrick is a stud. He did it to Miami and the Wadette's last year at their house for instance.But that was the regular season. But at game winning time: final shots or getting to the line I'd have to say no. At this time. But yes, top five second half domination sure. Playoffs or end of game no.

    As for Jordan, I don't see Mike passing it to Scalabrine with the game on the line. I'm sorry. Luol, yeah I could see that. Scalabrine, a good guy whose fundamentally excellent and will be a good assistant coach someday. End of game crunch time option? No.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    This post is laughable.
    Rose had that epic 4Q battle with D-Wade in the Heat game LeBron missed last year.

    The Bulls would've been headed for an embarrassing 1st round exit last year had it not been for Rose (and Korver) pulling them through the IND series.

    He slammed the door on ATL with 44 points on a bad ankle.

    This year he tore the hearts out of LAL and ATL with late circus shots in the lane over 7 foot Pau Gasol and 6'9" leaper Josh Smith, respectively.

    You want to dog him for the FTs at Memphis or in Game 5 against the Heat? Fine. But there's a reason the stat-heads say "clutch" doesn't really exist. We remember what we want and discount the rest.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Tyler, let's get something straight. I'm not dogging Derrick. .

    Don't misconstrue my comments. Derrick often plays like an MVP. Because I'm not an absolutist homer who is not afraid to say something contrary doesn't mean I'm "dogging" someone.

    He played poorly in thee Closer stage, the later rounds of the playoffs. He doesn't get to the line in the final minutes of a game the way a Wade, Kobe, Durant etc. do. He just doesn't That's a huge part of being a closer. Huge. It's a big part of the invincibility or why these guys I've mentioned win including in the playoffs.

    Dogging > Simplistic characterizations and misresresentations are too easy. Use your brain next time. Please.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    D Rose isn't above criticism. I'd just prefer that it be accurate criticism.

    Wade, whom you designate as a closer, also played poorly in the ECF. They advanced because the alleged choker LeBron and squeezably soft Bosh played their butts off.

    Since you specifically mentioned getting to the line, two things have to happen for that to occur: 1) he has to drive and draw contact; 2) the ref has to blow the whistle. Only half of the "get to the line" equation is under his control. We've all seen him get clotheslined (as recently as last night) and wonder "where the F is the foul?"

    Terms like "closer" are vague enough that people can move the goal posts to support whatever narrative they want. But if being a closer means taking over late in close games, then yes, hell yes Derrick Rose is a closer.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Good point on "closer" being a vague term. To me, a closer is someone who makes the clutch shot late in games/4th quarters when the game is on the line. Whether they get to the line or not is irrelevant in the closer discussion. Derrick gets the job done late in games more times than not.

    I will agree that he needs to work on getting to the line a little more, however, he has improved on that and it's partially the refs swallowing their whistles and not calling the foul. I think Thibs needs to get a few technicals or Pax needs to complain about it and get a fine or two for the refs and the league to start noticing.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    RW, I see where you are going. The point is Rose doesn't get to the line or he is doesn't have that almost guaranteed jumper like Dirk or Durant. He gets beaten up a lot and we don't want him to end up like Wade who is looking for a LeBron to help him win c'ships because he can't get it done alone.

    Honestly, I don't want him to act super-human because even MJ was not(even if most of us believe that:-)). It is a good bet that a great basketball play will be more successful than a hero play and it obviously introduces the uncertain possibility for the opponent next time.

    That said, it is too early to make a conclusion on Rose either way. He is obviously up there in the HOF category if he continues at his current level. But, to go to the top 10/15 player of all time(that's what I think you are looking for), he needs a couple of years of seasoning as you write. He has to make mistakes and learn. There is no other way around it.

    Also, you can see he is improving unlike most of the other guys like playing good defense(which Dirk, Iverson don't do much) or not improving their jumpshot(like Wade). That is why we need to be very optimistic.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I've seen his "not guaranteed" jumper go in more often than not, when it matters...

    RW comments are the equivalent of "talking to hear himself speak"... I don't know... He's got comment diarrhea.

    But at least I didn't see an over-abundance of slashes, a la, closer/killer/game-ender/not choker.

    Doug, I love your site. I hate the comments.

    Keep up the good work.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Did you fall asleep for the entire 2010-11 season? Derrick Rose isn't a closer?

  • In reply to DougThonus:


  • In reply to DougThonus:


  • In reply to DougThonus:

    While not defending the comment or the thought process, it does seem that Rose has been relatively passive in the 2 games since his return from injury.

    My sense is that it is affecting his ability to take over the game, and this could be a major problem for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Two games come to mind:

    Season opener vs. the Lakers and our first game against Atlanta (both quality teams).

    Derrick certainly closed those games out.

  • Super bizarre ending. The Scalabrine substitution was a head scratcher. I understand Boozer is terribly on defense (and he was 2010-11 bad last night, back to his same OLE! tricks on help defense [seriously though, I watched him get into position correctly several times on help defense for driving guards only to swiftly get out of the way of a dunk... come one]), but if you're making a defensive sub you bring in Omer and move Jo to the 4 against David West. As it turned out, Jo got switched to West anyway and we got the ball back. And I do understand that Derrick is best when running, so you let him try and get that next score w/o taking a time out but come on... Scal in the corner? "That's usually his shot" says Derrick. He hasn't hit a 3 since his Celtics days. 0-9 in a Bulls uniform, and those were all attempts in garbage time when it didn't even matter.

    What confounded the whole thing is after giving up the Hibbert dunk to go down 4 with something like 8.9 seconds left, how do you not take a time out and put in a lineup of Rose, Watson, Brewer, Korver, Noah. Instead I believe the only sub was Boozer coming back in. Then with about 6 seconds left down by 5 Derrick just lazily dribbled the ball up the court and conceded defeat.

    Super depressing loss. I know we're still 16-4 but I didn't see a lot of heart out there for this team outside of Brewer. Without Luol and Taj we do not match up well against a Pacers team with Granger and West (or any other team with powerful 3/4 forwards like Miami, NYK, etc).

  • In reply to johnbegone:

    Is that what Derrick said, "That's usually his shot(Scalabrine)"?? I really wish they could hire an ex-offensive minded head coach with some charisma to get Derrick in a better perspective then that. Jesus.

  • In reply to johnbegone:

    Was a bummer of a loss, but I don't find it super depressing at all.

    The team is winning about 2/3 against teams above .500. Nothing to panic about. The Bulls played a lousy game, we missing arguably their 2nd best player, and still almost won.

  • I don't think there was a timeout left. Regardless, a stunning end of the game, with definitely some over coaching going on. Coaches, much like refs, have done a good job when no one has reason to discuss them.

  • Like I said after last game when everybody was patting everybody on the back, don't get complacent and think that you are invincible because you beat a crappy team fairly easily while missing 2 of your top 6 guys.

    That doesn't happen against real teams that play playoff hard even during the regular season.

    This loss does not upset me much, it was foreseeable before the game(due to injuries) and felt inevitable when Rose alligator armed a layup that should have been a dunk on the first play of the game.

    The Bulls came out in the 3rd like they had won the game with their strong close to the first half. Then the refs pretty much took them out of the game with 3 ticky tacky fouls in the first 3 possessions of the quarter. That allowed Indy to play with all the aggression in the second half.

    Despite all that if anyone could have hit a shot in the second half we still win the game. As Thibs said, we got what we deserved.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    P.S. for those of you who are still "dumbfounded" by Thibs subbing Scal for snoozer. Rosenblog on Bozo

    Heck, he had even shown some defensive smarts. He still can’t or won’t guard anybody, but he was faking it better.

    Then came Wednesday, and there went Boozer, back to looking like he couldn’t hold the Jordan statue under 20 points. With Gibson hurt and the Pacers focusing on their bigs, the Bulls needed Boozer to produce at both ends.

    But no. Boozer missed 9 of 14 shots and not only made David West look clutch, but also reminded that he’s the only guy against whom Tyler Hansbrough doesn’t look like an overrated goof.

    Couldn't have said it better myself, and I am not even "blaming" TOAW for this loss. Last night was just a typical average all around snoozer type game, exactly what you look for in a guy making$15 million per.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Boozer doesn't seem to have any traces of explosiveness at all. With all his weight and health issues last year, he seemed to atleast dunk the ball hard sometimes. This year, I don't see it at all. There was an alley-oop kind of pass to him yesterday and I think he just passed it or tried a fade-away. But, the funny thing is he threw an alley-oop to Rip and obviously that didn't work either:-)

  • Bulls lose = its boozers fault lol the people in this blog are ridiculous. Here are bigger reasons(than boozer) why the bulls lost last night:

    •Thibs bad coaching night
    •rose doing his best lebron impersonation
    • Rip's horrible shooting(6-20 shooting)
    • Nobody played well except brewer

    And as for boozers bad defense,
    d west scored 14pts
    hansbrough scored 10pts(most off of free throws)

    What about hibbert scoring 20 on noah and asik?

  • In reply to rob32:

    Your right when sh_t hits the fan, we Bulls fans are quick to point the finger at Boozer when besides Brewer the whole team played poorly. I believe it's because we all expect so much more from Boozer. This guy is supposed to be all star calliber and we paid near max to get him. With his mediocre production he's only a smiget better than Taj who plays significantly better defense anyway. When Boozer can get his jumper going I tend to like him at times, but just like Ben Gordon when his shot isn't falling he's fairly useless. The only thing Boozer does pretty good consistently is rebound, but even before he came we was already a good rebounding team. You see the negatives out way the positives.

  • In reply to rob32:

    It's a lost cause. Some people just have blind hatred for Boozer and will tag you as a Boozer apologist even if you don't care much for him yourself. It's very short sighted if you ask me. When people believe dead bodies can play better defense and don't even say it with sarcasm, I really feel sorry for them. It just equates to more entertainment on my end. Especially when the leader of this blog has something constructive—rather than hot headed—to add to the discussion. But remember, it’s not “the people” on this blog, but rather certain individuals that foam at the mouth at the mention of Boozer. They even have to make up insulting names for Boozer to gratify their hatred.

    CJ Watson’s play was disappointing, but I can hardly fault him for having one bad game out of twenty. I expect him to have his off days.

    As Doug and yourself pointed out, RIP’s inefficiency was killing us.
    Great point on Hibbert.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    I agree there is no point in hating on Boozer. He tries for lack of a better term. He has his strengths and weaknesses(a lot of them).
    The great thing is Taj compliments Boozer almost perfectly. The only common thing about them is both are good rebounders.
    I think the biggest problem which people have with Boozer is his defense or the inability to take a charge. That is not skill and Boozer can be a little bolder. Or to give him the benefit of doubt, he probably knows something about his body that we don't know which means a charge=injury.
    I heard that he is always enthusiastic and encouraging. We have to appreciate that. Also, he needs other parts to be performing well(Rose, Rip, Deng) for him to do well.
    Overall, I am glad as a Bulls fan to have him even with his issues. He has the experience and I think he can succeed if given good offensive options tailored to him.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    I don't know how it affected the score, but the Bulls switch Noah onto West when he scored a few times in a row on Boozer and put Boozer on Hibbert.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    you might say in a big way, as Noah stopped West(blocked his shot) on the possession after the Scal for boozer substitution, which lead to the transition opportunity to tie or win the game.

    I certainly would have had no problem with Asik playing Hibbert and Noah on whomever the pacer PF was, but that does not appear to be in Thibs repertoire.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Again, it is called hyperbole, look it up, again and again if you must.

    it is not short sighted when you signed the guy to a long term max contract and but for the miracle of amnesty are stuck with a rapidly declining asset until 2015, approximately the mid way point of Roses productive career.

    it is not the mention of Boozer that irritates, it is the sight of him pretending to not play any defense ever every single night, and the thought of having to do so until 2015.

    Certain individuals may want to foam on that.

    Speaking of foaming at the mouth, is that not something a rabid dog does.

  • I hope rose doesn't continue his lebron-esq play in the 4th quarter of games. And someone please tell rip he's not kobe lol.

  • I didn't watch the 2nd 1/2 and went to bed happy and watched the last few minutes where Brewer was playing out of his mind!

    I recorded the game though and plan to watch it but Rose more than previous years is trying to be more of a facilitator then a scoring guard! Now with RIP and Boozer and Deng he has the help on offense and if a player, even Scal is wide open for a uncontested corner 3 then I don't blame Derrick for passing to Scal....I do agree that Rose needs to work on drawing contact like the other greats (Kobe, Lebron, Wade, etc) and get to the line and get the other team in foul trouble! I'd like to see Derrick drive and score or drive draw contact and shoot free throws, or drive and kick out to wide open players. I do love this team and like how good of a unselfish passing team we are...guys who look like they are a team and like each other! Very nice to see! My 2nd team which I haven't seen in years since I moved from Sacramento in 07' is anything but a complete team and has very little assists so it is a great contrast to see the Bulls pass the ball to the open player.
    With a healthy team I really think we can win it all this year or at least be very close to that year after year.
    I sure hope we can keep Gibson and Asik though and the Euro guy gets here in a few years as we phase out Boozer! GO BULLS!!!!

  • Did anybody notice how NERVOUS Jimmy Butler was last night? I don't blame the kid. Rather, I blame Thibs. There's been so many games this year in which he could have easily played 10 minutes or so, but instead he only got 1 or 2 ... or zero. Hence, he was freaked out being the first small forward off the bench, with so little NBA experience and knowing the pressure was on.

    2 to's in 6 minutes. Yikes. And Granger got hot, hitting 2 three's over him. Hopefully, Thibs will give him more time, though, as the Bulls need him badly with Deng out. He can play great D, but has to become less shaky on O.

    Meanwhile, isn't it clear by now that Noah cannot play Hibbert, who's just too big for him. Yet Thibs still plays him the entire 1st quarter and gives the big dude confidence and their team points. When is he going to realize that the few big centers - Hibbert, Howard, and Bynum - need to be guarded by the Turkish Hammer!

  • In reply to Curious E:

    Completely agree on Jimmy Butler. Thibs was so shortsighted to not once play Jimmy Butler this season aside from garbage time. As you say there were many games this season where Butler could have played 6-10 quality minutes against lesser teams and gotten comfortable on the floor.

    But No! Thibs made Butler unprepared by not playing him for 19 games - and you know there are no practices this season. Then Thibs puts the rookie into a statement game with no preparation.

    Not too smart Thibs! Jimmy should have been spelling Deng all year for a few minutes so that when Deng is injured and can't play Butler is prepared to step in.

    Foolish and shortsighted.

  • In reply to Edward:

    It's a quarter of the way through the season. Thibs is the one who's shortsighted? Gimme a break. This is exactly when to start giving him some floor time.

  • In reply to mcooper81:

    I disagree. Its best to start with non-pressure situations and let him develop. To not play Butler for 19 games then throw him into a statement game was foolish.

    Thibs should have given Butler small minutes when Deng was healthy - to develop Butler before he needed him.

  • In reply to Curious E:

    Yea, Butler was completely freaked out. We need to fix that before the playoffs start. Injuries can happen at any time, and likely will this season more than most.

  • I mostly chalk this game up to a bad night. Thibs said he didn't like the way they looked in the shootaround and that Ronnie was the only one who came ready to play.

    The one thing that really concerns me is post defense. Hibbert had his way with Noah and quickly got Asik in foul trouble even though his game is still developing. Noah is an excellent free safety, but he just isn't strong enough to bang. I fear what would happen against ORL or IND in the playoffs if their shooters are on.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Agree about Noah and Orl/Ind. But disagree about Noah being a great free safety kind of player. Maybe he is the best the Bulls have but he makes a ton of mistakes on when to help and when to stay with his man. That's my biggest beef against Noah. He hesitates a lot and gets burnt by someone like Bosh very easily. He is trying to defend Bosh while trying to run and help somebody else. He tries to do too much beyond his ability.
    Against Hibbert, I don't understand why he doesn't try to poke the ball out of those guys when they keep backing him up for about 20 sec. It is almost guaranteed that a center like Hibbert/Howard will take him all the way to the basket.
    Asik had only one foul and played for 12 mins and he was a better bet against Hibbert. That was strange Hibbert killing Noah yesterday and Asik not playing more.

  • The main thing for me is the poor defense, especially the interior defense. The bulls gave up 50 points in the paint, got outrebounded and gave up a high percentage. It just seems like this year's team defense isn't quite as good as last year for whatever reason. It almost seemed to me that Thibodeau was urged by management to put Jimmy Butler out there when this kid has been rotting on the bench against lesser teams and his lack of play and confidence showed last night. You give him developmental minutes because you have to foresee an injury coming so you have him ready. Thibodeau once again falling in love with his former players and not doing a good job of developing young talent. As for Boozer? He's just not a good fit, hopefully if the Nets strike out on the Howard front, they might want to take on Boozer since he works very well with the passing ability of Deron Williams. They were the team that was the second choice of Boozer in the summer of 2010. I say we roll with Taj until Mirotic can come here. Taj in his rookie year starting averaged nearly 10 points a game with great defense. We take a scoring hit but the improved interior D and shotblocking should make up for it.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    Bulls didn't really get out rebounded in terms of rebound percentage. They just missed more shots allowing the Pacers to grab more defensive rebounds.

    27.8% rebounds on their misses
    65.5% rebounds of Pacer misses

    26.1% rebounds on their misses
    61.1% rebounds on Bulls misses

    The remaining misses are typically not rebounded (ball goes out of bounds etc)

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    and the Bulls were missing 2 of their top 4-5 defensive players.

  • I will make this short.
    In the playoffs Jackson told (asked?) Jordan to pass to Pax.

    Also, Steve Kerr said, in a championship game, on the play for the final shot to win, Jordan told him he (Jordan) would be doubled by Kerr's man, so get ready, I'm passing to you.

    We all, I assume, know the results.

  • Trade D. Rose immediately. How about that?

    Yeah, f#cking stupid idea; right? Well, it fits right in with 75% of the comments I read above.

    Bad shooting night, first game with out one of their main cogs, overly-eager opponent, yada, yada, yada. Say what you will, but they just had a bad game from one end of the bench to the other.

    As someone else mentioned, they needed this. If for no other reason, this team needed a reminder to take Indy very seriously from now on.

  • Dont understand why the so called "WHITE MOMBA" was even in the game when its time for a big shot to tie the game or take the lead, but Thibs screwed up bog time on that one. Just another one of Thibs favorite guys that needs to be gone. Hopefully Rose will hold on to what he said and remember the Pacers celebrating and really rubbing the Bulls the wrong way after that loss and really go at them when they meet again in March. And as I have been saying since the start of the season, Butler needs to get more playing time cause the kid has game and he's ready to contribute now, and as far as Boozer... he should really be embarrassed for being taken out of the game for Scalabrine. The guy was getting abused again by better players at his position and... that's all need to be said about him. Hope the Bulls can bounce back with some big wins on this long 9 game road trip ahead of them.

  • Frankly, I am shocked that everyone is freaking out over the Scal thing.

    In the grand scheme of things, unless we are playing the rest of the season without Deng and Taj it was a totally insignificant act.

    Thibs, had to make a call with limited resources, snoozer being snoozer being one of the limitations.

    The Bulls absolutely sucked the entire second half. Blaming the loss on Thibs and the Scal move is like blaming the place kicker for missing a 60 yard field goal at the buzzer after the rest of the team sucked for the entire second half.

    Freaking out over this loss, given the circumstances, shows a lack of both fundamental and situational understanding of the game.

    I find it quite amusing to compare and contrast the reaction to the last 2 games on this blog. Both games drew massive and inappropriate reactions.

    Get off the rollercoaster and get a grip people.

  • Was at the game last night and couldn't believe the end. Personally I couldn't believe Thibs actually subbed Scal in for Boozer. I like Thibs but this made no sense. If not Boozer, how about Asik for Defense or Korver for offense. Reminded me of the John Lucas missed free throw game, where you walk away saying, what was he thinking? Watching it all unfold, was surreal. I actually said to my friend please Rose not to Scal... it felt like slow motion, watching it unfold. Sorry, but the UC Scalabrini love is irritating to me. Earlier he came in in a tight first half, to crazy cheers from fans. I prefer fans to cheer when players deserve it than as a mascot.
    Also, there have been so many opportunities this season, when we have blown out teams, to get Jimmy Butler some experience, but Thibs refused to do it, other than 2 minutes at the end. As others have mentioned, he was really nervous and seemed shocked to be going in so early in the game. This is on Thibs. We have seen Scal out there, Deng out there when the game has been won, with Butler still waiting to get in. As great of a coach as Thibs is, he does make mistakes, and last night along with the team, he made several.

  • Derrick dominated the offense last year. This year he and thibs have to figure out what rip's roles will be. Having derrick sit at the top of the key waiting on rip to run thru screens in the fourth is not the anwer. Till thibs figures this out the apperance of rose not being assertive enough will remain a problem.

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