Game Thread: Hornets tonight (6:00 pm)

Game Thread: Hornets tonight (6:00 pm)

The Bulls are in Charlotte to take on the 0-3 Hornets who frankly look as bad as their record suggests. But before we hand over this W to the Bullies, let's remember what happened last season when a 16-point first quarter lead vanished, and led to a ten-point loss without the presence of Al Jefferson. The Hornets are scrappy, even if they haven't shown it this year, which is a usual trait found in defensive-minded teams.

Going down memory lane however, shouldn't change the expectation for tonight. This should be a Bulls win, and preferably a pretty convincing one at that. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been lost for the season, the aforementioned Jefferson has started slowly, and the team's leading scorer, Kemba Walker, is shooting 35% from the field. If the Bulls get into a dogfight in this one, it'd certainly raise some eyebrows.

So what to look for?

- Joakim Noah repeating the effort he brought against Orlando would string together two nice games for him, and hopefully set him on a better course for the season.

- Taj Gibson not ending up in foul trouble would make me a happy camper, and I reckon Coach Hoiberg would appreciate it as well. Taj is currently picking up 3.5 fouls in an even 20 minutes of play a game, which partly explains his somewhat disappointing start to the season.

- McDermott, McDermott, and more McDermott. This Hornets team is not a great scoring team, and lack creators on the wing positions. This means McDermott won't have to match up against someone who can consistently burn him (and here I'm assuming Butler guards Nicolas Batum), which in turn should preserve him energy to participate offensively. It's crucial that Hoiberg keeps building on Doug's good games, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.

- Look for Snell more. Much like the notion above with McDermott, Snell should benefit from going up against shaky talent on the wing, so this could be an opportunity for him in getting some more touches. Worst case scenario: His shot doesn't fall early, and Jimmy takes over in what could be a playground game for him.

All in all, this game has the make-up of the win against Brooklyn. On the road, opponent struggling, Bulls coming off a win and having momentum.. What remains to be seen is if the Bulls shoot themselves in the foot through turnovers (17 a game, second-worst in the league) and not getting on the glass enough (-4.0 a game).

Also, don't let Kemba do this to Niko again:

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  • Good call not to hand over the W...

  • In reply to Roman F:

    When the Bulls lost a game last year Thibs would often say that the Bulls "let go of the rope." Last night the Bulls left the rope on the bus that took them from the hotel to the stadium.

  • A lot to complain about:

    1) I am so done with Diva Rose. $94 mil for what? Can't hit a jumper, can't guard anyone and can't even see straight.
    2) Tony Snell is useless.
    3) Pau Gasol is as soft defensively as Carlos Boozer.
    4) The whole Aaron Brooks only looking for his own shot is getting way too old.
    5) Tony Snell is useless.

    Time to trade Taj along with Snell (who is useless) to get an NBA 3.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    I like the trade idea, Vic. The problem - with those 2 guys, have to throw in 5 draft picks to get a decent SF.

    Maybe Taj and Snell will improve. How could they not?

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    I agree with just about everything except that I don't think Taj + Snell = any value.

    Derrick Rose scored 4 points but he knows he's great. If he can't see, let him sit until he can.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Don't forget, "those are shots that he usually makes". He'll learn from it and move on.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Vic, please help me understand. Are you telling me that Tony Snell is useless?

  • As has often happened the last few years, the Bulls managed to make a poor team look like a contender!

    Bright spots? Portis finally saw the floor and did well, outscoring Noah and Taj combined who more than tripled his minutes! Portis will be playing a lot more - and why not? He appears to be the third best big on the team.

    Butler a decent shooting night.

    McDermott shot OK, even had a few RBs.

    I did not see the game so I don't know how anybody did on D. Altho Charlotte's 130 points suggests the D was just a tad weak. The team is a work in progress. I forsee more of this - the Bulls score 100+ and lose.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    McD even got a few minutes of court time with the starting unit late in the first half. He is starting to look like he might be able to actually hit some shots if the offense can get him open looks.

    While Tony Snell does not look quite as bad playing poor defense as McNoD does, he really hasn't been any more effective at it so far. At this point, it couldn't hurt to see what McNoD would do with the starting unit right from the start of the game. Of course that would make the second unit's inability to score even more pronounced. But there might be a 7 ft solution to that problem.

    Everybody pretty much sucked on D last night, but is there anybody out there who still wants to argue that Snell is a good defender. Last night it took barely more than 5 seconds from the opening tip for somebody to blow past Snell for an uncontested layup, setting the tone for the entire night. My sense is that you have to be awake to at least have a chance of playing good defense.

    While it was nice to see Portis get on the court, it's really impossible to make any overarching judgements about him based on his play in 9 minutes of pure garbage time. About the only thing that it proved, definitively, is that Portis is not 6"11" as everybody seems to want to make him out to be. He was matched up with Kaminsky most of the time, and he look noticeably shorter than Frank who is just barely not an actuall 7 footer, at 6'11.75".

  • By the way, does defensive coach Jim Boylen actually coach any defense?

  • The Bulls need a major overhaul. We will know for sure by the Feb trade deadline. If the Bulls continue this sporadic play, I would follow the Cubs plan and go with youth. I would trade, Pau, Taj, Joakim, Derrick (if possible) Tony, etc. and blow tanks. We will never beat Cleveland right now but there is hope down the line if we can retool.

    Lebron has back problems and it is only going to get worse. I will make a prediction that Lebron only has two years left after this year, maybe three. You will see his effectiveness decline over the next few years , but until then we simply cannot get by him.

    When you see someone laying on a towel off the court at 30 yrs of age, it could be the beginning sign of major future back problems. Here is a partial list of current and former NBA players with back problems.
    1) Dwight Howard--is not the same player he was.
    2) Larry Bird cut his career short because of back problems. He
    had to have spinal fusion.
    3) Steve Nash had a long career, but suffered from back issues.
    He has spondylolisthesis which means one of his vertebrae
    is sliding over a lower vertebrae and crushing the nerves in
    his spinal cord. He will most likely require future spinal fusion.
    4) Phil Jackson, T. J. Ford had back fusions. Steve Kerr recently
    had something done to his back.

    Because of the pounding Lebron takes, I believe his back problems are going to get worse and he will be forced to retire early. So what should the Bulls do? Retool their team and look towards the future. Right now we are an imbalanced team. Both of our starting guards are slashers and poor to average outside shooters. Several of our big men are one dimensional players. Pau is too old. Tony will never develop into the wing we need. So why stay with this flawed group? I don't think we should. I hope management can disassemble this team and reassemble it with more shooters and speed on defense. Go Bulls. I have followed the Bulls for all 50 years since the team was formed. This current team will never win the NBA championship.

  • In reply to Jim Bob:

    Right on. Bulls fans disagree on m any things, but pretty much all Bulls fans agreed prior to the season that the only chance this team has to compete this year is if Derrick Rose returns to all-star form. I know he's got a vision problem but I don't see how anyone can reasonably expect all-star Rose to return. I could see the average PG from last year returning but not an all-star.

    If no all-star Rose, then it's time to reload for the LeBron-less future behind Jimmy, Niko and Bobby. Everyone else can and should be moved if possible but I think the combined value of all our players outside of those 3 isn't worth much.

    Another day, another call to trade Taj. Portis might be a better player right now but more importantly, he needs court time. He's only going to get better and Taj is only going to get worse. At this point, I'm no longer interested in trying to get a starting caliber SF because I've given up on this season. I would trade Taj for peanuts just to get Portis on the court.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Unfortunately, I can't find any fault in your reasoning. Other than hoping against hope that Rose is playing blind right now, and will miraculously transform back into an all star when/if he regains his vision.

  • Its quite simple No Defense=no Identity=blowout losses. The offense is mediocre at best and the defensive principles have all but been flushed down the toilet. The Bulls need a young defensive minded center to man the paint and a defensive assistant who can get these guards/wings to rotate and fight over screens. Im not sure if Portis can eventually play center as he seems more powerforward, the same with Mirotic. This is a mediocre team with duplication at certain positions and massive holes at other positions. Now we get to see if Garpax, who arent very good at trades can get something done eventually.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    This is the problem with the "best player available" philosophy. The media types always praise this philosophy but they're full of it. It looks smart when, and only when, you get a great player.

    The reason it's a nonsense philosophy is because you rarely really know who the BPA is. All of these guys are projections and unknowns. So you might as well go with the unknown that fills a position of need than the unknown who fills a position of strength.

    Just for argument, what if the best player available every year is a power forward. Do you just keep drafting PFs because they are the BPA? What kind of team does that leave you with? Basically, this year's Bulls...

    You end up overloaded at one position and then you have to make a trade. If you play fantasy sports, you know how difficult it is to make a trade, especially one where you get equal value in return. We also know this FO isn't very trade savvy. So "you gotta draft the best player available" just isn't true.

    What is true is that you draft the BPA when you actually know who the BPA is, like Portis this past year, and I still think he was a great pick for the future, but not if this team was serious about contending this year. What's also true is that you don't pass on a clearly better player to reach for a guy just to fill a position of need.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Speaking of the draft and knee jerk reactions. Any chance we can trade Snell for Will Barton, the guy we could/should have taken instead of Teague. Not that it solves our bigger issues, but I believe that guy is at least awake on one end of the court if not both. Although, at this point Denver probably actually likes him.

  • Not to be a glass half empty guy, but Niko had his second consecutive worst game of the season, again playing against a small ball PF in Marvin Williams.

    Too bad that we didn't need Jeremy Lin because we already had Hangdog under contract and needed to bring back Brooks.

    McNoD had 17 points, shot well from 3(5-8) and was still minus 17.

    We got hammered on the boards again, 52-33 total, 12-4 offensive.

    We were only one make from shooting 50% from the field despite Niko, Snell and Rose going a combined 4-23.

    Did Jeremy Lamb's eyes light up because he just signed a 3yr/$21 million deal or because he was being guarded by McNoD.

    Despite feeling like Charlotte dominated in every way, they only made 3 more made FGs than we did, and only one more FG attempt. Surprisingly, we tied in 3 point makes(14). They won the game at the line 22-3, and on the boards.

    I guess we just have to chalk this one up to being one of those games, at least until we get abused by OKC like we usually do.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I noticed Lin had a big game. I think he would significantly improve the team over Hinrich and Brooks and the Bulls might win 5-10 more games with him. I don't think he'd get the Bulls past the Cavs or anything though, that will come down to who is starting at PG.

  • Bulls and Rose headed for a breakup?

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