Hamilton leads team to victory despite failing to escape the Bogans role

Hamilton leads team to victory despite failing to escape the Bogans role

The Chicago Bulls, predictably, got their revenge on the New York Knicks despite the fact that Derrick Rose did not play. They were led by Rip Hamilton, who took on the task as primary offensive initiator in the third period and scored at will.

Now much of this may come out as sounding negative, but I don't feel it in a negative way, it's just how I saw it.

The Bulls would have beat the Knicks on Sunday if Rose sat out

No, the Bulls are not better without Rose, but they struggled badly in his return largely because Derrick was working off tremendous amounts of rust. His lack of ball control and inability to finish hurt the team tremendously. Despite those rust induced deficiencies, Chicago played even worse when he attempted to defer at the start of the game.

Iman Shumpert owned C.J. Watson much like he owned Derrick Rose, but with Rose out of the game, the Bulls went in other directions successfully. With Rose in the game, the rest of the Bulls struggled to play their game when Rose attempted to move the ball around. They fell back into the pattern of waiting around for Rose to bail them out. Everyone became less aggressive.

One of the key things for Chicago to do is to integrate the things they've learned to do successfully without Rose back into the game when Rose is healthy. On top of that, they simply need Rose to swing back into form in short order. If Rose is able to play against Miami, then Chicago will have the ultimate test as to whether they can achieve that goal.

So why didn't Hamilton come back?

It's easy to say Kyle Korver was playing well or the second unit was playing well, but quite frankly that's a load. No other starter would be in that situation if they are playing well. Thibs will ride his bench to the death if the starters struggle (Deng/Rose being the exceptions), but he always returns to his starters when they play well.

Rip Hamilton was lighting it up for Chicago in the third, but we never saw from him again. He continued to play his Keith Bogans role logging just 20:35 in playing time despite being Chicago's best offensive player of the game. Hamilton did a great job of initiating the offense and shifting the focus of the Bulls attack from the PG position, where Shumpert dominated defensively, to the SG position, where the Knicks struggled on D.

He was helped by the ridiculous tightness in which the third period was called as the refs looked like they were trying to fix a prop bet on how many minutes long the third period was. He received a couple of foul calls that were beyond superstar calls, but the ridiculousness of the fouls was on both sides. I have to assume some of the words flying around the court were chippier than usual, and the refs were trying to keep things from exploding.

Either way, we saw Hamilton create plenty of shots for himself and for teammates as he led the team in both points (20) and assists (5) on the night. It's the first quality game from Hamilton since returning from injury, hopefully it's the first of many.

Bulls cleaned up the fundamentals

The Knicks actually shot the ball somewhat better this game than on Easter, however, Tyson Chandler didn't come up with double digit offensive rebounds to give them so many second chance opportunities. Not that you can blame Chandler for not grabbing 10 offensive boards against an elite rebounding team, he still had 15 boards on the night, but on Easter he was able to get his hand on the ball and tap it back repeatedly.

On top of the improved rebounding, Chicago didn't give the ball up all over the place. Their turnovers sat at a manageable 12 vs New York's 16.

With fewer second chance/fast break opportunities the Knicks offense simply couldn't get rolling despite shooting a higher percentage against Chicago. There was no first quarter lay up line, no points scored on the third shot attempt of the possession last night.

If you weren't a PG, you played well

The Bulls played a great team game. Luol Deng had a big night and shot the ball well. The bigs didn't an excellent job on the glass and crushed the Knicks with their interior defense. Gibson/Noah did a nice job when called upon to defend perimeter players to matchup against the Knicks small ball lineup.

Kyle Korver had one of his best shooting nights in awhile, while Ronnie Brewer displayed create energy in his few minutes as well. In fact, everyone had it rolling except two guys.

C.J. Watson and John Lucas.

Shumpert playes some tremendous defense, so it was no surprise that the man who could corral Derrick Rose (even if it was an 80% Derrick Rose) was also able to corral C.J. Watson/John Lucas when matched up against them. His "constantly right up in your grill" defense frustrated the Bulls attack and caused Chicago to struggle to get into their sets.

The Bulls responded by taking the ball out of their PGs hands and allowing Hamilton/Korver/Deng to make more plays from the perimeter. Watson looks a bit overwhelmed when asked to play the Derrick Rose role long term while team's have largely deciphered the one trick that Lucas has in his repertoire causing him to struggle as well.

Despite the Bulls struggling along with Rose's struggles in his return, he can't get back into form soon enough to prepare for the playoff run that's coming.

Bulls have beat every East playoff team they've played without Rose

The Bulls are 7-1 against the Eastern Conference playoff teams without Rose with two victories over Boston, and one over Miami, Philly, Orlando, Atlanta, and New York. Their only loss to a playoff team without Rose was to Boston, and the only EC playoff squad the Roseless Bulls haven't defeated is the Pacers whom Rose has suited up against both times.

There's often a feeling that this team wouldn't be a whole lot without Rose, but they've played a long stretch without him, beaten quality teams, and presently own a 57-25 pace while Rose has been out.

They've done a great job of holding down the fort while Derrick has sat out, and those lessons will hopefully help them perform when Derrick has an off night or faces traps/double teams upon his return.


Leave a comment
  • You said Rip lead the team in assists, but Watson had 7 assists. More importantly just 1 turnover. I was pretty happy with his game and didn't think Shump owned him ... he missed a lot of shots, but that's pretty par for the course for CJ.

    I agree the way the Bulls play without Rose needs to be the way they play with him. Other than health, that's the biggest question mark on this team. Can Rose play like just one of the guys, or will he resort to hero ball? I don't think hero ball is a winning formula very often, but it's really not a winning formula when you can throw 2 all D team perimeter defenders at you like Miami can.

    As far as Hamilton's minutes go, given what's happened so far this season is it really wrong to put him in cotton wool and only use him enough to get him ready for the playoffs? It wasn't like the Bulls struggled without him in the 4th.

    Not enough love for Korver either ... not just a good shooting night, he had 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks as well as getting on the floor to save several loose balls. He even had a (Boozer scream) AND-ONE.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    My bad, I must not have scanned the box score well enough.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Lots of perceptive comments today (I think we get stupider when the Bulls lose). But this one was my favorite because Shakes is completely right about Watson. Shumpert was doing his ridiculous bumping/swatting thing, and CJ only turned the ball over once. He dealt calmly with the pressure, took momentary double- and triple-teams, and passed well even when trapped on the sideline or baseline. That's huge.

    Even if Shumpert is fouling/hand-checking on every possession, you have to give him credit for the sheer amount of energy he puts in on D. Which means you have to give CJ even more credit for not letting that energy derail the Bulls.

  • I enjoyed watching the Bulls battle a much improved Knicks team!
    It is amazing how extremely defensive the Knicks are now with their new coach! WOW!!! Shumpert is amazing defensively! I wish we could have drafted him, especially him being local like Rose!
    We however drafted Butler who is a good defender in his own right and I'm happy he got playing time!
    I hate how the Bulls get lazy when Rose is in there and stand around and watch him do the heavy lifting much of the time!
    We can beat anyone when we are firing on all cylinders!

  • KK and Rip both had 1 of the best games I can remember in a Bulls uniform!
    KK had 3 blocked shots!!! WOW!

  • That's one hell of a photo right there ...

  • If you notice the box score yesterday between Boston and Miami, the number of double digit scoring for the Cs was somewhere like 6 or 7 players. Miami was putrid at 3. Our biggest East competitor has potentially bigger problems than the Bulls do.

    Outrageous as seem to think, the Heat have not faced the adversity we have( ie. major contributors being shelved for extended amounts of time), and they havent experienced the varying degrees of victory weve enjoyed this season(last second game winners havent been much in their repetoire).

    All im saying is this team IS truly impressive, not from talent standpoint, but from the fact they have been consist in the face of adversity - outdoing their competitors and outdoing themselves. Others cannot say the same despite a wealth talent.

  • Did i see not one but two Boozer DUNKS?? Along with a tomahawk??

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Did I see not one but at least a dozen uncontested Knicks layups with boozer either playing center or defending the center position.

    Do you guys care about playing winning basketball, or gettng a sportscenter highlight?

  • Is it just me, or are the Knicks a bunch of hacking defenders? THey showed a montage of defensive swipes late in the 3rd quarter, and every single one looked like a reach to me.

    Shumpert is the worst... Every time he "owns" Rose or CJ it's due to constant fouls with the body and arms.

    It's like the coach teaches those guys to reach and swipe knowing that the refs can't call EVERY one. I don't think the refs called ANY of them.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I thought I was the only one who noticed that. ABC (sunday) showed Shumpert "playing great D on Rose" and every time it was shown he was hand checking. He fouls every time and the refs weren't calling it.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    Well, that is how the Pat Riley Knicks did it in the 90's. maybe Woodson broke out some old tapes when he took over.

  • Correction: The bulls would have beaten the knicks on Sunday if they had played anybody in the last minute who could hit a FT or get a rebound. Also, they probably should have taken Rose out after he sprained his ankle.

  • Question for everyone: Do the Bulls pretty much wrap up the #1 seed with a win tomorrow night against Miami? Bulls would own a 3 game lead in the loss column & with only 2 remaining tough games (Miami & Indiana both on the road), while Miami has 3 close matchups (Chicago, Boston away, New York away) + 2 more games total. Miami would pretty much have to win out & hope for Chicago to close out 4-3. I don't see that happening. Plus if they win, they are a lot closer to being able to give some guys a little extra rest. Even with a loss though, I like the chances of getting a #1 now.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yes they probably will wrap up the 1 one seed but who really cares? it didn't matter last year and it won't this year if rose continues to play "one man show" basketball.

  • The Hamilton Bogans Parallel

    Sounds like the title of some unfathomable mathematical theory one needs a pocket protector and slide rule to even broach(and preferably not having been laid before their 24th birthday).

    In reality, it seems more like a common sense no-brainer. RIP has to build some chemistry with the team, yes..? RIP has to get into a good rythm..? RIP has to find his role..? RIP needs an ambulance every time he plays multiple games with 30 plus minutes.

    Yes he's had more aches and pains then a worker's comp clown, but he has to come out of the bubble some time. Isn't that what life shows us? If you're going to reach great heights of success you have to take a risk, take that chance at some point.

    I agree with Doug, if this is what he's saying, that RIP needs his minutes upped from Bogans starter in name only 20 to a legit 30 a game. He's got to build some type of tangible identity so the team can adjust to that presence accordingly.

    Likewise Noah IMO. Joakim plays better when he's needed. When the supporting cast was a bathospheric drop off after Luol with Flip Murray and Hakim Warrick etc. Jo scored 15 ppg with a Sudden Impact playoff performance. His offensive confidence seems to have faded as have his one or two a game baseline hooks, driving hooks, and lobs which under Harris, Bickerstaff(or someone other then Vinny) were a staple.

    Finally, you've got Derrick. I've never heard the kind of dare I say rancor as I've heard lately regarding Rose's toughness being seemingly injury ridden and gagging on two late game free throws and lame last second shot. Most of this has been in the Chicago meadia(not referring to Doug), but even K.C.Johnson pointed to the 'inexcusable' missing of not one but a pair of late game free's even referencing the 'Memphis Misses' that would have secured a National Championship.

    With fans and media, the highs and lows of franchise players, until they win it all or show a body of indisputable studly Alpha performances, are going to be excoriated every time they blow chunks in a playoff setting or let us down with injuries etc. over an extended perod.

    Legitimately, after 2011 Miami, after an injury riddled stretch and some late game gaffes, the anti-Rock of Gibraltar needs to resurface. Derrick has something to prove. But you can't 'love' Derrick one minute and then throw him in a garbage can the next. If he has a great playoffs or continues with injuries or ineffective play against a Miami, he's still a very talented player who gives us a lot of entertainment and has shown he's a good guy as his teammates seem to genuinely love the guy even beyond the winning.

    If RIP stays healthy now for the remainder between he and Lu with the supporting cast if they can burn teams enough for ridiculous extended double and tripple teaming of Derrick, eventually he will make them pay - big time.

  • I feel it's also worth pointing out how awesome and deadly the Deng-Boozer pick and roll was against the Knicks in the 2nd.

  • In reply to kozelkid:

    I agree, the best pick and roll combo ive seen from the bulls. better than when rose runs it.

  • In reply to rob32:

    then I guess that the Bulls pick and roll game is even worse than I thought that it was.

    In addition to all his other glaring deficiencies, boozer might be the worst pick setting so called bigman in the history of the game. Like everything else in his game, he just goes through the motions when he pretends to set a pick, he basically sets a zone pick, appearing in the general vicinity of the play, but avoiding actual physical contact at all costs.

  • We all know Rip was acquired to help get past Miami. His minutes have been low since coming back, but I think tomorrow night we'll see if he's truly locked into the Bogans-role or if they have just been extremely slowly transitioning him back after such a long absence. His play last night warrants more minutes and there's no better time than tomorrow against the team he was brought in to beat.

  • Bulls are handling Rips minutes perfectly. It was only his 4th game back. They are easing him back, which is smart. This 4th game was the first where Rip looked good, so why would they extend his minutes sooner, especially when Rip has been so fragile and we need him healthy for the playoffs?

    I wish Bulls would ease Rose back with limited minutes like 25-30. Rose OBVIOUSLY isn't in shape and doesn't have his explosion so why force minutes for Rose when he is not efficient or productive? Wait until Rose returns to form, then increase his minutes.

    Easing Rose back into shape may allow Bulls to retain their "team basketball" concept. Which is Bulls only hope to advance to the Finals.

    Bulls roster does not fit conventional coaching cliches, such as 'shorten the rotation in the playoffs.' That would be a BIG MISTAKE for this team. The Bench Mob and teamwork with different players stepping up will be the only way Bulls can win a title.

Leave a comment