Bulls at Memphis and other loose notes

The Chicago Bulls are expecting the return of starting PG Kirk Hinrich. He'd better get back on the court while he still has a job as Marquis Teague has played exceptionally well to close out the last two games. The Bulls have their work cut out for them tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

If Rose is back before the deadline, trade Hinrich

The notoriously frugal Chicago Bulls will be looking to save salary space for next season and possibly get under the tax this year. If they can dump Hamilton then they probably will, but another move that could help them out fiscally is if they can jettison Hinrich from the roster and go with Teague/Robinson as the backup.

The Bulls have little need for four PGs once Rose is back and while many have pointed out that Nate Robinson's deal isn't fully guaranteed until January 10th, so the team could let him go, it makes even more sense to move Hinrich and save yourself four million next year rather than to save 300k this season on Robinson's deal.

It would be interesting to see if the Bulls shopped Hinrich whether there would be any takes anyway or whether the Bulls couldn't get back an expiring deal. My guess is they might be stuck with him just like with Hamilton, but unlike Hamilton, odds are very low they'd even consider moving Kirk.

The fear of every Bulls fan should be the front office summer spin of Hinrich being a good signing because he can play SG when Rose comes back. Sure, he can play it worse than Belinelli and Hamilton. I mean we could line up Taj Gibson at SG as well, but that doesn't make it a good idea. Kirk's a SG that can't score and only has offensive value as a distributor with the ball in his hands. That's not something we need next to Rose.

Gimmie that pasta sauce Funk!

Marco Belinelli, on the other hand, is exactly the type of SG the Bulls need next to Rose. It's a shame the Bulls don't have Marco on a two year deal instead of Hinrich, because his shooting and shot creation (though limited) would fit very well next to Derrick. He's even stepped it up some defensively recently.

Marco Belinelli isn't one to create his own shot well in isolation against a loaded defense, but when delivered the ball against a defense scrambling to contain Rose he'll score at will. He's providing quality long range shooting and enough dribble drive game to provide some scoring versatility that Korver was unable to provide.

I'm genuinely excited to see how Marco fits next to Rose when he returns, as I think [sadly enough] that he might be the best offensive guard Rose has played with this side of Ben Gordon.

C.J. Watson treated unfairly?

C.J. Watson said he was treated unfairly upon leaving Chicago. Whether that was by the fans or management isn't really known, but given he played through a fairly serious foot injury the second half of the season which tanked his stats and received death threats from fans over twitter after "the Omer pass", I'll go ahead and agree with him that it wasn't necessarily fair.

He still hasn't quite come to terms with the fact that he made a bad play sort of hedging his discussion of it, but you don't pass the ball to Asik when you can still run 2-3 more seconds (minimum) off the clock and are a vastly better foul shooter. That said, I've always thought it was crazy how little heat Asik took for missing an open layup as well as both free throws.

It's a natural instinct to pass to your big man who's open and in range to dunk the ball, and in any other situation except the one the Bulls were actually in, it was the right play. That said, it as the bad play in this situation, and that bad play cost the Bulls the season.

Memphis is good but suddenly looks beatable

The Grizzlies started off 14-3, but they've lost the of their past four, and they aren't exactly losing to the elite teams dropping games against Atlanta, Phoenix, and Denver. The Grizzlies are similar to the Bulls with more consistent offensive execution and go to scorers.

Both teams will bring plenty of front court passing and scoring with a lot of big bodies in the paint. The Bulls will have their hands full dealing with two big physical players down low in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. We'll see if Noah can use his quickness to beat Gasol off the dribble, down the court, or on the offensive glass while hoping Boozer can score on the undersized Randolph as well as Randolph is likely to score on him.

Gay and Deng have had plenty of battles at SF, and despite Gay's athletic advantage, Luol's typically acquitted himself fairly well in these contests.

The teams are perhaps differentiated most at guard with the Grizzlies bringing more defensive oriented SGs to the table while the Bulls are bringing the offensive minded Marco Belinelli. At PG, the Grizzlies have the athletic, attacking Mike Conley, and the Bulls counter with the feisty Kirk Hinrich.

It will be interesting to see if Thibodeau calls Teague's number tonight against Conley after playing excellent defense against Deron Williams and Jrue Holiday in the past two games. Conley's another quality guard with the athleticism to potentially hurt Nate/Kirk that perhaps Teague will match up better against.

Perhaps I'm drinking the koolaid

I originally would have written this game off as a sure loss, but over the past week Chicago has played really well while Memphis has struggled. Marco Belinelli has helped resolve much of Chicago's earlier scoring woes, and this Bulls team has proven it can execute down the stretch in tight situations against quality teams.

I'd still pick Memphis to win, but now I think they're narrow favorites rather than huge favorites. The Bulls can keep this one close, and they've stolen some close games recently.


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  • did someone say koolaid?

  • Honestly, Hinrich and Hamilton can stay away as long as they want. As mentioned, there will be limited trading possibilities with them in the best case, so it isn't as if the Bulls can showcase them for anything meaningful.

    To be frank, once those two went down, the team has practically been night and day in terms of energy and effort. I was extremely down on Belinelli, but since he's been starting, he has been a real asset. I also wasn't overly fond of the drafting of Teague, but at this point, I much prefer the combination of Robinson/Teague over Hinrich/Robinson. The fact that Boozer has been diving for loose balls is proof enough to me that the overall energy of the team is much improved with them out of the lineup.

    I think this is going to be a real test of Thibs' coaching chops. Assuming Hinrich goes right back into starting lineup, and the team starts to stagnate again, I wonder if he'll go back to what is working relatively well?

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    the good combination isn't Robinson/Teague or Hinrich/Robinson, it's Hinrich/Teague.

  • If Rose were healthy, I would consider this to be a must see game, as the teams are relatively evenly matched at each position. Having said that, without Rose and on the road, this could be a tough game for the Bulls to take.

    Curious, why do you call Zach Randolph undersized for Boozer, when they are listed at the same height with Boozer only having six pounds on Randolph?

  • C.J. Watson’s questionable pass to Asik did not end the season. Losing both Rose and Noah to injury ended the season...period.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BullsMan:


    It's interesting to note that Watson is posting a career best PER, largely because of his excellent 3 point percentage (.417) and true shooting percentage (.541) which makes him a very efficient scoring option.

    Hinrich is a point guard who can take over at shooting guard when Rose comes back? Sounds a lot more like CJ Watson to me. Instead of signing him, we rolled back the clock and refused to learn from our mistake the first time we signed Hinrich to a bad deal. How we clearly overpaid for Kirk twice and how it's not getting more attention is beyond me. He must think of us the way we think of Isiah.

    I understand CJ's perspective; he never got appreciation for what he did here and wasn't resigned even though he fit our specific need, and on top of it GarPaxDorf elected to overpay for a guy worse than him with less upside.

    For all this talk about things being a process, it doesn't really seem like much rationality was involved in this signing.

  • I wonder if there'd be any market to trade Kirk and Rip and take back similar salary. It would have tax implications, but could lead to a talent upgrade.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nafsllub:

    How bad of a sign is it that our biggest free agent signings every season (Wallace, Boozer, Rip, Kirk) have been players we target to trade away very early into their contracts, without buyers?

  • In reply to Stoops Noh:

    Like DT said in the podcast, you have to overpay in FA. At least the Kirk and Rip contracts may be movable because Rip is only partially guaranteed next year and Kirk's contract only has 1 year left.

  • In reply to Stoops Noh:

    It is a bad sign, not so much of being cheap, but of being unwise. It comes back to talent evaluation, which is not easy.

    For example, over the summer, most fans wanted to keep Gibson over Asik, but who looks more valuable now?

    And at first Beli looked like a poor signing, but now he looks great and fans wish we had him for more than a year!

    And fans squawked about drafting Teague, but it looks like he may turn into the real deal, and we have him cheap for years.

    Go figure!

  • I think Belinelli would be a perfect fit next to Rose since he can shoot threes, can handle some and won't dominate the ball. Rose said in early training camp that he was impressed by Belinelli's size and scoring ability.....he sounds like he wants Beli to be his partner in the backcourt. Belinelli is probably on a high right now but I think we can expect 14pts per game with improving defense, a nice "role player shooting guard" next to Rose.

    Unfortunately like KC Johnson hinted to last summer the Bulls have the idea of having Kirk Hinrich the starting two guard and we seen this before where all the pressure is on derrick to score in the backcourt--BAD IDEA. The Bulls better get with the program and move the 4 million Hinrich contract and whatever else so they can resign Belinelli.......who will be yet another valuable asset that will leave without compensation. If the Bulls are determined in their cheap ways with the salary cap as an excuse, they better at least be more proactive and trade Belinelli who can possibly get you a Jordan Hamilton or Marshon Brooks.....cheap contracts that Reinsdorf adores. I just hate the see the Bulls get worse every year without making some kind of creative moves to better the team while we wait for this 2014 plan where the best players avoid Chicago like the great plague. Of course we'll have Reinsdorf prehistoric favorite leftovers like Pau Gasol who are DONE DONE DONE.

  • I totally disagree with the idea of moving Hinrich. We brought Hinrich back here to make him start with Rose. WTH would be the point to trade him before Rose comes back ?

    We've lost against Miami because Rose does everything on the floor. He has to be the playmaker and the first offensive option. With Hinrich on the floor, Rose will be able to focus on scoring while hinrich will make plays for him or for others (if rose is doubled). It will put a lot of pressure off Rose during the playoffs. I don't know whether it will enough to pass the heat but it'll definitively help. Because until now, once Rose is doubled, Bulls offense dies : Rose can't score and his teammates can't neither create their own offense.

    Yes, Once Rose is back, we'll have 4 PGs. Imo, the one who should be cut, traded or taken off the rotation is the one who isn't a real PG, who is selfish and takes pour decisions namely Nate Robinson.

    Even now, Marquis teague should already be the back PG. Move Nate to SG position or take him off the rotation because he isn't a team player. He has a low IQ and plays for the show.

    Hinrich is a good PG. stop criticizing him, he'll have his game back very soon. Just give him a little time (he wasn't used to play in a competitive team eversince he left Chicago) and hope he doesn't get injured again.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Good PG??? Here are some stat lines for your consideration:

    Kirk Hinrich, CHI 19 27.2 .468 38.2 12.4 16.1 1.4 8.5 5.0 10.55 0.4 0.0

    57 Chris Duhon, LAL 21 24.2 .604 44.8 10.4 9.9 2.0 7.3 4.7 10.73 -2.1 -0.1

    58 Donald Sloan, CLE 18 13.8 .451 26.6 9.6 17.9 1.3 11.8 6.3 10.18 -3.0 -0.1

    So, according to PER (which isn't perfect, but it does tend to be a good barometer at least), Hinrich is somewhere between Chris Duhon (Don't see anyone clamoring for that return) and Donald Sloan.

    In other words, Hinrich is Bogans-bad!

    Like I said earlier, the Bulls, while still being offensively limited, seem much more fluid and energetic without R.I.P. and Kapt. Klank out on the floor.

    Hopefully, you were being sarcastic/humorous.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Not that you are ever on point about anything, but care to revise your defense of Hangdog as an effective point guard after watching tonights game in which he looked absolutely child like the entire game. He looked like Conleys little brother out on the playground as Conley just threw up shit as if he were toying with his little brother(hangdog).

  • off topic :

    What do you think guys about trading for Al jefferson ??

    It's been reported that the jazz wants to trade either Millsap or Al jefferson.
    I think the bulls should go after Al jefferson. The jazz has been lacking of outside scoring for a long time, they could give us Jefferson for Luol Deng ( maybe plus a draft pick). We'd start Jimmy butler Jefferson and Noah while Boozer(who will be amnesty next off-season) and Taj will come off the bench. Then we sign a back up SF.

    We might not win a championship this year. Though pairing Rose and Jefferson would be great over the next five years. Jefferson would definitively be that second offensive threat we've been looking for.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I like Jefferson, but he isn't worth Luol and I sure as heck wouldn't throw in a pick for the privilege of losing our 3d best player. I'd only ship Lu as part of a package for a superstar (Love).

  • Earlier in the season I was down on our post season pickups, but Belineli, Teague and Butler brings new hope to the backcourt. I'm happy those guys are stepping up and showing signs of potential. It seems logical to move Hinrich and Hamilton both assuming there will be takers, but I would be surprised if the Bulls trade Hinrich because for one they just signed him to a new deal and by moving him would mean for the front office to admit signing him was a mistake to begin with which i don't see happening. Another reason and the biggest in my opinion is the guys in the front office are in love with Hinrich. I don't know what the attachment is but Paxson loves Hinrich like a son. So no matter how poorly Hinrich continues to play he's safe and will be on the Bulls for 2 seasons, mark my words. Hamilton is a different story and I suspect they will be actively looking to move him.

  • I don't know if they'd trade Hinrich for a second time, after moving him once before.

    Marco Belinelli's contract pisses me off, as one of their two intriguing potential long-term offseason additions hilariously gets signed to a shitty, stumpy, amputated dick contract.

    Watching starting Memphis Grizzlies finger burning hippie big man Marc ''Ira Einhorn'' Gasol evokes visions of him in his large country mansion sitting in a highchair, while a group of maids partake in an engaging game of airplane as his stubborn claptrap face cavern tauntingly opens and closes, spilling Gerber's strained peas all over the floor, while a disgusted, frustrated maid eyes big baby role-playing Marc from across the room as he lets out a goo goo gaa gaa, pounding his highchair in playful boisterous childlike enthusiasm, spouting shriekish, incoherent baby noises, as the sickened and appalled maids reluctantly begin their nightly mopup duty of baby Ira's post-playtime mess.

    Anyway, it is now December 17th, 2012...................Ashtar.....you stupid, lazy cunt. Please tuck your 2 1/2 inch penis back into your swimmy trunks and get on the fucking phone with Central Command to get you a god damn calandar. December 21st is FOUR DAYS AWAY. I see NO spaceships, I see NO free energy technology, I see NOTHING. Get off your ass and MOVE. Jesus Christ...

  • I don't see how Thibs can leave Hinrich in the game. Not only is he absolutely no threat to score on offense, but he is getting destroyed by Conley on the defensive end and is just doing a shit job of running the offense in general.

  • In reply to Motoman:

    Yea, Thibs must have been wearing Hangdogs goggles. Hangdog was absolutely killing us in every way possible, and Deng looked like an athletic spaz all night long also. Weren't those guys supposed to be 2/3 of our young "core" just a few years ago. Pathetic.

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