Bulls Beat #331 - Team USA

Bulls Beat #331 - Team USA

I discuss Derrick Rose's Team USA experience, Paul George's injury, and the Bulls dropping out of the Kevin Love chase.

Bulls Beat #331 - Team USA

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  • This is definitely the best chance the Bulls have to win a title since MJ's era. Indi will probably miss the playoffs this year, and Cavs will likely have no defense after the Love trade.

    It looks like you answered the question of Kevin Love not being a good fit for the Bulls on your podcast. Love is a proven scorer, but cannot take someone off the dribble and is a below average defender. The Bulls would not get much better with him. I think Mirotic can potentially be like Kevin Love at a much cheaper price, specially with Thibs coaching him. Also, if you take a look at a few McBucket's videos, he is very good at isolation scoring too. He has several iso instances where he takes the guys off the dribble, or have an amazing 3 point step back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5cpAJGbs3w . Of course, this is collage level, but he has a potential of becoming the next Klay Thompson in my opinion. I do think that Love will make the Cavs starting 5 much better offensively, but with no depth and worst off defensively, which is a perfect situation for the Bulls.
    My hope is that everyone stays healthy. This is the only thing that can take away the Bulls changes to go all the way through this year.

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    In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Love will help the Cavs. He can score in the low post, and he can score from the 3. He can score with players draped on him, and can score when wide open. When a player avg's 26 pts per game he's an asset wherever he goes. Love is also one of the top rebounders in the league. He can rebound on the offensive end, he can rebound on the defensive end. He's a force on the boards. Love is also a deft passer. He can throw a full court pass, he can throw the bounce pass, he can spot the cutter for a spot on assist. His play will gel nicely with new Cavs coach David Blatt who likes to run a Princeton style of motion offense, and his ability to space the floor as a stretch 4 will aid in open lanes for LeBron, and Irving to take advantage of.
    How well that team plays defense is a huge question mark, since that hasn't been much of a priority for the Cavs in the past. I expect Lebron and all of his former Heat teammates who have joined him in Cleveland to take a page from Spoelstra's defensive scheme.
    The Bulls won't have the assortment of All Stars that Cleveland has but they will be able to out hustle them with a deep team.

  • Another pre draft analysis of McDermott from Grantland. I'd say it is pretty spot on as to what we can expect him to be.

    "The man they call Doug McBuckets is essentially a slightly worse version of Jabari Parker. That’s not the most flattering compliment, but it sure beats the comparison to Adam Morrison that McDermott has had to endure for the last couple years. Speaking of which, let’s dismiss that right now — Doug McDermott is no Adam Morrison. Many fans have linked them because McDermott played for a mid-major, he led the country in scoring, he wore no. 3, he was sacrilegiously compared to Larry Bird throughout his career almost solely because he is white, he wore a T-shirt under his jersey, and he battled a scorer from Duke for national player of the year awards. But McDermott will have a better NBA career than Morrison for several reasons.

    (By the way, as the former president of the Adam Morrison Fan Club, I’m obligated to remind you that Morrison dropped 30 on the Pacers and had five 25-plus-point games his rookie year. Then he tore his ACL at the beginning of his second season and was never the same after that. I won’t pretend he was destined for stardom, but I remain convinced Morrison would have had a decent career if he hadn’t blown out his knee.)

    McDermott is a much more versatile scorer than Morrison ever was. Some scouts dislike McDermott’s game because they believe he’ll be a ’tweener in the NBA. Yes, he’s slower than most wing players and smaller than most power forwards in the league, but that will be a problem only on defense. On offense, McDermott isn’t a ’tweener — he’s a matchup nightmare. He has range to damn near half court. His post game is multifaceted: He can bang on the block and score off drop-step moves, or he can turn and face and knock down an imitation of the Dirk Nowitzki one-legged fadeaway. McDermott can drain pull-up midrange jumpers. He can score one-on-one from the perimeter. He can curl off screens and bomb catch-and-shoot 3s like a shooting guard. He can hit floaters. You don’t become the fifth all-time leading scorer in college basketball by being one-dimensional.

    Granted, because McDermott isn’t a transcendent athlete, physical and explosive wing players like LeBron, Tony Allen, and Paul George won’t have trouble keeping him in check. But this assumes that they’d guard him in the first place. In truth, because McDermott is destined to have trouble guarding his position, he’ll never be the best player on an NBA team. So let’s hypothetically cast him as a role player — which is more realistic. Let’s assume McDermott goes eighth to the Kings, as many mock drafts are predicting, and let’s assume the Kings’ starting lineup remains unchanged except for McDermott starting over Derrick Williams. If that happens, the kind of athletic defenders who would shut down McDermott would match up against Rudy Gay, and the man called McBuckets would have every opportunity to live up to his name.

    That’s an ideal situation for McDermott. If he’s expected to be Doug McFranchise, he’ll struggle and his team will win 15 games for the entire season. But if he can be the second or third option, and if he can be better than terrible on defense, he’ll be a handful for teams that have only one elite wing defender".

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    In reply to BigWay:

    Good post... It's a shame how players get lumped together based on their race and whether they can jump high or not. Personally, I see McDermott as a poor man's Paul Pierce. A heady player who can score from anywhere on the court in spite of not having the best hops.
    I see him as much more than a role player once he gets his feel of the NBA. He's got starter potential in him but that will take some time for him to adjust to the speed of the game and its' talent level. With that being said I would still start Doug from the beginning of the season. He's able to stretch the floor offensively, and he'll be playing around a solid core of vets who is able to cover up his defensive flaws.
    Mike's starting 5 would look like this:
    pf Gibson, sf McDermott sg Butler c Noah pg Rose
    Mike's prime reserves:
    pg/sg Hinrich sg Snell sf Dunleavy pf Mirotic c Gasol
    c/pf Bairstow pg Brooks

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    I agree with the upside for McD being Paul Pierce, with McDermott being the better shooter, but Pierce having a better mid range and post up game.

    Also, agree with your starting lineup, however, I have McBucketts at SG and Jimmy at SF. It will be interesting to see who Thibs starts in the Gasol vs Taj " debate". My guess is Gasol and not necessarily for basketball reasons.

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    This podcast is so wish-washy. I dunno about Derrick's lateral movement. I dunno about Mirotic. I dunno about McDermott. Way to straddle on the middle of the fence.

    Derrick is showing good lateral movements. He's playing good defense and that's where a player uses his legs laterally. To me it's his ball handling that's rusty. The reg. season is long so he'll have plenty of games to shake and bake opponents off of the dribble. I don't know of any athlete which had two years to recover from a torn ACL injury, so this should be a non issue.

    Although, I like the Bulls chances of winning the East with a healthy roster, It's not a lock for them to do so. With 34 yr old Pau Gasol in the starting lineup, I expect their defense will suffer as we witness Carlos Boozer pt II in action. This won't last too long as Taj will start, and Mirotic will be the backup PF. I also have my doubts about how well will McDermott, and Mirotic be able to defend too. The good news is Tony Snell should show improvement defensively, and Derrick Rose is a pretty good defender himself.

    The key is how quickly those rooks will take to adjust to the NBA. If Mirotic improves on his rebounding and defense against much more athletic players around the NBA then the sky's the limit for his impact.
    If McDermott shows that he is more than a spot up shooter, and the complete player he claims to be the team will go as far as his abilities.

    I expect Taj, Butler, Rose, and Noah to have a breakout season as the core is finally healthy and playing together again. But in order for them to contend it's going to be up to Mirotic and McDermott. They have the ability to make shots, not just take shots.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Interesting that you brought up his ball handling, I've always felt that was the weakest part of his game, even pre injury, and it never seemed to be something that he focused working on. Sure there is some rust, but to me it is a weakness in his game, he is not an elite ballhandler.

  • If Cleveland makes the trade for Love I'm not so sure their a much better team than the 2003 Cavalieres when they had Carlos Boozer when he was actually a high level player. To me Love has the same defensive issues that Boozer has, though I will say he's twice the offensive player Boozer ever was. Irving in my opinion is the future of the Cavs but he too is on the pathetic side of defense. I don't see the Cavs competing for anything because defensively they need a lot of work. I'm sure they'll have a great regular season and a nice run in the playoffs, but their bread and butter will be being able to out-score other teams because they won't have the defense to slow teams down. Obviously you can't count out any team with Lebron James on it, but I really think if Rose is 100% the bulls have the better team. Rose can shut down Irving ( or hinrich for that matter ), Noah can shut down Love, and Butler can hang with Lebron. Who do the cavs have that can shut down any of our players?

    I think Gasol is going to be more like a Zydrunas Ilgauskas for us. Even in his old age Ilgauskas was a nice productive rotational player. I don't mind the 3 year contract so much, no matter how you look at it's still a better deal than what we paid Boozer. I would prefer to have Gasol at 34 under the deal we have than to even have Boozer for the MLE.

  • Doug, Doug, Doug...

    I get why you'd want to hedge your enthusiasm concerning Derrick's health. But what he showed at NBA preseason last year was night and day from his first outings for Team USA.

    The biggest problem with Derrick's game in the short time he was healthy last year was that he wasn't finishing at the rim. Remember that? Even with the ole defense they play in exhibition I don't think Rose's ability to finish his drives is in any doubt whatsoever.

    I was watching for little things to and really liked what I saw. He accepted the in-bounds pass and goes coast to coast, immediately attacking the defense unlike last year when he walked the ball up the court a lot. That coast to coast play also displayed his confidence in his lateral movement.

    One thing I loved was his footwork. It was incredibly good. Of the dribble penetrating the land, taking off and landing all very positive. I won't say he's all three way back either. But there's no comparison between 2013 Rose and 2014 Rose so far.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I agree, at first blush he looks better physically this year than he did last preseason. A lot of it is probably feeling more confident in his body. They say that it usually takes until the second year for guys to fully recover(mentally and physically) from an ACL. That looks to be the case with Rose, knock on wood.

  • 1) I am really glad the Love trade is gone! Yeah, the guy can score and rebound, but in a year or two Mirotic may be Love 2.0, and a whale of a lot cheaper. Giving up M and M for Love would have been insane.
    2) McDermott seems to have his share of doubters. Fine, watch and see. He may well become the deadliest shooter the Bulls have ever had! He and Mirotic should compete for ROY.
    3) By mid-season, I expect the Bulls to be unstoppaBull on O.
    4) However, if it is obvious that the Bulls still need the SG to win it all, then they should be able to get that guy with their two 1st round picks next year.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Again, love your (over) confidence. However, I just don't see any way that Mirotic can get enough minutes to even be in the ROY conversation, barring an injury to one of the big 3, knock on wood again.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well, that is a factor isn't it, too many guys who are good in the front court! A nice problem to have, I suppose. Noah, Taj, Gasol, Mirotic, Bairstow, Smith, plus McDermott and Butler who can play both front and rear. Coaches may have to earn their salary this season - keep everyone rested and content!

    Rose, Snell (I hope this is the order), the new G, Hinrich may be a strong backcourt, too.

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