Bulls pointlessly push Rose into action against the D-League caliber Hornets in lopsided win

Bulls pointlessly push Rose into action against the D-League caliber Hornets in lopsided win

So the Bulls won by 23 points and fulfilled my prediction of holding the Hornets to 70 or less points last night. Yet for some reason, despite his back still being tight, and Rose still feeling hurt, we felt the need to trot him out there until "the game was out of reach".

Earth to coaching staff, this game was out of reach before it began. The fully healthy Hornets would lose 9 out of 10 to this Bulls team without Rose and this Hornets team missing their two best players would probably have lost to the Bulls if the whole starting lineup was out.

So Derrick Rose says his back is still tight, and yet we're still throwing him out there, albeit for only 22 minutes where he clearly didn't push himself. Smarten up people, know when you can get a game while resting key guys and sit them out.

Easy to stop teams with no offensive creators

The Bulls played some high caliber defense, but they didn't have much of a challenge in front of them. The Hornets had no one on their team who could create a shot and ended up taking bad shots all night long.

Still, it's nice to see Chicago continue to step on opponents when they're down and turn all these games against the dregs of the league into complete blowouts.

Couldn't do a damn thing from the perimeter

Watson couldn't throw the ball in the ocean. Brewer looked spastic and out of control, and Deng shot just four for 10. If there's any complaint in this game, it's that the Bulls perimeter offense simply didn't execute all that well given the circumstances.

Still, they beat them up inside with Joakim Noah blasting them on the offensive glass, Carlos Boozer having a big night, and 22 points on 10/16 shooting from Omer and Taj.

Did Thibs lock up the all star coaching slot?

I've seen KC report earlier that the all star coach would be based on the best record after Thursday, and if that's the case Thibodeau locked it up. Meanwhile Sam Smith reported it was based on the best record sometime next week.

Either way, with Miami's loss to Orlando, Chicago now has a two game lead [1 in the loss column] on Miami which should give Thibs the game regardless of when it's announced unless the Bulls drop a surprise game somewhere.

For the love of God, rest Rose next game

With the Bulls going into face a surging Boston team [9-1 in their last 10] in Boston, it'd behoove the Bulls to make sure Rose is ready to play bigger minutes at a higher intensity level that game. Boston will no doubt be looking to get some revenge on Chicago for their loss earlier this season and prove that they have something in the tank still.

The Bulls game on Friday against the Bobcats is another snoozer against a team that has no chance of beating Chicago even without Derrick Rose. Take the opportunity to sit Rose down for a game and give his back three full days to rest up for a game that actually means something.


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  • Shakes: Would you agree that Arron Afflalo was able to set a reasonable NBA contract standard in acquiring a free agent SG: 5 yr(s) / $43,000,000. How does an annual salary of $7,562,500. If we're able to sign/trade a similar talent in this comp realm, why would the bulls be forced to "blow up" their roster." It would likely involve losing the contract of Boozer + Korver. Are you inferring the Bulls can not afford $7.56M contract in the 2012-13 season? I am not seeing it. Tx, C

    Shakes said 7 hours, 51 minutes ago
    In reply to cgiebelh:
    OK, assume you want to get as much space as possible. You amnesty Boozer, waive Brewer, Korver & Watson (since their next year is optional), you obviously let Scal & Lucas go, you decline to pick up Asik's qualifying offer, you trade Gibson, Hamilton & Butler to teams with cap space to absorb them, and you trade the 2012 first round draft pick for future picks (or draft some Euro guy who doesn't come over).

    Even in this slash and burn scenario, you have over 40 million tied up in Deng, Rose & Noah. By the time you add in the cap holds for the other roster spots you can't even offer a max contract.

    And that's assuming the Bulls got rid of everyone but three guys ... in any sort of realistic scenario where they keep at least enough players to have a rotation you're at best below the cap by about the MLE amount so you're under it in name only.

    Not to mention I doubt the Bulls would be gutting the team to maybe get Eric Gordon (the only near all-star SG free agent available) who is restricted and hence might be matched by NO anyway.

    The Bulls will probably end up amnestying Boozer at some point. But it will be a purely tax avoidance move, not to become a player in free agency.

  • In reply to cgiebelh:

    Firstly the Bulls have 75 million in salary commitments next year, assuming they don't waive anyone and don't take anyone with their draft pick and Asik returns on the qualifying offer.

    The cap this year is ~58 million. I don't know how they'll calculate next year's cap, but given this year's cap was about the same as the year before and economic conditions still pretty much suck, I think assuming it stays about the same is a fair bet. So to get 7.5 million in cap space the Bulls need to shed 24.5 million.

    Boozer 15 million + Korver 5 million doesn't get it done. You also have to make other moves. Lets say let Asik walk (since realistically to resign him it's going to take more than his qualifying offer of 2.3 million) and cut CJ Watson (3.2 million). I think that gets us to about where we need to be (the salary is a little more than the 24.5 I mentioned, but since we're freeing up spots you still have to pay cap holds on them).

    OK so the Bulls have gotten rid of 4 rotation players to free up 7.5 million in cap space ... now what do they do with it?

    The big problem is there is not a lot of similar talent to Afflalo available in free agency this year.

    Eric Gordon is going to be getting a contract much bigger than Afflalo's. So the Bulls aren't in a position to get him with 7.5 million space.
    Ray Allen might be looking to move on from the Celtics, but are you getting rid of 4 players to try to get a 37 year old? Who might be available for the MLE anyway?
    OJ Mayo might be available for that sort of price (IMO probably a bit more, since scorers who do little else always get overpaid), but he's really not that great, certainly not so good that I prefer him to all the guys we cut to get him.

    Beyond that you start scraping around the Courtney Lee, Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli bottom of the barrel. That is, guys who aren't even worth the full MLE.

    So no, there's no cap space to get a SG plan that makes sense.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Defintiely not going to get cap room to add a shooting guard. However the Bulls could trade Watson + Korver for a SG that costs 7 million and add in their 1st, then the other team could waive Korver/Watson since they're non guaranteed.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sure they could do a trade, but I don't see how that really qualifies under the original concept which was "amnesty Boozer to re-allocate his salary to a SG".

    Maybe if the Bulls are sending out all three of Watson/Korver/Brewer and absorbing enough salary to need to get rid of Boozer to avoid the tax then you could make a bit of an argument you're re-allocating Boozer's salary to a SG, but it's a bit of a stretch. To me it looks more like you're reallocating your bench depth's salary to get a SG.

  • I certainly agree there's no need to trot Rose out against these horrid teams. Can't wait until the Bulls play a game where there's some element of suspense about the result.

    A short season really makes you realise how silly the 82 game schedule is. Instead of dragging on the charade where teams that are horrible willingly line up for the slaughter in the quest for draft picks, make the season 29 games long, let everyone play each other once, and be done with it.

    Heck if you want to do it in a way that doesn't lose revenue, play TWO 29 game seasons + playoffs every year. You could even then have a playoff between the winners of the half seasons if they're different: preserves the current status quo of one champion per year and gives the league even more high profile games the fans would want to watch to cash in on.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I would support an NBA season with reduced games to the point where there were no back-to-backs. Ever. Probably have to cut about a 12-15 games or so from the 82 game schedule.

  • Agree Completely, Doug. But the title to your article should read “Tom Thibodeau pointlessly pushes Rose…”

    Will he ever get it? It’s doubtful. As Nick Friedell reported, >b?The Bulls, especially Rose, were worn down during last season's playoffs. They appear to be on the same path right now unless something changes.

    This is far worse than Vinny Del Negro overplaying Noah to re-injure his foot a couple years ago. It’s far worse because Bulls, both last year and this year, have a realistic shot at winning the NBA title.

    Thibs learned nothing from Doc Rivers in 2010 when Rivers rested his starters thereby cheating Father Time into an NBA Finals appearance and near ring. And Thibs learned nothing from the results of grinding down Rose all regular season last year.

    This isn’t about Xs and Os and basketball knowledge. It’s about common sense, and human understanding. It’s about having the wisdom to give your players a break. Is it because Thibs has no life away from basketball? No wife, no girlfriend, no children, just basketball 16-18 hours everyday? Is that why he cannot understand what is best for his players as human beings? Does he not relate well to other human beings? I’m searching for an answer…

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree with you 100%! I am really starting to believe the Thibs is this Bulls era Doug Collins. A great A to B coach but not savy enough to get you to C (Championship). Is Doc Rivers available next year?

  • In reply to ChuckB34:

    While the minutes played does concern me slightly, I think it's way to early to start making coaching comprehensions. If you would have done the same thing with Phil Jackson after his first year and a half, you would have come to the same conclusion that he wasn't the right coach. By no means am I trying to directly compare the two, I'm just saying be patient and take your hand off the panic button. Besides, not only do the players like playing for Thibs, but most of them have gone out of their way to praise his excellent coaching ability. Taj Gibson, once referred to him as a future Hall of Fame coach.
    So there must be something there that we as fans can't see.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I think theoverall idea of resting guys is overblown.

    40 minutes of game action isn't that much really if the players are getting adequate rest on off-days, and Thibodeau this season has taken lots of off days as off days rather than practicing.

    His minutes are also at a fairly reasonable level relative to most superstars his age [most stars his age are playing around 40 minutes a game, and Rose is actually only around 35.5].

    IT's the injury situation that really bugs me though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am not sure that the players themselves agree with you, especially this season, they all seem to be talking about fatigue, and the injuries are really out of control.

  • Thibodeau spent the better part of his time in Boston observing how to handle an aging roster. So, I don't think it's about him not getting it. You guys seen the article about Rose calling Isaiah Thomas? http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story/_/id/7555698/chicago-bulls-derrick-rose-sought-advice-isiah-thomas

    This is what Derrick wants. Plus he's been living with the back problem since high school I think and it probably feels better going 22 min at half speed than sitting out completely and tightening up more.

    Doug, I completely get why you or anyone else would want to see Derrick preserved for the playoffs. But, let's not treat Thibs like he's Skiles here.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I agree that some Bulls fans need to chill, maybe this was Rose call to play. The kid wants to win and win big meaning championship. He's the reigning MVP and I'm sure wants to repeat as MVP while trying to lead the Bulls to a championship. I think he knows he has a big task ahead of him trying to lead the Bulls to a championship at his size and position that he plays from his conversation with Thomas. Im confident that this was Rose decision to play cause he's young and he's hungry to win and win big and nothing under him not being able to walk is going to stop him from playing and winning. Sounds to me like he has something similar to what Jordan had in his desire to win, now he just has to keep playing and winning to prove it.

  • I read your post and the comments. I'm no Bulls geek or basketball expert, but it seems to me that holding Rose out of the Boston game in addition to the Charlotte game would be wise. I don't see Boston as a "big" game. Who cares about the Celtics anyway? They're 14-10 and no threat to win the East or to do much of anything. It's got to be tough to be Derrick Rose, knowing how good you are and how much the team depends on you and then trying to decide when to play hurt and how much to play.

  • I wonder if all the old guys like Isiah Thomas, David Stern and others have kind of praised Rose and told him that fans come out to see his game and he has that responsibility as a superstar to cater to the fanbase plus the all-star voting. After Kobe and LeBron, Rose has been the most marketed star in the NBA worldwide.
    Is that making Rose to take a little bit extra risk of playing with aches and pains?

    Also, maybe Thibs not being guaranteed a contract or an extension next year or later is playing into his insecurity? What if he rests Rose/Deng and the Bulls go on a losing streak and get a #4/5 seed and have a second round exit? That will hurt Thibs more than losing again in the ECF against Miami even with home court advantage

  • I've read in a few places now that the last day to qualify to coach the All Star game is Feb 15th, next Wednesday. And I think Thibs' magic number is two games to get it.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    If that ends up being true, it should be a done deal with Charlotte, Boston, and Sacramento on the schedule. You can never look past anyone, but they should have no problem with the Bobcats and Kings and the only tough one being Boston.

  • Where John Paxson? Is he looking after the team's 95 millon investment? How a turf toe is worse than a back problem? This is ridiculous.

  • Completely agree Doug. Seriously the fact that we are playing a 50% at best version of Derrick Rose in February against the Hornets is INEXCUSABLE.

    Seriously, when VDN did something similar with Noah, Pax engagned in fisticuffs with him.

    Look I love Thibbs as a coach and he clearly is vastly superior to most coaches in the league, but come on. This is flat out stupid. There is no other way to describe it. I just pray to Tim Tebow this doesnt cost us a season.

  • It'd be hilarious to watch Thibs coach the East All Stars. The score would end up 94-87 with Derrick playing 41 minutes and defense being the name of the game!

    Also, can we convince Ronnie Brewer that he doesn't have to be on Sportscenter? Last night he went for a highlight dunk and missed terribly. That's the second in I can remember in the past few games. He's not Lebron.

    That said, I thought Taj had a great game. Remember last year when he could consistently hit that 15-18ft jumper a la Boozer? He's so much more of a threat with that but he made some great moves to the hoop last night.

  • I completely agree with your take on Brewer looking totally spastic, and CJ was taking too many shots out of his comfort zone.

    I have been saying for some time that I don't like Brewer in the starting lineup when Hamilton is unable to go, and that he is not a starting caliber player.

    Even though, I don't think that Korver and Boozer should ever be on the floor together due to their defensive issues, I would prefer to see Korver get the start when Hamilton is out, or even CJ for that matter.

    With Hamilton out, I would start Korver and Gibson, using Brewer and Boozer, who by the way seem to play well with each other with the bench mob.

  • DENG MAKES ALLSTAR GAME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Pretty surprising really. Shows how influenced by team record/reputation the all-star game selection is given Deng had a better year last year (and played every game). Heck, not just last year, Deng's had at least 2 and perhaps as many as 4 years where he's played better than he has so far this year IMO.

  • Somewhat off topic (since we're discussing Rose playing vs not playing at all), but still relevant given the debate about minutes that's been going on for a while when Rose does play ...

    Interesting bit of stats work on MPG here: http://knickerblogger.net/nyt-injuries-throwing-wrench-in-n-b-a-contenders-plans/#comment-361857

    Coaches are playing all-stars virtually identical MPG to last year: only 1% fewer MPG which is really just noise in the grand scheme of things.

    So if you think Rose is playing too many MPG you shouldn't be singling out Thibs as though he's unique in this: you're actually disagreeing with the majority of NBA coaches, including many who have played in the NBA (which seems to be the latest fashionable theory of why Thibs doesn't "get it").

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Rose's MPG are the most unique in the entire league. There is almost nobody else who is the primary ball-handler and primary scorer for a good team. Plus, he is a small guy who has to do all kinds of acrobatics sometimes(that means getting beat up) to score.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Even assuming Rose is some kind of special case, that's no less true last year, yet there was nowhere near this level of complaining about the minutes Rose played last year.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I'm not really upset about his MPG overall, just his MPG while dealing with injuries against crappy teams or in blowouts.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I wont claim to have studied it in any depth, but my impression from looking at the box scores every day is that Thibs doesn't play his starters in blowouts more than the average coach.

    Now the coaches can certainly be wrong, you only have to look at the all-star game benches through the years to see that. So it doesn't mean that Rose should be playing the minutes he does. But the debate has really been around the idea that Thibs specifically is wrong.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Since Rose was unable to go on Friday against the Bobs, it was clearly assinine for him to play Wednesday against the Hornees, no matter who made the decision.

  • Can you say HAPLESS dam Charlotte sux! Korver looking good on D getting the steal then out to Gibson leading the break pretty much says it all.

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