How John Lucas III Ruined the Bulls Season

How John Lucas III Ruined the Bulls Season

John Lucas the Third.

I don't really know what to say about the guy. Linsanity was less insane than this. Sure, Jeremy Lin played great for 7 games. That John Lucas III played more than 7 minutes in the fourth quarter against the Heat is un-freaking-believable. But JL3 didn't just play in the fourth, the dude played. He cooked. Whether it was the runner where he fell down mid shot, put it up anyways, and then watched it angrily bank in. Or the three where he turned to the ref, threw his arms up and hoped they'd call his long deuce a trey. Or the stepback. Yeah, you know the one. (This, by the way, is the ultimate John Lucas x3 shot. The only way this shot could be more John Lucas would be if it were from 30 feet and Dwight Howard and Bill Russell were also trapping him. What am I getting at? The guy can pound the rock for 20 seconds and chuck up a bad shot like the best of 'em). To put it simply, JL3 played out of his mind. I don't mean that as a figure of speech, I'm genuinely concerned for his mental health.

Bill Simmons coined the idea of the "Irrationally Confident" player. Jason Terry in the finals last year was a great example. John Lucas' performance was so irrational that it doesn't even place on the scale. It was more like he was the "Certifiably Insane/This Guy Needs to See a Doctor after Taking that Shot(s)" player. You know how I know he's effing crazy? DRose, the reigning MVP doesn't even have the cajones to take it to LeBron like Lucas did in the 4th. No really, he doesn't. DRose changes when LeBron switches on him. During their first matchup this season, Rose couldn't be stopped. Then LeBron switched onto him and he only scored 3 points, rarely attacking the basket and deferring to Rip Hamilton. Oh, I'm sorry, you don't remember who Rip Hamilton is? I can't blame you, he was the guy that we brought in help us beat the Heat. He's been hurt all season and the Bulls have no idea when he'll be healthy again.

This gets us to the crux of the problem. The Bulls shouldn't have beat the Heat on Wednesday. It was borderline miraculous. What made it more ridiculous was the complete absence of Boozer and Deng on the offensive side of the ball for much of the game. (Oh by the way, Deng's wrist. It's gonna be a problem. You can see how much it's hurting him and he's basically lost the ability to pull up off the dribble. His 3 point shooting hasn't tumbled and that's been a blessing but he's struggling to score off the bounce.) I'm definitely in the "Bulls need to make a move" camp. After the Bulls trouncing of the Heat, without Rose, Gar and the gang didn't think that was really necessary. Why break up a good thing, right? Wrong. While this game was thoroughly enjoyable, the Bulls are not going to make 10 threes against Miami again. The Heat's defense will tighten up and the looks will get harder. The other strength the Bulls have is on the offensive glass. They pound the glass, hauling in a greater percentage of their misses more than any other team. Why do I think the Bulls should sacrifice that, which is one of their greatest strengths? Because you don't need to gobble up your misses if you've got guys that can MAKE SHOTS. The Bulls need scorers or at least one more scorer. The Bulls need a player on the wing that can force LeBron to guard him. Or at the very least can KILL the Heat for having LeBron on Rose. Luol Deng, for all of his greatness... is just not that guy. And especially not that guy if he can barely dribble with his left hand. (Seriously, watch him dribble. He's about as reluctant to touch the ball with his left hand as Stanley from the Office.)

So how did JL3 ruin the Bulls season? Because his otherwordly performance (gotta throw some credit blame towards Korver, Jimmy Buckets, Noah, and the rest of the gang as well), demonstrated the Bulls' strength in the best way possible: the sum of their parts are greater than the whole. No way the Bulls front office could make a move after that display. Unfortunately, the Bulls are going to have a really hard time replicating that success in 4 out of 7 games. The first game of the series last year was reminiscent of the Wed.'s game. The Bulls killed the offensive boards and shot the ball well from deep. We all remember how everything turned out.

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  • Great article. It's how I feel on the subject, though I'm not convinced Gar/Pax would have made a move even if the Bulls had lost by 50. I think the Bulls won the battle against Miami on Wednesday but lost the war for the ECF by not doing what they needed to do at the deadline--two years in a row.

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