If you're like me, and you think Paul George is overrated and the most important facet of the playoffs is to avoid Miami's half of the bracket, then the Bulls will likely succeed. Miami rested their guys and got destroyed by the Wizards to hand the #1 seed to the Pacers without Indiana having to win their final game. The Bulls and Raptors took care of business and remain knotted up with 48 wins a piece going into Wednesday's season finale.
The Bulls will be the four seed and in Indiana's bracket with a loss or a Raptors win. They will move up to the three seed with a win and a Raptors loss. The Raptors travel to NY on Wednesday while the Bulls travel to Charlotte.
Joakim Noah fell two assists shy of a triple double. His second near miss in as many days as he fell just one assist shy against the Knicks. Noah clearly doesn't seem to care about the accomplishment. He doesn't go out of his way to get them. It makes me wonder how many he'd have this season if he did.
There's this weird part of me that wishes he did care just to see him have around 15 this season, but then I'd never really want Noah to be that type of player.
D.J. Augustin missed the game due to his wife giving birth. Congratulations D.J.
I've been a proponent of playing Jimmer Fredette instead of Tony Snell for every minute Snell plays on the court for the last month. Tony Snell's a bust. I get where the Bulls were going with him and was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on draft day, but the man's a bust. Jimmer should take all of his minutes, because he can at least bring one skill to the table the Bulls can use. That's one more than Tony Snell.
That said, if we felt Jimmer was a third point guard, I think we might be disabused of that notion now. The Orlando Magic played active defense on him, and Jimmer looked really screwed. In order to play point in the NBA you need to be an elite ball handler or have some elite quickness.
Jimmer doesn't meet either criteria, and it showed. He shot the ball well though, doing most of his damage on opportunities created by his teammates where he wasn't asked to create off the dribble. In that role, the role that Tony Snell plays, Jimmer scores pretty well.
Of course, in that role, does he score better than Mike Dunleavy? Probably not. However, I still think he should get Snell's minutes.
I wouldn't be upset if the Bulls kept Fredette next season at the minimum, but he's definitely not an Augustin replacement.
Speaking of Snell, he played well last night too which tells you how much to trust the Magic's perimeter defense.
Bulls sign Greg Smith?
The Bulls came to terms with Greg Smith on a deal which is guaranteed for next season. What's interesting about the move is that Smith is out for the remainder of this season.
This is quite a bit different than the Bulls signing Mike James, Lou Amundsen, and Ronnie Brewer to end of year deals with non guaranteed second years. A move which gives the Bulls an extra three million or so flexibility to do something interesting on draft day or in the early part of free agency next season.
This is a move where the Bulls simply decided to lock up their 4th or 5th big man next season right now.
Smith sports a 62.3% FG% and gives you 13.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes with a career PER of 15.7. He's only 23 years old and looks like a guy with some pretty solid potential to be a fourth big. He's only played 1279 minutes in his career, but that's enough minutes that those numbers aren't complete junk.
He's not known for his defense, has no jumper, and is a pure inside player, but I think if we put him on the floor now while in a walking boot that he might be better than Nazr Mohammed. Locking him in at the veteran minimum probably removes around 3-400k in terms of cap space, but the signing of the other three guys indicates the Bulls are looking to trade their way to greatness next season first and foremost.
I'm somewhat indifferent about the signing. I think Smith's shown he's a vet minimum worthy player and a good guy to take a chance on when healthy. However, I don't know that I'm excited to lock in a guy who sprained his knee in January and isn't back on the court yet.
Maybe him and Derrick share the same recovery team
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