Derrick Rose carries the Bulls to victory

Derrick Rose carries the Bulls to victory

Through three periods the Chicago Bulls scored 42 points. No one deserves to be in a basketball game when they've scored 42 points through three periods. Not in the NBA. However, their defense played fairly well over that stretch holding the Hawks to 56. 14 points, a lot to overcome...

Of course, by the time you read this, you'll know that the Bulls did it anyway. They struck quickly and within a few minutes into the fourth quarter the teams were separated by just three points. The Bulls spend the rest of the period trying to get over that final hump but were unable to take the lead until just under one minute to go.

The comeback was led by, who else, Derrick Rose; he knocked down three triples in about three minutes and scored 17 in the quarter. Luol Deng chipped in 13 as well including the game winner, not bad for a guy who doesn't show up in the fourth quarter. Outside of Deng/Rose, the only players to score in the fourth were Korver (fadeaway two pointer on the first play of the quarter) and Gibson (offensive putback).

Gutsy, guys play call by Thibodeau to use Derrick Rose as a decoy on the final offensive possession after he successfully went to Rose and had him successfully slice through the lane on the previous two plays for scores.

Seeing the success of the play, it was easy to say "GREAT PLAY CALL!", and I thought so as well, but with a little reflection, you see how dangerous that was. Joakim Noah was coming in cold not having played for the last 22 minutes of game time and becomes the primary facilitator of the game winning shot.

I love Noah as a passer, and the fact this play was ever called shows how much trust Thibodeau has in him as well. To bring a center in cold, and set him up as the passer while your superstar PG sets a pick and then runs around a back screen as a decoy is simply fraught with danger.

If Noah bobbles the ball from not handling it, if Noah throws a bad pass, if anything goes wrong at all, Bulls nation is up in arms that the Bulls didn't get the ball to Rose who'd just killed the Atlanta defense the last two plays.

It was a great call because it worked, and I think it would have been a great call either even if it had failed. Rose wasn't going to get another near uncontested look like his first shot to take the lead, and his second shot barely snuck over the the outstretched hand of Josh Smith. The Hawks were looking to deny Rose at all costs, and they were successful in doing so, but left Luol Deng wide open for an easy lay in.

If Noah had thrown the ball away, it was still clear that Derrick Was going to have to take a one on three or one on four approach on that final shot if he got the ball and shoot some kind of crappy step back jumper, so I'm happy Tom Thibodeau is confident in himself and his guys, because it's the type of play that skewers him on talk radio if it fails.

Concerned about Boozer/Noah?

We've always been concerned about Boozer due to his defense. His effort defensively looks a touch improved this year, but his scoring is way down, and I still can't stand it when we try to isolate him in the post. Boozer is what he is though, and the Bulls will decide whether to amnesty him in at the start of the 2013-14 season when they'll have the greatest luxury tax threat.

Noah struggling is a bit of a newer thing. It's not as bad as it seems. His rebound numbers appear way down as do his scoring numbers, but he's still averaging 12/10 per 36 with his offensive rebound rate / scoring rate inline with his career averages.

His defensive rebound rate has dropped a bit, but Boozer has generally been a monster on the glass so far which accounts for it.

The biggest problem right now is the fouling. Joakim Noah's averaging nearly 5 fouls per 36 minutes, and he's unable to stay on the court. We haven't seen him really make a big impact on games either [well I suppose besides making the game winning pass coming totally cold off the bench].

It's not time to panic about Noah, and he's somewhat been a victim of cheap foul calls, but point blank, he needs to find a way to stay on the court for more minutes.

Luol "4th quarter" Deng

Luol Deng has long held a reputation of disappearing in clutch. This year, he's been a monster in the fourth quarter in the games we needed him most. 13 points including the game winner against the Hawks. 9 points including 5 (and a steal and block which basically won the game) in the last minute against the Lakers.

Sure it's early, and sure Deng still isn't the greatest shot creator in the world, but Deng's stepping up big when it matters most for Chicago, and he's doing it on both ends of the court.

What more can you say about Derrick Rose?

I said in the pregame write up that this was a game the Bulls might need Derrick Rose to have a big night to win. They did. He delivered. Derrick was amazing, especially when it mattered most. Look past the 8/22 shooting, because all of the free throws [and these weren't superstar calls he was getting wacked in the face] and three pointers gave him a very efficient night overall.

Derrick's now shooting 37.9% on the season from beyond the arc, but the reality of that number is probably even a bit better. He's had at least one fourth quarter heave and probably had three desperation threes at the end of the Golden State game that he'd normally never take. When he's taking the shot in rhythm, he's largely been very effective with it this season.

I think Rose has improved his court awareness over the off season, he seems to have an excellent feel of when it's time to try and get his teammates involved and when it's time for him to put his stamp on the game. I look for Rose to continue to try to feed teammates as long as they're having success and take over quickly when they aren't.

Tough game for Ronnie Brewer

The Hawks played a lot of zone defense which generated plenty of open looks for Ronnie Brewer, but he was unable to knock them down. Brewer's been great on the year shooting the jumper, but this was the type of game where the Bulls relied on him to knock it down rather than it being a bonus. With the pressure of the zone on, Ronnie couldn't deliver tonight.

Hopefully he gets em next time, but the game really shifted in momentum once Kyle Korver entered. Korver busted the zone before he hit a single shot. He went 1-4 on the night with his one make being a crazy fadeaway long two while missing pretty good looks from beyond the arc. Still the threat of Korver was enough to tremendously loosen the defense.

Can't break the iron Asik

Omer played one of his best games as a Bull. Outside of a nifty reverse layup, he looked nearly helpless on offense, but he played defense at an elite level and really helped turn the game in the Bulls favor. He contested shot after shot, forcing Atlanta into tough looks and played great help and man defense.

If he can improve his hands a bit more to catch and go up strong quickly and effortlessly it would really help the team, but not many teams in the league have a defensive show stopping center they can pull off the bench to play big minutes.

Taj Gibson played Asik light

Much like Asik in this one, Gibson made a tremendous effort on defense in his minutes holding down Atlanta's offense, but he also couldn't get much done offensively. He didn't look quite as helpless doing it, but he kept missing his open jumpers and was limited to a layup and a putback.

Still like Asik, it's a luxury for the Bulls to bring in PF who can play incredible defense on the opponent. If Gibson can ever master the mid range jumper, he'll be a tremendous role player [he's already very solid].

Final thoughts

This game highlighted a lot of the good and bad about the Chicago Bulls. On offense, they still don't really have as many options as you'd like them to have at times. Granted, C.J. Watson and Richard Hamilton missing the game probably had a lot to do with that, but you'd still like to see them have one more shot creator.

The zone can still give them trouble if guys aren't making jumpers, and the Bulls have a lot of streaky shooters on the team.

All that said, the Bulls had tons of good looks in this game that they simply failed to finish. A large part of the first three quarters had more to do with their poor shooting than Atlanta's great defense.

On the other hand, the Bulls defense kept them in the game. The Hawks have been on fire offensively, but Chicago limited them to 15, 18, and 18 in the final three periods after allowing 23 in the first. Heck, even a 23 point period is a pretty good effort, but 15, 18, 18 is simply an elite defensive effort.

In a way, these wins don't fill you with confidence due to poor execution, but these are the games other teams simply lose. Chicago hangs in there because of elite defense and a superstar to take over. They're simply never out of a game with this team because their defense can step it up to an elite level and stop anyone, and Derrick Rose can go into beast mode and dominate at any point.

For those reasons, no matter how far they're down, they'll always be a threat. As excruciating as that first half was, it was worth it to watch the end of this one.


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  • The officiating in the NBA has gotten to the point where the game (play and integrity) is being damaged.

    What die hard NBA fan would deny this really?

    Case in point: Those two ridiculous flops in the Bulls/Hawks game last night.

    Flops both at the beginning of the game where Boozer turned to the post, and Josh Smith got a sniper bullet, and then Horford's moving screen, falling into our Bulls player, and flopping backwards as though he were the victim, and these olf fart, idiot referees keep calling this crap.

    I do not trust the NBA when it comes to officiating in the first place. Take a guy like Taj. Yes he can be foul prone at times, but he's still a good defensive player, and because he is not a scorer of note and the Bulls have been not regarded as an offensively star power team/skilled/proven/all star or near players, he gets raped often by officials on flops or any slight contact( as do many non-offensively skilled players i.e nobodies).

    When it looked like the Bulls were going to beat Miami early in the ECF serie,s Steve Kerr proclaimed Taj as a player that would be a "perennial" all defensive team player. This is the type of hype/legitimization these guys feel they have to do to sell you on how great NBA contenders/champions are. It's sort of a righ of passage/official licensing.

    But since the Bulls subsequently struggled offensively, and lost all that talk vanished.

    Take the way Taj plays compared to what Garnett, Perkins did with Boston's offensive legitimacy. They are/were allowed to play some seriously physical defense without getting foul calls big time. Garnett being a skilled/perrenial all star and Perkins looked at least viable with post skills etc. on a Paul Pierce, Ray Allen stud offense/respected contender/champ team.

    If Jo had emerged as the 14ppg and 11 boards star he appeared to be blossoming into he surely would have been given more license to defend without getting foul calls. Likewise Taj. Granted Jo's defense(and overall game since his decline last season) has fallen off somewhat anyway.

    That's why I have always liked getting players like Shawn Marion who have a history of offensive legitimacy/success/rep, and also play at least decent D/have the capability because then the underlying factor is that foul calls will not be nearly as much of an issue/he will be allowed to play defense.

    Aside from offense/winning grants defensive license, whether you buy that or not, the flopping is just ruining the league IMO.

    Tolerance of such immature/sneaky/dishonest plays just encourages the focus to be on dishonest basically cheating ploys more and more. Guys who employ this method as part of their game look like they've been shot on every other play. Then the next thing you know that "call an ambulance" groveling on the floor or holding their eye as if it's ready to fll out(when the guy/swiping elbow on replay clearly never even touched their face) dissapears completely within 20 seconds later the guy looks fine.

    Honestly it's unmasculine and unbeffitting a manly sport or even a woman's sport to have such artifice and posturing/acting become a significant part of the game, a game we love.

    I do not trust or respect Stern. As a mirror of society sports is probably going to become more hyped and filled with artifice not less in the short run. And yes it will curtail the amount of pro basketball I watch to some degree.

    It's just a shame because not only have these young athletes been raised/neglected in such a me centered/hype/white busineesmen gangstaing congress, and impoverished black youth gangstaing each encouraged by video sales, music, and even kids shows emulate that this is the new age/cool way to be.

    Talk about fucked up. I just hope someday after whatever mega calamity we/society have to endure to get people to change this shit, one minor result will be eliminating flopping with fouls called on the Flopper, and also a right to air space straight up/vertically on three point defenders where shooters who lean/shoot their shoulders/upper body clearly forward/into the defender get called for an Offensive foul as it should be.

    In the meantime I'll still watch because I do love the game, unless Miami's winning, then there's not a chance in hell.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I agree with the overall bad quality of NBA officiating. Wade's game winner against the Bobcats a few days ago pissed me off. He obviously traveled after talking a jump step. I don't care that the refs missed LeBron's dunk that went off a defender's head. The refs weren't in position to see the ball hit the defender's head. They assumed the ball struck iron. It was a fluke. Regardless, two wrongs don't make a right. Wade and LeBron get preferential treatment and travel all the time. Traveling at will ruins the integrity of the game. Traveling isn't subjective. The player either travels or they don't. The league needs to a better grip on this. Force the officials to call travels at the end of the game or fine them. The entire Bobcats bench saw Wade travel; you can't tell me the refs didn't. Shameless. I don't care that Wade actually made the shot. The extra step he took allowed him to position himself to make the shot. I can understand not calling a touch foul, because it’s subjective. It depends on the ref’s opinion and how the game has been called throughout. But traveling is traveling and it needs to stop.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Your new nickname is "Slash".

    I enjoy reading your comments/commentary, but those slashes confuse/confound/irritate me/myself/I.

    All the best,

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I agree/concur/approve/endorse this comment.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I agree with your thoughts on the officials(as I pointed out last night during the game), they were putrid, calling every ticky tack touch foul on the Bulls, and letting the Hawks play far more aggressively.

    This as much as anything took Noah out of the game. That and as I can't point out often enough, carrying Boozers sad sack ass on defense. Noah is subject to foul trouble specifically because he has to guard 3(at a minimum) guys on every play.

    I guarantee that Noah's numbers and effect on the game would return to where they were at the onset of last season(when Boozer was out) if he played with either Asik or Taj for most of his minutes instead of Mr. Amnesty(Bozo the Boozer) aka TiTs on a Whore(useless as).

    I simply cannot believe that no one else sees this, especially Thibs.

    Boozer is the absolute worst excuse for a defender that I have had the displeasure to watch since that enormous faker Ben Gordon.

    The Bulls are not winning a title as long as he is starting, maybe for as long as he is on the team.

    So much for his return to All Star form for one half against a disinterested and diabled Memphis team.

  • About the refs, I do agree that there needs to be a balance of experience, youth, technology. Since the NBA is a private business, not much is publicised about these guys. I still don't understand why there is no high chair referee like in Tennis to overrule/decide on a controversial call. How are the referees darting in and out of traffic and being 60+ years old keep their eyes in the right position?
    Off-course, the answer they get 95% right. But those 5% decide wins/losses most of the times. Yesterday, Asik's politicking did change a call..otherwise, Atlanta probably would have won. Why can't another guy look at the replay and tell the ref what happened. Why does this tired guy have to run around and then waste 5 mins?
    It is very old-way of doing things.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Asik's politicking lol. I never thought id hear those words in conjunction with one another. As far as the game, just getting used a bipolar bulls team. It's hard to say what we have this year, and whether or not the team has improved much. I bought into the new look Rose, the one who is a facilitator rather than a ballstopper. I bought in because the longer I have watched Derek, I understand to expect anything, his work on his game is evident. However, as much as Derek wants to be a facilitator, it seems to me that watching the Bulls these past few years is that they are still flawed offensively. They are still an average offensive team, but they thrive off of Rose driving the ball to the basket. It seems like the pearly gates of heaven open up when Rose starts driving. Noah, at his best, is cleaning the offensive glass after his man leaves him to challenge Rose's shot. Boozer, idealistically, could go inside, but at this stage of his career, he is best receiving a kickout to 16-18 feet. It seems like the team gets involved when Derek is shooting and missing just as much as when he makes a hoop. Stop trying to get everyone involved and put pressure on the defense, and everyone will get involved.

  • For those complaining about Hamilton's inefficiency should understand that even though he is a volume scorer, His presence makes the offense flow much better, he makes quick decisions and is a good passer..usually looking to get the Bigs going. As the season goes on, I can't help but wonder what the Bulls are planning for the summer? Asik is a restricted free agent and many teams would love to have this guy. Will the Bulls let Kover, Brewer and CJ expire and bring back Captain Kirk which gives them the ball handling and 3 point shooting with Jimmy Butler taking the place of the energy guy off the bench. And of course the 1000 pound gorilla of the not so great chemistry between Noah and Boozer. I just can't see Jerry golden cash cow paying the tax or using the amnesty. I just hope Derrick gets the help he needs and isn't burned out by an inept ownership. He's not lebron james or kobe bryant but you definitely can win a championship with him but you have to get him offensive help. Like many said, it was like watching the ECF all over again.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    Asik will get an offer sheet for 5Mil per season and the Bulls will match. Asik cannot be offered more so that should not be a problem.
    Taj will be a question because we may not be able to keep him. We might, sometime next season, before trade deadline, amnesty Boozer and trade Taj for someone at the PF position and absorb salary.
    I've read a suggestion somewhere to take on Cousins now and try to "fix" him but that seemed RISKY.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    A team under the cap can offer Asik whatever they want, and with a few more games like last night he will get 8-10 million per easy.

    Asik, not the entrance of Korver(as Doug suggests) turned last nights game around. Well, that and Boozer's ass hitting the pine.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    Excellent points on all fronts., as would be expected from someone who knows that defense and rebounding wins championships.

    Last night showed what the difference between having a guy like Rip as the starter vs Brewer, among other things. Brewer is a great guy, and at this point I would keep him over Korver(can we trade him for JJ Reddick) but he is definately a bench mob guy and not a ligitimate starter, much as Bogans was.

    You are also right about Asik, the Bulls will have 3 choices to make this summer, when Asik gets a large offer from someone else, either let him go for nothing, or match and Amnesty Boozer with 3 years and $50 million left on his contract, or match and let CJ, Korver and Brewer go.

    With Roses new contract kicking in next year, they will be into the tax without resigning any of those guys, and over it without amnesty on Boozer. Jerry cash cow will likely have no choice next year, he will have to pay the tax or bite the Bullet on Bozo the Boozer. I am sure that he will need a blood transfusion to do either.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    I think you outlined a pretty realistic scenario. Return of Kirk + loss of the other three guys + keeping Asik and increasing Butler's role.

  • Derrick Rose, Again Derrick Rose And always Derrick Rose !!!!
    I'm fed up !

    Yes we will finish No 1 seed, yes we will have a great regular season thanks to Rose. But at the end of the day, he can't do it all himself in playoffs.It's obvious. That game showed us how much we depend on Rose.

    Boozer is definetly not a star. he is simply a role player. Noah is overpaid. Since the ECF he has been benched the 4th quarter. Therefore let's trade him for a star. He is the biggest trade asset right now. Moreover last season when he was injured, we saw that we can survive without him. Bulls need to trade Noah for someone who can create his own shot. Except Rose, nobody can't create his own shot on this team.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    There is no chance of them trading Noah for a shot creator(usually shot creators are SFs or PGs or sometimes SGs). The Bulls are not going to get anyone elite at those positions to replace the guys they have(Rose, Rip or Deng). They will use Rip as the facilitator rather than a shot creator. Remember, the problem was the guys other than Rose couldn't even make a sensible dribble/pass when needed. Rip can do that a little better. That should help the Bulls.

    Do you think Bosh is a shot creator? He is a better shooter than Boozer. But, it is tough to get big men shot creator. I think Gasol is probably the best of them.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Having RIP in last night instead of Brewer and Korver would have been huge IMO. I missed CJ as well, but I think RIP has been undervalued here at the beginning of the season. His efficiency isn't spectacular, but his ball handling and off the ball movement is helpful to the Bulls’ offense. Flow is the perfect word to describe his influence on the game. Brewer started playing hot potato last night. I don't know if it was the Hawks occasional zone defense or the pressure of starting. He made his first shot and then fell off the wagon.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    yeah it was weird. I don't get why Brewer played so badly. It must be the pressure of starting like you said.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree. Hamilton improve this team. Nonetheless, it isn't enough.

    We could have Kevin martin, Monta ellis or Eric Gordon by trading Noah. Paul Gasol isn't a bad idea. We could even go for Rudy Gay or beaslay. However, for them I wouldn't give up Noah. Asik can do Noah's job very well.

    I'm a bulls fan and i'm realistic. I simply worry about Miami.If we can't beat Miami, everything we're doing now doesn't matter.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I think we'd all better get used to what we're watching and who we're watching. I don't see them trading anyone and I really think they feel like they can win a championship or more with what they have. Thibs wants to win games 2-0. What can you get for Noah anyway? Other teams see what we see. He seems like he's regressed so far this year. Who's going to give us a star for him?

  • In reply to FriendofJoakimN:

    We gan get Kevin martin, Monta ellis or Eric Gordon by trading Noah.

    I don't understand why they think this team can win the championship. Our defense was perfect in the ECF. We couldn't play any better on the defensive end. Neither could Miami. Thus, the difference was the offense. That's where we failed and that's wherer we're going to fail again because nothing has changed much.

    With the defense intensity Bulls and Heat played last playoffs, only real talents survive. In miami, they have 3 pure talents whereas in chicago there's only one. it's that simple. Unless we solve this problem, we won't win championship.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    again that is Tits on a Whores(TOAW) fault not Noahs, i.e. Toah not Noah.

    The Bulls will finish second to Miami in the east, assuming that Baron Davis doesn't go all B Diddy on us in NY.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    the Bulls will finish second to Miami in the east, assuming that Baron Davis doesn't go all B Diddy on us in NY.

    So what ??

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I don't think you can get a star for Joakim Noah, but sure, if you can you should do so. Of course, then when you make suggestions we might argue about who qualifies as a star.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    kevin martin, eric gordon and monta ellis. the first two aren't stars but I would give up Noah for them.

  • Rose and Deng combine for 30 of 34 fourth quarter points, and both play 44 minutes including the entire second half. It’s déjà vu all over again.

    Bulls’ weakness remains exactly as it was last season: Lack of any consistent offense from the C and PF positions, combined with lack of a second offensive creator.

    Rip Hamilton is a decent addition, but none of the potential MLE additions could solve this problem. The problem is the lack of production from two of the biggest contacts - Boozer and Noah. That’s all-star money being paid to non all-stars. Subtract another $3 million due to the Derrick Rose Rule, factor in the Asik contract extension, and there is no remaining money under the luxury tax threshold to pay for a significant offensive upgrade.

    It’s a problem without an easy solution. Because even amnestying Boozer will not get Bulls under the salary cap (much lower than luxury tax threshold) to allow a significant free agent acquisition. So Bulls are left with MLE fill-ins and draft picks for their solution. Only other option is a trade for an all-star, but those are quite difficult to engineer and often gut the core of the team.

    We will find out in the spring if Thibs’ 40-minute-men still have enough left in the tank to carry the Bulls through Miami to the NBA Finals.
    Hope it’s not déjà vu all over again…

  • In reply to Edward:

    I complety agree with you. The only way to solve this problem is TRADING. It's trading or no championship. It's that simple. And of course, there are risk when you trade but we don't have choice.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The biggest myth is the Bulls depth so far. We are told constantly how deep the Bulls are. But in the small sample size of 6 games, the two main guys(Deng and Rose) are playing the max minutes. Who cares if Korver plays 45 mins one day because he might not even play 5 min the next game.
    So, where is this depth helping the Bulls? In the blowout game against Memphis, even D-league players could have given a break to Rose and Deng.. Thibs has to trust Jimmy Butler more to give a break to Deng. CJ should do that for Rose once he gets healthy.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    This problem is on Thibs and Thibs only, he is the linus of NBA coaches, he needs his securit blanket, or blankets.

  • In reply to Edward:

    by the way are you John Alerguo ?

  • In reply to deewaves:

    No, I am not John Alerguo. I am, in fact, Edward.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Also if we can't trade for a star. In my opinion, we should move Rose to SG position and trade for a PG who can shot and create game for others players. I mean like we used to make play Rose and Hinrich together.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to deewaves:

    No! It's fine! C.J. Watson and Rip Hamilton are coming back and The bulls Shouldn't fix whats not broken (their starting lineup).

  • In reply to deewaves:

    now I am wondering if you are John Alerguo, whoever the heck that is, but I imagine that he is from outer space.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yes he is from outer space. Nevertherless his IQ is higher than yours

  • In reply to BigWay:

    John Arguello? He's the Cubs fanatic that pretends to know basketball.

  • In reply to Edward:

    You are sort onto something, however, the Bulls fare quite well with Asik and Taj playing together which means that they can thrive without scoring from the 4&5 who play world class defense.

    Boozer does not fit the description, only Aisk, Taj and Noah do.

    We can be very successfull with those 3 manning the bigs and our scoring coming from Rose and the wings, we can even win a championship with the right help.

    The solution, money aside is simple and obvious.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree there is no easy solution to this problem and agree with what you state the problem is. The Bulls one last upgrade to get a legit star offensive player.

    However, even if they had the money that player isn't going to be readily available or obtainable in any obvious way.

    They'll have to hope to do the best with what they have, because it's unlikely to get better.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, you're right. Which is why Bulls need to develop Jimmy Butler now. He's not a one-and-done 19 year old. He's a college senior, he's ready. And he's guaranteed for 4 years at only $1 million salary, so develop him.

    Because next season while extending Asik, Bulls cannot afford to keep all three of Brewer, Watson, Korver - they're all non-guaranteed and someone will be tossed.

  • Shot creator? That would be nice, but excuse me, we create lots of shots. Lots of EASY shots. Someone above me, I think it was Doug, nailed it when he called this bunch "streaky" shooters. Yes, every player misses SOME easy shots, but the 'bunnies' we've missed this year are way too high a percentage, only our excellent and improving defense are keeping us in games.

    The Memphis galloping game only covered up our inconsistent shooting on open looks or mid-range or shorter gimme's. Carlos hits a mid-range shot, falls in love, misses the next three. Rip has been fifty-fifty even from close range. Taj too, though that's more common, and longer minutes helps his offensive reliability. Ronnie can't keep this up forever. Omer, Carlos, Jo, all our bigs are missing their put-backs, it's amazing how few offensive rebounds seem to turn into easy points. Lu and Derrick may be slowly building some consistency. And worst of all, the league's "best pure shooter" in Korver continues his poor run from last season, making baskets when the pressure is off and missing his open looks earlier in the game. Yes, it's only five games, yes it will get better, but I really think we miss the point if we're looking for more shot creation - from this perspective, the offense is generating plenty of reasonably high percentage shots, we're just streaky and inconsistent. It wasn't until Derek started hitting his threes last night that the other shooters started putting it in the basket too...

    I don't know how you coach offensive consistency and execution, but Thibs has a real challenge in front of him. That all said, we're 5-1 against some good teams, the defense has been getting better and better, and yes, this team is still clearly poised to challenge Miami at least in the playoffs! And D Rose continues his ascent to MJ-like status, as in if he's playing for us, we win... somehow...

  • In reply to petert23:

    I think you don't understand what means shot creator. A shot creator in other words is a star. Not somebody who capitalize on the fact Rose draws all defense attention and then hit a wide open shot. A shot creator can work his defender by himself and score. Nobody on this team do that besides Rose. Boozer and Deng are opportunists.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    It would be nice to have another one, as I said; but our offense is already creating lots of shots, resulting in lots of bunny bricks. Better execution can be aimed for NOW. Another shot creator lies in the future, if at all, but Thibs has got to work with what we're doing now to make it better.

  • Surprised we won this one - Bulls were missing everything, even open 7 footers. Pretty ugly game (tons of bricklaying by both teams) but at least its a win.

  • So much negative talk about a team that is 5-1, four games coming on a West Coast trip that the usually suck, that has only had a short time to practice.

    Yes, the Bulls need a strong #2 option but at least they have depth with multiple guys that do often step up game to game. Last night shots were just not falling, lot of in and outs, wasn't just bad offense imo.

    I agree that Hamilton is a big upgrade, if he's not hurt. He is a skilled player in all areas of the game and has championship experience as well. He may take a few too many shots but he will also have many 20-30pt games this year guaranteed. He is still finding his way in the offense and some more shots will start to fall.

    Im glad Thibs has the balls to sit whatever players he thinks in the 4th quarter. Accountability is awesome and should make the team better in the long run.

    I do really hope Gar can get JR Smith when he's available and if he will sign a small contract. Unless he is a complete cancer, which i doubt, his skill set would be great for this team. Imagine him replacing Korver!

    Hope CJ gets back fast cause I don't trust Lucas and I don't like thinking about what a ton of minutes will eventually mean for Rose.

    It would be nice to see them win most games by 20 but hey that last quarter last night was pretty damn exciting.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I totally agree. All of the negativity is getting old. It's the same old comments everyday whether they barely win a bad game or blow out the Grizzlies.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    It's called being realistic and objective.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I call it being completely unrealistic and petty.

    But it's always good for laughs, that's why I love reading the comments here.

    You guys really should become fans of another team for a while- you act like the Bulls are the only team in the league whose roster isn't perfect.

    Watch another team for a solid year and follow their every move. You'll then be thankful for the ownership and management we have here with the Bulls.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    precisely, I want my team to be perfect. We are very good. that's why we had the best regular season last year. But now we want championship.

    Tell me that you really think this current roster can beat the heat ? and if you do, why didn't they beat them last year ?

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Yes, I think the current roster can beat the Heat.

    Why didn't we beat them last year?

    1- Korver couldn't hit a wide-open 3 to save his mother's life. He shot 28.6% vs the Heat- if he hits his career 41.1%, or the 47.4% he shot in the first two rounds last season, the Bulls are probably up 3-2 in that series instead of losing 4-1.

    2- Experience and youth. Rose and Deng were playing in their first EC Finals, the Heat's 2 best players have both been in to the Finals before and have a hell of a lot more playoff experience than the Bulls.

    3- LeBron actually showed up in the final minute of games. He hit a few big 3's that he normally misses late in games.

    4- The Heat's best player is now over 30, and the style of ball he plays is not conducive to having a long career once he gets older. The Bulls' best players aren't even in their prime yet (though Deng may just be entering his).

    If you want your team to be perfect, you're going to be perpetually disappointed. The 1995-96 Bulls weren't perfect either.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    It's simple. We didn't beat miami because we don't have other real offensive threats than Rose.

    Our defense was perfect in the ECF. We couldn't play any better on the defensive end. Neither could Miami. Thus, the difference was the offense. That's where we failed and that's where we're going to fail again because nothing has changed much.

    With the defense intensity Bulls and Heat played last playoffs, only real talents survive. In miami, they have 3 pure talents whereas in chicago there's only one. Unless we solve this problem, we won't win championship.

    When Rose is doubled, there's nobody who can step up. Nobody who can create his own shots (they need Rose to do that for them).

    It's that simple. don't say bullshits.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    In addition to Don Ellis' points (which are all great):

    1. Rip>Bogans.

    2. Miami failed to fix their biggest weaknesses (PG, C).

    3. Booz and Noah were playing hurt.

    4. Thibs will have another year of coaching experience.

    Does this mean the Bulls WILL beat the Heat? Who knows? But they sure as hell CAN, and it's not a huge stretch to think so. Miami had two close calls against bad teams and lost to a team the Bulls just beat (admittedly coming off a B2B). They haven't figured out how to beat a zone, and Wade is already hurt. They are an enormously talented team, but they aren't some juggernaut. If you wanna crown them, then crown their ass. I'm not ready just yet.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    read what i replied him. I don't buy your excuses.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    It's cool. I don't buy your persistent negativity.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I'm not negative. I'm just demanding. I want that championship.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Miami's PG play has been excellent so far. Norris Cole looks pretty good. They still don't have a center, but you can't say that PG looks very weak right now with the Cole/Chalmers rotation producing.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    There were 2 momentum shifting events which tilted the playoffs in Miami's favor last year
    1. Against Boston, Rondo got injured like CJ and Boston ran out of gas without him and Miami stomped allover them.
    2. Against Bulls, the moment Asik went out...LeBron/Wade got more daring going to the basket and the series momentum shifted.
    Plus, they got their guys healthy especially their PF.
    It might happen again but it might get reversed too.

  • I keep reading that "Noah sucks", "he sits on the bench in the 4th quarter", "trade him for a star"...

    If he sucks and can't play in the 4th, what team is going to trade a star for him? Seriously, what are people thinking?

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Seriously, what are they thinking, he doesn't suck, and we are not trading him, unless Howard is coming back.

  • Oh, from another source, on topic since so many of you wanted Jamal from the Hawks...

    • Dave at BlazersEdge is getting used to Jamal Crawford:

    Jamal Crawford has been here 5 games and he’s not pretending anymore. He’s gonna shoot when he gets the ball. He went 2-6 tonight for 8 points in 21 minutes. Like Felton he calmed down in the final period and worked the plays he was given instead of trying to manufacture everything himself from whole cloth...

  • My 2 biggest takes from last nights game are the play of Asik and Korver, one good and one bad.

    What the hell is wrong with Korver, is he just a bad fit for this team or has he completely lost his lone NBA ability(3 point shooting). I can't hate on the guy, because unlike TOAH(Tits on a Whore) he tries as hard as he knows how to, but he just doesn't have the ability to contribute anything of value if he isn't shooting lights out. Although, I will give him credit for sticking his nose in there and grabbing some tough defensive rebounds.

    I know that Thibs(and Doug) think that playing Korver huge minutes last night(the last 15 minutes of both halves) was the only way to break Atlantas zone, but it just wasn't happenning last night. Nevermind that Korver only hit one shot, the real problem is that he was only able to take 4, less than one shot every 7 minutes. If he is not taking and making shots, Korver is a bit of a spastic mistake prone player, who simply cannot be on the floor for 30 minutes a game, nevermind crunch time.

    My second take away is how much more effective Asik becomes as his minutes are extended. I noticed this last season even if it only happenned 2 or 3 times. I don't think that this is a chicken and the egg type of thing either. He doesn't get to play more minutes because he is playing well, he plays better the longer that he plays.

    This combined with TOAH's complete uselessness argues for only one conclusion. Asik should start at center with Noah at the 4 and then Taj should sub in for Asik with Noah sliding back to center. Boozer should be relegated to a backup scoring option for the second unit, perhaps playing center with Taj at the 4.

    As I said last night during the game, given Korvers ineffectiveness as proven during an extended 15 minute run in the first half, and TOAH being TOAH, I would have only played 6 guys in the fourth quarter, Rose, Deng, Asik, Noah, Taj, and surprise Jimmy Bulter.

    Atlanta is the perfect team to try this type of lineup against. They are sort of a small big lineup, or is it big small lineup, with Johnson, who is a legit 6'7" and beefy at the 2 and Smith and Horford "small" for the 4 & 5. Either Taj or Butler could easily have covered Williams, while any combo of Asik, Noah and Taj would have the size advantage over Smith and Hordord, and either Butler or Deng(maybe even Taj) could cover Johnson.

    I know that Thibs has a better chance of smoking crack than he does of trying any of these lineups, but one can only dream.

    By the way, can't we just trade Bozo for Horford(Boy would I love to see that guy on this Bulls team) I would almost guarantee a title.

  • What I want to see: Run the pick and roll with Boozer!

    I thought Doug made a great notion that isolating Boozer in the low post is irritating. Boozer is a far superior low post player than Noah, but if you look at what made Boozer good in Utah, it was movement off the pick and roll with Deron Williams. Whether it was rolling to the basket, slipping the screen, or popping out for a 15 ft. jumper; Boozer excelled in all facets of the pick and roll game when he was in Utah. There is no reason why Chicago shouldn't be running the pick and roll with Boozer and the MVP...right?

    The problem: Joakim Noah's offensive skillset

    Noah is an excellent on ball & off ball screener, offensive rebounder and energy player. I believe Thibs likes to use Noah in the pick and roll because it keeps Noah moving and Noah's defender honest. However, Noah's average mid range shot and his limited offensive repertoire close to the basket almost nullifies the effectiveness of the pick and roll with Derrick.

    Thibs, I think, has chosen the lesser of two front court detractors. He could use Boozer in the pick and roll (I WANT!), but then Noah is left in the low post, which means teams will sag off of Noah and go help elsewhere (clog the paint area). Instead, the team settles on Noah running the pick and roll, while the undersized PF sits down in the low post and waits for the Boozer iso play to be called. At least Boozer is a threat, and team defenses have to play honest 5 on 5 defense.

    I understand why Boozer gets criticized (how many instances have we seen him on the bench in the 4th quarter of a close game...). However, when your team's starting C and PF don't compliment one another well on one (some might argue both) ends of the court, perhaps blame shouldn't just be shouldered by a PF who has been put in a system that doesn't best utilize his skillset.

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