And that's not that he's not doing wrong. It's that his path to stardom is so important, that if he can't get there everything's so screwed it's too depressing to consider. So I choose to believe everything's going great and he can't be screwed up. Luckily he has his better moments like in the 4th quarter against Philly that reinforce the idea of a can't-fail prospect.
I "loved it live" on Friday, a blowout win against the Hornets. It's difficult to complain when you beat a good team, but I noticed a few things ...
(1) Vinny sucks. We consistently switched when CP3 and Chandler ran the pick-and-roll, leaving JoaNoah isolated 1-on-1 at the top of the key against CP3. Vinny was smart in having Salmons guard CP3, but there was no reason to switch on every screen.
(2) Our offense is pretty terrible at times. We had a stretch in the first half when we didn't score for over 3 minutes. We had 91 points with 7 minutes left and finished with only 97 (3 shy of my free BigMac).
(3) About 3 minutes into the second quarter I had the following exchange with my girlfriend:
"Does Brad Miller play center?"
"Why doesn't he play over Noah all the time?!"
After a flurry of roster turnover and a couple of notable injuries, the Bulls have settled into a tight eight-man rotation (seven when Tim Thomas is a hamstring casualty).
In the backcourt, Derrick Rose, Ben Gordon, and Kirk Hinrich provide Vinny Del Negro with a lot of flexibility. Both Rose and Hinrich are both steady at the point, and
both can defend both guard positions. Gordon usually finishes games at the 2, but Del Negro will occasionally opt for Hinrich for key minutes in the fourth -- we saw this Friday night in the Bulls' close loss in Philadelphia. John Salmons is logging heavy minutes as the only true small forward in the rotation -- though Del Negro will occasionally use all three guards together when Salmons gets his few minutes of rest.
Up front, Del Negro has boiled it down to Brad Miller and Tim Thomas. The Aaron Gray experiment is kaput, except in garbage time -- even when Tim Thomas is sidelined. In the Bulls' double-overtime loss to Miami last Monday, Del Negro used only seven players, opting to go with Miller as the only big sub.
The Bulls top seven are a durable bunch. So long as they avert key injuries, that should be enough, even though a first-round exit -- provided they quality for the postseason -- is almost certain.
PER Diem -
The push for the No. 8 seed is back to being Chicago's race to lose. Although the Bulls are effectively tied with Milwaukee in the standings, Chicago has 10 home games left against just five road games, and only six of the games are against teams with winning records. Chicago's 59.1 percent playoff odds are nearly triple those of their closest foil, the Bucks. Remember, Chicago has the tiebreaker with Milwaukee after winning the season series 3-1.