I will get the ball rolling with some links today, and I am working on two big posts for the next week or 10 days. (One about how the Bulls will miss out on 2010 free agency, and another about how Luol needs to be traded).
VOTE IN THE NEW POLL! ----------->>>
I recently ranted about VDN & the Bulls, DC was disappointed with effort and posted a great rant/analysis about the coaching after the loss to the Nets, and Kmart recently sent the following in an email:
Yea, Vinny's gotta go... I thought he would be here till the end of the year, but after last night, I'm not sure the Bulls org. can continue down this path... they are bad. Really bad. And the Bulls plan wasn't to be this bad... it was to be mediocre.
Mediocre enough to keep VDN through the year, make the playoffs, fire him at season's end, get a star free agent, and then hire whoever they/the free agent wanted. They can't continue to be this bad though and Jerry knows it. Mediocre still sells tickets - bad is bad. It's pretty terrible out there... everyone minus Noah looks as if they've mailed in the season. Not to mention the complete lack of development of Derrick Rose as not only the star and leader of our team, but even as an above average point guard in this league.
At the continued rate you can kiss the playoffs and in turn a max free agent goodbye, and GarPaxDorf won't stand for that. They've spent 2-3 seasons building to get to this point and they won't let Vinny's incompetance ruin it (they've got their own bigger and bolder incompetance to take care of that) The Bulls brass might pardon him until Tyrus and Kirk return, but even with VDN as coach there's no telling what "matchup" vinny will go with next. He likely will never play Tyrus in the 4th quarter and instead roll with his boy Taj - who yes, can shoot an 18 ft. jumper pretty consistantly, but his phobia of defensive rebounding does not make him the heir apparent to a younger more talented Tyrus (that's a whole nother story for a whole nother email that makes me want to cut myself)
It's very well documented that I am one of the biggest Ben Gordon appologists to ever live. And while it's perfectly reasonable to NOT EVER sign BG for $55 mil over 5, especially if your plan is to go after a max free agent the following year - it was still a pretty big gamble by the Bulls to not offer him a contract and hope for the best. I agree if you are going to go for it - then you have to go all in - even if it means letting BG and Tyrus fall by the wayside because your organization has no foresight. But if this continues it appears that the Bulls are close watching it all slip away.
Even with VDN and without BG I never thought this team would be this bad. The only way things could possibly get worse is if Luol Deng got seriously injured again. That would kill any trade value for the he may have managed to build up this season. And even though trading Deng now and getting out from under that contract would be the smart move, it's a ridiculous pipe dream for me to think that Uncle Jerry would ever okay a trade involving one of his favorite sons Luol and Kirk.
Fuck this team. Can't wait to Loathe it Live with Caroll and Jantz this year. (Singing) "Only the Bulls..."
*Panic button pushed*
That pretty much covered the rant/overreaction angle, and Fil followed up with a more reasoned analysis of the Bulls early season struggles:
Shit changes so much during the season, what looks bleak now could drastically switch. Take last year for example, the Bulls started off 8-11 through their first 19 exactly one game better than they are this year. They even dropped to 18-27 on Jan. 25th. And as we all know rallied to a 41-41 season with a memorable 7 game series to the KGless Celtics.(Still hate them)
But that still doesn't answer the question why are we so bad this year? We have the same coach(who sucks, but sucked last year as well), 7 of our top 8 rotation players sans Gordon. Factor in improvements with Deng returning, Rose developing and two first round draft choices. And you have to wonder why have they looked this bad? Was Gordon really that important? I say emphatically no. But, that's an entire other email that I think all of us are tired of talking about. So, I believe it is all based on injuries to Hinrch and Thomas.
The Bulls bench was paper thin to begin the season and with Hinrich and Thomas out it's gotten pathetic. I'm not saying that either Thomas or Kirk are difference makers, but they are at least serviceable NBA players. There isn't a team in the league where those two wouldn't crack the top 8 rotation.
As a result of having those two out, they have to give regular minutes to Pargo, James Johnson and even Lindsey Hunter(ouch!) That guy was too old crack a rotation 2 years ago, was brought in to be Derick Rose's mentor last year, and was rumored to be an assistant coach this year! Really? That's the guy were giving 16 minutes to over the last five? Wasn't there a D League hooper who could've signed a ten day contract?
Then your forced to give Taj Gibson and Brad Miller extended minutes, two guys who are below average NBA players and are getting 30+ minutes, essentially borderline starter minutes. Put it this way, Hinrich and Thomas would be in the top-8 for every team, Taj Myballs and White Trish Brad would be lucky to be in half.
And finally when you factor in Salmons, Noah, and Deng getting way too many minutes and breaking down as the games/season wears on. I like Noah and Deng, both are above average NBA players, and while they both are somewhat flawed they would start for most teams. Salmons on the other hand has almost completed one of the greatest magic tricks Chicago has seen since the A-Train. But lets face it, were stuck giving him starter minutes. However, it is obvious none of those guys should ever play 40+ minutes unless its absolutely necessary.
My big point is that once Hinrich and Ty return from injury the minute distribution should level out. Pargo and Johnson will go back to 5 minutes, Gibson and Brad to 20, and the starters back to normal minutes. While you cannot excuse humiliating losses to Toronto and New Jersey at home. The Bulls are a much better team with Hinrich and Thomas. With Hinrich and Ty the Bulls were 3-2, with Hinrich and no Thomas they were 3-5 and with neither they are 1-5. I understand that having these two back doesnt make the Bulls a lock to make the playoffs, let alone win a series. But, they are only 1.5 games back from the 6 seed and there is still a lot of season left.
Enough of that, here are some links:
For some excellent insights, thoughts, complaints and commentary on the Bulls and life - you should follow all 3 BBS contributors on twitter: @bullbearsock / @DanFXC / @the_other_kmart
Let the Countdown Begin: Can Vinny Del Negro Make It To Christmas?
It's that time of year again.
Houses are lighting up, presents are gathering under trees, and a Bulls head coach is on the hot seat.
If ever there was a Scrooge in the NBA, you might as well give the label to the Bulls front office.
Del Negro says he's not worried about his job
Vinny Del Negro stood in front of the microphone at his postgame news conference in a daze. He stared at the numbers on the sheet in front of him and couldn't believe what he was seeing.
Nets 103, Bulls 101.
The Bulls head coach didn't speak for a few moments. What was he going to say? How was he going to explain that his team had just lost to the worst team in the NBA? How could he explain that the team's best player didn't get the ball when the game was on the line? What about his job security?
Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls: What’s going on?
Originally they were pegged as a playoff team before the season started. The current situation does not fit those predictions. They’ll be lucky to land the eighth seed. The Chicago squad lost to the worst team in the NBA, the New Jersey Nets with a 2-19 record. How did the Bulls get this way? For starters, they were merely crappy to begin with. Remember, Rose and company played against a Boston Celtic squad without Kevin Garnett. The red team had a tough time and this was with Ben Gordon. Without BG7, they would have been swept. They became the new NBA darlings with many pegging them as a potential threat next season.
Next season is here. They clearly suck.
And this John Hollinger piece in DailyDime has it all: embarrassing losses, lack of developing D-Rose, no offensive continuity, Bickerstaff, Vinny not saying anything with substance ... but not sure I'm a big fan of the D-Rose/Steve Franchise reference. Either way, a must read -
Del Negro Watch Is On In Chicago
That crackling sound you hear is the ice breaking under Vinny Del Negro's feet.
With Chicago's embattled coach already faced with what appeared to be precarious job security, the Bulls went to Atlanta and dropped a 118-83 stinker in which they barely bothered showing up for the second half. That 35-point shellacking made it nine losses in 10 games, including six by double figures.
So badly outplayed were the Bulls that the Hawks shot 4-for-17 on 3s in the first three quarters and still led by 30. Just imagine if they'd been hitting. It was so bad that Atlanta's Maurice Evans needed just four seconds in the third quarter to tie his career high in blocks, rejecting successive shots by Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng. It was so bad that Noah missed a wide-open dunk, so bad that Rose was called for traveling while going down the lane on a simple 2-on-1 break.
The biggest problem wasn't any of those mistakes, however, but the simple fact that these Bulls don't appear to trust one another or the system. "What system?" Bulls observers might ask, as Chicago's strategy once again seemed incoherent. In particular, Rose and his teammates seem to be reading from different pages of the manual on offense. More than once tonight, it appeared as though a teammate weighed the option of giving the ball to Rose, decided there was no chance he'd get it back and let fly with a quick shot.
Is Vinny Done?
The Chicago Bulls are not a good basketball team. Sure you can point to injuries recently to Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas or Derrick Rose's injured ankle, but the reality is even with all of that, the Bulls are still not a good "team".
If you have watched a single Bulls game this week you know exactly what's going on – selfish play, poor passing, bad shot selection and lack of defensive intensity.
Last night in Atlanta, it all came to a head in one big ugly beat down, a beat down that has the Bulls on Vinny Del Negro watch, and more than a few Bulls' insiders said they expected head coach Vinny Del Negro to be relieved of his duties in the coming days.
Bulls' player after Bulls' player confirmed last night that a big part of the problem was the mental parts of the game, not missing players.
Several Bulls' players questioned each other's commitment to effort and defense. They all agreed that there was more than enough talent to win, with one Bulls' starter saying privately, "It's not like we're losing close games, we're getting blown out" – when asked if that was maybe a result of the game plan and the coaching scheme that same player said "what do you think?"