Time to terminate the Tyrus Thomas project
Tyrus Thomas finally has turned the corner as a Bull: He's more of an impediment to their progress toward an NBA championship than he is a help. Or more plainly: He's a bigger part of the problem than the solution.
I don't know how long John Paxson can hang on to his dream of Thomas becoming the next Shawn Marion or whatever star player he projected Thomas to emulate when he traded LaMarcus Aldridge for Thomas on draft night in 2006, but it's time for him to cut his losses and admit defeat: Aldridge has had back-to-back seasons of 18 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. The Trailblazers just signed him to a 5-year, $65 million contract -- because he earned it.
Thomas has been the ultimate tease in his three-plus seasons with the Bulls: not only showing off his tremendous athletic ability, but at times looking like he gets it -- actually playing basketball and not just free-lancing for the next big dunk or block. But a basketball player he is not. He's an athlete who, unfortunately, is worth more to somebody else than a team like the Bulls.
(I planned on not commenting on Tyrus Thomas yet because I am working on a future post re: TT and the Bulls, but I cannot help it - I have to rant ...)
I find it hard to blame TT for this entire situation when the Bulls organization has utterly and completely failed him as a player. The organization drafted him as a project, then did nothing to develop him. He started under Skiles, and didn't get much tick. Then they brought in a rookie coach who never developed a consistent rotation, so minutes were sporadic at best. The big-man coach for the Bulls is Pete Myers, a player who was a below-average shooting guard.
What exactly were the Bulls expecting TT to learn? I watched about 75 Bulls games last season, and I don't know what offense we run - I barely even know what style of team we are! Does Vinny preach defense or run-and-gun? I don't know who is going to play when, or how many minutes players will get on any night. I don't know what the go-to play out of a timeout, and I don't know why Vinny would flip out when a radio-host pointed out to Vinny that Rose is his best player. I don't know why we drafted 3 power-forwards when we spent the last 3 years developing our future power=forward.
There's much about this team/oraganization/coach that I don;t understand ... but I defintely do understand why people are saying the Tyrus Thomas experiment is a failure ... it's because the organization failed him.
< /end rant >
Banking baskets: Is Derrick Rose in a sophomore slump?
Whether or not Derrick Rose’s injured ankle is the main reason for his slow start, the reigning Rookie of the Year looks a bit timid and does not appear to be the same player who tore up the Celtics in the playoffs.
Rose has been bothered by an inflamed tendon behind his right ankle, a major discomfort that caused him to miss a huge portion of training camp and the preseason. Through four games, Rose’s scoring average is down to 11.7 and his assists are at 4.7. A season ago when he was racking up some hardware, as well as accolades, Rose averaged 16.6 points and 6.3 assists in leading the Bulls to the playoffs.
Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro is also monitoring Rose's minutes. The Bulls point guard is playing about 30 minutes a game, compared to 36 the previous season.
During the offseason, Rose hired Rob McClanaghan as his personal shooting coach to fix his inconsistent jump shot. So far, the 5,000 or so long-range shots Rose reportedly exhausted throughout the summer have not paid off. He's making just 37 percent of his field goals and has attempted just one 3-pointer.
Because Rose can’t push off on his right foot, his quickness is compromised and he can’t attack the basket the same way he did a year ago. And as much as he’s worked on his mid-range game, it is still not good enough to pull the defense out of the paint.
All the other players had been off the Berto Center court for a half- hour after practice, but Derrick Rose was still running and shooting layups with assistant Randy Brown.
''They're just trying to get me back in condition,'' Rose said. ''That's my biggest concern, and the organization's biggest concern is getting me back in shape. It's coming along.''
The ankle injury that caused Rose to miss almost the entire preseason is progressing nicely.
''Physically, I think he's fine,'' Del Negro said. ''Conditioning is the issue. The way we need him to guard the ball, the way we need him to push his body and the way we need him to push the offense, that's why he needs to continue to work after practice and get better every day.
''I still need to monitor his minutes [during games] and try to build it from there.''