Bulls Beat #361 - Put away the brooms

Bulls Beat #361 - Put away the brooms

The Bulls failed to sweep the Bucks, but still hold a dominant 3-1 lead.

Bulls Beat #361 - Put your brooms away

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  • Great post, Doug. I would agree with you that Jimmy's improvement is just off the charts. He is playing like a superstar and the Bulls backcourt can compete with any elite backcourts now. As far as the front court is concerned, I think the issue is more related to how well the Bucks are defending Pau. They are basically doubling him even before he gets the ball, which is very predictable. The Bulls are trying to play slow ball, while the Bucks is playing like college style, with lots of traps and doubles. But on the positive, even with the massive amount of turnovers, the Bulls almost beat them yesterday.
    On the rebounding, I would not agree with you. The Bulls are beating them on the boards. So, their issues is basically turnovers. And to avoid that is just a matter of move the ball quickly.
    On the second round, the Bulls will play more like an underdog team, and I think this will help them to play with an edge, which is what they will need to beat the Cavs.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    I don't think the Bulls are getting killed on the glass, they're very slightly ahead in terms of rebounding percentage, but they're basically getting played even on the glass against the Bucks once you account for the difference in missed shots and likeliness of an offensive vs defensive rebound.

    For a team that really has no quality big men and plays undersized for a huge amount of its minutes, the Bulls are doing a very poor job to allow them to stay close in these metrics.

  • Doug, I too have been disappointed by Pau's performance but I attribute this to a) consistent hard double-teams by the Bucks and b) fatigue over a long season as Pau is 34 and has played more minutes than anyone on the team. But consider this:

    1. According to ESPN this a.m. The Bulls have given up 92.8 ppg. which ranks third for all 16 playoff teams.

    2. The Bulls have held the Bucks to a FG% of .423. This is first among all playoff teams.

    3. The Bulls have held the Bucks to 1.01 points per shot (pps) which ranks first among all playoff teams.

    4. The Bulls lead playoff teams in rebounds. Pau leads the Bulls in rebounds. In fact, he is second in the NBA in rebounding for the entire playoffs.

    5. The Bulls have a defensive efficiency ratio of 101.5 (number of points allowed per 100 posessions). The other day I saw a stat from NBA.com that gave a "defensive rating" based on this ratio for each Bulls player for the playoffs. Pau was three points better on defense than the nearest starter after three games at 97. Trying to find the same stat after four games on NBA.com (or elsewhere) but cannot find it.

    6. Aside from the scoring issue, Pau has 2.8 blocked shots per game in the playoffs compared to 1.9 during the regular season; 13.3 rpg compared to 11.8 during the season; and 4.0 assists per game compared to 2.7 during the season.

    7. Milwaukee's big men have not substantially hurt the Bulls. It has been perimeter players like Middleton, Mayo, and Bayless.

    8. Comparing Pau to Boozer is ridiculous. Gasol's 2014-15 production dwarfed Boozer's 2013-14 production. I can give you an entire page on this. Moreover, in Real Plus/Minus Boozer was near the bottom of the NBA in 13/14 (deep in negative territory). Gasol was in the top 16% of all players in the database in 14/15. As you may know, RPM attempts to demonstrate effectiveness on both sides of the court.

    9. In the last two games Pau has led the Bulls in Plus/Minus. For all his shooting woes, I believe he is third in the team in scoring. And aside from the first game, he has been fairly efficient in doing so.

    9. So going off on Pau like you did was somewhat over the top.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    After four games Pau has a defensive rating of 90 (points allowed per 100 posessions). Three points better than anyone else on the Bulls and four points better than anyone on the Bucks.

    Also consider this: Pau has played a total of 145 minutes in the series. Henson and Pachulia have played a total of 202 minutes in the series combined. Even so Pau has double the amount of assists (16-8) of both Henson and Pachulia combined. Pau has one less block (12-11) than Henson and Pachulia combined eventhough he has played 57 fewer minutes. And Pau has just six less rebounds than Henson and Pachulia coombined (59-53). In other words Pau has dominated both Henson and Pachulia in these areas.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Forgot to mention Pau has scored just ten fewer points (64-54) than both Henson and Pachulia eventhough he has played 57 minutes less. That's like playing 1 and 2/3 fewer games (out of four) than Henson/Pachulia at Pau's normal mpg of 34.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Interesting how he is "dominating" those guys statistically while simultaneously getting his ass kicked physically by them, and one of them is a walking preying mantis.

    How about you compare Gasol to first or even second year boozer, (especially per 36) which is what everyone who has made that comparison has said, i.e. " Gasol won't be or isn't much better than first or second year boozer"

    As you may know, not so long ago, on this very blog, some genius stated that everyone knows that RPM is one of the most unreliable stats(which of course even he knew was total bullshit even when he said it), not nearly in the same class as PER, even though PER only looks at half the game/floor. and now that same genius says "as you know, RPM attempts to demonstrate effectiveness on both sides of the court". Pretty hard not to bust a gut laughing at the hypocrisy.

    Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth/ass.

    Top 16% of all players also translates to 77th in the league, which if you do the math is no where near the top ten and doesn't sound nearly as good, which by the way is where you will find Kris Middleton. Then again, personally, I've always considered only being in the top 16% as being somewhat of a failure, kind of like an average B student.

    after game 2 he was 9-29 from the field, so maybe he started being "efficient" sometime after that, then again maybe shooting 31% is efficient if your goal is to make the 84th percentile, better check with Hollinger on that one.

    Doug, should really apologize to you, in person, with flowers, and chocolate, maybe even champagne and lingerie. I don't know where he gets the gall to express his honest opinion on his own blog, especially when he had to be aware that you would be personally offended if his opinion of Pau Gasol deviated from yours. Honestly, people these days are just so inconsiderate.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I am not a fan of RPM but it does give you a rough idea when a player is really an outlier- like Boozer. It has its flaws, like indicating Hinrich is a better player than Tony Parker.

    As to hypocrisy, you have raked Sam Smith continually through the coals but when he writes one thing (which you purposely misconstrued) he then becomes an expert.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    When thinking of all of these things, please note, that Milwaukee is almost certainly the worst team in the playoffs, and their weakest area is their front court.

    This is an area the Bulls should be dominating the hell out of them. It's not all Pau. Pau's defense frustrates the hell out of me, but Noah's offense frustrates me just as much. However, everyone pretty much acknowledges that Noah sucks right now due to the injuries while people seem to think Pau is really playing at a great level, but he isn't (IMO anyway).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As I said before, I am very disappointed in Pau's offensive production. That said he is the third leading scorer on the team. That matters.

    He is the leading rebounder on the team. That matters.

    He leads the team in blocked shots. That matters.

    I believe he was tied for second on the team with assists (need to re-check after fourth game). That matters.

    He has been very disruptive near the basket defensively. His Defense Rating demonstrates it. That matters. In fact his Defense Rating- an NBA statistic-has been outstanding. Five points better than the team as a whole and the team has the best Defense Rating in the NBA.

    Now tell me again how Pau is hurting the team in the playoffs?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Defensive rating is based on team defense + blocks and steals. It doesn't account for individual effort in the defense, nor does it really show how poor positional defense impacts the team.

    Pau kills the Bulls defense because:
    1: He never switches
    2: He never hedges
    3: He never even sticks with his own man if the guard fights through the screen

    He always just floats back and stays at the rim. This means the opposing guard usually has an open short mid range jumper, the opposing big always has an open mid range jumper, and the opposing guard probably has a pretty good shot at getting a good look at a lay up.

    It also means despite giving up all of the above that Pau is more likely to get blocks which then raise his individual defensive rating despite actually hurting the defense significantly.

    He rebounds a lot of basketballs, but just watching the games he so frequently doesn't bother boxing out his man and gives up a ton of offensive rebounds because of it. His minutes, combined with playing center, make it obvious that he'd rebound the most, especially since most of the other Bulls are a bit more disciplined at boxing out leaving him to be the guy that typically would grab the rebound.

    You can say all of those things matter, but it doesn't change the fact that he's the guy most responsible for the Bulls struggles on the defense/rebounding.

    That said, he's a 7 million dollar player, he's great value in terms of what he can bring for that price.

    We'll see if things get better as the playoffs go on, but so far, Gasol is a half price Boozer to me. He's a guy who's offense has disappeared in the playoffs and who's defense is killing the team (though actually watching both him and Boozer, I think Boozer was the better defender of the two, since Boozer was at least willing to hedge screens).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Blocks and steals don't take individual effort? Perhaps you should have taken a logic course in college. Moreover, there is more to the equation than that.

    Also, review your comment. Pau NEVER switches, hedges, or sticks with his own man. Do you honestly believe this? This is demonstrably false. Clearly, your bias overcomes your reason. Read "Moneyball."

  • With everything that has happened in this series we should see Chicago's best effort Monday. Thus, if they somehow blow that game it would hurt Chicago's confidence.

    I'd like to see rose dominate his position given his let downs in the previous game. Again, if this doesn't happen I'd be nervous for the next round if the bulls make it that far.

    Interested to see how injured Kevin love is... I think the cavs are much easier to guard with him not in the rotation.

    Tony Snell has been the bulls most constatant bench player in my opinion.

    Put simply, if the bulls can defensive rebound and get a short attempt instead of 15 turnovers they should win by 20.

    Can't wait till Monday.

  • In reply to Seattle Bulls Fan:

    The Kevin Love thing will be interesting. Latest report I saw said they are anticipating a minimum of two weeks which leaves him out for probably the first three to four games of the Bulls series.

    Love's had a really poor year, but it definitely hurts their depth to have him out.

    J.R. Smith will almost certainly get suspended for a minimum of a game. Not sure if that's been announced yet, but I hadn't seen it yet. Given its his second offense, I could trivially see him getting suspended for more.

    J.R. Smith isn't great, but he's a guy who can have great games, similar to Aaron Brooks for us. If the Cavs are missing both guys for significant time it could hurt them a decent amount.

    LeBron/Kyrie are obviously the two most important pieces though, and the Cavs certainly won't be in a situation where they are screwed without those guys. I think at best it evens the odds.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, Love has not "had a really poor year." He has had a very good year but not good relative to his past years. This is because he has been the third option. I can spend a page proving this but it's late and I want to go to bed.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Discounting his injured season, this has been the worst year of his career since his rookie season. He went from "superstar" level PER to "pretty good" for a big man level PER.

    Part of it is the third option thing, but his TS% is down from the 590 range to the 560 range. Given that he is getting open looks, that's pretty concerning.

    His offensive rebound percentage went from dominant to nearly meaningless (due to where he plays on the court, not necessarily his ability, but it's still significantly lessening his impact).

    His assist percentage is the lowest its been since his rookie year, again, due to his role on the offense not him necessarily losing any skill.

    His defensive rebounding percentage is the worst its been in forever, for no good reason whatsoever given that he actually played in Minnesota with a better, bigger center than most of his games in Cleveland.

    His foul draw rate is well down partially due to being a third option but also partially due to the shots he's now attempting to take.

    I don't think Kevin Love is a crap player, but in his move from 1st to 3rd option, he's become a much worse player. You'd expect to see some decline in some of those areas I mentioned, but you'd hope to see an uptick in efficiency with that down tick in volume since he's taking better shots. You'd hope to see his rebounding (especially defensively) numbers stay the same.

    Tristan Thompson (and every other Cleveland big man for that matter) all have decent offensive rebound statistics compared to Love, so it isn't fair to blame it entirely on the scheme.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Most of the problems you mentioned involve being too far away from the basket. For example, his offensive rebounding is down because he is hanging out at the three point line more in Cleveland than in Minnesota. His true shooting % is down because he is more effective the closer he gets to the basket plus he is in better position to be fouled when down low.

    Love is on the wrong team to emphasize his strengths. But he was so starved for playoff basketball, and possibly winning a ring, that he asked to be traded.

  • Haven't listened to the podcast yet, but based on some of the comments so far from Gasol's paid posse and family members, I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

    But before I do that, first let me say that I in no way "blame" Gasol for the loss yesterday, the entire team not named Jimmy Butler basically sucked and Gasol's "production" was better than anyone other than Jimmy. That being said, he could not have been a bigger wet, hot, sloppy, krispy, kremey mess from start to finish. It was comical, almost as if Saturday Night Live did a skit just to prove my point and to enrage the T.I.C(typical internet coward). This entire series, and especially last night perfectly exemplifies exactly what and who he is which is a guy who has the offensive skills and talent to put up decent to good numbers that have almost no bearing on winning or losing because he is simultaneously the softest, weakest, whiniest, wimpiest starting 7 ftr of his stature ever. He is simply one of the most unasthetically pleasing guys to watch, even when he is producing numbers. This entire series, and especially last night, he has validated everything that I've ever said about him, as most people are starting to realize. Just imagine the vitriol had Rose's brick on the second free throw at the end of game three hadn't taken the most fortuitous bounce ever. This is happening against a Milwaukee team that runs post ACL Zaza Pachulia and the human string bean John Henson out there against him. Does anybody actually think that things are going to get better against the Cavs?

    Thibs appears to be getting outcoached again in the playoffs as per usual. It was a major fuck up for Thibs to not call timeout as soon as the Bulls crossed half court on the final possession(with the shot clock off) to get his offensive players(Gasol, Niko, Dunleavy) in the game and his defensive guys out(Noah, Gibson, and the f-ing corpsedog). How the fuck can Kidd get a timeout call from the bench with less than 2 seconds to go but Thibs whose bellow travels like the mating call of a Blue whale can't get the refs attention in 24 seconds.

    Here are some random comments from Bulls.com, just for fun, since we know that everybody else on the planet is a moron for simply trusting what their eyes are telling them on a nightly basis, except of course for the T.I.C.(typical internet coward). Exactly as I predicted, people would begin to turn on MR PER as soon as the playoffs began, and they really haven't even started yet, with the Bucks being the pre kindergarden version of the playoffs.

    "WTF is going on with GASOL? I'm the only one seeing he is playing terribly SOFT all the 4 games into playoff? Go watch the games again and watch Gasol. He is the one causing most of our turnovers and bad misses. The numbers aren't really truth because they will count the TO to the guy who passed, but MANY TO are being caused by Gasol losing position when people are passing to him. He is being SOFT all the time, the defender always tip or strip the ball! I don't care how much double double he has, he is NOT playing well and need to wake up! We need him, otherwise he is just hurting us with TO and also by making Jo play in a different position."

    "He is being our BIGGEST problem all the 4 games. Wake up man!"

    "i am not sure how many games we will win against Cleveland. I just feel that Cleveland will convert turnovers into points and that Mozgov and Tristan Thompson will dominate Gasol and that it won't be very pretty."

    "Noah has become a liability due to injury. Gasol is not as multidimensional as advertised and he lacks the guts to fight for position. Gibson has lost his Junk yard dog competitiveness.. he now is a chronic complainer..."

    "Bigs be ready to receive the ball. Come towards the ball with authority. Turn and face. We ARE TOO SOFT WITH THE BALL!!! Yeah the Bucks play good defense but we're allowing them to dictate with our SOFTNESS. How many times are we going to let our opponents take rebounds and loose balls from us? Then look to the refs for help? PLAY UNTIL YOU HEAR THE WHISTLE!!!!!!! "

    "The bulls mistakes came down to floor spacing And steadily trying to feed Gasol. If he isn't going to seal his man on post ups find another way to get him involved. He needs to cut and dive to the basket more. "

    Don't read blogabullshit do to the NERFboy (not even remotely friendly) but I can only imagine what they are saying over there.

    So, I guess it isn't just me, or the thousands or maybe even millions of fans from Memphis, L.A. or even Spain that see the very embodiment of softness through the forest of double doubles. Apparently one person can do/be both, but really how hard is that to comprehend for anyone who isn't endowed with a Thibs like concrete skull and matching blinders.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I like the Gasol signing. He's got huge flaws, but for 7 million he's giving the Bulls amazing value.

    That said, he should be playing 28 minutes a night and shouldn't be playing with Noah, and our inability to grasp that concept after 82 games really bothers me.

    I agree completely about the flaws you've pointed out, and have felt that way since the season started.

  • Consider this people. Dean Oliver was an analyst for the Sonics and Nuggets before he was hired by the NBA in 2004 as its first full-time statistical analyst. He created the concept of "Defensive Rating." This involves the team concept of points allowed per 100 possessions combined with an individual's contribution of forced misses, forced turnovers, defensive rebounds, etc. It is used by Basketball-Reference.com, and NBA com., the NBA's website. I believe the all-time leader for defensive rating is still David Robinson, but I'm not sure.

    Now get ready. Pau Gasol and Paul Millsap are leading the NBA in the playoffs through four games with a Defensive Rating of 90. There are one or two players (Shelvin Mack) that have a lower rating but they have played just a very few minutes.

    Is Pau David Robinson? Of course not. But through four games in these playoffs Pau has been a major contributor, especially on the defensive end. These are the facts.

  • as for the game itself, I guess that if you commit 28 turnovers then you make it very hard if not impossible to outscore the other team from the 3 point line. After an average margin of 24 ppg from the 3 point line in the first 3 games, the Bulls could only manage a margin of 3 in game 4, with "only" 18 attempts after averaging nearly 33 atg in the first 3 games.

    So, if we can just keep our turnovers under 20 in game five we might have a chance to close it out.

  • By the way, does anybody have any idea when Rose is going to stop making mistakes instead of just learning from them. At this rate he should be the smartest guy in the NBA by now. I know he has to talk to reporters, but listening to him is almost as cringeworthy/painful as watching the Statue of Liberty(gaS.O.L.) defend pick and roll, or block out for a rebound, or post up, or anything that requires a level of physicality greater than playing golf.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You are correct about Rose making the same foolish mistakes. I recall in 2010 when Rose would dribble into a crowd and I would say, "Turnover." And sure enough, it was a turnover. Why? With 6 hands going after the ball, and Rose has only two hands, the odds favor the defense.

    You know what? This is at least partly on the coaches. Put up 50 films of Rose doing this and go over and over them with him until he gets it! If this has been done, then his head is the problem.

    Ditto with lazy passes and passes into crowds! That applies to most of the Bulls, not just Rose. Films, over and over again. Then emphasize, "If you guys insist on turning over the ball 20 times per game, not because of outstanding D but because of your own carelessness, you will throw away many games that you should have won based on talent. Think about it."

    Duh!

  • Turnovers are brutal, honestly. Probably a function of these guys not playing together for most of the season combined with Milwaukee's length.

    However, Bulls are incredibly lucky to be playing the Bucks. They would be losing to anyone else, including the Celtics. Milwaukee has missed countess jumpers and consistently fail to finish at the rim. The Bulls have let the Bucks get more open looks than i would like to see.

  • OK folks, let's put it all together:

    1. Bulls in playoffs (both conferences) are first in opposing team's FG%- .423

    2. Bulls in playoffs (both conferences) are first in opposing team's points per shots- 1.01

    3. Pau Gasol in playoffs (both conferences) is first (tied) in Defensive Rating- 90

    Now, Doug, would you reconsider your rant on Pau?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Considering the Bulls are playing the Bucks, they BETTER be leading in defensive stats.

    The war between you and BigWay has become comical. You guys both contribute a lot of basketball knowledge to the blog so I wish it would stop. The truth about Pau is somewhere between your versions, I would say closer to your version since it's less extreme.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    No. Pau Gasol has had an abysmal series and has been the most overrated player on the team the whole season.

    He's the single biggest factor in the Bulls drop off on defense this year, because he's simply so terrible its cringeworthy.

    The Bulls are playing, by far, the worst offensive team in the playoffs, and defensive rating is more or less meaningless statistic.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, you are wrong. The Bulls have the best Defense Rating in the NBA at 95 for the playoffs. That is to say opposing points per 100 possessions. This is an NBA statistic, not my statistic.Gasol leads the NBA in the playoffs (tied for 1st) for Defense Rating at 90, i.e. Individually he is five points better than the best team in the playoffs.

    Gasol is extremely disruptive defensively around the basket for opposing players. This is what the statistic shows and this is what I see when I have watched the last few games. You said he doesn't block out but he is second in the NBA playoffs in rebounding. Moreover, last time I checked he was third in Rebounding Rate- another NBA statistic. In other words, you are wrong.

    I am not saying that Pau is Bill Russell. I am saying he has not been the disaster you portray. In fact, it's the complete opposite. Give the guy a break.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You say "Defensive Rating is more or less a meaningless statistic." This is like some other unnamed people on this board who throw these statements out without supporting evidence. You're better than that. Do you have your own statistic which disproves it? If so, I' m willing to study it.

    Overrated? Points count. Rebounds count. Blocked Shots count. Excellent passing counts. If he was as bad as you say why is Thibs running him into the ground. Thibs had to put Gasol in yesterday with 4:30 left to try to save the day. He delivered. If Rose didn't screw up Pau would have been a hero.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Individual defensive rating is team defense + blocks + steals (more or less).

    Just think what that really says about an individual defender? Pau Gasol gives up playing defense further than five feet from the basket or participating in pick and roll defense in order to stay by the basket.

    Yes he gets more blocks, but the actions above make the defense far worse. His overall number is then strengthened by the overall strength of the rest of the defenders around him.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Side note, Pau's last 4 and a half minutes:
    Missed shot
    Fouls a player (shooting foul)
    Missed shot (blocked)
    Defensive rebound
    Turnover
    Three point play

    Great three point play [though he didn't fully create the action], but I'd hardly call the above "saving the day". The Bulls got three points out of four possessions through Pau over those four and a half minutes. That's less than their average points per possession.

    Derrick Rose for example had a layup, a three, the assist that lead to Gasol's three point play, a rebound, and the final turnover at the end.

    Jimmy Butler had a three.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sorry, but you are mistaken. The single biggest factor in the defensive drop-off has been poor perimeter defense. All three Bulls point guards (Rose, Brooks, Hinrich) have been abysmal on defense. In fact, all three have negative Defensive Real Plus/Minus scores. All of the bigs have positive Defensive Real Plus/Minus scores. Even with that said, there has been a fall-off this year with Noah and Taj. The numbers back this up. This is just more evidence that you are scapegoating Gasol. The numbers don't support that.

  • I agree with almost everything you have said in the podcast. However, I may not be as completely harsh on Gasol as you are by saying he is completely overrated. He is what he is. But the real problem is that he and the Bulls have let the Bucks get physical and they are having a host of turnovers and ineffective offensive play and rebounding.

    Gasol probably needs someone on this team to get in his face and hold him accountable for being tough like Kobe used to do. Unfortunately, the person to most likely do that on this team is Noah and he is completely useless right now. I don't know what happened to him but he looks completely scared on the free throw line. He was never great but at least he had a rhythm that also applied to him taking open midrange shots. But that seems completely gone. As a result, he is a big liability on offense. You don't really have to guard him and you also know that he doesn't want you to foul him because he'll have to shoot free throws. I didn't know Asik came back to the team, but that is how I feel about Noah right now.

    Milwaukee is pretty big and athletic defensively and they switch a lot. The Greek freak and Henson, in particular, are long and athletic and the other inside guys are euro floppers. I think that is why Aaron Brooks has not played well. He gets around one person and they switch to a bigger person. The Cavs won't be doing that.

    Still as you say, the problem is not the backcourt, but the frontcourt. Instead of trying to go inside to Pao on offense, if they need to go inside, go to the other big man either Taj or Nikko unless Noah is in there. Or clear out and post up Jimmy Buckets. Focusing the offense through Pao and the Bucks getting physical with him will just lead to more turnovers. And with the Cavs, unlike the Bucks, turnovers will lead to dunks and big demoralizing plays.

    So what do you do to get more physical? I pointed out several weeks ago that I felt both Pao and Nikko just assume that because they are in front of someone they can just jump straight up and get the rebound. Instead, someone flys in over them and pokes a rebound away. Or they barely keep hold of the rebound and easily let it get away or throw it away. And when they get the ball in the post, they flinch in the same way or let floppers bother them. It was pointed out to me that since they both come from eurostyle ball, maybe they are not as used to blocking out and getting people off them. If so, Thibs needs to teach it. The only player who seemed to seriously let the Bucks know that he was not having that and would dunk and dunk hard on them if they tried that was Taj and he is just not playing enough minutes. Regardless, I just want us to be better prepared going into the Cleveland series.

    Now for DRose, he just needs to realize the double and triple teams more. Even at his MVP best, this was an area where he struggled. He has better teammates now and needs to trust his teammates especially on those key possessions near the end of the game. Regarding Butler, I agree. Butler has been a man among boys. And the announcers even said that he was yelling out that whoever was playing defense on him could not guard him.

    One person not mentioned in the podcast is Dunleavy and I think he has been an overall plus. I wish Snell got more playing time. I don't like Nikko in the backup small forward position. If Rose is really ready, he just needs to know when to pick his spots and use his superior physical skills and if doubled and tripled, make good passes, not turnovers.

    Against, Cleveland I expect the Cavs to have Lebron guard Rose at times and put Shumpert on Butler. That means whoever Kyrie is guarding (Dunleavy, Snell, Nikko) needs to kill him when the Bulls are on offensive and make him work like a dog to expend a lot of energy on defense. And Pao needs to keep Mosgov off the board and make him guard him rather than helping out on Rose and Butler slashes to the basket.

  • With how Rose has been very inconsistent offensively all year while Butler has been dominant, I expect LeBron on Butler and Shumpert/Kyrie on Rose.

  • You made many good points, especially about the rebounding - lack of it. I also see the big guys tap the ball out many times when it looked like they could have grabbed it with two hands! Lazy. Go watch tapes of Dennis Rodman, guys.

  • Gasol leads the team in +- for this series. In the 33 minutes Gasol played on Sat, we outscored Mil by 18. In the 15 minutes he sat, the Bucks outscored us by 20. In the 4 games, he's been +13, +4, +18, +18. Noah was -23 on Sat & -13 overall for the playoffs. Taj has been -4, -8, +4, -16. Simply put, we are a much better team with Gasol on the court vs Mil. Every metric points to that. Let's not let bias get in the way of the facts.

    Gasol has been doubled every time he's touched the ball in the post this series. Expecting him to score on double-teams vs. Milwaukee isn't realistic considering the defensive attention he is attracting. However, he's clearly opened lanes for Rose/Butler. What perimeter player on Milwaukee is torching us due to Gasol pick and roll defense? There isn't one. There aren't any stats to point at Gasol playing poorly in this series, especially considering the double teams he has attracted in the post.

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