The Bulls and inconsistency - What happened?

The Bulls and inconsistency - What happened?

Line-up changes, offensive issues, playing down to the level of competition.. we've had it all, Bulls fans.

Chicago is on a three-game slide, which in the big picture isn't the end of the world, but as their 11-8 record suggests, this team isn't a contending squad. The roster is quite simply too flawed to make a deep post-season run, and as we near the 20-game mark, it looks more and more likely that Fred Hoiberg's offense won't be fully implemented until the start of next year.

Since the start of the 2014/2015 season, the Bulls have become an inconsistent mess. Their effort-level can swing more than any other team in the NBA, which can be seen via victories against Cleveland and San Antonio, and via losses to at-the-time sub-standard franchises who didn't have their game together like Detroit and Charlotte. But more than that, it's like this combination of players doesn't care all that much. Is it just pure coincidence that this coincided with the acquisitions of Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and Doug McDermott? I'll be honest with you, I've given this some thought. It seems weird that the inconsistency issues began when that trio of offensive-minded players were brought in. Let me preface my concern with saying that none of those guys should be viewed as bad locker room guys or guys that need to be moved.

My theory hinges on the fact that these guys share the same primary focus, putting the ball into the basket, whereas the usual Bulls personnel were defenders first, who later on evolved offensively (minus Derrick Rose who did the opposite). Taj Gibson came in as an energetic defender who had to develop a reliable jumper. Joakim Noah was in a similar situation. Jimmy Butler was viewed as a larger Tony Allen type for a while, and most had him peaking at 12-15 points a game. And then the kicker: These guys were drafted onto a team that had Luol Deng on it.

Yes, I think the trade of Luol Deng has indirectly sent this team into a talespin of confusion and insecurity. If you ever go back and watch games of the Deng-led Bulls, you'll see a guy taking his arm around a guy and pointing out areas on the court where to do specific things. You'll see a guy who every single night defended everything from smaller two-guards to large power forwards, and everything in-between, without complaining about it. You'll see a guy who, despite repeated poor shooting, was the engine that made the team go. Noah described the trade as him losing a brother. Butler still talks about Deng to this day, and we're coming up on the two-year anniversary of the trade.

What essentially became a Deng for Gasol swap (trading Deng led to cap space that the team would spend on Gasol) proved to be an action created out of short-sighted need. While the move was for the most part supported by fans throughout, myself included, it seems now that the trade sent away more than just Deng. It sent away this team's identity.

Call me melodramatic if you must, but ask yourself this: Over the past two seasons, have you seen even a small percentage of the same intensity that the Deng era Bulls brought on a nightly basis? Have you seen even a hint of the same on-court stability? What about consistency?

For me, it's a triple no. What I see now is a 35-year old Spaniard who insists on playing isolation basketball in an era where iso-ball is one of the most inefficient ways of scoring, and who provides nowhere near the same effort every night. That's not to say Pau is somehow solely at fault for this new tendency, but it's saying the Bulls cut out and sold their heart, just to get another arm.

Indulge me for a moment. Imagine these Bulls with Deng filling the three-spot. Him spending time with Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic, and putting an arm around Noah and Rose to tell his little brothers all is going to be okay. Imagine him never requesting specific type of shots or specific amount of minutes. Imagine his effect on Jimmy Butler playing alongside him now that he's become a star. Deep down, will you tell me that the presence of Deng wouldn't have a positive effect?

I see why people would call this a cop-out in suggesting Deng is the main reason for all this. Because you're right. He isn't the main reason. But he's a pretty damn big one. The Bulls have other problems going on, as they always seem to do, and they include everything from vision impairment to career-altering knee injuries, and here I'm unfortunately talking about two players. Additionally, they no longer have this deep arsenal of two-way players that they once had. However you spin it, building a team with guys who are dominantly better on one side of the court is a faulty way of laying your foundation. It was a faulty way when they focused strictly on defensive-minded players, and it's faulty now after they decided to go the other way.

I would like to close off this post with a suggestion of re-acquiring Luol Deng, but that ship has sailed. Quite frankly, I would understand fully if Deng refused such a trade given the ways this team threw him under the bus in the past. He deserves better than that, which is really the crux of the problem. This organization used to be one where you could never say that sentence and mean it. But as the years have gone by, this team has removed themselves from being a top-class franchise and have settled into mediocrity. Personally, I blame arrogance and the security they have in visitors and fans. Every press conference is a reminder of how little they think of their fans' intelligence, using the same buzz words as "flexibility" and "process" and thinking it'll be perfectly acceptable answers to a fan base who for the most part is being kept in the dark on what the team is trying to do. Look no further than this very season where a plethora of Bulls fans have no clue if the Bulls are just standing pat, or trying to go all-in for a championship.

That lack of transparency, combined with decisions that so obviously miss the big picture, will always see them fail in their quest for another title. Whether management have to change, or the organizational mindset have to, it all comes down to doing things different. I actually respect the Bulls for trying to open themselves up to a more offensive-minded line-up, even if they never understood that the basis of having one that'd separate them from the competition would require players that actually fit together. But what I don't respect is not learning from your mistakes, and in that, the Bulls aren't doing anything different. It's a new approach, but built on flawed premises yet again.

I hope to be proven wrong. Nothing would make me happier than writing a piece where I eat every single word I've just typed. But somehow, I don't think that'll happen. In fact, let me make an attempt at predicting how these next years will unfold:

The Bulls will make numerous appearances in the playoffs, getting bounced in either the first or second round. The team's roster will have at least one piece missing at a specific position at all times, just as they'll be significantly better at one end of the court than the other. Management will still prefer old veterans and use mostly the draft and free agency to improve themselves, and not give young players enough opportunities to play, preferring instead to use said old veterans because their logic dictates that such a preference means more winning, even if it only adds a few regular season wins to the mix and does nothing to improve their long-term situation. They'll make no attempt at communicating with their fan base outside of their normal buzz words, and will be perfectly satisfied with the UC filling out.

That blueprint has been in effect for over a decade, and remains very much alive. But that's the thing that needs to change before the Bulls can move on to better things.

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  • Wow! Sounds like you need a hug. Having Deng would be fine by me. Watching this game against the Celtics reminds me that about a year ago I suggested that the Bulls should try to get Jae Crowder. I was basically laughed at. Why bother to get such a low talent guy? Now, imagine Crowder and Butler playing side by side. That defense would be great!
    I have to admit, the player I'm most frustrated with is Mirotic. I'm getting sick of watching him chuck shots, get blown by, and playing plain stupid basketball. He's gotta have one of the lowest IQ's in basketball. I was one of his biggest supporters saying he would be an All-Star, but I'm afraid that instead of the next Dirk he may be the next Josh Smith. The guy who is capable of hitting threes, but usually will miss. It really hit me a week or two ago when Van Gundy said in a broadcast that he just wasn't a good shooter. I think the Bulls should package Brooks and Mirotic for someone like Ryan Anderson or another RELIABLE shooter. It'll never happen though.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I would love a hug, actually.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I've been a Crowder fan, but unfortunately, he's another guy without an actual offensive game, plus he got $35/5yrs from the Celts. I'd still trade Snell for him though.

  • Great article Morten thanks!

    It is sick how the Bulls front office threw away Deng like trash...especially how Deng logged the most minutes in the NBA and was the glue for the Bulls. He didn't complain that plays or at least that many weren't called for him to score, but he filled in on stats that don't show up much for a players glory.

    I miss Deng alot! Even Kobe years ago when there was a good chance he might come to the Bulls didn't want to come here unless the deal was that Deng was still on the Bulls after the trade.

  • In reply to smiley:

    C'mon, Deng hasn't done squat since he left the Bulls, and he's injured again. At this point he's one step away from being Ben Gordon or Carlos Boozer, both of whom are out of the league where they belong..

  • I miss Deng in some ways too, but you're really sick over "how the Bulls front office threw away Deng like trash?" That's revisionist history at its worst.

    The hated FO offered Deng $10MM per year, the same he eventually got in Miami but Deng turned them down. It was the coach -- not the FO -- that overplayed him, and neither the FO nor former coach owe him something for that, that's not how business works. They paid Deng very well for what he gave them. This is the same Deng that Bulls fans constantly complained about being overpaid and overrated by the Bulls. Chicago athletes are consistently criticized when they're here but revered once their gone.

    The FO did bungle Deng's health problems, and that deserves scorn, but not trading him away after he turned down their offer. I actually think the FO did a helluva job getting something back for a player that wasn't that highly valued around the league and that was leaving anyways. He thought he was worth more than $10MM per year until he tested the market and found out otherwise. That's how it goes in business.

    But I get it that life is easier if we just blame all our problems on the Bulls FO, they are very unlikable guys.

  • Mort, good column. People conveniently forget, however, how often Deng got dumped on in message boards. The most common complaints were that he was somewhat of a "phony" all-star and that he was too "greedy."

    In any event, the real problems with the Deng trade is that 1) they didn't (and won't) get any value back, i.e. the Cavs pick swap and the Sacto pick, and 2) the Bulls have not successfully filled the three position. Butler was supposed to have filled that position but he settled in at the two.

    Fans also forget how they clamored for offensive type players for years. The chronic lack of offensive fire power was probably behind the drafting by the FO of Snell, Mirotic, and McDermott.

  • What I like about this post is that it points out that the problems started last year when Thibs was still here. The greater media will blame everything on the new coach, and while he's hardly been impressive, these problems started before he got here.

    Personally, I've had the feeling that Gasol has a lot to do with it. He's a great talent but comes off as a me-first guy and unlike Deng, Pau will complain, and complain loudly if his role isn't to his liking. He's not a guy who brings any defensive intensity and there are blogs out there about how he's been a key to the demise of the once vaunted pick-and-roll defense.

    Deng has nice intangibles but while he was here, it was pointed out on this blog that he was overrated defensively and examples were provided. He put forth a lot of effort but was never that great an athlete to really bother anyone he defended. I feel that now we are overrating him even more that he's gone.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Oh please! You want to know what the Bulls problems are? How about this explanation:

    For a significant part of the season the Bulls have started Tony Snell, Nikola Mirotic and Derrick Rose- 3 of the 5 positions on the court. Snell is shooting .349, Mirotic .390, and Rose .359. Nor do these guys give you much of anything else of significant value worth mentioning, including defense.

    Pau is shooting 50-90 percentage points better than these three amigos. Plus he is the Bulls best rebounder and shot blocker. He is also a terrific passer with a high basketball IQ. But, of course, you stress that Gasol has "a lot to do" with the Bulls problems.

  • I think this is only part of a bigger picture, but it is a good example of the direction of the franchise. Before I start, let me say that the way the franchise treated Deng was pretty awful, especially for such a class act human being and global ambassador for the game.

    The Deng trade was a microcosm of the conflicting direction of GarPax and Thibs. At the time, management was waiving the white flag on the season and trying for a reboot next year. Then Thibs and the Bulls rallied to make the playoffs. Remember, that's also the season Noah became the heart of the team and maintained their identity. I would argue that during the 13-14 season after the Deng trade, the Bulls maintained and even enhanced their identity under Noah. He was DPOY and All-NBA. GarPax rolled with it but it was clearly not in their plans.

    Fast forward to the next year. Rose gets hurt again. Management and Thibs start to feud more publicly. Players start to quit on Thibs. Last season was pretty dysfunctional. GarPax obviously wanted Thibs out and it was not good for the players to see this. When management so clearly wanted Thibs gone, it sent the message to the players that they could tune him out with no consequences. The players knew they would be back next year and get a pass for how they performed. So there's a bad mindset creeping in.

    Now this year, you bring in a rookie head coach, who's only coached at the college level. You have a team full of vets who previously tuned out their head coach (with the blessing of management). The bigs are probably upset about minutes and there's too many one way players.

    GarPax did try and correct for too many defensive players, but they are one step behind the rest of the league. Thibs started a new defensive era, but the league has adapted to that and started a new revolution. GarPax thought that while the Bulls were the trendsetters on the defensive end, they would force other teams to adapt to them. Well, they did, and then some. GarPax acted like teams have just started to figure out Thibs' scheme, so they brought in offensive minded players (ex. Miami 2012 - surround Lebron/Wade/Bosh with 3 point shooters who can't play defense). What they failed to realize is that now the Spurs/Warriors have 2 way players that are almost positionless. They can switch, defend, and score from 1 to 5. And here are the Bulls stuck in the 2011/2012 NBA.

    The problem with trades are that if there's a good 2 way player, teams want to keep him. The league knows how valuable they are. So it's a lot harder to trade for that piece. I think the Bulls are stuck where they are right now. I hope they get a trade done, but I'm not too optimistic.

    I am glad that Hoiberg has been giving minutes to Niko and McD though. Snell doesn't look like an NBA player and we might have overrated Niko a lot. But at least we are starting know what we have now with these players.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    Good point about undermining Thibs. Now that I think about it strangling your head coach probably wasn't a ringing endorsement either. And with the holidays just around the corner brings back fond memories of A Very Scott Skiles(fired) Christmas(now available on DVD and ITunes). Ah Gar/Pax you scaly wags.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    As I understood it then, Skiles basically went to the FO, said he had lost the team, and he wanted to be fired. The timing was on him, not the Bulls! And so was losing the team.

    Thibs had his strong points, but he was too stubborn to correct his weaknesses. Notice how no team grabbed him after the Bulls canned him.

    The Bulls played better after Deng was traded, so that suggests his value to the team! And remember, they waived the player they got for Deng. Plus they dumped his salary and did get a few picks. Even if they do not get the Sac pick this year, still it was a good try.

    I realize this was not all from your post, RoadWarrior. It just seemed a good place to throw it in!

  • Most franchises that win a championship draft at least one long term offensive stud. Call them lucky, but the Spur's tank job to get Tim Duncan at least gave them a chance. The Lakers had the foresight to see what Kobe Bryant could become and made his acquisition happen. Boston despite a sweetheart deal had the sense to draft a true offensive stud and fixture in Paul Pierce. Miami had the sense to draft Dwyane Wade who with power broker acquisition Pat Riley reeled in LeBron James.

    As for the Bulls they have not drafted or retained one offensive stud workhorse since the Jordan era concluded. Not one. Rose was luck and bad luck at that as it turns out. Until they grab that elusive HOF stand out offensive stud they are going nowhere. And with fan unfriendly(and often player unfriendly) gutter snipes like Gar Forman at the helm it seems unlikely good fortune will smile on Chicago any time soon. Good thing Gar's old chum Fred Hoiberg just happened to be the right man for the job coaching wise too. Ah... Bedlam.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I forgot to mention while mostly a hard worker and admirable pro who more then once was crapped on by the Bull's front office, Deng was never an answer as a wing IMO because without the three point shot you can never really be regarded as an offensive championship caliber piece. The anti-Paul Pierce if you will.

  • This game was abysmal. Except for watching Butler almost single-handedly pull that game out for us! That was impressive.

    I think losing Deng may can't be overlooked. The team was very similar for many years and then management just drops the hammer on a team leader in the blink of an eye. I do think the trade had to be made b/c that team, as constructed, had it's chance and it was believed with Rose out again that that team couldn't contend.

    It's clear that management needs to make drastic changes here and build around Butler. The Bulls have some nice assets in Gasol, Gibson, Mirotic and Rose that can be moved.

    (although Gibson can play 2-ways and Mirotic is worth keeping, IMO)

    So, let's start over with Hoiberg-type guys. Guys that can play offense and defense. Let's go all-in on the Hoiberg system for next year and see where it takes us.

  • Outside of Deng, we need to look at Rose. It's not all his fault because he's been injured. But, he's either injured, or taking it easy. He repeatedly says that he needs to be 100% and save himself for the playoffs. Again, missing 3 playoff runs in a row will do that to you. Not his fault, but his work ethic extends to the rest of the team.

    Pair that with the fact that he's not the player now that he once was. It's hard to win with the guy around. It's hard to win without him. Time to move on.

    Steph Curry battled ankle injuries for a couple years, but he's not taking it easy. You can't take it easy in the NBA. SA knows how to rest guys and still win. Most others will fail if they try.

  • The problem with the Bulls is not the loss of Luol Deng. A 3 who shot long twos instead of threes and lacked elite athleticism was never going to take a team to the promised land.

    As I have been bemoaning all off season, the Bulls blow because they brought back the exact same team that quit in the playoffs. And they kept the roster in tact even though it is an awful fit for their new head coach's offensive philosophy. You don't surrender to your arch rivals and try to instill a new coaching scheme and return the exact same f'ing roster.

    Other reasons:

    1) GarPax thought they were hiring another Steve Kerr in Fred Hoiberg but it looks like they got Scott Brooks.
    2) Gasol is classic Euro-lazy. He's Castilian Carlos Boozer. A true Spanish matador on defense whose refusal to body anyone or guard pick and roll is killing this team.
    3) Mirotic is not a poor man's Dirk Nowitzki. He's Dragan Tarlac in a beard.
    4) While many hoped that if Derrick Rose couldn't reach MVP level that he would achieve All Star play. What we got is a point guard with one of the lowest PERs in the league. A bank shot shooting buffoon who walks the ball up despite the insistence of his head coach to push it. What other point guard would not want the green light to run the ball? And is there another player as completely clueless?
    5) Tony Snell is useless. Aren't there any small forwards in the NDBL better than sleepy?

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Vic, frustrated by last night's loss? Me too. My response to your comments:

    1. Pau was a +11 last night. Noah was a -18. That's a 29 point swing. (Btw, the next highest Bull was Jimmy at +3.)

    2. Too early to bury Hoiberg. Let's see what his offense does with players who can actually shoot. We have three starters shooting less than .400. If I were Hoiberg I would bury Snell and Niko on the bench so they can play dominos with Felacio.

    3. I would bench Rose too except we do not have an NBA point guard to replace him with. Brooks and Moore are shooting guards masquerading as point guards.

    4. I disagree that Niko is a "poor man's Dirk Nowitski." He is a poor man's Nemanja Bejelica.

    5. I also disagree that Snell is "useless." Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a word in my dictionary that describes someone as "less than useless."

  • Great post. The only hope we have is Rose deciding to stop walking on the court and become close to what he used to be before his injuries. Sometimes a think he is saving himself for the second half of the season. Besides Buttler, at this point, we don't have anyone who can put pressure on defense. If Rose remains the same garbage player, we may not even make the playoffs.

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    In reply to BullsDynasty:

    If rose stays the same player......we are better off not making the playoffs. Let's get in the lottery and find a 2 way wing w some heart

  • The inconsistency with the Bulls does go back to last year, 2014-15. But it is not because of missing Luol Deng. Deng was long gone by then. No one was missing Deng at the end of the prior year when Noah finished 4th in MVP and was DPOY.

    Let me make a suggestion about the sources of the inconsistency. First, it is the Bulls missing Dunleavy. Go back and look at last year and a lot of the inconsistency was when Dunleavy was out. Also, it is the inconsistency of DRose on offense. And it is the inconsistency of Mirotic this year as the three biggest issues. Minor issues with defense of McDermott and lackadaisical play of Snell but those would not be a concern if Dunleavy was back and playing well. Essentially the Bull have a lot of problems. But fixing Drose and Mirotic are crucial and if they don't fix them soon, they should just blow up the team and rebuild.

    Drose takes off his mask. Does this bode well for more consistent play like he did tonight with no turnovers and shooting better than 50% after he took off the mask and scored all his points in the second half. But maybe it was because he was playing Chris Paul. DRose seems to get up for the big name matchups and let lesser players like Reggie Jackson and Kemba Walker outplay him. It appears that the Mayor likes to limit DRose's minutes which I have found to be a good thing with his terrible jacking up of shots and turnovers this season while wearing the mask. So we will see if things improve from here sans mask. He hit some nice floaters off the backboard driving to the basket in the 4th quarter. If he can drive and do that more often and not have turnovers, things can be better for the Bulls and definitely more consistent.

    I'm neurotic about Mirotic's performance. He is evolving into a 3 point shooter only and he is not deadly enough as a shooter for this. In fact his shooting and his shooting form seems to have digressed. Maybe there is something going on in our division. He and Kevin Love are doing the same thing of taking their considerable talents and reducing their overall impact by an almost 100% focus on making themselves 3 point shooters who add almost nothing else while in the game including no assists, no drives, no rebounds, and poor defense. And Mirotic's shot is evolving into a push shot. He doesn't get off the ground and he continues to hit the back rim while being very hesitant with pump fakes. Why pump fake if you are not going to occasionally drive to the basket and dunk on someone fiercely like Taj did tonight? I can't figure out why Mirotic is playing so terribly. But I do think it is better to put him with Noah and have Taj play with Gasol.

    The Bulls cannot shoot. They have no one other than possibly McDermott in their regular playing roster who could consistently hit 5 long jumpers in a row if wide open from the same spot if they had to do so. Oh I forgot possibly Gasol could do this too as he did tonight with his 3 pointers but he is a 7 footer who should be closer to the basket. Mirotic even got a wide open jumper from the corner from a Brooks pass and he immediately hesitated and realized no one was on him and then took the shot and pushed it to the back rim.

    If you are going to act like your only reason for being on the court (Mirotic) is to be a stretch power forward, then you have to stretch the court by hitting consecutive corner jumpers when you are open. If not, then why are you playing? I am going to say something that is blasphemy now but I almost feel more comfortable with Hinrich taking a jump shot than Mirotic. Whatever you may not like about Dunleavy he at least can hit four or five jumpers in a row and play some scrappy get in your face defense (just ask the Milwaukee's Antetokounmpo from last year's playoffs).

    Mirotic just doesn't seem very tough and maybe that is the Euro player thing. I don't think Dirk became a transformative player until he decided to just be a nasty and in your face I don't care if you try to guard me I will still score-player. Brooks also played okay tonight and the Mayor kept him in near the end to play with DRose, Butler, Taj and Gasol.

    Finally, the one place where we don't have a problem is Butler. He is establishing himself to at least be a possible perennial all-star and even when he doesn't shoot well, he is a threat. And the Clippers sent a message to the other Bulls when they kept double-teaming Butler as if saying we stop Butler and we stop the Bulls. Fortunately Gasol let them know that would not work tonight and so did the maskless DRose in the 4th Quarter. That is the first time I remember the Bulls having an offensive player being constantly double-teamed since the DRose MVP season. And this led Butler to lead the team with 8 assists.

    So if we can get Drose out of his funk now that he has removed the mask, we figure out what is wrong with Mirotic, and we get Dunleavy back in the mix, then the inconsistency will go away. The biggest problem then will be how best to use Noah, who hustles and rebounds but is a complete offensive liability and deciding if the Bulls still have enough to win a championship after the inconsistency is gone. I'm crossing my fingers the Bulls can address these problems or realize they can't and start the rebuilding process.

  • Really solid post, the best on here IMO. No throwing your hands in the air or picking nits, but thoughtfully diagnosing the really big problems by focusing on the starting lineup. Well done.

    I think the loss of Deng isn't such a big deal when he's replaced with Dunleavy. But when he's replaced with McDoug and Snell, yeah it's a big problem.

    I've been one of the bigger backers of Mirotic and am at a loss to figure out what's going on with him. He showed a lot of promise last year and for a stretch was the Bulls' primary 4th quarter scoring option. That's pretty awesome for a rookie. He could shoot, get to the line, and rebound. It was only natural to assume he'd progress this year. I don't know what happened.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I hate to say it, but you may have jinxed Niko yourself early in the season, when you suggested that I was a glass half empty guy on him and you were a glass half full guy. that was after the first few games when Niko's stat lines looked great and everybody was talking and all star bid for him. Unfortunately, he hasn't been the same since.

    He did grab 11 defensive boards last night, so maybe even if his offense still sucks, he can benefit from his pairing with Noah as most of his boards were uncontested with Noah working his ass off to keep guys off the boards while still grabbing 13 himself.

    Many of us had the Gasol/Gibson and Noah/Niko pairings as the only ones that made sense from the minute that Niko and Gasol signed. Strange that it's taken 2 seasons and 2 coaches to figure it out. Hopefully, this works out better for all our bigs, well, except for Portis who might as well be in the D league. I'd still like to see Noah/Portis with Rose, Butler and either McNoD or Dunleavy.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Thanks. I was probably being a little harsh about Mirotic. He is still rebounding when given playing time. But I wish the guy that was filling it up last year when he got a lot of playing time came out of the moth balls and showed up this year. I really can't figure out what is happening with him. But if he returns that would change the Bulls outlook a lot along with getting Dunleavy back and (cross my fingers) more consistent (not jacking up long distance bricks and more turnovers than assists) play from DRose.

  • Just like Thibs' first 20 games, the Bulls are 12-8. What's the difference? I decided to look.

    YEAR: 2010/11 - 2015/16
    Off Rtg: 102.4 - 97.1
    Def Rtg: 100.4 - 96.9
    OffReb%: 29.0 - 22.7
    DefReb%: 74.6 - 75.0
    Ast Ratio: 16.6 - 16.9
    TO Ratio: 16.0 - 14.2
    TS%: 53.1 - 50.4
    eFG%: 49.4 - 46.6
    3ptAtt: 17.3 - 22.1
    3pt%: 36.1 - 36.5

    The Thibs team offensive rebounded a lot better, but this year's team shares the ball better, turns it over less, and shoots more 3's and hits them at a higher rate.

    What's the difference?

    Derrick Rose.

    First 20 games of 2011: .493 eFG%, .533 TS%
    First 20 games of 2016: .383 eFG%, .413 TS%

    If this team had even an AVERAGE point guard instead of Rose playing those 33 minutes, how much better would it be?

    We all know we have an extra body up front that can be traded, and we all assumed it would be for a SF. But it seems to me like we need to deal for a PG if Rose doesn't turn it around before the trade deadline.

    Maybe losing the mask will do the trick, based on his 2nd have vs the Clips. But I sure as hell ain't holding my breath, I'm sure nobody else is either.

  • When can the Bulls make a trade? Do you all think that they should make a run for Carmelo Anthony? Trading Gasol, Mirotic, Hinrich, and Snell?

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