The Derrick Rose effect is, well, in full effect!

The Derrick Rose effect is, well, in full effect!

A while back, I wrote this.

Now, I'll admit right off the bat that I didn't imagine Rose being this effective over the first three games of the playoffs, and I remain skeptical about his ability to continue this hot streak over another round or two. Or three.

But as it stands right now, Rose is averaging 24 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals and he's posting a league-playoff leading TS% of .613 while leading the Bulls to a perfect 3-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The backcourt duo of Rose and Jimmy Butler has been dominating since the opening tip, with Butler averaging 26.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in a ridiculous 44.7 minutes a night, while also carrying a TS% above 60 (.604). The two have taken turns, or combined, to take over games which the Bucks, ranking as the fourth-best defense during the regular season, have had no answer to.

In fact, Rose and Butler have combined to score 49.5% of all Chicago's points in the series, allowing fresher legs for Pau Gasol in the second round where his presence in the paint could cause havoc for Cleveland's interior defense.

Strategy, though, comes second if Rose indeed is ready to produce at this, or at least a similar, level. An aggressive, creative, athletic, explosive, and calculating Derrick Rose is not just a tough cover. He's an elite player with an enormous on-court significance similar to that of Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

After just three games, this is obviously asking too much. But the point remains. A healthy Rose changes everything for the Bulls. Forget sloppiness. Forget poor execution. Forget going through the motions. A healthy Rose abolishes all that. By taking charge of the offense and leading the way with the guys around him feeding off his energy and downright impossible plays, Rose changes every ounce of scepticism and turns it into a much necessary fresh start for everyone.

There's a noticeable difference in the effort from Chicago's bigs when Rose is able to carry the offense, compared to when he's not. They work harder when they see him with that spring in his step, especially Gasol who's turned himself into a rebounder and positional defender during the series, compared to being the focal point of the offense. He's attempted just 39 shots this series, and is averaging more boards than points (14.3 to 12.7) while working mostly as a decoy, which wouldn't have flown with him earlier in the year.

In short, players sacrifice themselves for this version of Rose, and he's answering the message to the best of his abilities. These Bulls aren't the same as the ones during the regular season. Over a course of just three games, a sense of urgency has developed and poor habits are being filtered out. This just goes to show the importance and significance of a leader returning to the floor, especially one who has the ball in his hands a lot, and is making decisions that directly affects the team as a whole.

Rose is very clearly aware of this. He's calm and posed, but balances it by being possessed and determined to answer his team's call. It's been years since this was the case, which makes it all that much sweeter.

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  • So much to talk about as far as the positives from our want like to focus on is Derrick's overall defensive intensity last night. I know when he was at his best, Derrick was considered a 'pretty good' defender but still not the level of Jimmy or Joakhim. Am I wrong? Perhaps it's just been so long since we've seen Derrick play for an extended period that maybe I'm forgetting how good a defender he really was. Last night saw him playing defense like top tier, athletic PG's should and that's deflecting passes as well as getting 'multiple' steals. I say again 'steals'.

    It's easy to downgrade Derrick's defense last night as he was primarily guarding MCW who hasn't played well. However, when MCW finally decided to use his huge height advantage against Rose late in the game, Derrick showed how good he can really be with his 'individual' defense. There was that sequence when he deflected the ball I think twice and finally stole the ball against MCW when he was being posted up. Damn good D by Rose (see what I did there?).

    In each of the games this year where Derrick was playing an elite PG, he always seemed to be really be dialed in and for the most part, outplayed his counterpart. I may be forgetting a game here or there so apologies if I'm wrong. I'm thinking those opposing PG's didn't as well as Derrick not only because he played better D, but he also scored like he did last night. Point is, I believe they didn't play as well because after trying to score themselves, they had to go back and defend Derrick on the other end. That's I think what happened last night. It's like part of Derrick's overall defensive game is also his 'attack mode' offense. Once he played a lesser PG, he seemed to revert to 'jack up 3s' offense lessening his overall defense.

    Well the nice thing with that is, if Derrick stays healthy for the duration of the Playoffs, he will be facing elite PG's in each series going forward. Ah....let's not think ahead and just get this next game on Saturday. Sweeping will hopefully get more rest time for our Bulls (especially Niko) and at worse, will at least keep pace with the Cavs who look like they will sweep the C's as well.

  • It appears we are finally going to have a fair battle against Lebron James, since 2011. The Bulls with a full and healthy roster will probably be the biggest challenge for the Cavs, if Rose keeps playing at this elite level. I still think the Cavs are the team to beat, since they have the best player of the world, but I see the Bulls going into a potential 7 games series with them. So, as I continue preaching, let's hope the basketball Gods give the Bulls a chance to stay healthy for a change. Go Bulls!

  • My excitement is tempered by seeing Rose jack up nine 3s. Stop this and I'll become a believer.

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    In reply to Roman F:

    again Roman he made 5 and one he just threw up at the end of the game to not get a turnover it was more like 5/8 thats good for ANY player .....when ur hot, ur hot

  • I am glad Rose is getting to do this against the Bucks. I'm guardedly optimistic. And I agree with most of the comments especially the fact that a healthy and engaged Rose is very helpful on defense. Remember the game before the All-Star break, he was all over Kyrie. And I especially remember the Golden State game a their place. I think his energy translates to overall effort for the whole team. I just hope he continues to improve and stays healthy and if he does it against the Cavs, then I'm going to be back on here with full blown excitement.

  • The Rose/Kyrie matchup is likely to determine the outcome of that series, and it still might not be enough to overcome Lebron. The Bulls have no shot if Rose cannot shut him down defensively and then dominate him on the offensive end. It is an awful lot to ask, but knock on wood, Rose's body actually looks healthy enough to accept the challenge.

  • Some observations:

    1. Still would like to see better ball movement. Too many bad shots near the end of the shot clock.

    2. Had the feeling that the Bucks somehow "punched themselves out" with their manic defense earlier in the game.

    3. Middleton reminds me of a poor man's Kevin Durant with that silky smooth delivery. Also, are you sure Mort that Middleton spent all that time at the four position? This guy's a pure wing, not a PF. Even saw him listed as a "guard" in the starting lineup by either ESPN or Bleacher Report.

    4. Dunleavy has been a key contributor in the series with timely baskets when the Bulls have struggled.

    5. In the final analysis it has been the Bulls' 3-point shooting that has separated the two teams in this series.

    6. Pau with the best +/- in the game.

    7. Noah is regressing badly on offense. When was last time you have seen him launch the "tornado?" Free throws looked scary bad. Look-out for "HackaJo" in Cavs series at end of games.

    8. Cavs having easier time with Celts than Bulls with Bucks. Cavs have a lot of weapons. IMO, Warriors/Cavs final will be epic. Sorry guys, don't see Bulls taking down Cavs. Just hope it's a competitive series.

    9. Every time I see Rose shooting freethrows with the game on the line I think of that NCAA finals game. Unfair, but can't help it.

    10. The Freak could become one of the most unique players in NBA history if he can gain some muscle and become a better shooter. Never have seen a more skilled/athletic 6'11" player.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    "10. The Freak could become one of the most unique players in NBA history if he can gain some muscle and become a better shooter. Never have seen a more skilled/athletic 6'11" player."

    I have. His name is Anthony Davis--although Davis is technically 6'-10".

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Good point. But I don't think Davis can dribble and pass like the Freak, however.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    While his skillset is still quite raw, and out of control at times, he already has put on quite a bit of muscle in just 2 short years, and at 20 he has quite a ways to go before he fills out his man body. He is much more physically developed than Scottie Pippen(or Horace Grant) was at the same age, they were still in college. In fact, he looks like he will become a very strong and powerful player when fully developed, almost in the Karl Malone vein, but with greater athleticism. Right now with his length, athleticism and activity it must feel like playing against an octopus for the guys guarding him.

    I have no idea what the Bucks plans are for Parker, but they better be as a SF, because the freak is clearly headed toward being a PF. Kidd actually played him there for most if not all of the 2 overtimes.

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    In reply to hgarbell:

    I really do not understand why people are comparing how the Bulls compete with the Bucks to how Cavs compete with the Celtics....teams match up differently Ive always hated when people do that "well this team beat this team, so this team can beat this team" not how it works!

  • In reply to Ron Webb:

    Agreed. I'll add that Milwaukee plays good D. Ranked near the top of the league. So while everyone expects the Bulls to win (and they are 3-0) the Bucks are still a tough play.

  • In reply to Ron Webb:

    I can understand your point and it is valid. But what I wrote is the literal truth, i.e. The Cavs are having an easier time putting away the Celts than the Bulls the Bucks. No more, no less. Whether the Cavs are better than the Bulls is not dependent on that observation. I would expect the Cavs to beat the Bulls even if the Celts win a game and the Bulls sweep.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    It's hard to say until the series starts. I will say this, Cleveland as currently composed is nowhere near as scary as Miami was when they made it to the finals four years in a row. Watching Derrick face off against LeBron & Wade double teams on the perimeter wasn't fun. There was a debate on the Mike and Mike show over whether or not Kyrie is better than Wade was in his prime. I don't think it's even close, because of Kyrie's inability to be a lock down defender. He's too small. Great scorer no doubt, but too small. Cleveland also doesn't have the 3 point shooters that Miami had during their four years. The time to beat Cleveland is now. I think Bulls fans are always going to be fearful of LeBron James until we end his season.

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    In reply to hgarbell:

    Yeah but a Healthy Rose changes the entire landscape of this series....Kyrie flatout cant guard Rose...this has been proven whenever they match up Kyrie gets his points on the subs when it comes to the Bulls, Lebron cannot just guard Rose and shut the entire team down..too many weapons now...its not Keith Bogans at that two spot anymore...its not "I just watch" Rose Loul Deng either....Loul Deng did not spread the floor he looked for lanes to drive...Cavs to me is fools gold right now... both teams HEALTHY I have the Bulls.... Cavs dont play any defense...sorry but thats the truth

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Yes sir. Just this series alone, Middleton has spent 77% of his minutes at power forward. Doesn't mean you're wrong though. He definitely is a pure wing. He's just playing out of position, sort of like how Mirotic is a pure four playing the three. The two would both benefit from switching situations in that sense.

  • In reply to Morten Stig Jensen:

    are you sure about that, when Middleton and the Freak are out there together, the Freak could easily be the PF, as he appeared to be in both overtimes, with Noah guarding him. Also, Elyasova is in the starting lineup, so Middleton is definitely at SF then. Just curious how you calculate it.

    I know that I've seen Bulls stats that show Noah playing most of his minutes at center, which he clearly doesn't but might be just because the Bulls announce Noah as the man in the middle and Gasol as the PF even though he plays every single second at center. No biggie either way, as it is clear that Middleton is a wing, or more correctly a SF over a SG.

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    this team can beat that* team

  • If all of the Bulls are healthy, the Cavs series should be a lot of fun. Any game where two of the Bulls' shooters go off, they should win.

    Who are their shooters? I am thinking primarily of Mirotic, Dunleavy, Brooks, and Snell. If two of those guys are hitting 3s, I doubt the Cavs can match the offensive output. Obviously Rose, Gasol, and Butler should score.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    You may be right, however, even that may not be enough against the Cav's as they are a vastly superior team to the Bucks. You could say that the "only" reason that the Bulls are beating the Bucks is 3 point shooting along with a slight assist from free throw shooting(6 point edge for the Bulls 51-45, with both teams shooting poorly, 69.9% and 66.2% respectively).

    The Bulls have gone 38-98(38.8%) from the 3 point line, while Milwaukee has gone 14-52(26.9%), thus outscoring them by 72 points(114-42, or 24 ppg)) from 3 while "only" winning the first 3 games by a combined total of 28 points.

    It is highly unlikely that we dominate the Cav's from the 3 point line at all, nevermind by an average of 24 points per game. So, while we are clearly going to need our shooters to shoot well, we're going to need a lot more than just that to compete with the Cav's.

    As Isaiah Thomas noted the other night in a playoff preview, the Cav's have the 2 best offensive players in the east, unless Rose can prove that isn't true, we have no shot, shooters shooting or not.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    In fact this is how dependent we have been on 3 point shooting to win, from Sam Smith's column today

    "Milwaukee actually won most of the statistical battles, even on rebounding at 50 each against the bigger Bulls while leading in fast breaks 21-11, in points in the paint 46-38, in second chance points 21-15, forcing 18 Bulls turnovers and putting up 13 more shots."

    So, basically, its the only aspect of the game that we're winnng, which is a big reason why is seems extremely myopic to me that everyone is so giddy about being up 3-0 to the Bucks, a team that wouldn't have made the playoffs in the west and is simply happy to be here in the east.

    Other than Rose's health(knock on wood), there is little to nothing else about this series that suggest any increase in our ability to compete with the Cav's, even if they are "struggling" to beat the Celt's.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    "Other than Rose's health(knock on wood), there is little to nothing else about this series that suggest any increase in our ability to compete with the Cav's, even if they are "struggling" to beat the Celt's."

    Not even Butler's performance? It has to count for something. We had Deng and Boozer as secondary scoring options in 2011. Excuse me while I vomit.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Sorry about that Jimmy's been so steady and yet quiet about it that you almost forget about him. However, he will be going against Lebron, so it will be difficult for him to be a difference maker. Deng's offensive game(such as it was) usually suffered when he played(defended) Lebron.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You can use statistics to prove anything you want. 85% of people know that...

  • In reply to CN71:

    What about the people who quote PER (not even an actual statistic)on a daily basis to justify their opinions, are they in that 85% of people. By the way where did you get that 85% number, is that a statistic that you just made up in order to prove something, or, "anything that you want".

  • In reply to BigWay:

    True, BigWay, but the Cavs are no where the defensive team that the Bucks are, and the Bucks are more physical. The Bulls should score more against the Cavs. Plus Mirotic missed over a game against the Bucks.

    The Bulls can take the Cavs if they get decent 3-point shooting from their outside shooters - not even every game, but 4 or 5 games will do it.

  • I'm just as excited as anyone to see how well Rose has played in this series so far, better than anyone expected, I'm sure. We won in 2OT because of his heroics, but we nearly lost in regulation because of him as well. The Bulls were rolling in the 4th when Derrick hit a couple shots (including a deep three) and you could see a switch turn on in him where he thought he could make everything. He proceeded to shoot us out of the game and if not for Tony Snell, we lose that game.

    Check this out from the 4th quarter:
    8:25 Derrick Rose makes 27-foot three point jumper (Jimmy Butler assists)
    7:20 Derrick Rose makes 16-foot jumper

    -you can visibly see the switch flip, he starts demanding the ball, moving fast, clearing out the side of the floor to work, etc. and then this:

    6:56 Derrick Rose misses 25-foot three point jumper
    6:05 Derrick Rose misses 20-foot jumper
    4:45 Derrick Rose personal foul (Khris Middleton draws the foul)
    4:03 Derrick Rose misses 18-foot jumper
    2:11 Derrick Rose lost ball turnover (O.J. Mayo steals)
    1:38 Derrick Rose misses 18-foot jumper
    0:23 Derrick Rose misses layup
    0:04 Derrick Rose misses free throw 1 of 2
    0:04 Derrick Rose makes free throw 2 of 2

    He was pretty non-existent in OT but woke up in 2OT to close it out, thank goodness.

    So yes, I'm excited, but cautious. His lines for the night end up looking good but he was pitching an absolute gem through 3 quarters and his percentages took a big dive in the 4th.

  • In reply to johnbegone:

    Interesting breakdown, however, despite Rose's foibles, the Bulls were still cruising to victory with pretty much a double digit lead until about the 1.58 mark of the 4rth quarter, when all Thibs had to do was "absolutely nothing" to assure an easy victory in regulation. But no, he couldn't do that could he, he just had to rock the boat, do the PC thing and swap out our centers. A minute and half later, instead of being up 10, after an 11 to zip run, we are down 1. Gee how did that happen, whose feet or shoulders do we lay the blame for that epic meltdown on, well certainly not Noah, as he went to the bench at that 1.58 mark.

    In fact if it weren't for an extremely fortuitous bounce on Rose's second free throw attempt we lose that game in regulation and we are all having a completely different discussion today.

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    In reply to BigWay:

    it still went in so it doesnt matter....thats like saying "if Ray Allen didnt hit that three, the Spurs wouldnt have won" will Ray Allen did make it and the Heat won...

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Kris Middleton getting hot is what led to the Bucks' comeback. You need to take a course in the difference between "cause" and "correlation."

    Moreover, accusing Thibs of making changes for PC reasons in a playoff series is beyond ridiculous. Perhaps Thibs thought that he wanted to put in the best players available to ensure a win. Or, that Noah wasn't playing well. Don't you think those are plausible reasons?

    Hatred has a way of destroying human reasoning. To you everything wrong with the Bulls begins and ends with Gasol. You are totally obsessed with him. The fact that he had 17 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocked shots and the best plus/minus in the game is totally irrelevant to you. Pau made several plays that helped win the game.

    I don't like Hinrich. I have said that often. But if Kirk came into the game and scored 17 points and handed out 14 assists I would praise him. You call yourself "BigWay" but to me you are just a small man.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Correct. Middleton scored 7 points in the first 47 minutes of the game and 8 in the last minute or so of regulation. Sometimes guys just go off.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Yes, and you need to take a course in watching basketball, both of Middleton's wide open 3 pointers came as a result of running a pick and roll play at Gasol, as Mike Dunleavy sr, the former NBA player and coach pointed out in his post game analysis when he noted that the Bulls bigs were playing "soft" his word, not mine by laying back in the lane and not contesting either the pick and roll itself or the resultant wide open shooter. In addition to that he had 2 soft fuck ups on the offensive end, so he was directly personally responsible for the Bulls blowing that lead. Had he not entered the game there is at least a 99% chance that the Bulls would have prevailed easily in regulation. The Bulls then won the game in the second overtime thanks to defensive plays by Butler, Rose and Noah, that ignited a 12-0 run in the first 4 minutes of that second overtime, thats what won the game as anyone who was watching with open eyes and an open mind would know.

    I notice that you basically don't bother to discuss the actual facts of the game anymore, just one childish personal insult after another.

    I'd challenge you to watch the video tape of any game, especially Saturday's awesome performance and break down Mr PER's play on a play by play basis. He was an absolute joke on Saturday, soft doesn't even begin to describe it.

    I'll be glad to take a flight to Chicago and discuss it with you, perhaps at the local Y, basketball court, or the boxing ring. You can be Gasol and I'll just be me, which means that I'll kick your Krispy Kreme Pansey ass up and down the court or just plain out of the ring. Your just another typical internet coward, hiding in your basement, big mouth, small brain, no style and no substance.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Oh, a real tough guy. I bet you slap around your retarded boyfriend when he doesn't bend over far enough.

    "Absolute joke." Consider this Rocky Balboa:

    Pau had best plus/minus on the team (again);
    Pau had most rebounds;
    Pau was second in scoring;
    Pau led the team in blocked shots;
    Pau was tied for second in assists;

    Pau was easily the second best player on the team tonight after Jimmy. When Pau came out after the first period the Bucks went on a major run. When Pau was inserted with four minutes left in the game the Bulls went on a run to tie the score. Pau made several key baskets and free throws.

    Noah, Brooks, and Snell were "absolute jokes." Niko wasn't far behind.

    And, please take your medicine tonight little buddy.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Hey Macho Man, I have been thinking more about your challenge to "kick my ass." How about we meet at the Downtown "Y" in Chicago at noon next Friday. I will be wearing a blue shirt. I will recognize you right away. You will be the guy with missing teeth and a bad case of acne.

    I will be there waiting for you. Bring your boyfriend so he he can help you change when you shit in your pants.

  • By the way, Niko is out and suddenly it feels like we don't have a bench. Has there ever been a weaker Pg/wing combo on the floor during an NBA playoff game than the Brooks/Hangdog/Snell midget ball lineup that Thibs trotted out to start the second quarter. You might be able to get by playing one or at most 2 of those guys at the same time, but all 3 is borderline insanity. Noah and Taj looked like shit playing with those guys, but I'm not sure that Wilt and Kareem or Russell could have carried that group.

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    Here is the truth rather anyone likes it or not.... Lebron James has gotten easy trips to the finals because Rose has been out....the one time he eliminated a healthy Bulls team we didnt have nearly as many weapons and we over exerted ourselves the entire season...... Lebron (although is a great player) always has an excuse and people always makes one for him.....lets see what hes got against a healthy Bulls team that is more deep than his....

  • In reply to Ron Webb:

    Lebron also gets a lot more calls than he should. The refs have bought some of his ridiculous flops, tho I haven't seen any for a while.

    Also, the Cavs seem like the Bulls in the championship years - they get average players who up their game simply because they have joined a team that can win a ring. Psychological factor at play. Happened in Miami, too.

  • Another cogent comment from Smith,

    "Though the Bulls defense, so clever at times, backfired as it does at times. The Bulls have taken to switching pick and rolls early in the shot clock, which has become fashionable in the NBA. It works reasonably well when Noah and Gibson are playing, though Noah and Gasol have had difficulties. And when Middleton got those back to back scores to get the Bucks back in late, he was open both times on switches that left the Bulls uncertain of their assignments. It’s one of the reasons the Bulls’ defense has not been as good this season. But again, as has been the situation, the offense was enough."

    By Bulls, he means Gasol, as Noah was on the bench when Middleton hit 2 wide open 3's, while Gasol was buried deep in the lane, 10ft from the action.

    The Bucks haven't used the strategy much so far in this series, but they did start running pick and roll at Gasol on nearly every possession at the end of regulation and into the first overtime.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I just rewatched the tape of those Middleton threes. Gasol is clearly to blame on the first as he's just camped out in the lane expecting a drive for some reason with a team down by 5 late in the game (clearly looking to shoot 3's). The second one is a double screen. The first is Middleton screens Derrick on MCW. Derrick gets stuck on the screen and doesn't fully switch to Middleton, who then get another screen from Henson to get wide open again. Gasol was part of that one as well, but Derrick admitted after the game that he messed up that switch which led to the second 3 to bring them within one point.

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    In reply to johnbegone:

    Derrick admitted it was his fault because he "knew" what they were going to do, but Gasol is suppose to atleast talk either way

  • In reply to Ron Webb:

    or perhaps not just camp out in the lane 10 ft away from any action, that is not how anybody is taught to play pick and roll defense.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Middleton hit those shots from the perimeter. Middleton is not Gasol's man when he is shooting from the three-point line. His job is to secure the interior defense. This was a team issue, not a Gasol issue. Next you will accuse Pau of starting the Ebola outbreak.

    As I indicated above, you will scour every inch of newsprint to slam Gasol. Can't you live a fulfilling life without doing this?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Actually, as usual you are wrong, just ask Mike Dunleavy sr, the former NBA player and coach who criticised the Bulls bigs specifically for their play on Middleton's late game scoring binge, both 3's with Gasol on the floor and a 2 that Noah at least properly ran out to challenge. But, I get your strategy, when in doubt, deny, deny, deny and then obfuscate, obfuscate and obfuscate some more. Pretty sure that's what defense attorney's advise their clients who they know are guilty as sin. Actually, you just might be a used car salesman turned ambulance chaser.

    By the way, If you were actually paying attention, or cared about the facts or the truth, you would realise that I'm not scouring anything, anywhere. I just read most of the regular/main stream media that is assigned to covering the Bulls, just like any normal fan would. I mean, Bulls.com, Comcast.com and ESPN.com really are exotic publications or as you call them newsprint that even Sherlock Holmes would have a hard time finding even if given a year do to so. Sorry that other people who do this for a living are critiquing the play of your butt brother and I am just reporting on their reporting of the facts as well as their opinions. I know that is just another inconvenient truth for you because it makes it more difficult for you to attempt to blame it all on me just wanting to denigrate your butt brother.

    Again, if you really want to continue to make this personal, wouldn't it be better if we did so that face to face, that's what a man would do. WWKKPD?

    Apparently, your definition of a fulfilling life is to make it your life's work to defend Pau Gasol, whom I assume you've never had any contact with whatsoever from any and all critique by me or anyone in the sports media that I quote. What's actually more pathetic, what you think that I am doing, or what you are actually doing.

    By the way, now that you mention it, I thought those perpetual dark circles under Gasol's eyes were from heavy drug use, maybe you are on to something, maybe he just has Ebola.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    No, my mission in life is to set the record straight when blowhards like you dedicate every post to criticising Pau when players like Rose and Noah were completely pathetic tonight. You have no sense of proportion. Gasol was clearly the second best Bulls player on the court. But you can't see that because you are clearly an angry, violent blabbermouth who wants to physically confront someone he doesn't agree with on a message board.

    And, as a reminder, please tell your retarded boyfriend that you love him before you go to sleep tonight. (Also,please take your medicine).

  • I'm really not ready to opine on how the Bulls will do against the Cavs until the current series is over. I will say though the lulls that have let Milwaukee come creeping back time after time throughout the series do concern me moving forward.

    Least I be placed in the "hater" camp, I give Jo credit for at times solid help defense and rebounding overall. However, from a sheer efficiency standpoint his ghastly 1 for 5 in 48 minutes along with shooting .368 for the series and .000 from the line(only 1.7 attempts per game I know).. not good.

    Also in Saturday's game, following the 2 OT player minutes telethon, I think 34 year olds Dunleavy and Pau need reduced minutes. It's too bad Niko will not be available. I'd personally up Tony Snell's minutes along with Aaron Brooks. Taj as well needs to step up scoring and making shots, and give Jo as much of a break as possible. Really with the Bucks down 3-0 it shouldn't be hard to break their backs early and ride some of the lesser rotation minutes guys the rest of the game.

    Problem is, Thibs not wanting to take a "chance" on relying on the rest of the team will likely run his core players into the ground. Maybe he will surprise though...(ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha<continue to desired facetious effect is achieved).

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Hey, sorry to be a monday morning quarterback, but Brooks and Snell were disasters tonight. It looks like Jimmy and Derrick might have to play 48 minutes a night. It was a good thought though, coming off a 58 minute game.

  • Have to give Dunleavy some credit for those 2 laser beam alley oops to Butler, a couple of the best/most accurate passes of the season. The Bulls generally suck at feeding the post or "lob city" passes. One of the only ones that stands out this season was Niko outside the 3 point line redirecting a pass to him from the side of his hip for a perfect dunk(Butler again, maybe).

  • Pau deserves any and all ire he gets for this one...

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Ask Forest, Forest Gump what he thinks about the totality of his performance tonight, oh wait, he had another double double so not only is he the man, he's a man's man and he is absolved of any and all responsibility.

    Zaza Pachulia, who is nothing more than a steroid freak hockey goon had 6 steals, likely more than his career playoff total to date. and like he has all series pretty much walked circles around the KKP like he was/is the Statue of Liberty(SOL for short) On top of that MR PER was fortunate to only be credited with 5 of the Bulls 28 turnovers.

    Nevermind the double clown play with 3:40 to go in the 4rth where he got rejected on what for any non KKP, (particularly the tallest guy on the court) would have been a massive putback dunk and then lost the loose ball after getting hit in the face by a mosquito and belatedly falling to the ground as if struck by an RPG, and then losing the defensive rebound off both his hands on the other end. No, he's not soft as a steaming hot krispy kreme donut fresh out of the oven, he's a man's man and a top ten player in the NBA, at least according to Forest, Forest Hump.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Roman, consider this. Rose, Noah, Brooks and Snell were complete disasters. Truly horrendous. Niko wasn't much better.

    Pau had the best plus/minus for the Bulls;
    Pau led the team in rebounds and blocked shots;

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Didn't finish, sorry. Pau was second in scoring and tied for second in assists. Clearly the second best player on the team tonight.

    He made several key baskets and free throws after he was sent in with 4:30 to go in the game. When he left the game in the second quarter the Bucks took control of the game until the Bulls flurry at the end of the quarter.

    I wasn't happy with his or anybody's performance in the game (except Butler) but your ire should be directed elsewhere.

  • Okay, I'm glad the Bulls lost today. All the hype would be about the great Cleveland-Bulls series. And the Bulls still have too many things to work on and number one is turnovers. I consistently believe that Gasol does not act strong enough when going for rebounds and he repeatedly throws the ball away with a little pressure which he does not seem to like. Noah is similar in this respect.

    I get it that both of them like to try to pass. But they were telegraphing it and not being very strong. Also, when Noah is in you can double-team out front on Rose and Butler and even Gasol at the top of the key because Noah is no threat to score. And now with missing layups and even more looking hideous at the free throw line, things are not good. I even wonder if they may need to play Niko and Taj more and tell Niko to be strong even when the swipe are the ball.

    I actually think Rose played a decent game despite not scoring a lot of points. He didn't have to score because doubleteaming of Rose and in some instances Gasol, opened it up for Butler. The Bulls main problem was turnovers. Thibs does not seem to be making any leeway here either. How about taking a guy out when he makes two turnovers in a row (Gasol?).

    I think this can be corrected and getting another game against Milwaukee to work on this will help, not hurt. I would hate to have seen us pull this on out and not have a good plan to fix it before starting with Cleveland.

  • I think the Bulls can use the extra in-game practice before the Cavs series! One of the things they need to practice is FOCUS.

    For example, sloppy, lazy passes - even Butler had one last night.

    For example, layup attempts by the bigs when they could dunk. They miss too many layups, get too many blocked. If they don't score on the dunk attempts, they will usually get fouled.

    For example, poor rebounding technique. How many times could they just grab the rebound - but instead they tap it out and the other team gets it. Should study some Rodman tapes.

    For example, Rose driving into a crowd in the last few seconds. Horrible decision, almost zero chance of success, never got the shot off. He should have taken the jumper and at least given his team a shot at winning.

    All of this stuff is in the head.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    One more. For example, passing out of open shots. Good idea for Noah, of course, but not for the shooters.

  • Pick your poison, but in the wake of this loss Derrick Rose, your 'star' player(challenged for that title by J.B.) craps out 8 turnovers and 14 points shooting 33% on volume two's which sucks crack. Not to mention apparently checking out some lady's tits in the front row while Jerryd Bayless catches a "no-look" pass(as in Derrick Rose the defender never looked at what the f-ck was going on on the most critical play of the game) to win it. Nice. Not a hater as in appreciate what Derrick has been doing, but there's a difference between an off game and an abortion.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Well, at least he owned-up to his mistake after the game. My concern with Rose is his consistency which has been a problem for him all year- prior to his meniscus procedure. He will have a great game followed by a turnover prone, poor shooting game. If the Bulls are going to prevail against the Cavs he will need to bring it every night.

    Also, Thibs needs to run-out on the court screaming if he wants a time-out. I've seen Doc Rivers do this several times. No reason to have Noah and Klank on the court for the last play in regulation.

  • I do like that Rose took full responsibility. The thing to me is the turnovers. He takes so many risks with the balls. The goal for other teams is to double and triple team him and he needs to get that ball moving. He keeps trying this play when he and Gasol are on pick and roll where he flips it back to Gasol for a pick and pop. And that works when he gets the pass through two defenders to Gasol. But it is risky. And Gasol, when pressured out on the floor, makes turnovers because you know and he knows you don't want him putting it on the floor.

    I just think the Bulls let the Bucks be too physical. And I think DRose will be aggressive next game. Just need to not let them be more physical than the Bulls and get a blowout in the next game. Cut down those turnovers. Give it Butler and get out the way as he has acknowledged whoever is guarding him can't guard him. Less Noah.

  • These 4 games have been an exact copy of the rest of the season, the only question is why Thibs? Are you really this stupid?

    The pattern of the regular season has carried over into the post-season. This Bulls team just simply plays a hell of a lot better when Niko is playing PF. All season long it hasn't mattered which big man plays with Niko as long as Niko plays PF.

    And all season long, the team isn't very good when Niko has played SF, becuse he's not a SF.

    Just in this series:

    Niko playing at PF:
    26:15......70-35 (128.0 - 64.0 per 48 minutes)

    Niko playing at SF:
    29:38.... 44-63 (71.3 - 102.1 per 48 minutes)

    Niko sitting on the bench (or not dressed):
    146:07........ 285-271 (93.6 - 89.0 per 48 minutes)

    Tonight, the difference was even more pronounced:
    SF 12:54 17-32
    PF 7:09 24-7
    DNP 27:57 49-53

    I am getting so sick and tired of watching Gibson rebound like Eddy Curry (and force up shots against double-teams like EC as well) while a talent like Niko who spreads the floor on offense and who is grabbing more defensive rounds.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    I'm altogether done with Taj. He no longer seems to understand his relative strengths and weaknesses and is not a guy who plays within himself like, at all. Much more importantly, though, is that he plays the position that Niko needs to play 40+ minutes per night. I appreciate Taj's career as a Bull but it is past time for it to end.

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