Two games in, Rip not living up to the hype? Is he not the solution to Chicago's problem? Does he need more time?
The questions on Rip not fitting in with the Bulls is absurd, give the guy a break. Rip had to deal with Kobe his first game for the Bulls, which is no easy task. Rip got into early foul trouble against the Lakers and spent rest of his minutes chasing Kobe around. Rip had to take on Monta Ellis on a back to back which was a killer. Ellis is another prolific scorer who can fill it up at anytime, Rip had to give all his attention to the defensive side of the game.
Bulls had an easy night against the Kings, though they had a few gaping flaws. Chicago attempted only 21 free-throws, when the Kings got to the line 34 times. Though Kings shot the free-throw poorly, it could have been detrimental to the Bulls if the Kings shot well from the charity stripe. Chicago had issue with foul trouble throught the game. Whether its Korver getting two fouls within less than a minute of the game clock, or Chicago getting into the penalty with 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Both Noah and Rose had five fouls each on silly attempts to swipe the ball, the Bulls need to play smart.It is odd to see Joakim grab only four rebounds, he needs to start playing like the old aggressive Noah. Playing smart with solid defense is the identity of the Chicago Bulls, but lately the playing smart part is fading away.
Chicago did win this game, so their are a few positive things to take away from this game. Boozer once again showing he is worth every dollar of his contract, contributing a monstrous game with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Rose finally became more aggressive offensively, leading the Bulls with 19 points and eight assists. Bench mob, especially Brewer, played marvelous on both ends of the court. Rip finally had a legit coming out party with 16 points and showing he is truly the answer for the Bulls needs. 16 points? Coming out party? This is the type of effort you should expect from the 33 year-old veteran. People who expect him to go for 25-30 points are being a bit unrealistic, Rip will probably averaging 12-14 points a game at best.
Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans are a scary back-court, but Rose and Rip match up with them offensively and surpass them defensively.