What can Taj Gibson do in nine tenths of a second? Beat the Lakers

What can Taj Gibson do in nine tenths of a second?  Beat the Lakers

The Chicago Bulls pulled into a three way tie with the Wizards and Raptors for fourth in the East. They reached the .500 mark for the first time since the Rose injury by barely skating past the horrific Lakers.

It's hard to know what to think of the Bulls sometimes. They're 8-2 in their last 10 games which certainly seems like a team on a roll, but the schedule has been pathetically easy and both losses still came to a pedestrian Wizards team. On top of that, they've recently needed triple overtime and overtime to beat the Magic and Lakers, two of the worst teams in the NBA.

That said, they're still grinding out wins, and I think even the hardest of tankers has to cheer at least a little bit on the inside when Taj Gibson caught the out of bounds pass and went straight up for a layup. It didn't seem like there was nearly enough time to get that shot off, I suspect the clock may have started a shade late.

Either way, he was clear well before the red light went on, and the Bulls exited the building with a win.

Joakim Noah played part hero and part goat in the game. His bullet bounce pass between two Lakers to Jimmy Butler with seven seconds left gave the Bulls the lead, but he missed one of two free throws that could have put the Bulls up by four. He then fouled [dicey call it may have been], Nick Young from 30 feet away while in the act of shooting to allow the Lakers to bring the game to OT after three straight FT makes by Young.

In the overtime, he just shut down Gasol, forcing multiple turnovers and stifling the offense every time the ball went into him though and was key to the Bulls defensive effort.

The Bulls overtime was won by Gibson and Augustin, who combined for all of the Bulls nine points.

Hinrich leaves the game with a hamstring injury

If Kirk's injury keeps him out of the game then Mike James is likely to get a call back to re-join the team. The Bulls should complete the Marquis Teague trade today and are down to one healthy PG on the roster [Augustin]. James played with the team at the start of the season and tail end of last season. He knows the system, can create a little bit, and occasionally get hot from beyond the arc.

Not much of a ball distributor though.

As for Augustin, his decision to pick Chicago certainly looks like it will pay off well for him. He's played well for Chicago, and I'd be surprised if the Bulls didn't at least extend him a minimum contract next season. That said, the Bulls might not have much more than the minimum to offer, and Augustin, much like Nate Robinson, likely has played his way out of a minimum salary offer.

We'll see if the Bulls can hang on to him.

If Hinrich misses an extended period of time, then I'll be curious to see what happens with the team. How importan is Kirk? It's hard to say. He plays hard, but his PER is sub 10, and his tS% is 46.8%, both truly, truly awful numbers. I'm not sure Mike James is much of a downgrade even if Hinrich brings everything he has every night. Everything he has just isn't that much anymore.

Any tankers left?

I look at this season like this: Don't finish 7th or 8th in the East. You either get to the playoffs as the sixth or better seed or miss them. You don't want to get a 1st round beat down though. I was originally hoping to finish around 12th in the East, but that seems pretty unlikely now. The Bulls, even post Deng trade, look like they'll easily make the playoffs.

The Pistons are four games back on the Bulls and given their winning percentage that's actually a pretty significant gap to try to make up. It could change by a mere hot streak by the Pistons, and the Bulls actually have one of the tougher schedules remaining in the East, so we'll see what happens.

After losing Deng to trade, possibly Hinrich to injury, the Bulls depth is perilously thin. They're probably a Noah/Gibson injury away from falling off a cliff, but if guys stay healthy for the next 42 games, then the Bulls are probably going to hang on to a 6th place or better finish.

Derrick Rose warming up in pre-game

Not a huge fan of the speculation this will cause, and I'm not sure I see the point. He can obviously warm up shooting a basketball 24/7 if he likes and certainly has plenty of places to do it. Why warm up at the United Center in pre-game? Feels like a guy trying to keep some attention on himself, same with the sitting on the bench.

I'm all for this if he actually comes back this season, and maybe Derrick Rose has the full intention of coming back this season. I have no idea. However, if he doesn't, this type of thing will further erode the public opinion of him, and I sometimes think Rose is oblivious to how the rest of the world views him.

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  • You were hoping to finish around 12th in the east!? You want your team to lose? Why not just trade Noah and fire Thibs and get it over with? Tankers are pathetic!

  • In reply to EJMF:

    Wow. Informed opinion.

  • In reply to EJMF:

    "Tankers are pathetic!" Free speech, right? And we all are entitled to our opinion.

    However, tankers are eager to blow off the rest of a lost season in exchange for the shot at building a great team with a high draft pick. You do not have to agree with the strategy, but you should understand it. What the Bulls have tried the last five years hasn't worked -- some might feel the playoffs have been "pathetic."

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Other tankers from the past 4 years have not being on playoffs yet. Spurs are the only exception. Cavs is a good example of a team that has been on the lottery and not on playoffs since Lebron left. Charlotte has as well. The problem is that we are drafting teenagers to compete against professional men's basketball. It takes 5 years for an 18 year old to develop. Tanking for lottery does not guarantee success. So I am not in favor of tanking, but going after free agent and still developed lottery picks.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    The difference between the examples you have provided is that the Bulls, hopefully, will be returning a player next season who at the very least is still above average. Other than Deng being gone, the Bulls roster should have an All-Star Center and some other nice pieces. With San Antonio, Robinson came back so it wasn't a complete rebuild. The Bulls situation would be more similar to that than the "from scratch" projects so many other teams are starting from.

  • In reply to Hoop Dreamz:

    So tanking is not a guaranteed strategy, but the stats say that a higher draft pick is more likely to turn into an elite player. If the scouts stink, however, the picks will too.

    The Bulls scouts seem to be above average, so the higher picks are more likely to hit. It does not matter, tho, since the Bulls are playing too well! No tank this season.

  • That was 9/10 seconds?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    At first, I told my son the same thing- "the clock started late" on Gibson's game-winner.

    But I checked it out frame-by-frame, and the clock actually started as fast as humanly possible when Gibson first touched the ball.

  • Just FYI, I thought the clock was slow to start on the game-winner, but I slowed it down to frame by frame and the clock started immediately when Gibson first touched the ball.

  • Rakmessiah Rakmessiah ยท Palos Hills, Illinois

    YaAll

    1--DJ has given us a month of wins. Just place Teague in those minutes and I doubt we win a game.

    2--I'm thinking (unfortunately) that DJ is pricing himself OFF the Bulls for next year. I sure hope we can work something out, But, he looks to me like a starting PG for a number of teams.., and a 2nd team PG on most. We love ya Toronto.

    3--Staying on DJ, if the Bulls really wanted to tank, they would trade him. I know they won't, but you see my point.

    4--Scary thought for Weds. game. DJ 48 minutes. Some think Snell is the backup at PG to give DJ a few minutes rest each half. Poor Thibs, the Juggler.

    5--The matchup between Gasol and Noah was great theater. In my opinion, Noah just outlasted him, ground him down.

    6--(Just gotta throw this in) I DIDNT MISS BOOZER, AT ALL!!!!!!

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    RE: item #6, Apparently, neither does Thibs, at least in the 4rth quarters and overtimes lately. Thank God that he has finally Boganized Bimbo the Bamboozler.

  • Trade, trade, where is my trade? I'm still looking for a trade beyond Teague and a big one. New York is in the same position on Feb 20 that Chicago was with Deng. They have nothing to trade to put a star next to Anthony--so in order not to lose Anthony for nothing--they must trade him now instead of losing him during the summer. And guess where is the most likely place? Chicago!

  • In reply to penwit1:

    I'd agree with you 100%, if Melo cared about winning more than money. I'm quite sure he doesn't, and there is no way in hell that he is worth the maximum salary he can command next season.

    The only way I want the Bulls to trade for Melo is if he signs an extension as part of the deal (just like he did when he was traded away by the Nuggets).

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    It seems to me that we lost a trade chip in any Melo deal when we moved Deng. The only feasible trade at this point, is Boozer for salary cap ballast, plus either Mirotic and/or Gibson and both the Sacto and Charlotte picks. Not sure that we can afford to give up either of those guys and certainly not both at this point.

    My guess is that NY would do it for both guys and both picks, the Bulls won't. Personally, I doubt that the Bulls would include Mirotic at all. I would have done Deng and Boozer plus those 2 picks for Melo, even though I don't like Melo all that much even though he would be by far the biggest star that we've had since the Jordan era.

  • Yes, he must sign an extension as part of the deal. The only problem here that I see is what Chicago must give up. The must keep Noah, Gibson, Butler, and Dunleavy while trading with Boozer maybe Hinrich and a lot of draft picks that New York really needs--but NY FO must have something like the rights to Mirotic or Charlotte's pick to save face with the cruel NY media. Chicago must give up something that might be considered special to get this special player.

  • Melo would be great, but he is willing to have a 40% pay cut to come to Chicago? If yes, then he really wants only Championship. Let's hope.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    This trade can be completed without a pay cut. Carlos Boozer is at $15,300,000 plus Hinrich's $4,059,000 plus with draft picks, and possibly the rights to Mirotic makes this deal more than acceptable with Carmelo Anthony at $21,490,000. And the following year New York would save more than $8,000, 000 without his salary and even more with luxury tax savings.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    If Melo agrees to a reasonable extension, I'd do Boozer and Hinrich for Melo and Udrih (he wants out and we'd need a backup PG anyway).

    I'd even put Dunleavy in the deal if necessary instead of Hinrich, it gives us more salary flexibility this summer and I'd rather see Snell getting those minutes anyway.

    And the Knicks can have all the draft picks they want, not including the CHA pick.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    If NY would do it for Boozer and Hinrich and/or Dunleavy, we would have to give them the Sacto and Charlotte picks. That is a deal that I would do pretty much in a heart beat, as we get to keep Gibson and Mirotic. You'd almost have to consider throwing in our own future firsts, like maybe 2015, 16 or 17.

    Rose, Noah, Melo, Butler, Mirotic, Gibson, Augustin, Snell plus whatever we do with our draft picks is a lineup that we can go to war with for the next 4 years, assuming Rose actually plays most of the games, including the playoffs.

    I cannot see NY taking that deal unless Melo forces his way to the Bulls, the way he forced his way to NY last time.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'd throw in Gibson in a trade if we had to- with Mirotic coming over, I have a feeling the Bulls are so high on him they might just want him starting right away. But not in a Melo trade. Same with the CHA pick.

    I think I'm with Doug from today's article, we should definitely keep Dunleavy. Boozer, Hinrich, SaC pick, our pick in 2015 (possibly traded up to get CLEs pick), our first in 2017 if needed, and three or four 2nd round picks is plenty of return for the Knicks if Melo is planning to leave anyway.

    I've never been much of a Melo guy, but if Rose stays hurt, at least we'd have an elite scorer to play with Thibs' defensive guys. If he's healthy, Rose-Butler-Melo-Niko-Noah lineup with Gibson, Dunleavy, Snell and whatever scoring PG the Bulls find next season can compete with IND and MIA next season.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    You are a genius!!! This accomplishes 2 goals: 1) Dump Boozer and sign a Super Star!!! Would NY go for it? It would be a dream.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    I don't see Melo taking one penny less than the max that he can get his grubby little hands on, maybe he gives up the guaranteed 5th year to leave NY, but he isn't taking less money per year. Which puts him at $22-25 million per over a 4 year period. That is pretty much the nail in the coffin as far as wanting him to be a Bull.

    I don't know what people think is a reasonable extention, but would you do it for Boozers deal 5 years, $75 million. No way in hell Melo takes that deal.

  • I may be in the minority here but if we sign a back up PG I'm hoping it is either Seth Curry or Rodrigue Beaubois instead of Mike James. Give someone who could potential have a future here a chance

  • In reply to FreeJoakim:

    I'm with you. Get someone who MIGHT help out past just this season.

  • In reply to Helpitch:

    Trade is official: Nets get Marquis Teague, Bulls land Tornike Shengalia. I sure hope the Bulls will allow this kid some court time--who knows? He may be a diamond in the rough. Look at the guys he was playing behind--he may never have had good coaching or any relevant playing time.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Not sure he ever made it out of the D league.

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