2010 Archives http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/table/2010-articles/ Wed, 24 May 2017 09:58:18 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Free Throws and Toughness http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/free-throws-and-toughness.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/free-throws-and-toughness.html
The Bulls fell to the Nets 96-94 tonight, snapping a five-game win streak.  

My thoughts are simple - Bulls FT shooting cost the Bulls this game, even with an awful third quarter and Carlos Boozer on the bench for the fourth.  The Bulls stormed back late, as Derrick Rose came back into the game, and had a quick 6-0 run of his own.  Then, with the Bulls down 94-92, Luol Deng went to the line, and promptly missed two free throws.   

Again, Luol Deng hasn't had a good year offensively.  He defends the best player, and does a pretty good job.  He hits open jumpers, and can slash to the hoop when he feels like it.  But this year, his PER is at 14.80, lowest since his rookie year.  He doesn't shoot particularly well from the field at 45.5% and while he's hit some big three's, he's also been just terrible at the line at 70%.  

But everyone says he's had a great year.  Stacey King, Neil Funk and especially Chuck Swirsky.  
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marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Thu, 06 Jan 2011 03:13:26 +0000
Bulls (19-10) vs. Bucks (12-17) http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-19-10-vs-bucks-12-17.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-19-10-vs-bucks-12-17.html
The Bucks were overrated to begin with, and it's showing now.  I can't believe they spent $70 million on John Salmons and Drew Gooden, two fringe starters.  And they threw away expiring contracts for the fragile Corey Magette, who has had his minutes cut.  Especially since neither of them like to play defense.  The Bucks can't score, play pretty good defense, and play at a slow pace.  I just never saw why some "experts" had them to win the division. 

Prediction:  The Bulls will win by 12.  They should win by 25, if they shoot around 50%. 

I'll be at the game tonight, so I'll try to add comments periodically, if it works on my phone.  But check out twitter for any interesting news.
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marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Tue, 28 Dec 2010 21:53:23 +0000
Bulls take two of three on road trip http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-take-two-of-three-on-road-trip.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-take-two-of-three-on-road-trip.html
Free-Throw Shooting
It's been repeated on HTTH that free-throw shooting is shitty for the Bulls.  Unbelievably shitty.  It has cost us a few games already, and almost cost us the game vs. Detroit.  The Bulls sit at 70.2% from the line on the season, and if the season were to end today, it would be the worst percentage in Bulls history.

There's no reason that the shooting should be this bad.  A quick glance at the numbers shows that James Johnson and Omer Asik are by far the worst, but it shouldn't matter much because they don't get to the line often.  Luol Deng is 7% behind his career mark from the line.  Ronny Brewer's stroke looks terrible, and is at 61%.  Carlos Boozer is shooting 3% worse than last year.  
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marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Tue, 28 Dec 2010 07:30:23 +0000
Bulls (17-9) vs. Wizards (7-16) http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-17-9-vs-wizards-7-16.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-17-9-vs-wizards-7-16.html The Bulls travel to DC to face the Washington Wizards tonight, the first of a three-game trip.  The Bulls thoroughly demolished the 76ers last night, winning 121-76.  With the big victory, the Bulls were able to rest all five starters in the fourth quarter, leaving them rested for tonight.

 

The Bulls took care of the Wizards at home on November 13th, winning 103-96.  Gilbert Arenas had 30 for the Wizards, but he's in Orlando now, after a recent trade for Rashard Lewis.  Lewis will be making his debut for Washington.  The plan for the 6'10'' forward is to move him around in different spots, between the "three and four," and help spread the floor. 
  ]]> marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Wed, 22 Dec 2010 17:53:12 +0000 So much for that improved 76ers D http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/so-much-for-that-improved-76ers-d.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/so-much-for-that-improved-76ers-d.html
The Bulls got off to a 33-19 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.  They won the 3rd quarter by 20.  They were once winning by 51.

Luol Deng and Derrick Rose led all scorers with 22 points, in only three quarters of action.  Rose added 12 assists and 5 rebounds, with a 42 plus-minus.
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marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Wed, 22 Dec 2010 02:48:06 +0000
Sixers (11-16) vs. Bulls (16-9) http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/sixers-11-16-vs-bulls-16-9.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/sixers-11-16-vs-bulls-16-9.html Before the Bulls host the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night at the United Center, the front office has some thinking to do.

Already without Joakim Noah, the Bulls lost Taj Gibson to a concussion in Saturday night's loss to the Clippers.  Gibson started for the injured Noah, but was only able to play nine minutes.  The status of Gibson is unknown, but he could miss a few games.  Without Gibson, the Bulls are down to three post players.  If one of them get into foul trouble, the Bulls would be over matched on the glass.  Do you think Thibodeau was on the phone with Rasheed Wallace sometime this weekend?  It remains to be seen if the Bulls go after a big, but they may need to based on pure need.

]]> marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Mon, 20 Dec 2010 23:40:23 +0000 Replacing Noah http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/replacing-noah.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/replacing-noah.html
Joakim Noah will miss the next 6-8 weeks due to surgery on his right hand.  The surgery will re-attach the tendon Noah tore around his thumb.  Apparently, Noah was playing with the pain for the last month.   This comes minutes after the Bulls won their seventh straight game.

Although it was an unfortunate time, it's certainly better than it happening in February or March.   It was also a good move to have Noah repair it now, as they are wise to protect their 5/$60 center.  

We already know the impact of Noah has on the court, as one of the best defensive players in the East.   Others say the team will miss his emotional leadership, but I don't know how much that affects the players, especially since Joakim will probably travel to some games.

So the obvious question is, who will replace Noah?  

I don't think you can replace him, but you can fill the void nicely.  There's Taj Gibson, one of the NBA's top 6th man, who can defend and score like a starter, and will see starters minutes.  There's Omer Asik, who started nicely, but seems to have problems when he has to defend without fouling.  Kurt Thomas is still around, and he filled in admirably for Andrew Bogut last year for the Bucks as they made their playoff run.  With those guys, I don't think you need to make a move right away, and it looks as if the Bulls will go with that to start.

But that doesn't mean it will stay that way.  GM Gar Forman already told the media that he's explored options.  Who would be available?

Nick Friedell has his ideas, and some are intriguing, especially Rasheed Wallace.  He would probably come cheap, and is a low-risk move for the Bulls.  I think he's better than Asik is right now, and can help stretch the floor.  When Noah returns, he could still see 10 minutes a night, and more if the Bulls get into foul trouble.  I don't know what kind of shape he's in, but if he can play, why not give it a shot?  The fans will definitely mention Wallace's veteran leadership, and his knowledge of what it takes to be a champion.

As for Friedell's other ideas, Chris Richard was thrown out there.  He's playing in China, and I don't know if Richard would jump in the middle of the season.  I don't know what his contract situation is.  In any case, he would probably be added just in case of foul trouble or additional injuries.  Pass.

Joel Prysbilla is another intriguing name.  He's strong defensively, but doesn't really provide much of anything on the other side of the ball.  The Bulls would have trouble bringing in a $7.5 million salary, even though it expires at the end of the season.  And Prysbilla isn't the best bet to stay healthy.  I'd pass.

So, unless it's Wallace, I don't see a reason to go after a center...yet.  If Asik proves to be horrible, yes, go get someone.  Until then, see what you got.

 Out of the next 34 games, the Bulls will play 26 games against teams with losing records.  So Gar, I appreciate you working the phones to see what's available, but don't feel that a move is necessary.  ]]>
marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Fri, 17 Dec 2010 05:09:29 +0000
Rose for MVP? http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/rose-for-mvp.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/rose-for-mvp.html  The Bulls sit atop the Central division at 15-8, and the main reason is the play of Derrick Rose.  With Carlos Boozer missing the first 15 games with a broken hand, Rose stepped up and led the Bulls to a 9-6 record, including a 4-3 record on the circus trip.  But should he be considered with the best in the league?

 
He's averaging 24.7 points per game, 8.3 assists per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game.  He's improved his three-point shooting to 42%, hitting 15 of his last 25.  He's becoming the Bulls best clutch player, getting a bucket whenever the team needs, or sending games to overtime (Phoenix, Houston). 
 
Talent-wise, he's most definitely elite, and one of the bright young stars in the league.  He can get to the rim almost whenever he wants, due to his quickness and strength.  He has shown a commitment to defense unlike ever before.  He's able to elevate and grab rebounds over taller defenders due to his superior leaping ability.  He's completely changing the point guard position in the NBA.
 
But a deeper look into his statistics shows that he's not elite.  John Hollinger had an article on ESPN discussing Rose, and his inability to get fouls.  Since it was an insider article, I'm not going to post what he said, but the premise was that Rose needed to get to the line more. 
 
Casual basketball fans will disagree with this, and say "now you're just being picky."  But when you think about it, Hollinger is right.  Derrick is shooting 58% on shots around the rim.  If you take the 58% and multiply it by 2 points, you get 1.19 points.  If you take Derrick's FT percentage at 77%, and multiply it by 2, you get 1.54 points.  It's better for Derrick to get fouled than to not get fouled. 
 
Also, his inability to get to the line affects his TS% or true shooting percentage.  True shooting percentage takes into account all shots taken - two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws.  The three different shots are weighted based on difficulty to come to a percentage.  Based on Hollinger's numbers, Derrick had a lower TS% than all the elite point guards - Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook and even Rajon Rondo, who is not regarded as a good shooter.  Why is Rondo better?  He gets to the line more, and free throws are the easiest of the three components of TS%. 
 
Now, the conversation we've had on this site is that Derrick needs to get more calls.  In regards to fouls, his biggest strength is his biggest vice.  Because he's so quick and strong, he has the body control to finish even with contact, even though he tries to avoid it.  That body control fools refs, and doesn't see the offensive player affected.  So what should Derrick do?  I'm not saying to purposely barge into a player, but maybe force additional contact to get a call or two. 
 
I'm not trying to diminish what Rose has been able to do this year.  He's been incredible.  When I made my season prediction, I predicted Rose at 26 points per game, and around 10 FT's attempted per game.  He's hovering around 5.  If he can get to the line an extra two times per game, he's going to be the MVP.  There's no doubt in my mind.  The field for MVP is weak this year, as Durant has struggled, Paul has come down a little, and LeBron and Wade are sharing the ball. 
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marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Wed, 15 Dec 2010 15:44:24 +0000
Bulls (14-8) vs. Pacers (11-11) http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-14-8-vs-pacers-11-11.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-14-8-vs-pacers-11-11.html The Indiana Pacers travel to frigid Chicago to play the Bulls tonight, in a battle of the top two teams in the Central division standings. 

 You know about the Bulls hotstreak, and much of that has to do with the play of Derrick Rose.  After Saturday night's three-point clinic, he's now shooting 41% from three, and 64% during the five-game win streak.  He's showing why his name is in MVP consideration already this season.
 
But the most impressive part of the streak, to me, has been the defense.  The Bulls have held their opponents to under 90 points in the last four games, and under 40% shooting.  Many were wondering about Tom Thibodeau's defensive style, and are finally starting to see what the team can do when they're locked in defensively.  Defense was the key to the win Friday night vs. the Lakers, in which the Bulls scored only 32 first-half points.
 
The Pacers come in losing their last four on the road.  They managed only 83 points against the Pacers, and Danny Granger was shut down, shooting 3-14 from the field and missed all five of his three-point attempts.
 
One of the hottest Pacers has been shooting guard Brandon Rush.  The former lottery pick is starting to fill it up for Indiana, and is shooting over 50% from three in his last four games.
 

Probable Bulls Starters | Roster and Statistics

Guard 1 Derrick Rose 6-3 | 190
Guard 6 Keith Bogans 6-5 | 215
Forward 9 Luol Deng 6-9 | 220
Forward 5 Carlos Boozer 6-9 | 266
Center 13 Joakim Noah 6-11 | 232

Probable Pacers Starters | Roster and Statistics

Guard 2 Darren Collison 6-0 | 170
Guard 17 Mike Dunleavy 6-9 | 230
Forward 33 Danny Granger 6-9 | 228
Forward 32 Josh McRoberts 6-10 | 240
Center 55 Roy Hibbert 7-2 | 260

 

TV/Radio:

 7:00 WCIU and ESPN 1000
 

Prediction:

 ESPN's simulation has the Bulls winning by 9, but I think the Bulls should blow out the Pacers.  Bulls with a 105-89 win over the Pacers, continuing the win-streak and keeps the Bulls defensive streak of allowing less than 90 points going.]]>
marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Marco Radenkovich) December Mon, 13 Dec 2010 17:54:34 +0000
Bulls extend winning streak to 5 games with win over Minnesota http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-extend-winning-streak-to-5-games-with-win-over-minnesota.html http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2010-articles/december/bulls-extend-winning-streak-to-5-games-with-win-over-minnesota.html There isn’t a whole lot to really say about this one. The Bulls dominated this game from the opening tip to the final whistle which is evident by the 113-82 final score. It was nice to see the Bulls avoid the letdown factor. They refused to play down to their opponent, burying the Timberwolves in the first half, outscoring them by 21 points.

Once again Derrick Rose led the way for the Bulls. It looked too easy for the Bulls point guard tonight. He scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, which included making 5-of-6 3PT shots. He also dished out seven assists and was serenaded by Bulls fans and their “MVP!” chant all night long. Luol Deng scored 19 points and Carlos Boozer added 17 points to complement Rose. Kyle Korver and Taj Gibson both added 12 points off the bench. Kevin Love was once again very impressive for the Timberwolves in a losing effort, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

The most encouraging thing for the Bulls lately may very well be their defense. Over the last 4 games against Oklahoma City, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Minnesota no opponent has topped 90 points and only the Lakers shot better than 40%. If Tom Thibodeau can continue to get this team to play solid defense they will be very dangerous as they have plenty of weapons offensively.


Central Division Update:

The Bulls have won 5 in a row and the Indiana Pacers have lost 4 of their last 6. This has given the Bulls a nice little 3 game cushion in the standings. The two teams will play in Chicago on Monday in a game that probably means more to the Pacers than it does to the Bulls.

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marco.radenkovich@gmail.com (Mike Loszach) December Sun, 12 Dec 2010 03:59:04 +0000