Hinrich back as Bulls face Clippers [late 8:30 start]

Hinrich back as Bulls face Clippers [late 8:30 start]

Kirk Hinrich practiced yesterday and is expected to return from the elbow injury he suffered against the Knicks to play against the Clippers tonight.

The Chicago Bulls are riding a three game win streak and have done a nice job winning the games they were supposed to win. Tonight, they face a team that's supposed to annihilate them and did exactly that in their first meeting in L.A. Can the Bulls find a way to stay in this one?

Quite frankly, no. Not unless something particularly abnormal happens.

The Clippers have too many parts the Bulls have no answer for. Their biggest strengths play right into the Bulls biggest weaknesses. The Bulls have no answer for Blake Griffin or Chris Paul, and both players should get whatever they want all night long against the Bulls.

Last game Blake Griffin was having a mild game and sitting on the bench waiting for the Clippers to close it out. The Bulls made a run, he came back in and scored about 12 points in three minutes to put the game hopelessly out of reach and went right back to the bench. It illustrated just how easily he could dominate Chicago when they needed him to.

The Clippers are playing at a high level as well. They've won their last three games by 22, 18, and 19 points. The Clippers have thrown out a few duds, and any given day anything can happen, but this doesn't look pretty.

So I've been pretty clear in stating the Bulls odds in this game aren't the best, it looks like a national TV humiliation coming, but if they are to win, they'll do so because they've successfully done following...

Keep Blake Griffin shooting jumpers

Despite being perhaps the most athletic big man in the NBA, a guy whom no one can stop when he drives and uses athleticism around the basket, Blake Griffin sometimes just falls in love with taking 20 footers. He's not bad at knocking them down. He'll still probably hurt you from out there, but it keeps him off the glass and keeps him from getting momentum swinging crazy dunks.

The Bulls have little hope to contain Griffin inside, but if they can run enough defenders at him to harass him inside and make him take lazy shots around the perimeter their odds will improve considerably.

P.S. let's not do that thing where we put Vladimir Radmanovic on Griffin again. Not for a second. Regardless of whether or not Vlad was on a unit that made a run. Seriously. My eyes can't take watching that again.

Shooting, shooting, shooting

The one thing that can always allow a worse team to beat a better team is to have a hot shooting night. Obviously you can't generate a hot shooting night anytime you'd want or else you'd have one every night. However, if the Bulls are going to pull off the upset, then it's quite likely that they have a better than average night from three and knock down their mid range jumpers.

Marco Belinelli's the most obvious candidate to have a nice game, but Luol Deng can knock down the three as well.

Great transition defense and defensive rebounding

Between Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers can run a pretty sick fast break with an elite player pushing the ball and two of the more athletic big men trailers in the NBA. They also have the size and quickness to crash the glass hard. The Bulls will need to stay fundamentally strong in both areas to nullify the Clippers athletic advantage.

Drink your Gatorade

It's going to be a long night for Bulls starters who will likely play 40 minutes a night against the Clippers who play their bench much more frequently and for more minutes. In a close game down the stretch, the Bulls unit will likely be the more tired of the two.

If the Bulls are competing in the game, you obviously go for the win, but understand that if it slips away from you that you've got a much more winnable game tomorrow. This isn't the night to run your guys into the ground to lose by 20 and leave everyone exhausted. If the game gets out of hand let this one go.


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  • I think it's time Hinrich gets put on the Rip-limit of 30min. Will Thibs learn his lesson? Who knows.

    But we do know Noah's not going to be able to cover Boozer against Blake now that DJ has a lot game. Noah will have his hands full with him, so I expect Boozer to be yanked early.

    Also, when DJ leaves the court, can Thibs give Noah some rest? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say when Hollins and Fat Odom are in the game, I think Taj and Nazr can handle themselves appropriately.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    hinrich is averaging 27 mins/game...

  • In reply to jumpmanjay:

    Half the games Hinrich logged under 30min, it was because Hinrich was knocked out with injury.

    Te other half it was because Hinrich couldn't hit a shot and Nate could.

    It had nothing to do with Thibs 'resting' Kirk.

  • I wonder if Doris ''my buddy'' Burke will do this game, so she can tell us how Jrue Holiday is ''really looking forward'' to matching up with Derrick Rose, without realizing that Jrue Holiday is in the state of Pennsylvania, and Derrick Rose is injured.

    I'm not looking forward to watching Blake Griffin and his Kuwabara hair aggressively throw down, and then stare at the United Center faithful in a pathetically desperate attempt to generate hybrid admiration-fear particles within them, and then disgustingly absorb said particles into his disgraceful, wandering flesh clump self as he sickeningly jogs back to the location of his next forbidden crime against the universe.

    The same is true of DeAndre Jordan, who, along with Kazuma, by night's end will have drained all the energy from the stadium and city like chest-bumping emotional vampires who only want the gods to recognize their sad failure selves, sucking the admiration and life out of everything in existence that dares have eyes.

    Watching Kirk Hinrich continue to think that the rim is a pinball bumper should be amusing, as will watching Tom Thibodeau and his John Travolta lips continue to hope that reality will accidentally count minutes played as points, so I should be sufficiently entertained while the Bulls bob helplessly up and down in the burning sea of basketball shit-stained underwear.

    By the way, thank you, Galactic Federation of Light, for knocking out my internet service for over a week, but I'm not surprised that it was restored, as you lazy half-assers can never spend too much time or effort on any one thing. December 21st, 2012 is only 10 days away, so we should be seeing those ships any day now. LOL.

  • Last 10 games - 40.6% shooting, 37% from 3

    Last 5 games - 46.4% shooting, 60% from 3

    You want to pick on the first 9 games (29.2% shooting, 30.8% from 3), be my guest. It was truly hideous. But Kirk's shot has come around of late, and it's ridiculous to act like it hasn't.

  • In reply to clancy:

    That last 10 game set of numbers is still pretty and likely only a shade better than the first 9 but bumped up by the last 5 games where he actually shot well, particularly from three.

  • In reply to clancy:

    I'm not sure why you're getting upset, it's not like I have a history of bashing Hinrich. Kirk has had *two* games recently that have helped bump up his stats, a 4-7 (1-2 3pt) game at Cleveland, and 4-5 (2-3 3pt) game at Detroit, both happening in a row. Those aren't enough to be a clear signal of change.

  • Kirk Hinrich is back. Yay?

    I watch this game to see the Clippers. Being a Bulls fan its a rarity to see a talented team that is exciting to watch. No one can accuse the GarPax Monster of trying to only be entertaining or entertaining in any form whatsoever... Unless however you are amused by guys who either can't score or can't defend then this is your team!

    Rose probably can't wait to get back and play with these guys.

  • I'm too cheap to buy the NBA League Pass for $189 so watching OKC, LAC, Memphis, etc is nice when they are on TNT and/or when they play the Bulls! Too bad we can't have a team like these to watch in the 3rd largest market in the U.S.! Thanks Jerry!

  • In reply to smiley:

    I was gonna get NBA league pass too but I don't think it's worth it this year. Maybe next

  • athleticism and scoring, what a strange combination these clippers are bringing to Bulls-land. They also have veteran leadership but the Clippers front office has done a nice job of balancing young athletic players with veteran players to fill around their two superstar players along with great bench scoring. Excellent job by the LA Clips. Maybe Garpax will have a moment of enlightenment watching how a contending team is put together.

  • I was at first Clippers Bulls game. If I remember correctly it was Jamal who got crazy hot that night and made pretty much everything he threw at the basket. A lot of careless turnovers in 2nd qtr also help them break open the game and Barnes led that charge. I really don't expect either of those to happen tonight. We are night and day from that first game against them till now. Not world beaters but much better.... Last thing is they held Blake in check for most part. He got hot in 4th and his jumper was falling. So him dominating them first time is false. Bulls win tonight!!!!

  • VDN has the hammer (talented roster), and GarPax has the nails (current Bulls squad).

    While I commend most (Vlad Bad and Nazr have been awful, and Hinrich is just d-o-n-e) of the team for the way they've played (Noah should be on the All-Star team this year if he continues), I think this is the game where the talent gap starts to show itself.

    Maybe the Mayans were right? Sitting in the stands at the House that MJ Built, and looking at Donald Sterling, Vinny Del Negro and the Clips with envy? Say it ain't so, GarPax!

  • For those of you who are constantly trying to give away the charlotte pick and Mirotic in some ridiculous trade, he is a little something on Mirotic.


    An opinion which I wholeheartedly agree with, and I am pretty certain that the Bulls do also. Mirotic has a good chance to be the second best Bulls player in the Rose era to date, particularly offensively. Unless another 1.7% miracle happens in the draft, or we radically alter our fortunes in free agency.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Mirotic should only be traded for a star player as part of a package. Mirotic for Kevin Love makes alot of sense for both teams, the timberwolves love european players and the bulls need a second scoring star to pair with Rose. Of course the Timberwolves will wait until Love only has a year to go and we don't know how Ricky Rubion will shape up by that time. We truly are stuck in a holding pattern for a few more years. sucks.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    And that my fellow poster is complete B.S. Chicago is the third largest market in the U.S. and the fans have to put up with this crap from the Bears, Cubs, and especially the Bulls. David Kaplin of Chicago Tribune Live commented on this very subject yesterday and he was very passionate about how Chicago teams, excluding the Bulls owner precious White Sox of course are very cheap when it comes to bringing talented players that will help to build contending championship level caliber teams in Chicago. Just my opinion, but the fans need to keep showing their displeasure with the Bulls F.O. if we all want things to change for the better for Chicago sports teams. And some fans should really stop being complete homers and stop kissing ass.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    There might be some hope, Kevin Love in an article was described as not too happy with the direction of the wolves or their management( god I wonder what he would think of our management but anyway). When people were drooling over howard last summer, I said forget him and focus on Love but that too is going to be difficult unless he makes us a preferred destination and forces his way here. Still in the meantime the Bulls have to make better decisions like Mayo over Heinrich and getting a younger backup center instead of somebody who can barely run or jump. Plus there's even depressing talk about bringing back Jannero Pargo, this organization has no imagination or an eye for talent when it comes to free agency, the drafting has been generally good so lets hope they continue that.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Who wants to give up Mirotic? I've maybe heard one or two trades involving Mirotic by Bulls fans.

    If anything, I think Bulls fans are so homerific they claim Mirotic WILL be Dirk and deem him untouchable.

    And regarding Sheridan and his reference to a Mirotic trade....HE was the one that made that trade up, lol.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    No, my hope is that Mirotic will be a better Toni Kukoc.

    Every time that anyone on this site proposes a trade they always include the Charlotte pick and Mirotic as give aways in addition to whatever players are involved as if they are useless assets.

    Most recently, it has been trades for Gasol. The only players, or should I say "assets" that I would include in a Gasol deal are Rip and Bozo, although after tonights Casper the Ghastly Ghost routine by Deng, I might consider including him.

    the problem with acquiring Gasoleven if the Lakers would take Rip and Bozo, is that Noah has to play power forward on defense, oh wait, that is what he has to do now in order to hide Bozo's useless ass, and yes despite his 24 & 13 against the Clips he was still as useless as tits on a whore on the defensive side of the floor as always.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That Mirotic looks good is exactly why the Bulls should be considering trading his rights. You have to give up something to get something, if Mirotic looked bad in Europe you'd get nothing for him so we wouldn't have this discussion because nobody would care.

    Mirotic wont be over for at least another year, probably more, and then you have an adjustment period before he's up to speed with the NBA. The Bulls should be looking to win now, and so if Mirotic can be traded for immediate help in the right deal, you have to consider it.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    An d by the right deal, I don't mean a decaying, mopey albatross of a contract like Gasol.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I challenge you to name even 5 guys that are actually gettable that are worth "throwing in" Mirotic and the Charlotte pick as everyone is wont to do on this site.

    Unless we are getting a bonafide AllStar, not a Luol Deng/ Roy Hibbert Allstar I am not giving up those assets. and we don't have the starter pieces to even get into a discusion for that type of player, with Deng and Noah being our best tradable assets.

    Mirotic will only be 23-24 in 2014-15, so he will be a well developed but still young player when the Bulls get him onboard.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Just about everyone in the NBA is gettable in the right situation. You just need a desperate seller (player is unhappy, team has money woes, etc). Who that will be next, who can say?

    Here's my problem with the hold out for MIrotic plan: there's every chance he doesn't come over in 2014, and even as a mature aged rookie he may still take time to adjust. So say he's not a good NBA player until 2016 - Deng and Noah are 31 and declining, and so you don't have the core to compete.

    So I think the Bulls have to take decisive action on which plan they want to go with and it's a gamble either way. Decide to go with Mirotic and you trade Deng and Noah and rebuild then cross your fingers he really does become "Dirk 2.0", not to mention the players you trade Deng and Noah for work out.

    Or go the other way and commit to win now, well you better hope the right trade comes up at the right time. I think there's some small chance of hitting a home run and getting Howard or even LeBron (he's certainly been less than equivocal that he'll stay with Miami in 2014). Of course there's also the chance that you can only land a lesser player - but I think if you are going to try to win now you have to just cash your chips for the best you can get.

    Really that's the situation the Bulls are in. If they keep Deng & Noah this off-season then they have to be looking to trade their assets and go all in. Trying to play it safe and taking the middle road is just playing to be a playoff team that makes bank but doesn't seriously threaten. Sadly I think that's enough for the Bulls ownership.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Were you thinking about packaging Mirotic in a Kevin Love trade?

  • In reply to Waldock:

    If Kevin Love becomes available then sure, I'd hope the Bulls would be willing to include Mirotic - a Rose/Love/Noah core is a very good one, and despite Doug's fears that it's not good enough, I think it would give the Heat & Thunder a run for their money.

  • I totally agree with you guys. I consider myself a true Bulls fan since the Jordan era, but I'm pretty disgusted with management at this point. Last season a game like this vs the Clippers even without Rose fans still had hope. Even though rose was our only star player we always felt we had a chance at winning. Rose was injured for a good chunk of the season as well as others and we still finished with the best record. That should tell you something. Even though we didnt have stars like the Heat or Lakers what we had was a good team.

    We was successful for 4 reason last season. Good role players, good team chemistry, good team defense, and good coaching. The difference this season is bad role players, unbalanced chemistry, poor defense because of poor defensive players, and even though I still think thibs is doing a good job coaching, a coach is only as good as the players he has to work with.

    I know i keep bringing this up but I really miss our team from last year. I miss Omar Asik's defensive presence and big body in the paint, and in his place we get Mohammad. I miss Kyle Korvers deadly 3 point shooting that kept teams on edge and in his place we get Radmadvich ( can't even spell the guys name ) I miss Ronnie brewers athletism, defense, steals, and fast break points, in his place we get Belineli who's trash. I miss CJ watson running the point, making plays, knocking down shots, and in his place we get Hinrich who jacks up bricks and baby sits the ball. I'm no professional but I think a little kid can manage this team better than Jerry and Paxson.

  • In reply to ajay708:

    If White Mamba was the Human Victory Cigar, Vlad Bad must be the Human White Flag.

    When you replace Brian Scalabrine, and take a step backwards, you should be shown the door in as expeditious a manner as possible.

  • Well, good to see Bulls Confidential alive and well. Doug continues to provide Bulls diehards with a great service as the king of the diehards..

    Quick hits: from what I've seen and looking at the stats Jo and Lu are diabolically keeping the Bulls from any kind of shot at a lottery pick.

    What in thee hell is going on with Taj? Is he battling injuries or something?

    Bulls have five players averaging double figures many on solid field goal percentages. If only they had one legit sorer they'd be fun to watch.

    Final thought from afar, while I enjoy watching Joakim with his gritty play and all around very impactful game, I still think he was better offensively in the past with his consistent baseline hooks and fastbreak away hand layups and transition spin moves. I still don't know what the hell happened after the thumb injury but he's just never gone back to that burgeoning offensive game IMO. It's amazing how he racks up so many opportunity baskets. Is it just me though or does he seem to not do that so much against marquee teams/talents? Hopefully he puts up stud numbers agaimst the Clips and proves that notion wrong.

    Also, his/Jo's paratropper club(Rick Barry, who is despised by many, euphamism for players who bite on head/ball fakes fior cheap fouls) such as against Garnett does lesson Jo's estimation in my eyes. Nonetheless, you take Jo, Lu, and Taj, and bring them a Derrick of old with a second all star scorer and competitor meaning not Carmelo and you'd have a near contender, but that second scorer aint coming it appears and Derrick may not be an MVP type player going forward. And what do we have to watch..? Miami and OKC..?? Pretty pathetic league right now IMO. Things are really f-d up right now, and unless they keep players longer in school or some kind of development minor league and consolidate talent eliminating watered down joke propped up franchises the league is inferior from an entertainment standpoint in my opinion.

  • I think it is funny how everyone here is so mad at how horrible the bulls are and how everyone needs to be fired. Two years ago the Bulls started the season 9-8. Guess what they started this season? 9-8. They are now 11-8 and currently tied with the Nets for fourth place in the East. I don't know why people don't look at that and say, "Wow, they are doing better than I thought". Instead it's all about how they are so pathetic that I'm not even going to watch them. People keep saying that they are being realistic when they say how bad they are. If you were being realistic, then you would take off your preconcieved, doom and gloom blinders and realize that the team is not half bad. Are they going to be champs at the end of the year? Depends on Rose, but probably not. Does that mean you can't bring yourself to enjoy what you do have infront of you? A very good team that could have two all stars. And Teague shouldn't be considered a bad pick just because he doesn't play much now. He's just not ready. Noah had a horrible start and look at him now. Sefalosha couldn't get on the court in Chicago and now he starts for the Thunder. I'm guessing that if the Bulls drafted Lamb (who I wanted them to draft), he would be sitting on the bench as well.
    I'm done, people can go on and call me a homer and a kiss up or whatever.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    Are you suggests since the Bulls are 11-8 and 2 years ago thy started 9-8, the Bulls are better now WITHOUT Rose and will have the best record in the league?

    Because that's what your faulty homer logic is saying.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    That's not what I'm saying. what I'm saying is this team isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Two years ago people were complaining about the bench and how bad the team was and all the same things they are saying now. I know Rose isn't there and I don't think they will have the best record in the league, but if Rose can come back and the team is where they are now then who knows what will happen. My biggest complaint on fan reaction is that they are over reacting. They are missing their best player and are still doing well.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    And this true Bulls fans that really know the game and what it will take for the Bulls to be a good true contender for a title is what a complete Homer Bulls fan sounds like...PATHETIC and in DENILE!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think your definition of a pathetic homer is someone who does not agree with you and who doesn't hate this team.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    To say you are a homer is an overstatement. Your just plain naive. Don't get me wrong I am a Bulls fan otherwise I wouldn't even be here, but it's just naive to ignore the obvious. We've always had some gaps in the past and last season was the closest we've been to having a complete team in a years and they just throw it all away to stay under the cap. Chicago is one of the top markets in the US there's no reason we should be this cheap. I could see if we were getting no where but we've had the best record in the nba for the past 2 seasons and the only reason we lost in the 1st round was because of injuries. Could we have won a championship with the same team as last year? I don't think so but we was closer then than we are now. It feels more like we are a rebuilding team now. Stop being so blind to the facts and wake up and see the Bulls management for what they really are. My 12 year old niece could manage the team better than those bums.

  • I'm not trying to say this team is better than last year. I loved last years team. I hated to see those guys leave. But I can see how this team can be as good or better. If Belinelli can still produce when Hamilton gets back that will give them more scoring off the bench. The defense is still ranked very high. It all depends on Rose, but again this team isn't as horrible as people make them out to be. If your niece is so good then I'd gladly have her run the team.

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