The Chicago Bulls met with the referees yesterday to go over new points of emphasis in the rule book. The largest one being the "no flopping" rule. Ironically, no one seems to be discussing that this was a point of emphasis last year as well and nothing changed.
I can actually see the eyes rolling in the responses the Bulls have about flopping questions. They seem to know already that this rule seems like an excuse to give Wade/LeBron more calls despite being amongst the biggest floppers out there.
"I guess I think that that's a good rule," he said. "It's going to be hard to enforce because it's pretty opinionated, but we'll see."
"It's not just defensive flopping, it's offensive flopping," Thibodeau said. "It's things that are being done with the ball, where I think it's gone too much in the other direction. "
"I think it's just (going to be) how the season goes," Deng said. "There's still a gray line right there. Not a lot of guys can really take a charge without flopping so I wonder how they're going to treat that one because if I keep just taking the hit and I don't fall do you call the charge?"
Sure sounds like the group collectively thinks the rule is bullshit and will be called that way. Thibs and Deng both called out the points that annoy me about the flopping rule the most. If you want to remove flopping stop allowing the offensive player to get calls by barreling into people out of control. Stop forcing a player to fall down to get an offensive foul call.
The idea that a defender's feet have to be perfectly set to get a charge is stupid. The call should be about which player reasonably got to the spot first. If both players are running next to each other than the offensive player runs sideways into the defensive one it should be a foul because the defender's feet weren't set.
The defender should have a right to continue in the direction he was already going if the offensive player can't get ahead of him. While the rules actually do allow for that, the game is rarely called that way.
Marco Belinelli already indoctrinated into the offense doesn't matter camp
So Marco Belinelli hasn't hit a three point shot yet, but is that a problem? Of course not. Just like every Bull over the past few years the problem lies in lack of defensive effort.
The next time Thibodeau emphasizes offense might be the first.
"I'm trying to understand the system and be a better defender," Belinelli said. "That's what (Thibodeau) keeps emphasizing to me. Everything is new for me, so step-by-step. I can play better.
"I haven't shot well and I'm going to work a lot on that. It will come. I don't have to think too much about that."
Tom Thibodeau believes defense wins basketball games. Whenever something goes wrong, blame the defense. Hold Miami to 90 points a game in a playoff series but lose? Blame the defense. Lose 83 to 81? Blame the defense.
Thibodeau appears to believe defense that defense can be coached up far easier than offense, and that guys sometimes miss shots and make shots but this can't be controlled through coaching.
There's some merit to the thought that a player can't be coached into hitting a jumper, however, a team can be coached into generating easier looks. It feels like the Bulls need an injection of that.
Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton to play tonight
The pair of players missed Saturday's game (second half of a back to back) with "general soreness". Both players have been in the league long enough that they can take a preseason game off, but with the mentality of this locker room I'm surprised to see it.
If they're legitimately sore already that's not the best sign to start the season. My guess is that it was simply a vacation day with no real reason to push either guy at this stage of the season, but the fact that they need one three games into preseason doesn't have me amped up about their durability.