The Bulls captured the 3rd seed and won game one against Milwaukee
Bulls Beat #360 - Victory
For the past 4 years, we have been an over-achieving super intense, super-energetic team in the regular season that did not have the offensive skill or depth to make it through the playoffs when the other teams upped their intensity in the playoffs. This year, we were the underachievers in the regular season, and now Pau, Derrick, Jo and the boys are kicking it up a level for the playoffs. That game made a year of watching this team worth it. Derrick was a new man. Still a little rusty, but explosive, athletic, aggressive and energetic on both sides of the ball. Noah and Gasol were intense (although still confused on the defensive side) and Butler took the ball to the hole like a mad man.
Agreed, the "try hard" Bulls have finally smartened up to how the NBA works, and how irrelevant the regular season really is.
That second half was an abomination. Milwaukee has no business being in the playoffs. This non-competitive "top" eight teams from each conference is ridiculous. The Bucks couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the perimeter just abysmal. There are so many Western Conf. teams that are better and more deserving then them to be playing right now. Must be fixed.
The refs didn't help matters either enabling Milwaukee to stay in the game with just the most ridiculous foul calls on floppers and crash test dummies in MCW and ZaZa Peculiar. I thought Cro-Magnon man was extinct, but apparently he was thawed, and handed a Buck's uniform.
As for the Bulls I mean you're not going to win in later rounds playing Dunleavy 30 plus minutes. Mirotic will have up and down games, but long term at least he gives you a chance. If anyone thinks the Bulls are on a title "run" this year get real. Mirotic needs this playoff experience not watching 34 year old Mike Dunleavy traipsing up and down the court. Likewise Snell. Thibs is the most repugnant sideline coaching presence I have ever seen. A whiny, fat, bald fiftysomething baby. Somebody get him a bonnet and a rattle seriously. Please fire him already.
I may be in the minority here but I think Thibs is a pretty good coach. Certainly he has his flaws but, realistically, who is a better coach out there to replace him? Re-treads like Mike D'Antoni or Vinny Del Negro? Do people really believe that a college coach like Fred Hoiberg is going to take the Bulls to the promised land? IMO that is close to magical thinking.
I will say this, however. If the Bulls drew the Wizards instead of the Bucks in the first round, with all his main players healthy, and still lost I could see the case for firing him. As it is though, if the Bulls beat the Bucks as expected, and lose to the Cavs as expected, it would be difficult to make a case that Thibs underperformed this season. Of course, I can still see the Bulls firing him because of the bad blood that exists between management and coach.
I actually agree with every word you said, with the only caveat being that we really don't know where Thibs stands with his players in terms of reaching that burn out stage where they just may need a different voice. Not saying that they do, but we don't really know, and that would be the final reason to make a change, although even in that scenario, most of this bunch will be gone in 2 years anyway.
Yeah from what I've gathered it has nothing to do with his performance as a coach, but rather his interactions with everyone in the building.. the dude has an Aspergers' type of lack of communication skills and just doesn't understand the nuance's of person to person communication. While I'd like him to remain, I don't have to talk the guy everyday and try to communicate with a non human over and over again.
First, this does impact his performance as a coach! Others see the problems, but he blithely continues with inferior strategies because he is stubborn. Communication is half listening and half talking. He is a poorer coach for not listening. But we all know that.
Clearly Mirotic should play more, and he should play at PF, not SF. So, he should play a lot with Noah, which means Pau has to play less. If Mirotic plays in place of Dunleavy, then he is out of position at SF.
Lol, I take it you enjoyed the game. Seriously though, Thibs constant yelling and screaming on the sidelines does get annoying as does Stacy Kings commentary. How many times does the man have to shout," let me get some butter with that roll?"
One way or the other the bulls have to find an upgrade over Dunleavy. He really got lucky landing in Chicago because not too many other teams would play him 30+mpg let alone start.
I was at the game and could not get over how many minutes Dunleavy was playing. Being able to watch the whole court it is stunning how completely ineffective he is when not hitting 3s, which is most of the time. On the first Bulls' possession he let the ball go right through his hands. He can't guard anybody and he is the worst rebounding forward in the league. ANY other coach would play him 12 minutes max on the second unit. If the plan is to play him over 30 minutes against Cleveland than the Bulls shouldn't even show up.
And I too am sick of Thibs' sideline buffonery. Just sit down and shut up. Not EVERY call against the Bulls is the wrong call.
P.S. It was one of the worst officiated games I have seen. Phantom calls on both sides. It's the playoffs, let them play.
Doug is really underestimating the Bucks. They are young and that will keep them from advancing to the 2nd rd, but they have talent. Khris Middleton, and The Greek Freak will be All Stars someday. The playoffs are a stepping stone for them as it was for the Bulls in 2009 with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, and as it is for Anthony Davis and the Pels currently.
One thing I always take account of during the playoffs is who gets injured during a series. The better team always seems to be the healthiest, while the defeated team seems to limp off the court one by one. Taj Gibson's strained knee threw up a Red Flag yesterday, as his knee coupled with Noah's knee will leave the Bulls scrambling for frontcourt help and could ultimately turn out to be the beginning of the Bulls demise.
IMO this was Thibs finest Head Coaching moments in the playoffs. He was able to keep Jimmy Butler's mins under 40, use Derrick in 5-9 min spurts, and play key members from his bench around 15 or so mins. Personally, I didn't get why Dunleavy logged so many mins, and next time play Niko around 20 mins, but overall Coach didn't put too much stain on his starters.
Doug may have also downplayed Derrick's performance. They posted a comparison stat on Rose's last playoff game vs Philly and his 1st playoff game in 3 yrs against Milwaukee and his figures were eerily similar or near identical. The only difference was that Derrick played 10 mins more against Philly 37 vs 27, and we know what happened to Derrick in the final 2 mins of that game. Thibs has really grown as a Head Coach, and his ability to utilize a deeper team shows that.
Good game Bulls, hopefully games 2 & 3 will be the knockout blows to eliminate the Bucks in 4, then sit back and watch the C's take the Cavs to 6 or 7 games series.
I actually think Taj being injured could be a blessing in disguise. Now Niko can see some regular playing time at his normal position where he's an actual threat. Honestly I'm just tired of Gibson. If it aint one thing it's another with him. I'm actually surprised he went this long without spraining his ankle for the 3rd or 4th time this season. So I guess spraining the knee instead is a good thing. I'm not sure what his value will be after this season but I'm sure there'll be quite a few teams interested. If nothing else maybe we can do a salary dump to the Lakers or Knicks because those teams will take anything right about now.
As for Noah I say let his contract expire and go about his business. Either that or shop his expiring contract for a pick which i doubt the Bulls will even consider. I don't think the Bulls need to rebuild but they definitely need some fresher legs in that front court. I think Thibs might have really ran Noah and Gibson to the floor last season and they just don't have much left to give.
I agree with you on the Bucks they are a good team and they have a bright future. They just need a leader and go to guy down the stretch. They may even have that player on the team already and don't realize it yet. It's all a matter of who's gonna step up.
Maybe yesterday will be the turning point for Rose's career resurrection, not because of the way that he played but due to numerological karma. He scored 23 points and the Bulls won the first game of the opening round playoff game 103-91. On the day that he was first injured, he scored 23 points and the Bulls won the first game of the opening round playoff game 103-91. The only thing that could have made it perfect was if it occurred on the same date, which unfortunately it did not.
The greatest positive from yesterday's game was Rose and probably the overall team's health. The upcoming 3/4 games will help on building up chemistry and hopefully health will remain there. That's all we can ask for, so they have a fair chance against the Cavs showdown.
I mean his performance surpassed all of his per 32 mins stats from his MVP season, so I think it was pretty fair to say he was in similar form.
Doug, listening to your latest podcast, I heard you say you believe there's still some 'minutes restriction' when it comes to both Rose and Noah (mainly Rose). Reason I believe he played only 27 minutes was due to him being in 'foul trouble' early in the game in which he finally came back in the 1st half around mid-way through 2nd quarter I believe. That's when he turned it on immediately getting many of his points. I believe the larger part of his 27 minutes was in the 2nd half.
If I'm right then that ends up being pretty amazing for Derrick scoring all of those points in the 1st half while not playing as many minutes as he did in the 2nd half.
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