The way he chopped at the arm of Gortat? That's a flagrant 10, suspend him for the season. I think that's the only fair thing to do. Sure, even calling it a flagrant one was dicey, but maybe if Bulls fans all write to the NBA saying we believe Boozer was out of control, making non basketball plays, and needs to sit for a game to learn his lesson they'll suspend him? It might be our only chance.
Why Tom Thibodeau refuses to start Gibson over Boozer is beyond me. Gibson has a PER of 28.5 in the playoffs. He's been the Bulls best player in the post season by so much it's ridiculous. He's been significantly better than Boozer all season long. If the Bulls want to win, they might figure on getting his minutes up above the 32.5.
Carlos Boozer fouled five times and had numerous blown defensive assignments in the final six minutes or so of the third period. The Bulls went from down 10 to down while Boozer flailed around, didn't box out, didn't defend, and looked like he single handedly want to give the game to Washington.
When Taj Gibson stood up with four minutes or so to go in the quarter, we thought, finally, some relief. No. He came in to get Noah as part of his normal rotation. Look, even if you're giving Noah a breather, play some small ball. Play Nazr. Do anything else.
The Bulls would mount a fourth quarter charge that would have had a shot at being successful if only we had found a way to remove Carlos Boozer's dumb ass from the game earlier. If the Bulls want to win gave five, they need Gibson to start along side Noah and both guys to play closer to 40 minutes with Boozer covering the 16 minutes their out at the end of the 1st/early 2nd and end 3rd/early 4th.
Let Carlos go head to head with the backups in the game where he's less likely to kill you and might bum slay some of the back up bigs (though that didn't happen last night when their backups played considerable minutes due to the Nene suspension).
Where is Noah?
Joakim Noah has perhaps his best game of the post season, and it still wasn't much. I spent a good chunk of time complaining about Boozer, but let's be honest, Boozer's no worse than he's been all season, and the Bulls were winning with that.
The big difference is Joakim Noah has disappeared on both ends of the floor. He has the speed to take Gortat or Nene off the dribble, and if they continue to crowd him to shut down the passing lanes, he needs to start receiving the ball at the free throw line with his back to the basket, put on the spin/drive move he does and start scoring.
Noah's been quite adept at doing this all season, but he's barely tried in this series. With the Wizards shutting down the Bulls perimeter attack because their guards are too big, too strong, too fast, too good for ours we need to find another way to attack them. Noah's been that guy all year, but he doesn't look like he's even tried this post-season.
It could be the death of his long time mentor Tyrone Green is weighing on him too heavily. At 38, I count myself lucky to only have one close friend pass away, and it was crushing for about two months. If it is, then there's probably not much that can be done, but after an amazing regular season, Joakim hasn't found a way to keep it going in the playoffs.
Wizards still too athletic
That's the one thing that stands out about this series. The Wizards just look too damn athletic for the Bulls to handle. Chicago really can't get into the paint with anything except offensive put backs and the occasional Taj Gibson post up or Augustin drive.
The Wizards look so athletic defensively on the perimeter, and the Bulls haven't found a way to deal with the ball pressure.
On the offensive end, Washington is making the Bulls vaunted defense look like a poor joke. They're getting into the paint at will, and Chicago is over rotating and constantly leaving the shooters open in the corner.
The end result is that the Wizards just keep getting open looks while the Bulls don't.
As I suspected..
The Wizards weren't hurt much by Nene's absence. He's not a strong rebounder, so they weren't hurt on the glass much. His mid range jumpers became three point shots by guards who were knocking them down well.
The Bulls definitely did some more damage on the interior without him there, but Washington didn't really miss much of a beat. In a series, I think the Bulls would wear down the Wizards inside and find better ways to take advantage of him being out. In a game? It didn't mean much.
Adjustments for game five?
Start Gibson, get his minutes up to 40, Boozer's down to 16.
Stop leaving the shooters to senselessly double team the post. 90% of the time this double team is completely ineffective any way with the guard out of position to actually help with the only outcome is that it frees up an open three.
Get Noah more looks where he dribble drives to the basket as he has a quickness advantage on both Gortat and Nene. The Bulls need to get Noah going or at least go down trying to get him going. We've seen the guards aren't getting it done now for four games and look completely overmatched.
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