Dan Bernstein made waves with his article lambasting Derrick Rose and "Team Rose" while the Bulls dropped another game in a season in which dropping games may not be so bad.
Chicago made a brief run in the third period, they cut the lead down to three while the Rockets offense was stuck in a brief stint where the team looked absolutely hopeless and seemed to turn the ball over every other possession and force awful shots on the others.
The Rockets brief mental collapse didn't last long, and Houston went on a 15-1 run to blow turn the game into a rout. Against real teams, the Bulls aren't likely to make too many games close at the end.
The bigger news of the day was probably Dan Berstein's article Rose no longer humble, hometown kid. Bernstein mostly rehashed the 'whiner' theory about Rose for not wanting to go through a rebuilding process which I get, but somewhat denounce.
As noted, if he's telling friends "I hope the Bulls keep this together", then so what? Should Rose be telling friends "I hope they tear this team apart and we suck for the next two seasons!". It's one of those things where context matters, and we don't have any.
Bernstein notes that the organization is at odds with Reggie Rose, which I'm not sure is due to any personal insight or simply a captain obvious moment, because I agree with Bernstein that Reggie Rose is someone Derrick should cut off financially the second the guy opens his mouth again.
However, Derrick steadfastly defends him whenever Reggie opens his mouth to cause trouble saying he's his own man and what not which gives off an impression that Derrick tacitly agrees with him whether it's true or not.
The news that B.J. Armstrong is bitter towards the Bulls organization isn't really news, but I for one had no idea that B.J. and Paxson are not on speaking terms. Maybe that one slipped by my radar somehow, but it seems pretty crazy that your superstar's agent isn't willing to talk to the Executive VP of basketball operations.
In the end, the article doesn't provide much new, but it's one more example of Rose's teflon wearing off. A large contingent of fans are starting to turn on Derrick. A lot of the garbage that would have been neatly swept away and ignored while he was winning games for Chicago is now front and center.
People are no longer afraid to point it out.
Derrick was billed as the "good kid" and like so many superstars who's faults we ignore while they play well, the media and fans will start to pile on when things go bad. In the end, I don't think Rose is really neither a better or worse guy than the next star athlete, and it's worth remembering that when things start to go bad. He really changed as much as the media is now willing to portray him differently.
Odds of the playoffs? Not pretty
The Bulls currently sit in 9th place, a half game out of the playoffs. However, in the win column? Only six teams in the NBA are worse, two of which have eight wins instead of nine, three of which have seven wins. The Bulls are certainly on the path to fall to one of the worst records in the NBA.
The Bulls decision to go for the quick rebuild or go for the playoffs can drag on until the trade deadline because the East will never be bad enough that the Bulls will fall out of the opportunity to make the playoffs. They're not likely to ever drop 4-5 games out of the race. At six games under .500 right now, they're still a half game out of eighth.
However, Chicago may have some pressure due to the other teams who will want to try to make the playoffs, have assets to burn, and want to make a final push looking to strike more quickly than the deadline.
Cleveland and Phoenix are two potential destinations for Luol Deng. The Suns can move Emeka Okafor to Chicago in a deal that matches salaries nearly identically with Deng. The Bulls could throw in Marquis Teague just to dump his salary, and Phoenix can send two of their four firsts to Chicago.
Given the Suns have four picks and clearly don't want to use them all, a ton of variety in terms of trades could be worked out (the least favorable pick and the 2nd least favorable as an example).
The Bulls will also likely have two picks already if Charlotte can maintain their playoff pace. Like the Suns, the Bulls also likely won't want to add four rookies, so if they get two picks for Deng, they should look to trade up in the draft or possibly trade out to the future. There will likely be teams willing to trade quality picks to get a guy in this deep draft class, and the flexibility would help Chicago tremendously.
The Bulls might save more money by a trade with the Cavs who are tied with the Bulls at a half game out. The Cavs can save the Bulls quite a bit more money and throw the Bulls their pick (either lotto or top eight protected) and possibly Dion Waiters who wants out.
However, after these two options, the well starts to run dry. Both teams may look to make a trade to bring someone in soon, and there aren't many partners at the 'acquiring' talent table who have the proper salaries to send back to Chicago and a meaningful asset to come with it.
Do you feel sorry for TNT/ESPN?
You kind of wonder how many national TV games the Bulls will be scheduled for next year. If Derrick Rose looks healthy, the Bulls could potentially be a really big draw, but after two straight years of getting stuck with them on the national TV plate only to have Derrick Rose in street clothes, the national networks might shy away.
Who could blame them? Last night's match up against Houston and tonight's against Oklahoma City looked like great match ups when the season started. Now? One slaughter down, one to go.
Maybe things will turn when Hinrich comes back, but I hope not. At this point, the Bulls are so far away from contending for anything that some trade and a new influx of talent looks a lot more appealing than a first round sweep at the hands of Indiana or Miami.
If everything goes right, the Bulls might not be far away in a year, but they need to get in this draft and nail it for that to happen and should be looking to make the trades to lock it in.