The Bulls claimed a 2-1 series lead against the Cavs behind the play of Jimmy Butler and Rose's prayer three.
Bulls Beat #363 - Strong start
I think the bulls will start taj if gasol is out. I think the bulls are due for a hot spring game and hopefully it results in a game 4 beat down
Also, in reference to calls affianced the bulls you can add the charge rose took against James that was called a block. The announcers slammed that call as well...
Some observations based on your podcast:
1. IMO the Bulls would not have won last night had Kyrie Irving not been significantly hobbled by a foot injury. Irving even said that his main role in the game last night was just as a decoy. What if Rose had the same foot problem and was equally ineffective? That would have probably been the lead story for the Bulls, right?
2. I agree that Niko should have stayed in with five fouls. It's like Thibs has a coaching manual that stipulates that you must take a player out after his fifth foul.
3. Not only was Gasol one of the best defensive rebounders in the NBA this season per game, he was also one of the best in the league in Defensive Rebounding Percentage. Meaning his effectiveness at grabbing "available" defensive rebounds while on the floor. Pau's DRP was 27.6%. Just behind Jordan, Cousins, Drummond, and Asik. Would you say that those guys get rebounds just because they "play center?" I think the better answer is that they are all excellent rebounders.
Mozgov plays center. Plus he is younger, taller, and more mobile than Pau. His DRP was 20.4%. Tristan Thompson's was at 19.7%. Noah was at 22.1% and Taj, who is generally considered a good rebounder, was at 14.6%- a little more than half of Gasol's rate. After last night Pau's DRP for the playoffs is at 25.5%. Pretty darn good. So contrary to your comments, Pau is a good rebounder. By the way, after 9 games, Pau still leads the NBA in Defensive Rating at 93.8.
4. Getting back to the Irving issue. IMO James has altered his game considerably by becoming the primary ballhandler instead of Irving because of the aforementioned foot problem. That along with Love being injured has disrupted the normal chemistry of the team. We will see if Lebron can re-organize the team on the fly. The Bulls need to strike now if they are ever to beat Lebron.
Just so you know, the Bulls team defensive rebounding percentage is better without Gasol on the floor.
This is especially notable, since he plays most of his minutes with Noah who is excellent and is replaced by either Mirotic or Gibson, neither of which are particularly spectacular rebounders.
Of the four Bulls big men, Noah has a positive shift for the team in rebounding percentage, Mirotic and Gibson are flat, and only Gasol is negative, and he's pretty significantly negative.
The Spurs are a better defensive rebounding team with Duncan off the court. As are the Pistons when Drummond is off the court. Does that make them poor rebounders?
My eye test says Pau Gasol sucks at boxing out, and I watch opponents routinely get offensive rebounds largely because he is out of position or doesn't box out his man.
That's why I think he's a poor defensive rebounder. I only brought up the stat because you did first. My opinion is based on the eye test, and the stats back that up.
I would submit your eye test deceives you to the point of bias. Pau Gasol was better than every other player in the NBA this season in defensive rebounding but for one player- DeAndre Jordan. He also was one of the NBA leaders in Defensive Rebounding Percentage which may be an even a better indicator of defensive rebounding prowess. Does that compute with your statement that he is "out of position" or "doesn't box out his man?"
Does he get out of position or fail to box out his man on occasion? Of course. But so do Noah, Taj, Niko, Jordan and Drummond. But you use the term "routinely" which means "unvaryingly" and "regularly" in my Random House dictionary.
Bill Russell was one of the greatest defensive rebounders of all time. The eye test showed it, as did the numbers. But he often had difficulties boxing out players like Bob Pettit and especially Wilt Chamberlain on the boards. Did that make Russell a "routinely" poor rebounder?
We all watch Gasol when a shot hits the rim and a rebound is up for grabs. That is what our eyes and brains are programmed to do as Bulls fans. Is he sometimes out of position? Sure. But he is both in position and boxes out his man often enough to gather 27.6% of available defensive rebounds while on the floor, while theoretically every player has a 10% chance of getting that rebound. I don't know about you Doug, but I want a player like that on the floor when a defensive rebound is up for grabs.
The team is worse at rebounding when he is in the game. He gets a ton of rebounds because he plays center and is around the basket all the time.
He gives up on playing defense in order to position for rebounds, where all of our other big men will hedge a pick and roll or switch, Pau always fades back. He literally never leaves the area five feet from the basket and is always going to be best positioned of the Bulls to get boards.
That is why his raw rebound numbers are high.
However, he accomplished this feat due as much to his skill as his inadequacies, and that's why he destroys the team on that end of the floor and his lack of ever bodying up a man is why opponents get more offensive boards when Pau is on the floor than any other Bulls big man.
Thank you for standing fast in this argument, essentially the one that I've been making all season.
It is a known phenomenon among sophisticated observers of the game that some guys are "rebound hogs". In fact, even some of the stat guys have figured this out and made efforts to "prove" it.
Basically, they have good individual rebound stats but don't make the team better while doing so, and often make the team worse in some aspects(as you pointed out) in their single minded pursuit of their individual stats.
I will remind everyone, that early in the season, Gasol stated directly on the record, that he is always very aware of his personal stats at every point of the game. I was stunned when I first heard this and pointed it out, but no one thought much of it. I'd really be interested to know if guys like Michael, Magic and Bird made that much of an effort to be aware of their individual stats during the game.
Again, I will point out that the Bulls were a below average defensive rebounding team(19th in the league in defensive rebound percentage) despite apparently having the "second best" defensive rebounder in the league. I would imagine that is far and away the worst that they have ranked in the Thibs era, even though they had the classic "rebound hog" in the bozohole for the previous 4 years. I don't doubt that all their team defensive metrics suffered similarly this season relative to the last 4.
the Bulls were however, a better than average offensive rebounding team, an area where Gasol did not lead the team or the league.
NO point in using your God given talents, like your eyes or your brain, you must mindlessly cling to what your statistics tell you, while ignoring all others.
Did you miss Adam Silver's press conference announcing that starting next season the NBA champions will be determined by a computer stuffed with all the stats that John Hollinger can come up with to support his opinion of who should be champion.
Have you even watched the this season, hgarbell? Lebron has been their primary ball handler since about the time they started winning. Irving basically plays the 2 for them.
Yes, you are correct. What I should have said to emphasize the point I was trying to make was that Lebron now appears to have taken over the entire responsibility of getting the Cavs into their offense. Irving shared a lot of that responsibility during the season but Lebron was indeed the more prominent ballhandler.
1) Irving being hobbled was huge.
2) All the crappy calss and non-calls by the refs likely cost the Bulls at least 10 pts and hit them with extra fouls. Huge in favor of Cleveland.
3) Snell and Brooks need to step up. Maybe they need more minutes to do it. If they do, the Bulls can take Cleveland.
4) Rose outplayed Irving and Butler outplayed Lebron. Thus,
5) Without great play from Shumpert and Thompson, this series is probably 3-0 right now.
I think the "Irving being hobbled" thing is interesting. He said he hurt the foot in game two against Boston. That was almost three weeks ago, and he had over a full week of rest.
He also looked quite good in the first two games.
I'm sure he's hurting some, but I'm not sure that it's any worse then say Derrick is hobbled on a game by game basis as he's still trying to fully recover from his third knee surgery.
Kyrie in game two of this series was the normal Kyrie. That is to say, his handles and moves are so good he can get anywhere he wants to on the floor. Just an extraordinary talent with the ball in his hands. The only explanation for his inability to get to the rim yesterday was that his legs wouldn't take him there. The Bulls defense can possibly limit him, but not stop him. Plus the cameras caught him noticeably wincing on more than one occasion.
Yeah, I suppose it's hard for me to work up much sympathy. How far below his peak is Derrick Rose right now?
Thanks Doug. Is this guy serious?
The issue isn't sympathy. Irving can come down with malaria for all I care. The issue is that Irving was essentially incapacitated in Game 3 and still the Bulls were only able to eke out a victory at home with perhaps a bit of divine intervention.
Bulls need to up their game if they're really serious about becoming champs.
Bulls definitely need to be better. I just don't believe that Irving was really all that hurt relative to what any other player goes through at this time of the season.
His reported injury was nearly three weeks prior to the game and he had many great performances afterwards.
oh boo hoo.. The Bulls have key players way more limited by injury than anyone on the Cavs.. Kyrie can suck it. No excuses.
Agree. See above.
He clearly tweaked, reinjured or hurt that same foot on an early drive in game 3 and didn't do much of anything afterward. He seemed O.K. in the first 2 games, but it doesn't take a lot to make a big difference with those types of injuries.
While you never want to root for injuries, the Bulls only hope is for his injury to be real enough to limit him for the rest of the series.
What does it matter that Irving is hobbled. Injuries are very much apart of the game. Nobody felt sorry for the Bulls when Rose was out all these years due to injury. We almost got swept by the Wizards and were without our best player but they still believe they're the best team regardless. Now they're playing the Hawks without their best player, that's just how the game goes.
People can call Rose's shot lucky if they want, but I see it more as a consolation prize. We haven't been getting no love from the refs and if we were to lose that game it would have been mostly due to piss poor officiating. The Bulls just simply looked like the better team to me as they should. Lebron isn't the man he used to be. There was once a time where he would've plowed right through Butler, but now Jimmy appears to be more than a handful for Lebron to handle.
I am not sure what kind of Bulls will show up tomorrow. Cavs will play desperately and James will likely play out of his mind. So, if we come with a slow start, this could be a blow out for the Cavs. If the Bulls take a 3-1 lead, that seals the deal for the Bulls. But, coming out at 2-2 will swing the series right back to the Cavs. Let's hope for the best Bulls basketball tomorrow. GO BULLS!!
LeBron hasn't played out of his mind in the first three games and has rarely played that well this season really. I think LeBron simply needs more help than he is getting.
Naturally, I'm terrified of this game. Bulls always seem hung over during afternoon games. They need to come out like they're the ones down 2-1. LeBron has been in this spot before and prevailed in the end more than once. This Cavs team isn't going to shrivel up and disappear because the Bulls won Game 3. It's going to take effort, boxing out, smarter coaching, and quality shooting.
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It's going to take a miracle for the Bulls to win today. The refs (who have already been favoring the cavs) will do their best job to get this back to Cleveland 2-2.
Hopefully the Bulls effort will be too much for the refs to steal this Game.
Aaron Brooks has to at least be able to outplay Dellafrigginvedova for 10 minutes or Kirk needs to take all the back up PG minutes.
Brooks has been really bad. Kirk has also been really bad.
The Bulls have to hope to get something from someone there for sure, and haven't gotten much.
Since I am so hot w my Bulls predictions
Here we go
Bulls will be down 7 after 1.......as Bulls have 9 teams fouls after 1
Refs realize they are a little too obvious so Bulls bench mob makes a run in 2nd q, and they are within a basket or up a basket at half
2nd half, unless Bulls shoot 50% + from 3 pt line in 2nd half plus 55% from field.....they will be down double digits in the 4th
Bulls make a valiant effort but 2 players foul out or get ejected as we get game w In a possession, but refs make sure it goes back to Cleveland 2-2......
Right now NBA is pissed, all underdogs are up 2-1 for first time in semifinals in a couple decades
Let's just pray the 104-97 loss doesn't crush the Bulls spirits going back to Cleveland having to need to steal home court back
LBJ and Kyrie combine for 65 pts, 18 rebounds, 21 assists and 25 combined free throws attempted
The bulls front court operates so much better when Noah is playing center where he belongs. They seriously have to figure what they're gonna do with Gasol because he and Noah don't compliment each other and even though Gasol's numbers look better it doesn't really benefit the team. It's more like his individual contribution. Personally I think Gasol would be a great offensive spark off the bench.
I think they need to get Brooks and Rose on the court together now that Kyrie is so injured (and he is really hobbling.) Irving is guarding dunleavy while Shumpert is on Rose, and the Bulls offense is stagnant. Irving trying to guard Brooks would be a serious challenge for him, and Brooks can now guard him on the other end. Thibs needs to get Brooks, Rose and Jimmy on the court together to finish this game.
I recall in one of the Bulls wins during the season that Brooks actually did a very good job guarding JR Smith, by getting into his personal space and not allowing him to even get a good look, causing him to turn the ball over a few times. Don't know if that would happen again, but so far we can't seem to guard him when we need to.
So while Brooks hasn't given us anything so far, it might be worth a look for a minute or 2.
With 4 minutes left, the Cavs have a 22-9 edge in Free Throw Attempts. Unless the officials start allowing the Bulls to drive, they ain't gonna win this one.
Cleveland got lucky. The refs bailed them out with a free time-out and extra time on the shot clock. Gave them time they didn't have to set up a quick play. The bulls played almost perfect defense down the stretch and that one should have went to over time. I'm so pissed smh
1. I would like to open up the discussion again about trading Mirotic for the draft rights to Willie Cauley-Stein (sorry Don).
2. They have coaches for everything in pro sports now. Isn't there anyone out there who can teach Noah not to close his eyes and throw up bricks when he is anywhere near the basket?
3. Great call at the end. Blatt calls a time-out without any TOs left. So not only does he not get a technical, he gets the timeout.
4. I'm an unapologetic nonfan of Kirk Hinrich. He's old, slow, and worst of all, ugly. However, he was actually more effective today in limited minutes than some of those sorry-ass mopes we call rotation players.
5. I have several more observations but my wife is grabbing my wrist to prevent me from taking that cyanide pill I have saved for just such occasions.
The officiating has been rough, but the Bulls can't hide behind that. No K-Love. Kyrie ineffectual. It was just LeBron and the Bulls couldn't beat him. He went 10-30 from the field and they still couldn't beat him. The Bulls need Game 5 like it's an elimination game. Their season is all but over if the Cavs go up 3-2. Bulls must perform. If LeBron beats them again, the Bulls never did and never will beat LeBron sticks as the narrative for this team forever.
On the long list of reasons why he should be, this is the new #1:
Thibs should be fired for knowingly wasting his last timeout with 1:13 left and the Bulls down 3 after Noah drew the offensive foul on Lebron. I was screaming at the TV and I didn't even know it was our last timeout. To make matters worse, the best the Bulls could do coming out of that timeout was a very bad, long forced 3 point shot by Rose that had no chance from the moment he elevated backwards. Genius, just Genius.
Also, while you can't say it cost us for sure, as usual Thibs was stupid for not pulling Jimmy for a couple of minutes in the 4rth when Lebron was on the bench. In this series, Butler should never be on the floor when Lebron isn't. Thibs has to realize that his players are human and treat them as such.
Let's face it we were extremely lucky to be tied when Lebron missed that final drive(and didn't get a foul call). However, Niko cost us the game(a chance to go into overtime) with his stupid and spastic reaction to the airball/blocked shot by Lebron. Instead of simply/easily grabbing the ball as it practically fell in his lap, he swats it out of bounds. Besides being a spastic, he kind of looked like he did it on purpose. If you want to be charitable you can call it a rookie mistake, but it looked more like cracking under pressure if not outright cowardice. Not sure exactly sure how/why he ended up on the floor for that last play. Somehow he led the Bulls in plus/minus again at plus 8 despite giving us nothing tonight.
You could say we lost the game at the free throw line, with a lot of "wait and see, after the fact" foul calls. Really no reason to send Irving to the line 8 times whens he hobbling and ineffectual.
This game was back to the Bulls that we've come to know over the past several years, as Doug would say eye gouging, nail pulling offense, and for the most part junk yard dog defense.
Those 2 easy buckets that the Cav's got in the final minute of the third reducing the lead from 11 to 7 after what was a great quarter were a bad omen entering the 4rth
Got to give Lebron credit for making that last shot after several miscues before that, but for some reason, Jimmy didn't look all that into it on that final play.
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