But alas...it's not gonna happen. Not sure how I (and most everyone else) managed to look him over in the first place. I'm a big fan of his game. He's a very solid offensive talent who is still developing rapidly. He's also a big wing. The more of those we have the better. Would be a huge upgrade at half the cost of some of the available washed up players the Bulls might be targeting. I liken him to an '06 or '07 Josh Howard in his prime.
But back to my original point...it won't happen. And it won't happen because he's a restricted free agent, similar to Arron Afflalo (who would be a very good fit as well). It would behoove the Wizards to pay that man his money and match most any offer that he receives. If you believe this article, he plans on going no where. Of course, Bartelstein is probably posturing to make sure other teams up their offers to get him to consider leaving. Who knows what he's really thinking. Can't imagine the thought of leaving Washington to play with D-Rose on a championship contender doesn't seem appealing. Yes, even more appealing than playing with the ever over-rated John Wall. Then again, given his status is restricted, it's not really up to him now is it? We saw what happend with the JJ Reddick situation last year, didn't we? If a team currently owns developing young talent, it's rare that they let a competing team, let alone in the same conference, snatch it away.
Nonetheless, it would be a huge coup if the Bulls can grab him. I shall add him to the poll.no comments
Check it out at the top left. Those are basically our options. Any one will be at least some sort of upgrade...and yes I know Hill and Butler are not actually 2's, but they can play 2 if they have to. Week and a half till the frenzy begins.no comments
Saw this interview of Bucher talking to DRose on ESPN.COM today and found it pretty interesting. Can't say I really see Derrick becoming a post-up player as opposing teams will just put bigger players on him to neutralize any post-up game (or even mid-range game, see 2011 Eastern Conference Finals). But hey, reach for the stars kid. Oh, and I love the nod to BG7.
A version of this story appears in the Dec. 12, 2011, "Interview Issue" of ESPN The Magazine.
BUCHER: Why didn't you attend any of the negotiating sessions during the lockout?
ROSE: The meetings to me, and the whole lockout to me, is BS. Back in the day, you were giving people $70, $80 million contracts coming into the league, and that's when basketball wasn't anywhere near what it is today. I think basketball is definitely on the uptick, and I feel like some of the players in the league are underpaid.
What was the first thing you did after losing to the Heat in the playoffs?
I didn't leave the house for about a week. I was just sad and down. I went over everything as to why we lost. I used that to put a lot of pressure on myself so that I'd work out harder this off-season.
Why didn't you leave the house?
I was just drained, beat up. I didn't want to see anyone. To me, I lost that series.
What was the one thing you wanted to improve this off-season?
My IQ of the game. Being a better isolation player. Really knowing what to do when people are sticking you a certain way. Reading the defense.
In the series against Miami, there were a couple of times at the end of games when LeBron James guarded you. You had at least one potential game winner that you didn't hit.
I had two opportunities to shoot the same shot, and I missed them both.
When people asked you about it, you said it's not easy to score over a 6-foot-8 guy.
The interpretation, by some, was that you didn't think you could score over a 6-foot-8 guy. Not at all. They stick big people on me at the end of games all the time. That's what I mean by my isolation skills. I didn't have something I could go to at that time.
You were criticized some for taking those midrange shots, but I got the impression, since you took the same one twice, that that's the shot you wanted.
That's exactly what it was. Those shots, if I'd hit them, would've changed the series. But I think God does everything for a reason.
Carlos Boozer took a lot of heat for his performance in the playoffs. How do you approach him next season?
People expected him to come in and score 30 points a night. He averaged 12.6. The expectations were too much. But his attitude was great. He never showed it if he was feeling a certain way, but you could just tell in the game he wasn't explosive. Me and [Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] were looking at film of him from when he was back in Utah, and compared to that his explosiveness just wasn't there against the Heat.
How did you go about getting better?
Working on my post-up game. Really sharpening up and being consistent going to the hole and knowing how to get fouled. Hitting free throws so you make them pay for fouling you. Little things, like using the backboard in certain situations. Ben Gordon, my rookie year, told me whenever he's inside the three-point line he always aims for the backboard on the continuation when he gets fouled because there's a higher percentage of the shot going in.
What have you done specifically to work on your post game?
I've been working out in LA with Russ Westbrook and Kevin Love, and we even had Al Horford with us for a while. I talked to Kobe in the Philippines. He was telling me that to win championships, you have to have a guy who can work in the post. He also told me about certain spots on the floor where they can't double-team you. Top of the key, easy to double-team. On the sides, easy to double-team. But at the elbows, you can really pick a defense apart, because if they double-team you there, somebody is definitely going to be open for a layup or something.
You played the two exhibition games in the Philippines, which were very successful and lucrative. Then you did the USO Tour in Hawaii. Completely different. Why?
I'd never been around military kids or been on a base. So I wanted to see what it was like firsthand.
Of all that you've seen being on base and meeting the soldiers and their families, what made the biggest impact on you?
Just seeing how young some of the troops are. I don't think I would be able to deal with, at 21 or 22 years old, learning how to operate AK-47s. That was just crazy to me. Their whole life is totally different, but it's the same in that they have to be on top of their game. That's like us, where every night you have to be on top of your game or you're going to be embarrassed. But for them, when they're at war, it's their life at stake. I just don't see any way that I could do it.
Like you, I had fears that this season was caput. Oh how the tables have turned. Derrick comes to the Staples Center on Christmas. I wonder if Kobe is Derrick's secret Santa. Eh, knowing his luck, it's Steve Blake. Either way, I can't wait for this...
And most of all, I can't wait to write my season preview and to start writing again in general. 66 games equals what will amount to roughly 45 wins for the Bulls this year. That's 45 nights of bliss. Or 21 nights of being annoyed that either Joakim, Boozer, or Noah are hurt and praying for them to get healthy. Depends on how you look at it. More on that soon.
And oh yeah...free agency starts Dec. 9th...'bout to get busy at Da Bulls' Eye. Be alert son.no comments
I've been away for a while. In the mean time, the Bullies broke our hearts.
Everyone says great season, I say no. It wasn't. The whole season was ruined by the one game that ended it. And by the fact that the team that ended our season inspire so much hatred.
But anyway, if there are any readers still out there...I want you to know...I apologize for not posting throughout the playoffs. Tomorrow you can expect a full explanation as well as all of my thoughts on the nightmare that was the 2011 playoffs, specifically the Eastern Conference Finals, for the Bulls.
I PROMISE!no comments
What a season.
What a season to not have been blogging as much as I wanted to. Of all seasons.
Props to Horns to the Hardwood for covering Bulls basketball here at Bloguin while my life got kind of crazy.
But we're here now. And by here, I mean HERE.
I was thinking about the '08 playoffs and the Celtics series. Even then, I knew we were close. We were a coach and a free agency class away.
The Bulls are now the best team in the league. It's weird to actually type that. The best team in the entire league.
Well, record-wise at least. And maybe in reality, they ARE the best team in the league. We're obviously about to find out.
This is going to sound crazy, but for me, this is not fun. The first round of the playoffs. The second round of the playoffs. Just not fun. Because at this point, expectations are so high that if we do not at least make it to the Eastern Conference finals, this city will be fairly heartbroken. At least I know I will be. That's why it's hard for me to emotionally invest myself in the Pacers series. If I care too much about it...as in completely revolve my schedule around it as I would the Eastern Conference finals...and then, say, they lose...I would be crushed. That's why I'm going to be non-chalant about it and not go too crazy watching these games and just hope they take care of business like they should.
That's just my Chicago fan mentality. You can never believe you are as good as you actually are. That, and watching Tyler Hansbrough tear the Bulls a new one still eats away at my brain. That's why I think I'm uneasy. I do think the Bulls will win this series, but we're in for such a long struggle before we get to where we want to be this post-season, I don't think people realize that.
And the truth is, Danny Granger is right. As Derrick Rose goes, the Bulls go. Yes, I know we're a deep team. Probably the deepest in the league. And I'm confident the Bench Mob is dangerous enough and can hold their own, but the playoffs are just a different animal. Teams play harder and untested teams get shook. Luckily, while the Bulls are untested, I think they are all just mature enough where their legs won't fall out from under them when things stop going their way for stretches.
We need Boozer and Noah to play like men. Why? Because Roy Hibbert is a boy in a man's body. He's soft. If Noah and Boozer can dominate him from the start, this series will be over before it even started. Obviously, Deng and Brewer and Watson and Omer and Kurt Thomas and Korver all need to play their respective parts and do what they've been doing all year. This team is a well-oiled machine. That's the best way of putting it. It's like a car engine. Derrick Rose is the motor. And I guess that would make Noah the alternator and Boozer the radiator. Either way, Derrick makes the rest of the moving parts work. Without him, there is no engine. And considering there is no shot-blocker on the Pacers and Collison can't guard him if his life depended on it, I think he'll do just fine this series.
Let's all pray for this team to avoid injuries, because they're all a little fragile right now. So like I said, we're here and we're 18 hours away from tip off. Time to do some work. And since it's playoff time, and I'm going to be a lot more pissed and there's going to be a ton to write it about...I can promise you A LOT OF POSTS...so stay tuned.no comments
Season Recap and Playoff preview coming tomorrow.
Expect heavy coverage in the playoffs. I may have a million excuses for not posting throughout this past season (and believe me, I do)...that's over now. It's playoffs baby.
STAY TUNED.no comments
Wow. It's been a while. I may not have been posting recently, but I've been paying as close attention to what's going on in Bull-dom as ever. I would say the first half of the season exceeded anyone's expectations. By far. I mean this roster, on paper, isn't really that much better than last season's. If everyone was healthy, that'd be one thing. But with Boozer and Noah missing as many games as they have, it's a comparable roster to last year. Obviously, the difference has been the MVP play of one Derrick Rose. 42 points against the NBA's best anyone?
And certainly, Carlos Boozer's post-presence has been an understated factor in elevating the Bulls to elite status. Yes, he's missed 16 games, but his success on the offensive end has flown under the radar because of him being overshadowed by D-Rose. Believe me when I say we are a .500 team at best without Carlos Boozer.
Of course, there are other factors that have pushed the Bulls into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. C.J. Watson? Incredibly under-rated. Offensively, in my opinion, he's been outstanding. He can light it up, and he's fairly good at taking care of the basektball. Remember the Denver game early on, anyone? Jannero Pargo he is not. And guess what...defensively, he's been outstanding. Watch him on the other end of the court. He reads passing lanes and knows how to run a fast break. Bottom line, he's been huge.
Speaking of reading passing lanes...Ronnie Brewer has been nothing short of outstanding as well. He struggled early on figuring out his role. As soon as he bought into what Thibs was selling, it was like something clicked. Honestly, he's one of the craftiest players I've seen in a Bulls uniform. Watching him, you can just tell his basketball IQ is off the charts. And after watching Tyrus Thomas come off the bench for years, that's something of a siight for sore eyes. Ronnie rarely makes a mistake, works the baseline with perfection, never has taken an ill-advised shot, hustles like none other on defense...I can go on. What else can you ask for in a player? He's the perfect role player and in my opinion, a true 6th man of the year candidate.
Taj has been Taj. Solid on defense, solid on offense, solid on the glass. Sure, I close my eyes every time I see him take a jump shot, but he makes up for it in other ways. Truth be told, I'd rather see Bill Wennington out there taking that 15 footer, but I digress. As long as he's out there blocking shots and cleaning up the offensive glass, I'm content with his role. That's as long as Boozer isn't injured as well.
Omer Asik has been a nice surprise. Incredibly efficient on the glass, and I would go as far as to call him a force in the lane on the defensive end. Slashers should be on alert when he's in there. I think they'll start hesitating taking it to the hole soon enough as he continues to swat away. As soon as he develops some footwork in the post on the offensive end, I think he'll develop into a solid roleplayer.
Kurt Thomas has been a godsend. I feel like it's his last hurrah and he's just leaving it all out there. Joakim went down, and because of Kurt, the Bulls really didn't miss a beat. Starting tomorrow, the Bulls, by far, have the deepest front court in the league. It's formidable, and teams have to be terrified.
Some other bits:
-Bulls just traded James Johnson for the Raptors' 2011 1st round draft pick, which is actually the Heat's first round pick that the Raptors got from the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade. That gives the Bulls 2 first round draft picks in 2011. Not bad. They all save $1.7 mill in salary. They are now in position to do 1 of 2 things. 1) Offer a solid veteran player who is bought out of his contract for whatever reason an opportunity to become part of a playoff contender (think Tayshaun Prince, Troy Murphy, T.J. Ford, Rasaul Butler, Anthony Parker, etc.). 2) Use their collection of draft picks, including the post 2012 1st round draft pick they acquired from the Bobcats in the Tyrus Thomas trade, as pieces to upgrade at shooting guard. I don't think it's a necessity to upgrade at SG, but it certainly wouldn't hurt...so long as we're not sacrificing the chemistry that's developed on this squad. In any trade though, that's a risk you take. If we can acquire a solid vet post-buyout, I think that's the way to go. Fingers crossed.
-Derrick's performance in the All-Star game...meh. Left a lot to be desired. You can tell he still feels like he needs to defer to the "bigger stars." He seemed scared of how they would react if he was more assertive than them. I didn't like it and it made for a poor showing on Derrick's part. Also, he half-assed the Skills Competition. Future All-Star weekends will certainly be kinder to Derrick.
-Joakim Noah is returning tomorrow. The Bulls are finally whole. Now we just have to hope it doesn't disrupt the chemistry that they've successfully built and implemented over the last 2 months. While I will almost be sad to see Kurt Thomas lose playing time, you gotta be excited for the return of Joakim's energy and defense. And rebounding hasn't been a guarantee each night...now it will be. Should be fun to see Booze and Noah do their thing.
-Thibodeau remains entrenched at the top of the Coach of the Year list. As long as the Bulls continue their winning ways and win something like 55 games, I think he has a tremendous shot at winning.
We're not aiming for awards though Bulls fans, we're aiming for a playoff run. I will be updating much more as the season continues and as the Bulls make a run for the 1 or 2 seed. You can feel the excitement building amongst Bulls fans. It's nostalgic and surreal at the same time. I don't think the reality of how good this team really is has set in yet. For any of us.no comments
Some solid highlights of Derrick Rose's performance against the Mavs, even though he shot the ball pretty terribly. Impressive defensive efforts by both teams. Although on the Bulls part, I think the Mavs' defense was not as much of the problem in comparison to the Bulls' horrendous shooting. The other night, I mentioned that an NBA team should win any game that an opponent shoots 40% or less. Unless, of course, that team shoots less than 40% as well. That's exactly what happened tonight. The Bulls gave the Mavericks some of the medicine they got from the Bobcats a few nights back. The Bulls shot 37% from the field while the Mavs shot 36%. Yeah, you read that right. Pretty much as bad as it gets. Probably the worst shooting percentages that the NBA will see from any team all season long. And they happened on the same night, with the teams playing each other. Unbelievable. But it's like Derrick Rose says...a win is a win, regardless of how ugly that win may have been.
Yet, that's 2 nights straight where the Bulls have shot less than 40% from the field. That's incredible. And it's something that should concern Bulls fans. Which is why I remain concerned about tonight's game.
I'm heading to the United Center tonight to see the Bulls take on the lowly Cavs. I always worry about games like this due the Bulls' nature and constant tendency to play down to the level of competition. Plus with the team shooting as horrible as they have been, it's not a stretch for the Cavs to keep up with the Bulls scoring-wise. However, the return of Carlos Boozer should inject some much needed life into the Bulls offense, which has been in a mini-coma as of late. Derrick Rose taking less than 28 shots would be terrific. Watching him shoulder the entire offensive burden is just tiring. I mean, I know he's capable of it, but I just don't enjoy watching him feel forced to put up shot after shot because he just doesn't trust anyone else on the offensive end. And why should he? There isn't a single offensive threat on the court with him when Boozer isn't in the game. Luol Deng is still managing to dissappear for big stretches. Where was he in the Mavs game? And don't get me started with the Bobcats game...that's about as bad as I've seen him play all year. Some second option. Deng is in a rut, and Rose knows it. So it's no surprise to see Derrick put up 28 shots rather than pass it to Luol and watch him put up brick after brick of long twos. Lu has reverted back to his old crappy self recently, and let's hope he snaps out of it because the schedule is going to get tougher kind of soon. I don't think the guy can handle being relied upon too much, so it'll be a relief for him to have Boozer back. That's when I think he'll start playing better, so hopefully that'll happen tonight.
The Bulls should win tonight, but they should be aware of the trap-game nature of tonight's matchup. The Cavs are dreadful, and the Bulls tend to relax against doormat teams. Let's hope Thibs makes sure they're aware of that and makes sure they are consciously able to remedy that issue. Bottom line, we should win by double digits tonight, and if we don't, then the game should be considered a let-down. But like Derrick says, a win is a win.